Everyone wants to look strong and in charge.
No one wants to look vulnerable.
The funny thing is, once I got over looking vulnerable, people started calling me strong.
Once I told my story in 2014 when Charles was still alive, I started to find support with others struggling from the same.
Was I judged? Yes I was. And Charles was, too. That hurt the most–the cruel things other parents would say about Charles. He would tell me and it would make me cringe.
By that time, I could’ve given a rat’s ass that people were judging me. If they were, they weren’t walking in my shoes.
Most people encouraged me to keep going. They came up to me on sidewalks, in restaurants, in grocery stores. I got messages and validation from all over the world for over a year.
The support outweighed the negative and any derisive comments rolled right off of me.
Did I feel like I was out on a limb? Did I feel guilt for exposing my child’s story in mine? Yes on both counts. Probably why I was not as public once he returned home from boarding school 13 months before his death by suicide.
People were drawn to Charles’ vulnerability. They felt his empathy. And it’s a piece of my son I will never let go because it’s now part of my soul.