A Different Kind of “Kvelling”

womantalkingThere were a few regularly-used  Yiddish words in my house when I was growing up. Like the word “kvetch” to refer to my great-aunt who was a known complainer. Now was “Aunt Kvetchie”, a nice thing to call her?  Probably not.

Or “you are such a klutz – heard this one often. As in uncoordinated. An accurate description of my always bumping into things, not the least bit athletic self.  And “what a schmuck he is” –  my dad describing someone who was a real jerk. You probably know what schmuck means, whether you are Jewish or not.

One Yiddish word I didn’t learn until I became a Mom is “kvelling” (noun) – when a person is bursting with pride and pleasure. As in – “His mother was kvelling over his early admission to Harvard.”

Kvelling is done by all mothers, Jewish or not, when discussing their children.

In my lawyering years, I ate lunch (carry-out salads around a conference room table) several days a week with younger female colleagues at my firm. There was a lot of kvelling among us. My friend, Lisa, would tell us about her daughter’s star soccer skills. And Michelle would let us know that her son got an A on a tough social studies test. Denise was naturally thrilled when her daughter was elected class president in 6th grade. I shared my kids’ accomplishments as well.  And when your kids are young, you have lots of achievements to kvell about. It isn’t boasting or bragging; you are just proud of your child. And o.k, maybe patting yourself on the back as a parent too. I confess to that as well.

When Lisa, Michelle and Denise’s and kids were in elementary school,  mine were of high school and college age.  Kvelling gets a bit trickier as your kids get older. Especially if your kid happens not to be on the do-not-pass-go direct path from high school to early admission into Harvard, then on to elite grad school or Wall Street or a fancy internship.

What happens to kvelling if your kid is on his or her own very different path?

By the time one of my kids was in high school we were on a first name basis with mental health struggles. In college the same mental health challenges grew worse. An elite grad school, Wall Street or a fancy internship did not seem likely. (although hope does spring eternal.) Since I’m not one to sit back and watch life happen, I sought out other parents whose young adult kids were also on different paths to adulthood. Not finding such a group, in 2008 I created, with the backing of our rabbi,  a support & resources sharing group at my synagogue in Washington DC – called – wait for it, very clever name coming –“Parents of Young Adults who Struggle”. We have met monthly for the past nearly 6 years to share our stories, to talk about the rollercoaster rides that our kids put us on, to strategize on how to cope as parents and to laugh. Lots of laughing. We even have our own Facebook page!

In our support group we kvell often.

One of us will say how thrilled she was that her son, David, managed to get up on time on Tuesday morning and get to his doctor’s appointment. Yay, we respond.  Or that Matt remembered to take his meds. Terrific, we cheer. Or that Rachel is taking a class at community college and hasn’t dropped out yet. Great news!

And while this different kind of kvelling was going on, I was still having lunch on weekdays with friends whose kids’ accomplishments were of the more typical variety. While my work friends were true pals, I wasn’t always comfortable talking about my kid’s struggles. I was dealing in two parallel universes here – I was certainly happy for my friends and their kids, even if I couldn’t always keep up in the kvelling department.

And when minor (to me) problems were shared  – a son got a B- on a test or a daughter didn’t make the soccer travel team –  I had some trouble summoning up the required murmurs of sympathy. I would think – you just have no idea what real problems are until you’ve met some of the people in my support group. There was perhaps a reverse pride in having tougher stuff than a bad grade or a missed goal to deal with.

So the next time you are having lunch with friends, and the talk turns, as it often does, to what your kids are doing, at any age, and the kvelling begins – one of the Moms is happy that her daughter aced the SAT’s, the other’s son just got into law school, a third mom glows about her daughter’s engagement, and you see that one of your friends around the table, is sitting silently, fiddling with her drink, just waiting for that part of the conversation to pass. Consider the quiet Mom; she loves her son or daughter just as much as you do. Smile at her, and ask her how her child is doing. She may need to do a different kind of kvelling.

 

 

 

60 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Parenting, Women

60 responses to “A Different Kind of “Kvelling”

  1. Nancy, I think this is a wonderful reminder to all parents (even those who children might not be struggling in the same way that your son is) that it’s never a good idea to compare your child with another – at any age. I think we are all guilty of that, me included, and I appreciate the message of your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Law

    Thank you Nancy, this was so true!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lauren Randel

    Really great post. So poignant and so true.

    Lauren Randel, MD 4400 East-West Highway, Ste G Bethesda, MD 20814 phone 301.656.3410 fax 301.656.3411

    Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:38:50 +0000 To: lrandelmd@outlook.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephanie Lebow

    Really lovely piece. Brought a lump in my throat, for you, for me, for our sons, for the fathers of our sons. Don’t want to make that comment on the blog. Looking forward to lunch Friday. I will use the occasion to practice this form of kvelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Completely agree. Kvelling the bragging way is not the only way….I admire those who do the other kind of kvelling. Btw, my aunt whose last name is Wolf does that kind of kvelling!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wendy Morris

    Nancy,
    You nailed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Grew up with hearing all that Yiddish vocab too (really colorful dying language!) and got a kick outa the beginning of this post. But the rest of it really resonated with me and really gives new meaning to that adage, “everything is relative.” I will be much more in tune with other moms thanks to these insights!
    Stephanie

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this, Nancy. Not only do you make me smile explaining “kvelling” (which certainly is overdone thanks to social media), but you remind us that we need to step outside our own momentary experiences with our kids – some of us more than others – and understand that victories that may be very quiet, very special, and very different from what we all too often crow about.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh yes Nancy! Adulthood is not so easy for many kids. It can get tiresome hearing about perfect children. When a good friend who had 3 pretty terrific kids became engaged, her kvelling ceased. She was the first of our friends to express honest dismay at her children’s partners and a learning lesson for us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joy

    What a thoughtful post, Nancy! Thank you for the reminder that we really need to practice sensitivity to those around us. It’s great to be proud of our kids but as you said, we need to put things in perspective and really be more responsive to friends who may need more help, and even compassion. Not everyone is on the same journey and often times, this is easy to forget as most of us drown in being short-sighted and egocentric. Thanks again for your post!

    Like

  11. Sally Honenberger's

    And even if your kids are perfect geniuses, don’t assume the parent is responsible, likewise with kids who get into trouble. Humans, particularly young inexperienced humans, make mistakes in spite of the best teaching in the world from parents who are caring and involved. Offspring, like all humans, are much more complicated than they appear on exterior. The best you can do is keep the lines of communication open and remind them constantly how much you love them, no matter what mistakes you or they make.

    Like

  12. wiccazzz

    As the quiet mother, I truly thank you for this.

    Like

  13. Danielle

    Thank you for this Nancy! I wrote you privately but I wanted to write here too. I’m enjoying everyone’s comments. As the mother of a son who struggles to just make it through the day without incident in school, reading this helped me take the first deep breath I’ve taken in a long time. While others kvell about their kids high grades, excelling in sports or other activities, we kvell when our son uses his words and not his body, even if those words aren’t very nice. I’d love to connect with more parents who live in a different reality than the majority. Thank you again for the thoughtful piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess H

      Danielle I am one of those moms too. If you ever need a listening ear, feel free to email me-jessicaanna (at) mac.com. I, too feel very alone in this struggle and often feel our “successes” aren’t warranted to kvell about.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Randi

    I don’t know when I have last read anything that seemed so personal and spoke so directly to me. Also, a recovering lawyer (it took me a short 34 years to get into recovery) we celebrate what we call “mensch moments” with our SYA. It can be all consuming at times. Thank you for such a great article

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Randi. I was a bit scared when I put this piece out there. It is amazing to find other moms, particularly other “recovering” lawyer moms in similar situations.

      Nancy

      Like

  15. magriebel

    Thank you. As a mom whose son had a really tough two years of addiction and mental health challenges culminating in his death by suicide 14 weeks ago I thank you for putting words to what so many of us experience. My so was my world and I ache for him. Nothing that happened with him in the last two years changed that.

    Like

  16. Kate

    Not having been raised in the Jewish tradition, I wasn’t familar with the term “kvelling” but I have been on both ends of it and now understand the pain that many parents feel. As a mother of a grown daughter who went from a successful career and life to a shell of herself as a drug addict of prescription drugs prescribed for a painful illness, I can truly say that while it has been a horrendous experience, it has made me a more empathetic person. My daughter is on her way toward healing, but neither one of us will ever be the same, and that’s a good thing. Thank you for writing on this subject that must be so close to your heart.

    Like

  17. Robin

    Thanks for this.

    Like

  18. Jill Goodman

    I can relate. I am the only mom with one average kid, and one below average kid in my entire town! I was the quiet mom during all the bar mitzvah talk, as my son tried hebrew, and it didn’t quite work. I was the quiet mom during all the ACT tutor comparing talks. My below average son has come a long way, and got himself into (big surprise) an average state school! I couldn’t be prouder. I would love to join your Facebook group. What is the name?

    Like

  19. What a great piece. My son is on the autism spectrum and when he was little, I found it painfully isolating hearing other parents talk about their brilliant children. The moms from our special ed PAC saved my sanity. I’m so glad you found other people in the same boat.

    Like

  20. As another recovering lawyer who has had to manage a sick child, I thank you for your insightful article. When you are caring for a debilitated child, and are in support groups with similarly situated parents, it is hard to relate to the rest of the parenting world as they share triumphs and relatively minor defeats. For our son, it turned out to be Lyme Disease and six co-infections that were missed by his vast team of top tier doctors. For any child diagnosed with mental health struggles, I would strongly recommend considering Lyme Disease and tick-borne co-infections (especially Babesia and Bartonella) as part of the differential diagnosis, preferably with more reliable labs (standard labs miss about 1/2 of actual cases) and with a skilled practitioner (a well vetted Lyme Literate Medical Doctor). There are many psychiatric manifestations of Lyme Disease.

    Dr. Horowitz recently published a great article on psychiatric symptoms of tick-borne illnesses: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/why-can-t-i-get-better/201402/antibiotics-found-effective-in-schizophrenia

    Psychiatric Lyme Disease Brochure: http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/Psychiatric_Brochure_08_08.pdf

    Lyme Disease: A Neuropsychiatric Illness: http://www.neuro-lyme.com/Neurophsychiatric_Lyme.html

    References for Psychiatry and Lyme/Tick-Borne Diseases:
    http://www.lymeinfo.net/psychbiblio.html

    The Psycho immunology of Lyme/Tick-Borne Diseases and its Association with Neuropsychiatric Symptoms: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474947/

    Lyme Disease, Comorbid Tick-Borne Diseases, and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/articles/lyme-disease-comorbid-tick-borne-diseases-and-neuropsychiatric-disorders

    Neuro-cognitive Lyme Disease: http://www.lymeinfo.net/neuropsych.html

    Like

  21. Anne

    I love you for publishing this. Being the quiet one is a very lonely place. I read to know that I’m not alone. Thank you.

    Like

  22. uofagrad

    This article showed up on my FB page. I can not tell you how it resonated with me. I have a daughter who chose the road less traveled and is finding that she now has many regrets which as a parent is both frustrating (think: I told you so) and heartbreaking. As I talk to my friends (whose daughters used to be her friends but like all high school friends, they’ve all gone their own way) and hear how they are graduating from college, going to med/law/nursing school, getting married, anything other than working for minimum wage barely making ends meet, I immediately squirm in my seat because I know what’s coming. The inevitable “so how’s your daughter doing”. Always accompanied by the head tilt, the ‘poor you’ tone, the pretending to be interested looks. It’s so depressing. Selfishly, I want to brag about my daughter. She’s a good person, she’s smart, she doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t drink, isn’t promiscuous. I love her just as much as they love their daughters but I never feel like my ‘report’ is good enough so I usually blow over the conversation and say, “she’s doing great! Loves her job, she’s living the dream”. They usually will quit asking me then because there’s nothing there to see or compare/contrast with. My friends aren’t bad people, they just don’t have a kid like this so they can’t relate. I find it’s just easier to lie and move the conversation along. How sad is that. Ugh.

    Like

  23. 68yearoldmom

    This is such a great piece..My 32 year old daughter is finally independent after many challenges to her health, both emotional and physical as well as learning difficulties in both childhood and adolescence. We never gave up, we never gave in and gave her as much support as she needed to get there. Today, she has a job she loves with a national company, is living independently, and is making a life. She doesn’t make a ton of money, she has a 2 year degree she worked hard to achieve making deans list for the first time in her life. I was one of the silent Moms for 25 years and remember the discomfort in the face of those “perfect” children. Today, I really don’t give a whit what others think. Each of us has our own journey in life, and many of our children march to the beat of a different drum: our job is to love them for who they are – which sometimes isn’t easy – and give them the space and time they need to reach adulthood. In our competitive ” fit into the small box of achievement” society we need to remember that diversity is not just about race, religion, gender or sexual preference: it is about the diversity of spirit, ability, strengths and weaknesses, and the independent drive to listen to that personal beat. We focus on her achievements and I refuse to be intimidated or made to be felt wanting – it ain’t any of their business. And by the way – lots of those “perfect” kids had lots of problems of their own – their parents were just great liars or in denial.

    Like

  24. Thank you for this. I sure could have used your meet-up group once upon a time. I made the mistake of confiding in the mom’s group I was a charter member of only to have the other moms ostracize my son and, then, ultimately, me. Thank you for writing this.

    PS My son is self supporting and highly successful today. Everything he’s accomplished has been accomplished all on his own. Sometimes, it’s a matter of letting your child choose the path he needs rather than the one the neighbors think is the “right way.”

    Like

  25. Jess H

    Your article was so overwhelmingly meaningful to me. My son is just 4 and already I feel myself retreating in conversations or avoiding them altogether. I pray each day that he might be praised by his teachers or coaches without a “but……” attached. Mostly, each day I pray for a crystal ball that I might know he will grow to be a successful, happy and independent adult. Your writing hits home for me as a powerful reminder that there is NO crystal ball and challenges may be few or plenty and near or far into the future. I do have a happy and healthy child and try each day to be thankful for that. I am loving your blog and so thankful for your well-written reminder for the “kvellers” and the listeners among us.

    Like

  26. Wendy

    Just read this in the Post tonight, Nancy, thank you so very much for exposing people to the notion that the kind of competitive bragging that goes on between parents can be very painful for those of us who struggle each day to support our children who face daunting challenges physically and mentally. It really does feel like you’re out of step with the rest of the world, that you would love for your own child to have the kind of minor problems a typical kid has. I recall years ago an excruciating dinner reception at my husband’s colleague’s wedding, where the bragging went on forever as I sat there silently aching for my two sons. May this be a wake up call for greater sensitivity in our status-driven society.

    Like

  27. Funny, growing up in DC in a non Jewish family, I use all the terms you have written about often, but had never heard “kvelling”. As a child and adolescent clinical psychologist, I often encourage parents to embrace the very achievements young people make in the face of life’s challenges that do not come so easy to all. I’m in Australia and will be sharing kvelling as the perfect term for exactly what you described in my daily practice. Thank you Nancy! Elise

    Like

  28. Emlee

    Thanks so much for writing so eloquently about what many of us experience but can’t talk about. I treasure the times I can talk about my kids with other mothers who can understand my struggles as I raise kids who don’t reach the same milestones at the same time or in the same way. With them I can celebrate the joy of finding a medication that works or a therapist who connects. And only a mom whose child has attempted suicide can really know what that experience is like. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    Like

  29. Sally

    I wept. Thank you.

    Like

  30. Sally

    I knew how hard it was for me. After a couple of years, I was comfortable talking about my son’s difficulties to others. Even those I had just recently met. I realized that there are more people out there with similar concerns for their children. I was able to give hope and support to those families by just being honest. It gave these other families comfort to know that they were not alone. That there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And just knowing that I was not alone helped me too. It’s hard sometimes, but just be brave and when new people (or well known friends) you meet talk about their children and ask bout yours, be honest. There may be someone who is helped. I never had that. The ones who are put off by it, well, they are not worthy anyway. Go for it. You never know what kind of friendships and support that may develop.

    Like

  31. Mary Anne Hardy

    Thank you so much for writing this. I first saw it in the WP. You captured how I have felt all along. And I have one who has been on the direct path and one who has started on the different path (just started college with bumps-I’m working so hard not to worry…). I love hearing about my friends’ kids accomplishments, even though it’s a little painful sometimes. And I talk about the challenges, sometimes more and sometimes less, because I have to, I can’t not speak up with my friends. It has helped me and others because we learn together. I’m also thankful for helpful therapy for myself. And it helps to remember to appreciate the accomplishments, even when they are small. Thank you.

    Like

  32. Thank you for this. When you have a child who struggles with just life and you never know what you’ll get on any given day, it’s hard to have a sense of humor about much of anything. I don’t have too many people that I can talk with about my child’s issues and it was nice to read that you have a group of friends who know just what you’re going through. Thank you for the encouragement.

    Like

  33. Jane

    Just came across your article today and it gave me a lump in my throat. My first two kids completed college and got good jobs. It is my third one who got diagnosed with bipolar 2 and/or borderline personality disorder at 19. He had to leave a good college and is now trying to get himself back together. My struggle is the constant worry, walking on eggshells and trying to figure out when to help or step back. What’s Yiddish for a constant worrier? 😉

    Like

  34. Jane

    Do you know for sure the quiet one is a mother? If not instead of arrogantly assuming she is the mother of a “problem child” did it ever occur to you that she might be a woman struggling with infertility who is once again being excluded from conversation because she isn’t a mother? Those of you who are mothers treat those of us who are not like second class citizens and non-entities. Being a mother equals success as woman, right? Well the next time you are in a group bragging about your precious snowflakes and see a woman sitting there quietly, try putting your selfishness aside and consider that maybe she is being quiet because all you insist on talking about is the one subject she cannot offer any thoughts on.

    Like

  35. Renee

    Thank you for your blog. I know how lucky I am to be a mom and I couldn’t be more grateful. I LOVE my kid so much. At times I feel like I failed him. I know it’s not all my fault (some is). But that knowledge just doesn’t help. Sometimes I choose not to be social because it hurts to even think about hearing about other’s kids. It just hurts deep down in my gut.

    Like

  36. Betsy

    I knew exactly what you were talking about. Thanks so much. I could really use info on this kind of a support group. Can’t find yours on Facebook. Nothing around here and I have a ton of healing to do from recent divorce and still dealing with my son’s recent issues brought on by mental illness. I could use a hand to hold right now.

    Like

    • Betsy – our group has left Facebook; the original members of our in-real-life group were concerned about the privacy issues. I hope if you are reading this that you will find other support, have you looked at NAMI (natl alliance on mental illness; I’m a board member of our local chapter) for its family-to-family support groups for parents and family of people w/ mental illness?

      Nancy

      Like

  37. Jennifer Johnson

    I have six children and I could kvell with the best of them if I had wanted to about most of them. But it was my son who suffered from schizophrenia for twenty years before he passed away in a car accident this year that I wanted to kvell about. He was a true hero and deserving of praise but I was convinced that no one would understand and they would be uncomfortable hearing about him. I am sure I was right about this and have grieved his loss alone since most people assume that I am relieved not to have the burden of his care anymore. How sad for them that they never got to know what a wonderful person he was inspite of his challenges. They were too busy kvelling about things that really don’t matter. Thanks for your post.

    Like

    • Ellen

      I am crying for you as i cry for the very real possibility of tragedy with my own son. He suffers MI and survived one Big tragedy. The Illness is such a hurdle that sometimes I cant believe that he wants to go on living. But so far he does. and in that way alone he is a trooper. I am saying a prayer for you ,Jennifer. you are not alone. I hear you and I am so so sorry for your loss. Im sure you take comfort in your other children, but miss your son every day. There should be a way to honor these folks who struggle , some way to encourage them…. you see encouragement all over the place for cancer patients…. its time.
      If you want to share anything else with me about your son I am all ears.

      Like

  38. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Like

  39. What is your facebook page?

    Like

    • Michelle – apologies, I thought I had answered you but I see now that I didn’t. Our “Parents of Young Adults who Struggle” support group is no longer on Facebook.

      Our in-person group here in DC wanted to take it down for privacy reasons so I did sometime in November.

      When the Washington Post re-published in December my article from September, I wasn’t told in advance so didn’t get a chance to edit the original article to delete the line about the Facebook group!

      Nancy

      Like

  40. Thank you, Nancy, not just for this, but for sharing all of your stories, propping us all up, for so long.

    Preaching to the choir here, but.. what the heck, apologies. (Please feel free to delete, no worries.)

    Dear Everyone,
    How do I say this?
    Do not invest everything in how brilliant, precocious, creative, athletic, talented, intelligent, whatever-your-child-is, in whether they get top marks, or an athletic scholarship, or have the all the best enrichment activities and summer camps.
    That could all be gone tomorrow. In the blink of an eye.
    Invest in helping them grow up to simply be kind, a good person, thoughtful and caring towards others, a good hugger, someone who can feel, accept and express emotions, who knows how to ask for help when they need it, who does not feel that they have to keep who they are or what they are going through secret, who finds validation in small things, in nature, in books, in friendship, in music or art or Legos, who can accept not always being strong enough or good enough, and forgive themselves – and you and others – for not being perfect, who can LAUGH. And love. And enjoy the journey. Invest in that. The rest doesn’t mean anything.
    Life is short, whether measured in years or decades. And it is, for everyone at some time, so very, very, VERY not fair. Teach compassion, respect, forgiveness, for oneself, for others. That is where the heart lives. That is worth bragging about.
    “This then is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” ~ Dalai Lama
    It is not a race, no one wins. The love we put into the world is what comes back to us.
    And, yes, yes, yes, please – talk to that quiet mom, or dad. They have a story, and I promise you it is worth hearing.
    Both of my beautiful, sweet, and yes, brilliant, boys are gone now.. Nick, who had to fight so hard, at 31, Johnny, the little brother who loved him so much, the best hugger in the world, nine months earlier, at 21. 11/7/12, 8/7/13…
    And, boy, do I have stories to tell… (if anyone asks). ❤ ❤
    Thanks,
    Linda
    P.S. http://www.celebratejohnharrity.com

    Like

    • GS

      Just read this. I appreciate the message very much. I am wondering however if I am the only mother out there who never “kvells?” I absolutely never, ever in the company if friends or strangers boast about my children. Trust me, I could. They are amazing people and I adore them. As one of four children, my mother always told us, “I never brag about any of you. Nobody wants to hear a mother crowing about her kids. Trust me, if you are doing well in anything, those moms know it.” She also believed (I think rightly) that the higher up on a pedestal you put your child, the harder the inevitable fall. Nobody’s perfect. If a mother kvells too much it’s like putting a target on the back of her child. I subscribe to the “actions speak louder than words” in this department. I also make sure my kids know that they shouldn’t brag or boast. It’s so much cooler to earn respect through your abilities than through talking about your abilities. Of course, this rule flies out the window behind closed doors when I’m talking to my husband or mother. That’s when I KVELL!!!! Great post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thank you for your thoughtful comment!

        Nancy

        Liked by 1 person

      • GS, IMHO, your mom had exactly the right approach, you were lucky to have her, and your children are lucky to have you, who learned so well from your mom. We were never praised much in my house, appreciated but not lauded, and I never, ever ‘kvelled.’ (Well, there may have been one or two mom-brags when my youngest son was nationally recognized for his poem about his big brother, ‘Scizophrenia, for My Brother,’ or when my daughter graduated from Juilliard Drama, I’m not perfect, sigh..) Humility is the most important gift that we can pass on to our children, worth more than any accomplishment that they will ever have. Thank you for sharing your mom’s wisdom.

        Like

      • (And you’re right, behind closed doors we can boast, complain, cry, kvell about all – I am grateful every day that I have a partner who makes that possible. Without that, I would never make it through…)

        Linda

        Like

    • Just reading your comment again, Linda. So accurate, heartfelt and true. My thoughts are with you. Thanks for reading.

      Nancy

      Liked by 1 person

  41. jessie

    This was really an incredible read. Found thru Washington Post FB post that was shared. I’d love for talking about our struggling children to be less taboo.

    Like

    • With you 100%, Jessie! Thanks for your thoughts.

      Nancy

      Like

      • Ellen

        Im making comments but their not showing, maybe because I just confirmed a second a go. SO grateful for this forum. I do go to NAMI meetings but Ive been looking for a place online to “kvell” as you say
        about my sons successes over his simple hurdles.

        Like

  42. Thank you Nancy! So true for many of us. and we love our children none the less. I love the idea of sharing the victories of life no matter how small they may seem

    Like

  43. Found this gem today, came to WP to check out the blog. As a mom who always thought, “this happens to other people,” I was confronted with finding out my teenage daughter was self-harming. It’s been just over a year. I don’t think life will ever be “normal” again. She just left traditional school for online school. It’s a daily struggle not to feel like I have failed her in some way. I’m trying desperately to learn to celebrate who she really is and stop mourning the loss of who I wanted her to become.

    Like

  44. Rena

    Nancy,

    Great post, I so relate!
    I noticed you mentioned “support group.” I live in the Columbia, MD area and have a 19 yr old daughter with mental health challenges.

    Can u tell me more about your group?

    Thank you

    Like

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