ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Into the abyss with love a mom's journey into a child's depression

Updated on March 13, 2012
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Since I've started using this format of combining my poetry with my blog with my photography, I've had a hard time defining the right "niche" or placement for it within the Hub pages, so I hope wherever I end up putting these pieces makes some kind of weird sense. Hence, today, I am putting this one point blank into a poetry and writing forum:

03-12-12

Now that I have stumbled into what is becoming a steadier footing within the blogosphere, I'm keeping another promise, one made to myself. At least a decade or more ago, I found myself not writing creatively, not writing in my journals---I was only writing what was the needful work related memo. My best friend then and now, is an artist, and in relocating from California to Georgia recently, it is her actual presence I miss most intensely at times. Back at the time when I'd ceased all creative writing and pursuits, I had also found myself in a despondent creative dead-zone. My best friend and I literally dragged each other to a local lecture by none other than the iconic writer Ray Bradbury.

I'd heard him speak when I was, gosh, a junior in high school and he lectured at a local community college. Further, I was waiting for my ride back to school when Mr. Bradbury walked by me on his way out. I had the pleasure of maybe a five or ten minute conversation, one on one, with him. So fast forward to decades later, and the creative depression/dead zone I was in. That lecture by him rekindled my writing. And it has never declined to that excruciating of a low since. He made a simple observation to a fellow writer-----if you are a writer, not just a (my interpretation) jotter of words, you must write. You must write the way you must breathe, or you are already dying or dead within your spirit. Over the years, that has held to be a deep truth for me. Creativity is an intrinsic part of my life----be it writing, yarn work, photography, or even parenting.

Which brings me to why this particular promise and this particular blog are both difficult and important to me. I promised myself not to back away from writing about any part of my life, even the most negative or painful, that there is no way to express only the “good” without writing the contrast, the down-side. And that no aspect of my life is an exception. So, regarding my life---well there has been no job, not one single one I have ever had, with more frustration and fulfillment than that of mother. And it seems I end up in conversations with other mothers and grandmothers, single moms, working moms, traditional moms, and not so traditional moms. Heterosexual moms, and lesbian moms. We all share the joy and pain of the job title “MOM”!

Being a mother (and by extension mothering those younger people I have come to love as much as my own biological child!) has also given me many rewarding conversations----from the wonderful celebration of a child's successes, to the deepest agony of dealing with a child's battle with negative aspects within his/her own life. In my case, I had to deal more than once with my son's depression, and for him it began at an early age. The first time depression hit him, it hit him quite deeply (and nearly to the suicidal stage) and he was only in third grade. He hit it again periodically, sometimes as a result of being bullied, of being “different”, of being himself---smart and geeky and empathetic.

I've faced my own challenges with depression----from the outer edges of a “Blue Monday” to the deep down kind of depression that makes every day, decision, and action the most emotionally and physically draining of experiences. But dealing with my son's depression was profoundly different. In going through the odds and ends (or odd ends, if you will!) of my writing, I have come to claim and acknowledge a variety of pieces---ones written from and about very negative places in my own life, my child's life, the lives of friends and family, and even more generalized casual contacts.

This poem, though, was written when my son was eight years old----third grade, our first battle in his depression. It nearly broke my heart, but it strengthened my resolve and commitment to my child. This particular poem was an attempt to answer a profound question he had asked me. And it was a way of sorting out the confusion and fright within my own heart about the future of this oh so treasured child. Yes, it was most difficult to go through. Any parent or grandparent who has a depressed child or grand-child knows how deeply this wounds, how harsh it is because you truly feel helpless at times.

You feel guilty, you wonder if you've been a contribution to the depression. In my case, I had to fight my own feelings of being depressed because of my son's depression, my desire to just “make it all better, make it go away” as if there were some kind of band-aid and a kiss solution to depression. There isn't. It's a hard battle, and a steeply uphill battle at that!

I have to admit, I was fortunate beyond belief. My son told me about it. He shared his own suicidal impulse with a friend---who had enough sense to let his teacher know. My son and I, with his teacher and principal and vice-principal, all wonderfully caring women, sat down together within a day of the incident and really talked about it. I took him off a medication (a whole other blog, maybe someday) immediately, sought professional emergency counseling (thank you County of San Diego for providing your employees with a very comprehensive health care insurance at that time) and of course the support of my husband, and my most trusted of friends (Suzes, I will always love you for walking this path right along with us) and my Buddhist leaders and support group, who never gave up encouraging me to see this all the way through. This poem then, is what I wrote just over a decade ago----and it remains a deep and intense expression of motherhood, and what it means to be a mother, to have the depth of love for your child that is unquestionable, unconditional, and unrelenting. It is, perhaps, a dedication to all Mothers and those oh so difficult moments when your child seems to be facing a darkness too awful to consider, and too terrifying to allow them to face it alone.

into the abyss with love

you ask why I love you
and tell me that simply
being your mother
isn't reason enough.

don't you know
what mother means to me?
more than just carrying you
for nine months next to my heart,
carrying you for nine years
within my soul.

don't you know
what mother means to me?
that I would go through hell
to keep you from that precipice
to hold you against the night
for as long as my arms have strength
and beyond?

don't you know
what mother means to me?
that when you somehow find yourself
within the yawning abyss
the darkness greater than imagining,
I would claw my way to the bottom
to carry you back into the light.

you ask why I love you,
and somehow
because I am your mother
is the only answer I can find.

copyrights:Cynthia L. Shubert-Jett

Poem: 12-14-01
Photography and Blog 03-12-12

All rights retained by author/photographer.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    Click to Rate This Article