By Linda Kelly, MSW, RSW
You give up a lot of control when you become a parent.
Everything becomes a potential danger, from the edge of a coffee table to an unattended bath tub, to other kids who influence your child to think differently.
It's funny how you develop tunnel vision for them. How you can zero in on them in a room full of people, and not really see the other people anymore. Just them.
I haven't been a mom that long in the big picture, but I think that tunnel vision for them never really changes.
I imagine finding his smiling face among a sea of other graduates someday. Effortlessly hearing that sometimes-shy, sometimes obnoxious, sometimes know-it-all voice that seems to get deeper and wiser every time I see him.
And I imagine what it would feel like to desperately wonder for days at a time whether or not he's okay. No news, no word, no last-minute text to give me justification to be mad at him for being careless instead of terrified that I'll never see him smile again.
Today in Thunder Bay, a family had to say goodbye to their son in one of the worst ways imaginable.
Ask someone, anyone, to listen. It helps.
The thought is... devastating.
There are no real words to describe the raw, horrendous feelings that emerge when faced with the prospect of being so helpless. The guilt, the endless questions, as if any explanation would ever suffice.
I would have to blame myself just so I could feel some semblance of control, so that maybe I could stop something like this from happening in the future, instead of accepting that in a moment the world could change and I would be helpless to stop it.
Kids aren't supposed to die.
Teens, whose feelings are so amplified because everything is still new haven’t had the life experience to know that the difficult times will pass, that feelings come and go.
That everyone feels alone sometimes, and sometimes they are, but it’s temporary.
Please, if you need to talk, then talk to us. Talk to anyone who will listen. Better yet, just ask someone, anyone, to listen. It helps.
Thunder Bay Crisis Services -- 807 346 8282
Beendigan -- 807 346 4357
Children's Aid Society Crisis Line -- 807 343 6100
Elizabeth Fry Crisis Line -- 807 622 5407
Faye Peterson Crisis Line -- 807 345 0450
Kids Help Phone -- 1 800 668 6868
Try any of the above numbers. There are people who want to help, and they are available right now!
Our services are not covered by OHIP, but if you have a status number, we can access funding for private sessions. We might even be able to see you on the same day that you call.
You don’t need to go through a doctor. There’s no lengthy process, just call us. Email us. Facebook us. If not us, call Thunder Bay Crisis Response. Call 211 to find out where the closest available service is. Even call us and we’ll help you get in somewhere.
Do not drop anchor here. Get help. You are loved.
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Check out kellymagazine.ca for recent mental health articles and blog posts.
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