This is going to be the death of me.


It’s a statement I’ve made often over the past several months, mostly under my breath and to myself.

One of my children has been struggling in a variety of ways, all stemming from a traumatic childhood lived outside of our home. He came to us through the foster care system at eight years old and has done fairly well — until last fall, when behaviors and attitudes started to ooze out, casting dark shadows over his countenance and our relationship.

I have to admit I haven’t always met him in this season with kindness or compassion. Often, I’ve left conversations with him wishing I’d approached it differently. And although apologies were exchanged, it still seemed like we were slogging through the months amidst anger and animosity.

It finally reached a point where we realized there was nothing more we could do ourselves and decided to reach out for help from professionals. They affirmed our concerns about his mental health and have implemented strategies to assist him, and those approaches are working to a certain extent. Dealing with trauma is a long road, one where you often feel like you are further down the path and then something slams you back and you realize you’re closer to the beginning than you realized.

It can be slow — painfully slow — and that is where I found myself these past several months with the thought, This will be the death of me.

I’ve been embarrassed to admit this to anyone other than my husband, who looks at me blankly when I say it — he knows better than to argue with me in those moments — but who I know would like to offer me all the reasons why our family will be okay.

The other morning, I lamented to him, “I know that God can do anything, but this just feels hopeless. I worry because I don’t see how things can be different.”


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