Just A Mom

Carol Roach By Carol Roach, 12th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

This story was published in my e-zine and at gather.com. It was also made required reading for nurses in a Michigan nursing home.

The early years

My marriage failed early on. I was a young mother of a three year old and my husband became psychotic. Although I tried everything I could for him, our marriage ended in divorce. My husband went back to his country of origin.

Conduct disorder

My marriage failed early on. I was a young mother of a three year old and
my husband became psychotic. Although I tried everything I could for him,
our marriage ended in divorce. My husband went back to his country of

I struggled many years as a single parent. In the back of my mind I was always afraid that my son would come down with the same affliction as his father. Times were hard and my son was a troubled child who later became a troubled youth. During the early years, my son was very withdrawn to the point, that he needed professional care.

When he reached the age of 13 the tables began to turn and he became delinquent. He was diagnosed as having a personality disorder called conduct disorder. My son had developed an uncontrollable temper.


After his first bout with the law at the age of 13, I was convinced that juvenile detention was not the place for him. What he needed was clinical help. The juvenile court system decided that he undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a 30-day evaluation.

The procedure at the hospital was to have the youth first put in what is called "respite," meaning that the child was kept under observation in a room for 24 hours away from the other kids in order to assess his suitability for the program.

However, it was already three weeks into the evaluation and my son was still in respite. He was violent and did not want anybody to go near him. He once threw a heavy oak dresser at two of the staff members. It got to the point that staff was afraid of him. The doctors were at a loss; they did not know what to do with him. He needed to come out of respite but would not be able to until they could control his behaviour. Other specialists were called in to make a diagnosis.

It was originally thought that he was schizophrenic like his dad, but it was later ruled out. The final assessment regarding the temper outbursts was that they were caused by panic. Yet, his doctor was still concerned with his behaviour and what to do about easing him out of respite.

Just a Mom

Sharon, a mother of a youth in the hospital unit, volunteered to go visit my son and see if she could talk to him since no one else seemed to be able to. She was granted permission, but told to leave the room at the first sign of trouble.

Sharon visited with him one night and later explained to me what had taken place. He was lying on his bed and she entered the room very cautiously and quietly. At first she made no attempt to say or do anything but just sit there.

My son did not respond.

Sharon introduced herself as the mother of Jason, one of the boys in the unit. She said she was not a professional. She was "just a mom." She said that she knew that my son was scared and lonely- not knowing what was happening to him because her son felt the same way when he first entered the program. She told him that if he wanted to talk to her, she was there for him and would stay all night if he wanted her to. Still, there was no response from my son.

Sharon stood up and said, "I can understand if you don't want me here, you didn't invite me and I will leave if you want me to."

It was at that point that my son had tears in his eyes as he told her,
"No, don't go."

She held him in her arms while he cried and she cried with him. She spent the night with him. My son began responding from that day forward.

All that my son needed was some kind words and deeds from a kind person. I will never forget how it was not the professionals who made the initial breakthrough with my son it was "just a mom."

All photos taken from the public domain

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Conduct Disorder, Mental Hospitals, Moms, Mothers, Respite, Teens In Distress, Teens In Trouble, Trouble Youths, Troubled Teens

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
12th Apr 2015 (#)

The truth Carol, it very clearly showed you never quite gave your child the feeling of adequacy for being him as he was growing. Possibly chasing around for your own carnal satiation like what most women do of this modern day and age.
I am a single mum married none the less and husband is in and out of mental health care since 2012 thanks to a common male friend who was a satanic who used voodoo to break his personality down.
None the less, I have been a single mum since 2010 but I know that the truth and purity of body and flesh is what made my son the child everyone wants to have. I know my child wants no one taking place of the father, respects his father, despite his madness and philandering and tells him without you I wouldn't be here.
While I am no judge of your parenting and style of raising kids, the example is clear, he needed a real mother by his side not the woman who prided herself in calling and comparing him to his psychotic father.
Sorry I am in the similar life scenario and told my son its a Karmic Debt to God because he cheated on us as a family. Well I know I can move on with anyone I want, but men, no thanks, I flirt with them and write with them but nothing more than that as I am not a person who wants another in my life to ruin my happiness that I have found in being a real mum and with a brilliant child who is a gift.

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author avatar Carol Roach
13th Apr 2015 (#)

you don't know what I went through trying to help my son all the way through. He was my life.I would appreciate if you would not make judgements based on one article. This article was about him not me.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
12th Apr 2015 (#)

None the less Divorce and Anger is a choice.

I chose no divorce and learnt how to be the coolest and calmest person around. I just walk out in a temper flare as I know its their choice of showing their unruly upbringing.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
12th Apr 2015 (#)

Oh and yes, the husband is back in the home country too. Thank you for asking.

Does the story sound familiar???

Although my son is not 13.

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author avatar Kingwell
13th Apr 2015 (#)

A mom can sometimes do more then anyone else. Love, kindness, compassion can do more than we can ever imagine. Blessings.

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