The Best Parent I Can Be

My son came back home several days ago, unexpectedly.  The last week has been such a turbulent time for the two of us.  One minute he wasn’t in my home because I couldn’t take any longer the weight of parenting a child with severe mental & emotional issues.  Then the next minute, he is back.  The changes have all been so abrupt that I haven’t even had time to fully process all of my emotions.

When he was away at his dad’s for the last several days, I thought I would enjoy having my home to myself.  After all, I have had no break from my son for the last three years or so because of their estranged relationship.  But in fact, I wasn’t comfortable in my own home without him.  On the one hand, I relished every moment of utter silence because my son is just a noisy person and every now & then I need quiet.  And on the other hand, I was completely unfamiliar with that same silence; so much so that I felt lonely.  At one point, I couldn’t take the silence so I left to go sit at a cafe just to feel safe around others and ironically, around noise.

He came by to pick up some of his belongings.  For a few minutes, I was shocked by his presence.  Then I started to feel uneasy that he had returned.  I was not ready to take him back.  I had just gotten used to the idea of being by myself so that I could process him leaving.  Then the unease turned into anxiety and I started to call the police again, hoping that they could help with escorting him out of my home.  Almost immediately, I called the police back and told them that I didn’t need their help any longer.  I realized in that moment, despite the angst that I felt about him and about everything, that my son was forced to wander between his own parents’ homes.  And that hurt.  The idea that my son could’ve felt unwanted hurt me.  So reluctantly, I took him back.

Sadly, I don’t believe that him being back home is the best solution for either of us but even more heart-breaking is the reality that no one else, including his own father and my own family for that matter, are responsible, resilient or compassionate enough to deal with all of this and help us out.  My closest friends don’t even live in the same state.  So I have to remain his only constant, even if it is at the cost of my own mental health.

Thankfully, it has been somewhat stable since his return.  I suppose some of it can be attributed to the fact that he did not feel comfortable being anywhere else other than home and realizing how lucky he has been with me as his caregiver, even though it is a mess between us.  But I imagine a lot of it is from the emotional stress and the two us just being drained from all the years of dealing with our issues.

I feel a turning point in our, in my, experience with all of this.  It’s not an encouraging feeling but rather a resigned and poignant one.  I don’t yet know what that means or what’s to come.  All I know is that I have tried a great deal to hang in and to do my best to raise my son the best way that I know how, despite all the turmoil.  For that, I can move on to the next phase of this very long journey knowing that I have been the best parent I can be.




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