A WORKSHOP FOR MOTHERS OF THE STRICKEN

The mothers of mentally ill children exist in a special Hell-Within-a-Hell.  

I can attest that this is true for many fathers as well. Yet evidence from many sources shows us that it is the mothers who suffer the most. Sadly, they often struggle alone, as many of their husbands withdraw from the the horrors and the responsibilitiers of coping with such a calamity. 

My friend, the psychologist Lotte Weaver, understands this. Lotte and her husband, the wonderful singer-songwriter Ray Weaver, are the parents of an afflicted daughter, Savannah. The three of them remain a tightly bonded family unit.

Lotte and Ray have shepherded Savannah through a precarious but successful stabilization. Lotte has turned her energies and her formidable intellect to mental-health advocacy. Her latest project, an online workshop for “for mothers of sensitive and stricken children,” as she phrases it, will go online March 8–International Women’s Day.  

I strongly recommend it for all mothers of such precious children. Lotte’s own mission statement, below, expresses her mission with more eloquence than I can muster.

https://www.facebook.com/lotte.weaver

So, something happened today.

And I am writing this post with tears streaming.

It is what happens when we are met in our vulnerability. Met as who we are, with ALL that we are. Understood in ways that only someone who has gone through similar experiences as our own can understand.

My friend – although we have not yet met in person – colleague and fellow parent of the severely challenged, Ron Powers, wrote the kindest post to me.

He wrote me on a day where I felt so vulnerable, and he could not know that his message reached me as I needed it most.

He is, like me, an advocate for better conditions (much better) for the mentally ill and their families. He wrote the outstanding and heartbreaking bestseller No one Cares about Crazy People (The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America). A must-read if you have a child struggling with mental health or severe illness.

We share being ‘out there’ with our own stories because our hearts have led us down the path – and once the heart speaks, you better follow. No other road seems possible after that.

But it is vulnerable!

Some days, it just feels powerful and right. Other days, I want to pull back in my mousehole and act like I was never ‘out there’. Today was such a day.

Then he wrote me, and he changed my day with his words: ‘Lotte, I just saw your post on the mother’s workshop. What a breathtaking idea and presentation. I have so much respect for you. I want to build a blog around this. I am requesting your permission to do so. Godspeed this workshop and your rare leadership in mental healthcare.

Thank you Ron for reminding me of my leadership. Sometimes the responsibility can feel heavy. But today you made it feel light again.

And thank you for meeting me in my vulnerability today. And for sharing your’s with me.

I am ready to go all in again.

Lotte Weaver