I never thought that I would be here, that my child would ever need this. Yet here I sit in the waiting room anticipating meeting with my son’s new counselor for the first time. It’s hard to admit that my child is having problems. That he is having a hard time coping with the transitions between my house and his dad’s house which is reflected in his overall behavior towards me, his peers and himself.
I’m embarrassed and terrified to meet with this counselor. I know I will have to admit to the years of mental and verbal abuse I endured that I let my child witness. That the screaming and the name calling did happen in front of him which may be directly impacting his coping skills and behavior now. I’m embarrassed to admit it took me years to even realize what was happening to me and that even now his father and myself can not get along for the sake of our child.
The stigma of shame of needing counseling for myself or my son is also at the forefront of my mind. I feel shameful that I can’t deal with these problems on my own and that I have to turn to outside sources to help. The thought that I’m failing as his mother is the loudest voice I’m hearing in my head right now.
It’s hard for me to admit to myself and publicly that I’m not a perfect mom. It’s even harder for me to admit that my child is not perfect but that is what he needs right now. He needs me to see the problem, address the problem and help him overcome this difficult time in his life. If I continue to tell myself that he’s perfect and blame others for the challenges we are facing would be doing him a huge disservice now that would undoubtedly carry on later into his life.
One thing I do feel though aside from shame, fear and embarrassment is hope. I’m hopeful for this new experience in his life. That it will help him open up, talk about how he is feeling and help him cope better with the transitions. He is a sweet, smart and funny boy and I want him to stay that way despite the challenges we are all facing at this junction in our lives. I also feel hopeful that maybe seeing him thrive with counseling too will help me seek out counseling for the trauma and the resulting feelings I have towards myself that I carry around with me.
I know I’m not a bad mom, that my child needs this in his life but it’s hard not to feel that way about myself. I will always continue to do what is best for him no matter what. I can only hope that he will understand that all the choices I made were with his best interest in mind.