disability · mental illness

The suffering of silence

Sacred Heart, Maria, Religion, Christianity, FaithHow do you deal with pain? You suppress it of course. You stuff it down inside like, into the deep, the very deep until it must force its way out. It gets stuck in little places, hiding places, places where no one has been. It doesn’t move, just sits there like a stuck-out dagger. You wonder why nobody sees the knife protruding from your chest. We help people sitting in wheelchairs, those with cancer, the sick. We are good at seeing the visible.

“For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? 

And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? Matthew 5:46-47

I spent the better part of my break on Monday listening to a 55 minute webinar about ADHD. I was ticked the night before that the good doctor dared to blame me and tell me I’m the problem. His voice was raised, earphones in my ears, midnight hour he shouts, “You’re the problem!!!!!!!”
As if he was in the room I spoke back at him, shut off the webinar, slammed the computer shut. Are you kidding me??? I’m the problem???
He must be talking to someone else…
So back to Monday when I began the webinar again. And I was. I was the problem. I swear he taped the thing just for me. He made sure I knew that I was the one that had to make accommodations. That I had to change my lifestyle to fit my son’s needs and not the other way around.
I imagined the ramps in my house I would have to build if he was physically disabled. I certainly wasn’t building those ramps, I was expecting him to wheel himself over the threshold with no assistance from me. I was mortified. I saw that my house had no ramps. But more importantly, I saw that my heart had none either. 
I was trying to yell the ADHD out of him. I couldn’t accept it. How could he not control himself? 
Maybe you’ve been there in that very same moment. The moment you accept your child is mentally ill or, will be physically disabled forever or has a neurological disorder like ADHD. These conditions are chronic, THEY DO NOT GO AWAY. I wanted to scream. Acceptance is a straight shot of sober,
(and you yourself a sword will pierce) 
When I thought about my role, God’s plan, how I fit, it was so very messy.  I wanted to get in a car to South Carolina and tell that doctor I hated him. I hated him because he told me it was time to accept my son for who he was. I hated him because he told me my son was going to suffer.
I had been trying for so long to identify with the suffering of Jesus, but just couldn’t. He is God, I am not. The shhhs came again, quietly.
(and you yourself a sword will pierce) 
I could feel that pain, I could identify with that pain. That pain was in Mary and the suffering she knew from the time Jesus was a child He would have to endure. I could be in that pain, I knew it well. I needed to be there. I needed to know how it felt.
And when I came home and looked at my son, I saw Jesus. He was Jesus. He was Jesus in my home. He was my silent call.
I saw him fragile, hurting. I saw the wounds. I couldn’t see the scourging of Jesus in me, because it wasn’t in me. It was in him.
People don’t like Mary. They put her out in nativity sets, then neatly put her away, not a word to be spoken. We don’t see her for who she is. She doesn’t fit neatly into our lives. We are down and in pain and writhing and she is calling from the Christmas box, Let me out, let me out! I heard her good and well. She is the patron in my mind of those who suffer silently, those whose wounds you cannot see. And I understood that now. I understood the depth of that and the breadth of that. It is a hard burden to bear alone. 
I am still suffering. I am still in mourning for my son. I realize now that he can’t help the things that he does. I realize this is about me. I realize the world will treat him poorly and try to yell or talk the ADHD out of him. I realize the world is utterly stupid at times and I’m glad I don’t live there. I realize I have had Jesus in my house for almost 8 years, one year in the womb and seven on this earth. I realize that he was sent for me. I realize I have messed up royally. I realize that it’s o.k.

12 thoughts on “The suffering of silence

  1. It’s going to be a long road Melissa—this I know because we have lived it—living it—do you know that I am asking for the prayers of the world right now because after 7 long bumpy years, our son is to finally graduate. It has been a lifetime of struggle with many, even of my colleagues at school, whispering he’d never make it in college….but now we wait on one lone professor to finish putting in a grade—one lone grade, before we will know if he graduates this time—almost two weeks since the official graduation… and we still wait.
    He is 27 and my heart is as raw for all of this now as it was when he was diagnosed at 5—-
    I have been on my knees before God over this more times than I can say…
    Just know that if anyone understands, I do….
    call me if you need me….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I see that, I see that now. I pray that my change in perspective helps guide me through those rough patches. We are also looking into medication which I believe will help control the impulsivity.


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