Why write this blog?
Why this blog? Why write it? Or perhaps a better question would be why should you read it? I’ll tackle the first question.. well, first.
Why write it. To me, writing is rather cathartic, so although it may be selfish, writing this blog helps me process and then deal with what’s going on. It is so frustrating that mental health issues are greeted with such a strong negative reaction that you feel imprisoned by the situation. If Vale had, for instance, leukemia, we could talk about it openly and receive support. But if I were to speak openly about Vale’s issues, there would be shame and withdraw from others who wouldn’t know what to say or how to act. You couple all of that with the fact that self-mutilation or eating disorders are more of a girl’s dysfunction in the eyes of the general public and we exacerbate the problem even further. We would then become ‘those’ people. People don’t want to know if you’re having a mental health issue, they would rather be in the dark. So that is why we’ve told only 2 people in our entire family. The irony to this is that Vale didn’t cause his mental health issues any more than he would have caused leukemia or any other more “acceptable” disorder. Yet he needs just as much outpouring of love and support.
The second reason I’ve written this is blog is for other moms. When I discovered Vale’s self-harm I went on line to find blogs or memoirs of other boys or their parents who walked this road, and found nothing. Can you imagine how many questions a parent has? How long it takes to get treatment in place so that you can actually start asking these questions? And every single second feels like it’s unending. I don’t know if this topic is so taboo that other moms won’t talk about it or that I’ve been looking in the wrong place, but I knew that there had to be other parents, siblings, loved ones or friends out there of boys who were in so much crisis. I found blogs about boys who had depression and were oppositional, or boys who suffered from PSTD and have RAD (reactive attachment disorder) and were acting out, but Vale isn’t any of those things. He’s really a great kid. He’s pretty compliant; he doesn’t lash out in anger, break things, hit other people, rebel against our authority or is defiant. I wanted to put something out there for other moms who discover that their wonderful, beautiful sons are using their forearms to carve out their pain. When facing a dark and frightening battle, there is nothing more assuring than knowing that we’re not facing it alone. It’s my hope that by writing about us, our joys and our struggles, another parent, or friend, or family is encouraged.
So the second part of the issue, why read this blog, comes to mind. I wish I had a good profound answer, but you know I don’t. I value the few comments and questions I’ve received so far. It’s so humbling and inspiring to me to know that someone is interested in our story. So maybe the answer to the question, ‘why read this blog’ is that it helps me to heal. I have to tell our story. So by the reader lending me their virtual ear, it is helping me to better mother Vale, to be supportive and make it through another night. So I thank you in advance for commenting, clicking the like symbol, for following me. It gives this blog even more purpose.
Hopefully, writing answers to these why questions will clarify what the direction I’m trying to go with this blog, where the breath and heart for it comes from.