Written by Yes Moms member, Kattia Vanessa Solano
Parenting, I can say, is one of the most challenging purposes that we have in life. Like a box of chocolates, you will never know which circumstances you will encounter while your kids are growing up. I always complain that there is no manual that we can use to have the recipe for all the good approaches in order for our children have an integral, happy, empowered, and successful life.
These have been an amazing and blessed 13 years that my son Pablo has been a part of my life. Be a parent of a teenager was something that I never realized would be so challenging. Not to mention, I was facing a divorce at the same time. This year has been like a movie passing through my mind. With everything around COVID-19, starting high school in a new place, new friends, I really felt as though this was new opportunity to start fresh as a family and to begin the greatest journey of our lives.
Moment of Truth
There is always an event that will change the path of the journey. One day after school, Pablo arrived home so quiet and just ran to his bedroom. I tried to talk to him but he said that all was ok and he just wanted to sleep. This was the beginning of a series behaviors that by instinct we, as parents, begin to understand that something is wrong. Later that day, I tried to speak with him and I realized that he had hurt his arm. The first thing in my mind was that he had gotten in fight with someone. He told me that he had fallen at school. The following day I sent an email to his teacher, and by my surprise they already going to call me. They were afraid that my son was trying commit suicide. I was in shock! The first thing in my mind was "what I did wrong?" How was this happening and I was not able to see or realize that something was really wrong with my son?? His girlfriend had broken with him (I didn't even know that he had one) and he had started bullying on social media and in school with other teammates. I realized my son was entering the most darkest and deep depression.
The school counseling group start providing support. He only wanted to sleep, eat, speak. After different specialists tried to bring my son back to reality, he was moving more and more into depression and anxiety. This was almost three weeks of me trying to help Pablo recover from depression. The school decided to contact the National Teen Health Support to get him admitted into their program because therapy was not helping.
As a mother, I realized that after several therapists, we would have to move forward with psychiatric and medical support to bring Pablo back to a "normal life". I never lost faith that we would find a way. One night I woke up, went to his bed, hugged him with all my heart and said... "I am not going to give up, just listen to me... I love you and I will always going to be support you. Just take my hand...you are an amazing teen. Together we can do it." After that, I cried and I said "I want you back...I miss you so much!" A few minutes later he said "I love you mom".
Light in the Darkness
Trying to get him to stay up, taking him to therapy, and starting his medication has been a journey. What I can say is that I've had angels on my side that has really provided support, encouragement, love, and time. It has kept me from going down too. I can say that I have the best supervisor in the world and amazing true friends and family that is helping us to move up from darkness to see the light. I know there are still a lot of things that we have to work out together, but I have the faith that in the near future, we will have an strong, healthy and amazing life together.
I wanted to share my experience because as parents, we need to watch closely for any changes in behavior. Even things like negative language that they can use; it may sound like a joke, which sometimes those jokes are like costumes hiding truth behind the words. We also need to be more aware of their social media posts, their close friends, if they lose friends, etc.
Don't Wait Until it's too Late!
Sometimes, we are afraid to have conversations about suicide and listen intently and without judgment. I feel it is very important to validate and support our children's feelings. We need to find different ways to chat. I had the best conversations when I just listened, spoke from the bottom my heart, and made sure he felt my love, support and understanding.
Don't wait until is too late! Look for parenting support to learn how to handle these situations and look for cooperative help with family and friends.