AIBU to be crushed by this assignment written by my DS...(89 Posts)
... but feel so totally helpless trying to find ways to help him?
He asked me to print this monologue he had to write for his Dramatic Arts class. I read it, too. I know he is fighting depression and anxiety in a huge way, but this was just so raw (and not something he has been able to say to me personally).
Here it is. And so you are aware - he said I could share it.
"What makes me unable to go out and enjoy the world? Well, I really don’t know. Maybe it’s the fact that the world isn’t meant to be enjoyed? The fact that I don’t have a single reason to find life enjoyable? Or maybe it’s just that special little mix of anxiety, depression, and self-hatred that make me terrified to leave the safety of my bed, but also guilty for staying there.
But no, the world is such a wonderful place when you go out and see it, isn’t it? The beautiful graffiti stained alleys downtown, and the sewage-polluted river? The throngs of people who seem to only exist to judge and hate the people they don’t understand. It’s almost like someone might not want to go into a building filled with thousands of people who hate, harass, and hurt the people they don’t understand.
But no, the world is such a beautiful place. It’s just an issue with you if you don’t want to go out and experience it for yourself, isn’t it? You’re broken if you don’t want to go explore the messed up shit-stain of a world we live in, it’s so special. It’s not like looking out at the world and deciding ‘I’d rather not,’ is an option we’d be allowed to choose. That would be so very wrong to do. It wouldn’t be good for society as a whole.
What if I don’t CARE about society as a whole? Why should I? Society at large doesn’t give a single care about me, why should I pay it the mind to care about it? I mean, it would be hilarious if I could just go around day to day and smile and pay mind to the way that every single person I run in to feels, while they push me to the ground and kick me. I should forgive and love all the people that hurt me, because god forbid that I fight back! If I were to fight back, why, that would just make me as bad as they are. I should tell someone responsible, so they can tell me to deal with my own issues. That is, until I do deal with my own issues. That would be so utterly wrong of me to do.
All I feel like my life is a series of rings of a bell. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong."
How can I reach out to him? Wise MNers... I need your advice.
Oh dear Well he is telling you how he feels which is good. He is clearly very talented op. Very well written, could you use this to reach out? Tell him his arts are what might help him and give him some respite.
He's clearly a very talented writer.
Maybe you could reach out to him that way? Perhaps he could email you thoughts and then you discuss them? Perhaps he could take his thoughts written down to GP and ask for help?
You clearly care and have open lines of communication starting so I'd say do what you are doing and keep talking.
I don't know what you you can do, but that's a very moving piece of writing from a young person. Maybe writing regularly would help him express his anger and despair? I hope you find a way to help him.
Could you give him some examples of successful writers and performers who have channelled their depression into creativity and encourage him to use writing and performing as a safe and positive outlet for his negative feelings?
What age is your son & is he receiving any outside help?
He has a fantastic talent.
That's a stunning piece of writing, but he does sound very unhappy. For my DD (who has expressed similar sentiments with similar eloquence), writing song lyrics and poetry does seem to help a lot.
Keep an eye on him though. We were very close to a CAMHS referral for DD1 not too long ago. She worked through using mindfulness and relaxation techniques, but this is a very vulnerable age.
My first thought as well is that he is a very talented writer.
But for you as I know this must be hard.
Reminds me of myself at about 14/15.
All I can say is I got through it and he will too. Best thing you can do is teach him there's nothing wrong with him and he doesn't have to change to fit in and to be the change he wants to see.
And encourage his writing. I write and it helps.
He is 17, so hardly a young child, but he has withdrawn into himself so far in the last year. It is a struggle just to get him to come out of the house now.
He sees a counsellor - I suggested that he might want to share this with her, as it may be easier than saying it.
From personal experience I would skip CAMHS and find a private psychologist. I sought advice from the school person who deals with those kids have such difficulties after doing a local search for psychologist who specialised in teenagers.
Try and get him to open up to you but be patient. It's hard and scary and frustrating. If you've got someone you trust who you can share it with do, but please keep the trust and dignity of your son not to talk about it with some.
Is he receiving any help for his depression? Would he be open to going to the GP?
He has an amazing talent. Encourage him to keep writing. It was very brave of him to show you that piece
Has he read Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig? Might appeal on a number of levels, but particularly given his clear ability and interest in writing.
(btw, I know it must have broken your heart to read that. So good that he's expressing his feelings though.)
Probably unhelpful, but just on a writing level, that last line is brilliant. He has talent.
On the more important matter, is his anxiety diagnosed and being treated? Or is it more general teenage issues, which are of course no less real, but a different thing, not needing treatment so much as tolerance, love and support until time passes. If it's the latter, I vividly remember feeling this way, being distraught, in tears sometimes, telling my mum I knew things would never get any better. She must have felt just like you, and did her best, buying me books on coping with my nerves, buying me St John's Wort, helping me to do the things that made me happy (drama and writing too, funnily enough) and just being there for me until I came through it and realised that I was indeed wrong, wrong, wrong, and my life had got better just because I was out of the fug of adolescence and was able to see thing differently. No one could have told me that at the time, indeed it seemed to help more back then to listen to things that confirmed my negative outlook, so I wasn't so alone.
Sorry there aren't really any answers in that except being patient, loving and understanding which you clearly already are. Make sure he keeps writing and acting and opening up that way. However dark his outpourings are, the very act of creating them is a positive act that should give him some uplift. Oh and it's much more boring than that, but exercise really helps if at all possible. Take care, both of you.
I absolutely love what he has wrote. I can relate to all of it!
He is very talented and hopefully he can find a way to see this. You could maybe help him challenge his depression and anxiety into writing. It could give him reason and focus.
He could reach out to so many people. Perhaps suggest a blog to him, just so he can get that encouragement and support from others. He can then visibly see that he is NOT alone, and he will see that he is helping people. It might help him feel he has a purpose!
I can understand why you feel crushed, but i hope you can also be proud. He has shown you it. That is massive. He has let you in, so sit with him. Ride through it with him as he wants you to.
Why do you think he feels that way, that life is so dark for him?
That is searingly honest, sparely written and evocative. It's an elegant work.
I have severe depression (often "major".) I can't argue with anything CallMeDS has said. It's all true! Saner people don't like admitting it, but depression is a rational response to life.
The saving graces of life tend not to come in huge, sunlit floods of celestial music & butterflies. People make out that happiness is immense and sparkly. That is very rare. Life's little graces are tiny moments: a cool cloud formation; a little kid doing something wild; your bed being exactly the right temperature.
It can be hard bloody work to even focus constructively on a few of those per day - but it's worth it, especially if you've such a gift for words that you can immortalise a few great seconds here and there.
Does he read much? Would he be open to a book?
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig g.co/kgs/lvwMv
If he likes photography, or you think he might take an interest in it. You could purchase him a good camera.
The camera helps me see the beauty in life sometimes.
It is a very good peace of heartfelt writing. He could probably might benefit with seeing a private psychologist, as someone else has suggested. Mindfulness and self- compassion are both a great help as they give you a break from your own thoughts.
I spent my adolescence in my room watching black and white films and reading. It was all a bit too much for me out there.
What a talented young man your son is. But what a sad thing to write. So powerful, intense and deep.
I am at a loss on how to advise on this situation you are in which I know is not helpful. All I can say is, wishing your lovely son a bright, happy and successful future. He is a clever young man and I am sure with the right professional help and the love and support from you he will be ok.
From one mother to another....for you
I'm sorry to read that.
Has he been to the doctors? If he saw a professional then you could get his treatment started?
Brilliant that you are so close he is open with you about it.
Wow. What a talent.
Your son is obviously a deep thinking, deep feeling young man with a wonderful ability to express it. From my personal experience, I would stop framing his suffering as depression and anxiety. He is experiencing the darker aspects of reality, as many teenagers do as they come out of the innocence of childhood. He sounds like a creative, a spiritual seeker, someone who cannot accept the world as it is so will strive to make it a better place.
I think it is important to communicate to him that he doesn't have an illness and there is nothing inherently wrong with him. Rather that he is right, in a sense, the world and life is full of wrong and suffering and hurt and crap. He is experiencing that side right now and it's an important rite of passage, so he can see how the world needs to change. He probably won't believe it right now but he will work for change in the world and make it a better place.
If I were you I'd keep him seeing a counsellor and also try to divert his interests into the philosophical and spiritual. As he shared that writing with you, maybe you could even explore some of the deeper aspects of life together as it sounds like what he needs to do. He sounds like he would thrive when thinking about and exploring the deepest issues of life and existence. Debating, visiting different spiritual traditions, maybe going for meditation or vipassana, reading on a massive range of topics. Also exploring any existing interests he has is likely to help him. Obviously this would have to come naturally from him but you could always try to encourage his interest.
It sounds like you're doing a great job because he allowed you to see what he's written. The fact that he allowed you to share it shows he does want to reach out and connect in a genuine way. He sounds like a deep thinker who is not satisfied with the superficiality of everyday life, craving deep connection and the truths about life and the universe. You must be so proud to have such a son. It is likely he has a powerful future ahead of him.
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