Janet Taylor
March 15, 2018

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A Pain so Deep.

There is a pain a parent feels. There is something that breaks off inside every time you have to watch your child get hurt or hurt themselves. It is a pain that has no description beyond PAIN. It is beyond hopelessness and it is out of the reach of love. It is lost forever, a sad defence mechanism for survival.

There is a hollowness, a deep, dark hollowness that is burrowing inside of me each time I have to walk away from her. She calls me for help. She says this is it. She needs to get away. She needs to put herself first for once. She needs to be somewhere healthy and safe. So I go. Every little fibre in my body hoping this won't turn out like it did the last time. Every intelligent piece of my brain firing everything at me to say this could go bad. I can't explain it. I've tried. I can't stop it. I cannot keep going to get her, but yet I cannot not go get her. I cannot ignore the little reminder in my own soul that maybe this will be the time.

I get there. I message her that I'm there. I message her that I love her and to come down with all her stuff.

She comes down crying. Without any of her stuff. She tells me how she cannot leave him. She tells me that he needs her. She tells me that she will be ok and that this is what she deserves.

There is a strong part of me that could smash something. There is a part of me that cannot fathom this child, my child, telling me that she does not think herself worthy enough of leaving this excuse for a human being that calls her a whore, threatens her and steals her money.

So I tell her again how much I love her. I tell her how much it kills me to see her so sad, lost and frightened. I tell her that I will bring her back to her apartment and sit with her. I tell her that true love is family, acceptance and support. I tell her that true love is unconditional. True love is what I have for her every minute of everyday despite knowing everything I know.

So she tells me she will go get her things. She tells me that she will be right back. She tells me that she loves me too.

Then I hear the screaming. I get out of my car thinking it can't be her screaming. It can't be my little girl screaming like that.

Then I realize it is. Then I run towards the apartment with the open door, the apartment where I know she is with her boyfriend. I get to the doorway and ask her if she is ok. She tells me that she can't leave now. If she leaves, he will hurt himself. I cannot enter. To enter would be to cross a line I am conscious enough to not let him coax me into. Thank goodness.

I am also on the phone calling the police. I am petrified for her safety. I am petrified of the day she comes out from some building in a body bag. I can visualize it clearly.

He slams the door in my face and looks it, but the police are on their way. I am starting to feel like a fool. Then I can still hear her screaming but now no one will come to the door. The police are here. Thankfully. No one answers the door. So minutes go by before they can kick down the door....then they go in and time stops. I swear I thought no one would ever come out...

I can hear more screaming and crying. Then one officer comes out with the boyfriend. He smiles so smugly at me.

What seems like hours pass. I am shaking. I am somewhere between anger and fear. The officer finally comes to speak to me. Her father has also arrived at this time to help her realize exactly how much she is loved.... the officer tells me that he cannot see any signs of violence and both parties are saying it was simply a misunderstanding. There is not much they can do if she does not want to leave.

I am at a loss, but I am not surprised. The adrenaline turns to more pain...that deep, sticky black pain. I ask them to tell her to come out to tell me herself. To look into my face and tell me she would rather stay. Stupid....just stupid. Like a hamster in a wheel she can come and tell me that to my face....she does. She feels deserving of this type of love. She feels she has to help him because she has done bad things too. Who are you? Who is this child in front of me that feels deserving of this treatment? I walk away. Not defeated, not sad...just numb. I walk away and think again of the body bag.....

Love against mental illness.

Will I go next time....will I continue to subject myself to the pain? I'm a mom. I can't not.

That doesn't make it fair. That doesn't make sense. That definitely isn't healthy behaviour. I can say I can go long periods between "helping" her out. I can tell myself that I can separate her choices into her pile and my life into my life...but that doesn't change the biggest part. I'm her mom... and there in lies that pain.

It goes away a little faster each time. I can tell myself I did everything right and that she knows I love her. I can tell myself I won't do it ever again. I can tell myself that I'm trying to set a good example of parenting and love for my other two children.

What I can't do though is make it hurt inside me any less than it does right now.....

Never give up. Put yourself first. Be the force you want to see in the world. I love myself, I really do. But this being a mom thing...wow, its tough.