Parents Look for Signs of Hope for Mentally Ill Children

October 19, 2010 Angela McClanahan

The following was posted on my personal blog on April 30, 2008:

I had a dream last night--I was in the kiddie psych ward, down at the end of the unit where the vinyl-covered chairs are, next to the locked closet full of bad toys and puzzles with half their pieces missing. I was waiting for Bob. And here he came, in Spongebob pajamas, walking--not running, skipping, or galloping, as he usually does--toward me. Big smile on his face. Big, happy greeting of "Hi, Mom!" right before he threw his arms around me and crushed his little self into me in a hello hug.sign1

That was it. At least, that's all I can remember. That's the image that stuck with me. Moreso the feeling I had, either in the dream or as I recalled it upon waking, that it's going to be okay. He's going to be okay.

I don't believe in any "higher power," and I've never felt I was missing out for lack of something in my life to "give up to." But I occasionally look for signs. Not signs of a higher power's existence, but signs I'm on the right track, or the stars are aligning in my favor ("if the next car that drives by is red, I'll know buying that house was the right thing to do"). Yes, it may merely be a sign (pun intended) of my own questionable sanity, but it's hope that keeps us going, right? And hope may be all I have left.

So I woke up with that dream fresh in my head, and thought, maybe it's a sign.

I also woke up to my alarm. I haven't set it in months, because I've relied on Bob to wake me. With Bob gone, I decided not to risk oversleeping, and flipped the switch. The clock has always been set to a news station. What I woke up to this morning was the unmistakable sound of gospel. If that won't get you out of bed quicker than you can say "Can I get an Amen?!", nothing will.

sign3Maybe it's another sign.

I also found my missing glucose monitor on a high shelf this morning.

Another sign?

I don't know. I haven't heard from the psychiatrist, but I plan to suggest adding Focalin and shoot for discharge this week. It seems all they're doing is containing Bob while we scratch our heads. I fail to see how that helps him at all. It may take the burden off the school (and ultimately, us), but it's not doing him any favors. I'm nervous about what happens when he returns to school, but I worry that keeping him out until he's "100% better" is much like waiting for Santa to come.

I'm willing to do anything at this point.

Including taking comfort in ridiculous signs.

Bob was released two days after this post. Reading it now, I'm amazed at how far we've come...and how far we could still fall. But it's a reminder--for me, at least--that sometimes, things do get better.

APA Reference
McClanahan, A. (2010, October 19). Parents Look for Signs of Hope for Mentally Ill Children, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Angela McClanahan

Moses Ssebaggala
April, 21 2024 at 9:32 pm

There's hope

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