Return to Krista's Korner

"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is Love Enough?

The weather lady on TV just told me what a beautiful morning in the Valley it is.  I am not feeling it.  In fact, I woke up after a fitful night's sleep feeling numb and shellshocked.  I know this feeling well.  It is the natural reaction after a night of trying to contain Konal's rages.

I puttered around the house this morning, picking up the trail of destruction left in his wake and making a mental list of repairs that need to be done.  The permanent damage is not that bad this time.  The main damage that occurs is to the psyche of the family- to me, to Aidan and to Konal when he comes down and realizes what he has done.

I slapped him last night.  It is something that is done in anger, frustration and pain. I am not proud of it, and I immediately apologize to him and to myself.  I believe in non-violence and it disgusts me when I return violence with violence.  What kind of example does that give?  Maybe I hold myself to a higher standard than I should, especially considering at the time his teeth had a death grip on my swollen, painful hand.

Is love really supposed to be this painful?  Is parenting supposed to be this hard?  I look at the pain in Aidan's eyes as he hides in my bedroom trying to read a book, but hypervigilant in case Konal picks him as next target.  I look at the pain in Konal's eyes as he comes back to himself and realizes what he just did.  I look at the pain I feel and the physical expression of it in our trashed home. I look at this and I see it, but I don't know what to do about it.

Our family is wounded.  It is a wound that keeps getting opened over and over again, scarring and taking longer to heal each time. As their parent, I am the protector.  I am the one charged with keeping everyone safe, of caring for them, raising them, and teaching them.  I am failing at this task because I have run out of options.

It is this point in time that the behavioral health system is supposed to be at its best.  It is supposed to provide options when there are none.  It is supposed to help shore up hope when it is trickling away.  Unfortunately, the current state of the system in AZ means that it is not guaranteed that it will be there for our family when we need it.

We will be fine.  We are a resilient family.  Konal has come far, but is re-entering a twice yearly cycle.  We will manage like we always do.  We love each other deeply and that is enough.  It has to be- it is all we got.