I wanted to quickly follow up on this morning's blog post to just say this...in no way was that commentary meant to shame, accuse, or blame any of the parents that were involved in the news story that prompted it.
Nor was it meant to imply that what I did - which was to completely disengage from all professionals (teacher, doctors, psychologists) and simply follow my maternal gut - will work for everyone or anyone else.
I thank my lucky stars everyday that, when all was said and done, both of my boys went on to thrive and travel and laugh and live well. And I do, to this day, believe that a great percentage of their success - in pulling through what was a dark time in all our lives - did just come down to dumb luck.
So, for me to criticize anyone else's parenting would be hypocrisy to the extreme.
I once lived the role of helpless parent with regards to a child's depression and anxiety. I once felt responsible for it. I struggled, I made the rounds of doctors searching for answers, waited in far too many counselors' waiting rooms, hoping desperately that a son would respond to this one, listen to this one, be helped by this one.
In the end, I stopped listening to what everyone else was telling me would work for my children, and I simply listened to myself. I gave myself credit for the things I knew (I was a registered nurse, an engaged and involved mother)...and took back all of the control regarding my boys' care that I had, in my meekness, handed over to various "professionals".
Now, I'm not one to give advice - won't actually because I believe all people must dance to their own tunes - but I will to say this to any parent who is entering into the wild, wild west of today's mental health care system with their child:
Please enter into with the complete understanding that you know more about what is best for your child than any professional - no matter how credentialed or highly recommended - that you may encounter along the way.
During my time in the system with my boys, I listened to far too many qualified others tell me what my boys needed. I listened and felt blame...I felt overridden, dismissed, patronized, bullied even...into accepting this treatment or that, this drug or that. I was made to feel that I would be responsible, a failure as a mother, if I didn't try this or that and so I did. And when this or that didn't work, I listened to yet another person tell me yet another thing to do, and to yet another doctor offer yet another medication to try.
Until I decided to just call out STOP! and listen to the only people (I'll acknowledge here that their father was involved) who truly knew what the hell was going on with my boys and who they truly were...their Mom and Dad.
I'm very glad now that we never, ever lost sight of that one very important truth.