When you fell down and scraped your knee in the third grade, you ran back to your parents knowing that they were ready for your tears, Band-Aids on hand. Inside a diaper bag, or worn out knapsack, they had everything you needed- granola bars, water, a favorite stuffed animal. They had exactly what was required to get by.
We turned to our parents to fix us when we were hurting. They could take away pain with a bandage and a kiss.
Yet sometimes, the pain isn’t just on the outside. Even though you feel torn up and bruised, outside it doesn’t show. You tell yourself it’s just you, it’s not real, you’re overreacting.
It’s hard to say to those who love you unconditionally that you’re down, especially if it seems like there’s no reason for it. As we grew older, we began to acknowledge that sometimes a cut still stings even after a hug from mom or dad. Slowly but surely, they began to have less and less of their healing abilities, until it seemed that even with their help a wound would still hurt. Until the point where even in hurting, it seemed like they were just as helpless as you were to fix it.
So were left with hurting, suffering alone. Because it can’t be fixed with a bandage and kiss; the way parents always helped you through.
It’s hard for parents to see their children hurting. It’s hard to know that, try as they may to protect them from harm, it reached them anyway. It’s hard knowing that inside that backpack of answers and quick fixes there isn’t an easy way out for their child.
When you’re hurting day and night, it’s hard to do anything you imagine might make anyone feel a fraction of the same way.
But it’s important to realize that as hard as it is for a parent to have a son or daughter suffering from depression, anxiety or whatever it may be, it’s harder to have not known when it’s too late.