Tell Them You Love Them Especially When They Don't Want to Hear It

February 19, 2013

The following is an edited version of a letter I wrote to my 20 year old Bipolar son last summer.  He'd moved out of my house Dec. 31, 2010. If you've read my other posts, you know the troubles he's had, we've had.  But I post this letter now because it may benefit you, Dear Reader.  If you need to reach out to someone you love who is troubled, DO IT NOW.  Let them know you love them especially when they don't want to hear it.

July 14, 2012

Dear XXXX,

I suppose you see that I have decided to write you a letter. Two reasons: first, because when I text or call you, you rarely reply or answer. And second, because this will give me the opportunity to share with you some of the things that have been on my mind for quite some time.

The most important message I'd like to convey to you today is that I love you. Yes, I say that to you and I text it to you and you reply the same to me. But, seriously take a moment and think about it: I. Love. You. What that means is that I will never forsake you. I will never turn my back on you no matter what you do or say or don't do or don't say. No matter what. I. Love. You. A mother's love for her children is the most unique and selfless kind there is. And in my case, it is my love for you that is the deepest rooted love I carry in my heart. Here is a poem I think that explains my feelings toward you. Since we both love poetry, I think it's appropriate to share with you:

i carry your heart—ee cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

So, my Son, as my first born son you hold a very, very dear place in my heart. Carrying you for 9 months, giving birth to you, nurturing you the best I could is only the beginning of the love I have for you. As a young mother, I know I made mistakes. Lots of them. But one thing I know without hesitation is that I will always love you. It's just like that book I used to read to you about a mother's love for her son: how she crawled across the floor to rock him back and forth, back and forth and while she rocked him she sang:
I'll love you forever.
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

Now that you know the most paramount reason for my writing to you, let me move on to some other thoughts I've been having about you...and they are in no special order.

I feel guilty when I think about how things are for you right now. About how school hasn't really worked out and about how you don't have a car and perhaps not even a job. In all this misfortune, I have never given up hope for you. But I feel guilty when I think that's what you think. Basically, I worry that you think I've abandoned you. And I don't ever want you to think that.

I've been in therapy for a while now and I've been diagnosed Bipolar II. During my sessions with my counselor, I express to her how much I miss “the old XXXX” and how much I wish I could have done something to alter things. She tells me over and over that you have made choices that have led you to where you are. She says I need to remember that. And I do. But I can't help to feel guilty too. (Perhaps it's that old Catholic thing.) In any case, just know that I've been “battling my demons” so to speak over the last year and a half.

In getting diagnosed, I've begun medication too. This has helped moderate my emotions tremendously. I can't tell you how helpful it has been to learn more about Bipolar II and why I feel the way I feel sometimes. And to know that there are other people who feel this way too. And there is medication that helps. After some trial and error I've found the correct dosage for me. I tell you this because I want you to know everything, Son. I want you to know that I've been battling things too.

OK I just re-read that last paragraph and as a writing teacher, I'm horrified. The lack of organization is horrific. But I mean every word and I'm not revising it to make it perfect because I'm not perfect. I'm just your mom. And I miss you. And I love you. And I want to have a relationship with you again.

I'd love to see you on a regular basis. I'd love to talk to you weekly, daily, whatever suits you. You know I keep up with most of what's going on with you, though I'm sure I don't know everything. I respect your privacy. But I want to talk to you again. And I want to be a part of your life again.

Now this wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention the next subject, so brace yourself:

Your Future.

I'm not going to harp on you about what I think you should do. I'm not even going to list the ideas I've had (both old and new) regarding this topic. Instead I'm only going to say that I'd like to help you get Your Future started. I know you're scared. I know it's terrifying to be “a grown up”. But it's also quite liberating. And you deserve that.

So I'll come to a close with just three little words: I. Love. You. If you gain nothing else from this letter, I hope that I have convinced you of that.

Love Always,


No comments:

Please share a comment