By Theresa Seibold
Nothing in this world can prepare you for this moment in time. And unless someone has been down this fork of the road themselves they will not understand. The most cruel and hurtful comments from those you expect loving support from are bound to happen. Some relationships will be severed. But some new ones will form, if you give them a chance. The ball is totally in your court now and the choices you make will determine how you’ll survive the unthinkable.
My son Sean Michael had just turned 29 & spent the last Mother’s day with me when he passed May 10, 2011. He had struggled with social anxiety disorder & restless legs syndrome (all present at birth which prevented good sleep) then moved on to prescription drugs which he soon mixed with other non prescription painkillers in his teens. We had even sent him to rehab in Newport Beach for 5 months in 2008. So one might say it wasn’t a complete surprise that this (could) happen to my son but it WAS a complete shock! As a loving parent one never really think it’s going to happen to them. I don’t know which is worse, to have it be a complete random accident/surprise or to watch someone you love so deeply suffer for so long. It’s just the point that it’s unnatural for the child to pass before the parent. And it’s certainly nothing you think about when you’re having children. I had three boys in just three years time and Sean was in the middle. Ironically he’s the only one I prayed and asked God for. And further ironically, he was the only one who claimed to know God before he passed. For that I say THANK God!
This is not to say I felt this way immediately because I didn’t. In fact I experienced so much pain and loss in the first 15 to 18 months, that I found myself drinking heavily, isolating even worse than before and googling the least painful way to die. Within 2 weeks after losing Sean, my boyfriend (of nearly two years) and I split up, my best girl friend moved out of state, and my oldest son and wife not only indicated they would be moving out of state themselves but tried whole heartedly to convince me that there is no God! Honestly that was the straw that broke the camels back. Ok God I get it, there is NO human being on this planet earth that I can trust to love me & be there for me no matter what. This is exactly the way my son Sean felt and now, feeling the same; I understand this. The world was a cruel place to my sensitive son and the unsupportive jabs from his troubled father didn’t help. So what the hell am I doing here too? This was a burning question for a long time and one that felt I was living in the chapter of Job with. This is when I did my Google search. And I was serious…very serious.
My own mother hadn’t let my handicap sister (whom I’m very close with) come to my son’s funeral. She had no regard whatsoever for my feelings and honestly never has. So why in the world I expected for anything to be different, I don’t know. But I just did. I thought “this is the exception to every rule and people must know how painful this is so they won’t add salt to the wound.” But they do, they did and they not only added salt but poured some lemon in it too! And it wasn’t just my mom, that’s for sure! Most of my family & friends showed their true colors and either deserted me because they didn’t know what to do (thus easier route for them) or were totally disgusted about my apparent mental breakdown. This only fed into my desire to join my deceased son. I felt completely broken, ALONE, helpless and hopeless. I was quite sure the world not only wouldn’t miss me but would be way better off without me. This was the way I perceived my family & friends felt. I was mad as hell at the world and even madder at the God that created it! In a nutshell I was just MAD- literally insane! But God was already busy placing some very pivotal people my life. I wish I could say this was my first rodeo with the whole idea of suicide. But the truth is it wasn’t. And in retrospect I can see why my need for other people and my codependency built over a lifetime was the real culprit.
The importance of pivotal people cannot be understated. A family friend who had lost a child and been through the horrors of addiction too, stayed close from the beginning and spent a lot of time just listening to me. Because I live alone and work alone this person’s presence and listening skills were priceless! Then I must give much credit due to my Zisters (aka Christi Chicks) which God placed in my life after allowing my experience with the Devil living in my house. Several Zisters (those who’ve earned their stripes in losing children) placed in the right place at the right time, invited me to the Christi Center. One of their husbands drove us back and forth as often as we wanted to attend on Monday nights. Guys, your role is vitally important so I want to be considerate of your needs too! This began my journey healing in the company of those and ONLY those who can really know what I feel. I got involved in a mother’s writing group called In Mother Words just a few weeks later. This journaling helped me release an incredible amount of pain!
A great irony is that my faith that has sustained me was cast early in my life mostly due to my “church lady” mother’s influence. The very one who abused me and helped create this deep codependency is also the one that introduced me to my higher power/God.
Today I am walking a much healthier, happier path. I have friends and support groups that are invaluable to me. But even more important is the fact that I am taking responsibility for my own choices in my life, not blaming others, learning more about Forgiveness (both for others and myself) and caring more about my relationship with God. Hence I’m taking better care of myself because I feel loved in a way that can’t come from the outside or any human being. And I love the way voice text spells human “bean”! Because that’s just what we are. A little seed planted, some growth received but soon returned home. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust this journey is but a short walk into eternity. And so today my mantra is: God what do You want me to do with it?
Until we meet again (my Seanster Monster) Via Con Dios & May God cradle (Us All) in the palm of his Loving Hand.
(Your Momster) Theresa