I don’t remember the exact date in October 2015. All I knew was my son was acting weird. That’s the only word for it. Up to this point, he had sailed through life, smart, funny, creative, kind, quick witted, sensible, he had all these desirable qualities and more. At almost 12 years old I was excited for what his future held. He would go far I was sure of that.
He began to wake in the morning before school with an anxiety so strong I would have to sit with him. Just breathe I would say. We would sit together and breathe. In through our noses out through our mouths, over and over. I could see he was sweating, see his heart beating out of his chest, eyes wide with fear. He never truely regained composure. I sent him to school any way. What kind of a mother does that.
I fought with my self constantly. Am I doing the right thing? Doubt always in my mind. I put it down to stress. Over time I questioned. Bullying? Nasty teacher? Anything? You can tell us. We’ve got your back. We always have had. My son knew this. What the hell was wrong? My mind wandered….sexual abuse? Surely not I’d know?
The anxiety became so fierce he would vomit. I still see him standing in my bedroom doorway, vomit smeared down his school clothes, eyes wet and red from uncontrolable crying. I began to keep him home more often. He insisted there was nothing going on, he just did not “feel right”. He could offer no explanation for the way he was feeling.Occasionally he would appear zoned out. You’d have to work to get his attention.
Why was he behaving in this manner? I had conversations in my head over and over, mostly at night. I’d lie awake, angry at myself, you should know you’re his mother, for god sake why can’t you fix this. Was I approaching this all in the right way? Should I be keeping him home? Should I have sent him to school? Nothing made any sence. Then the Christmas holidays came. A welcome break from reality.
At home he was at peace. Sitting in his room playing his computer. He was never one to go out anyway. He socialised at school, then was happy to be alone. He’s an old soul you see. Content, quietly confident. Never wanting or needing. Just happy in his thoughts.
This was just the slip. My sons body was beginning a battle within itself, inside his brain. It was the first sign that life as we knew it was about to end.