My teenage son suffers not only from ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and mood disorder but also from the emotional turmoil of parent abandonment, racial and identity issues, anger and self-loathing.
In his fits of anger, my son has called me every name in the book. He has destroyed several of my belongings. He has put me through hell many times. It has been really hard hanging in because I, too, am human and fragile. And the things he says and does hurt.
There have been so many moments when I want to sink into a depressed state, when I want to just disconnect emotionally from him, when I want to give up. It is exhausting getting kicked when down then getting back up only to get kicked again and again – for years. But my conscience won’t allow me to quit. I don’t even know what this cycle is. Is it dysfunctional? Abusive? Love?
I don’t know. As some of my friends remind me, I don’t have a choice in this. I am the only parent, person really, in his life who has been here through all the highs and the deepest lows with him. I have been and continue to be his one constant.
Yes I want to give up. Yes I want to disconnect in order to self-protect. But there is no one else brave enough, caring enough, resilient enough to see that my son is in deep, deep pain. Because of that, it is my duty to hang in even if it means taking the pain too.
I pray that some day when he gets better and has matured enough to look back and see all that I have done for him, he will recognize and be profoundly appreciative of my being here always.