Favorite Quotes

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  • "I'm so busy.... I don't know if I found a rope... or lost my donkey! - Unknown"
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What Would You Say?

What would you say? How would you treat me? If I told you that my son was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. My 11 year son. My oldest. My only boy. And I had talked to professionals....more than one of them. And they told me that after a few years of extensive and painful treatment, we'd know if he was going to live. And that the chance of that happening was about 30%.

What would you say? Would you hug me? Would you be understanding if I cried? Would you understand if I was distracted at work? Would you understand if I needed to take more time off from work than normal to go to doctor's appointments and such? Would you offer me support? Would you bring me food and offer to clean my house and understand if all I wanted to do was spend a day in bed? Would you let your kids come play at my house and play with my sick child?

You would probably do all those things and more. Because it's okay to have a child who is physically ill.

But MY child is not physically ill...he's mentally ill. And there's a stygma that goes with that. It's not to be discussed, because he MIGHT be in that 30% that's okay and we don't want him labeled. If my son was mentally ill, you'd secretly wonder if it had something to do with our parenting. You think of about a dozen things you'd have done differently that might have "worked". You'd doubt the statistics given out by professionals and claim there probably wasn't much wrong with him other than "being a boy". You probably wouldn't want your kids to play at my house or play with my son. You might not understand my grief...because his life is not in danger. You wouldn't understand the support that I needed....because I wouldn't tell you my son is ill. And even if you knew, you'd look at his handsome smiling face and think that perhaps "I" was the one who had a mental illness, because not only does he look normal....he's beautiful and smart and charming. I'm the one who looks stressed, tired and frazzled, not him.

If I told you that my son had a serious mental illness..... What would you do? What would say?

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