Children with Mental and Emotional Illness
HOW DOES A CHILD HEAL?
ONE LOVING CONNECTION AT A TIME
© 2010 By Deborah Beasley ACPI CCPF
I am a child with mental and emotional health issues.
Sometimes I feel afraid of everything around me.
Other times I feel brave.
Those who love me tell me to take deep breaths and keep walking forward.
Sometimes I think I can do anything.
Many times I need those who love me to keep me safe, and remind me gently to proceed with caution.
Sometimes I can’t stop touching things.
It drives me crazy.
A few times, though, I have been able to stop.
Sometimes I curse or twitch at those I love, or at strangers.
I hate when I do that.
Many times I try hard to control it. Sometimes my medicine helps me.
I hate when people stare at me. It makes me feel unsafe.
It makes me feel different, separate, not a part of…anything.
If they only knew how to help me feel safe, included, surrounded with love and support.
I hope they know how much I need them not to turn away from me.
I hope they know because I cannot tell them.
Sometimes I can only feel the fathomless pain inside.
I think I may want to cut myself, or pick at my skin, or pull out my hair.
Then, the pain on my outside will be less than the pain on my inside.
Many times I will need someone who loves me to help me to not hurt myself.
I will need them to sit with me in the midst of the pain.
I will need them to help me calmly, gently, and without being afraid.
I will need them to be strong and brave.
Some days I am angry.
I am so angry I think I will feel myself exploding…But I don’t… somehow.
When I am so angry I am afraid I cannot stop myself.
I am afraid no one else will know how to stop me.
I hope I will not scare them so much that they will…I don’t know what.
I hope they will be brave when they are with me.
I hope they will learn how to understand me with love, and not yell or hurt me, or scare me really bad.
I hope they will remember that I am still young and smaller than they are.
I do not understand the things I do or why I do them.
I pretend I am bigger and stronger and tougher and meaner than anyone else… I am, you know.
I want to shout and scream about my pain…but something stops me…and it stays inside.
I cannot tell them how much I need them.
I hope they can find out…somehow.
Sometimes I believe my parents, or teachers, or therapists, or friends, will always be able to understand me.
Other times, I think maybe they won’t…because maybe they can’t.
Someday, I will try and figure that out. I will tell them how to help me to be just a kid.
Some people say I have an illness.
I am not sure what I call it.
It scares me to think that I am somehow sick.
I don’t know if anyone knows how to make me better.
Will I ever learn to be okay all of the time?
Many times my parents, or teachers, or therapists, or friends tell me I will be okay.
Do they mean it?
If they keep telling me, over and over and over again…
Someday, I think I will have to believe them.
Then, someday, I think maybe I will be okay.