Mothers Come Here by Miriam Feldman

By June 10, 2019Blog

Take a few minutes and read. I know how much you need to hear from a mother who is completely honest about the missiles and darts of motherhood, mental illness; impossible teenagers, and the fact that, at night time, all that holds true is that you love them so completely, so ridiculously, you’d jump off the sharpest edge of the Grand Canyon in the hope of helping one of them. I know your need because it is mine, as well.

I had a son. A perfect, and beautiful and shiny boy. All the fingers, and all the toes, wild mouth like a rubber band, they laid him on my belly. I really didn’t believe there was an actual human being inside of me until I saw him. Serious, dark composure (like a judge) his brown eyes pummeled me with questions. Oh my god, the love. The semi-truck slamming into my soul, laden with unfathomable love. In a second, the earth pivoted on its axis and I was a mother.

Twenty years later he left me. Some kind of unknowable shift occurred in his brain and he was no longer with us. Schizophrenia. First: anxiety. Then: depression. Then: bipolar. Finally: goodbye, Nick boy, you have been swallowed by the rancid swamp water of the worst mental illness diagnosable. I’m at the shore; scrappy, wild-eyed, flailing arms. Why can’t I save you? Why am I suddenly irrelevant? I have a stick! I have a rope! I have a college degree, and yet you float away from me. I glance back over my shoulder and see your sisters, all three, glaring at me with the fury of injustice. “Save him, Mother.”

I would do anything to release him from insanity’s grip. Hey, God, take me! Please. Pour cancer all over me, it’s fine.  But there are no deals like that. You stand at the shore and wail. Into a vast and relentless wind. No one hears you.

Holy, moly, that sounds sad. And it is. But it is other things, too. It’s profound. It’s shockingly beautiful, sometimes. I know this isn’t politically correct, but it’s also really funny. Crazy is funny a lot of the time. If sorrow is the underbelly, then laughter is the smooth, glistening pelt above.

So here I am, internet world. It took me a long time to get here. I am wiser now. I remember everything. I am battered and shaken and changed forever. But I know things. I have endured and accepted and learned. I am happy, yeah, I am.  Let me help.  Mothers, come here.


  • Sherry says:

    Wow. I feel exactly the same as a mom caring and fighting for my son. I am amazed how well you put your pain and raw emotions into words on this emotional roller coaster we’re on. My son has this devastating mental illness of schizophrenia also and his story and our story is identical to your family’s. Thank you for sharing your pain, sorrow and hope and perseverance to help those like me and encourage me as I care and fight for my boy on a daily basis.

    • Oh, thank you so much for reaching out. We are a sad sisterhood of mothers, but knowing we aren’t alone means so much. I’ve written a memoir about my boy which will be out in June 2020. Keep an eye on my website. xo Miriam

  • Devistated Mom says:

    I just want to scream! No one will help us save our beloved daughter!! She falls deeper and deeper every day. No diagnosis bc she believes nothing is wrong and will not see a physician. She waffles between loving and hating us. She imagines a life of stardom and wealth while she wastes away on her couch. She is losing basic skills bc she has no outside contact (she believes she is too much better than her previous friends and has cut off contact and quit her job). No one understands…I feel there should be someway to save her. We just hear, “she is an adult and has a right to choose how she lives”…and…”as long as she isnt harming anyone or herself, therre is nothing to do”. We see a huge decline in self care, appearance, daily living skills, executive funtioning as she dives deeper into her fantasy world of her movie star lover, mansions and stardom. So sad to grieve someone who is still alive. Her brother and his family, her dad and I miss her terribly. What can we do to help?

    • I wish to god I had the answer, for myself as well as for you. After 13 years of this, I have come to the conclusion that we just have to keep trying. And loving them. It is an unknowable disease that has stolen our children from us…and yet as mothers we are compelled to SAVE THEM. I can completely relate to that concept. I’m so sorry. Sending love xo Miriam

  • Angela B says:

    As I read this my heart pounding in my chest, my eyes began to tear and my breathing became heavy. I feel these words you’ve written deeply as this is the world I now live in. My father had schizophrenia, my 22 yr old son now does also. The last few years for our family have been the absolute worst I can imagine. I know the pain you have experienced, and the crazy funny moments that have been sprinkled into the mix. Thank you for putting yourself out there to help the ones frantically searching the internet for something that will give them information, answers and hope. I have spent countless hours in the past few years doing just that. I too now know things and have learned so much about the psychotic illness, medications and too many other subjects that I wish I had never had the need to research. From the depths of my heart.. thank you for making yourself available to the searching mommies out there. Xo

  • Maryann says:

    Beautifully written

  • Marie says:

    You are a great soul.

  • Beth says:

    It all sounds too familiar just seeing the words someone else wrote brings me a little bit of peace

  • MC D says:

    This article has left me in tears. My son, almost 20 is spiraling and I have no idea what to do. I have worked with high school students my whole life. I have a doctorate in education, yet I cannot soothe his pain, nor find a remedy. I think up all kinds of fixes and, in the end, his world complexly converges before my very eyes: body, soul, mind, psyche.

    • Well, I could have written your comment myself. This is the common place we mothers find ourselves in. How often I’ve said: “I’m smart! I’m capable! I relentless! Why can’t I help him???” Well, because it is an unknowable disease, even the scientists don’t understand it. The mental health system is a joke. Society stigmatizes and isolates us. No wonder we can’t help. But we have to keep trying. It is a complex puzzled filled with pitfalls, but we have to keep trying. I am so sorry. I share you tears. Sending love Miriam

  • Theresa says:

    I’m so relieved to find a website that speaks to me so completely. I can relate so much to all of this. My loving, brilliant boy is finally getting the help he needs. He was recently diagnosed with bipolar after having a psychotic episode about six months ago. As his family, we know that we need to be patient since his journey to recovery has just begun. He is 44 years old and has been living with this demon since he was a teenager. Over the years, he had hid it very well from us and the world… we knew that his behaviours and his lifestyle were ‘different’, but he seemed for the most part happy and truly trying to find himself. I had faith that he would. I now know that he had gone through some harrowing situations without getting the help he needed. And for me, the guilt has set in… why didn’t we know, why didn’t I see the signs and reach out to him years ago? But he’s finally getting the help he deserves and taking one step at a time. I’m so grateful that he and our whole family now has a chance for a wonderful life ahead! I’m not naive in thinking that there may be some setbacks but we’re trudging ahead with hope. Thanks again for this wonderful site!

  • So wonderful to hear a story like this. That is why I write, we need to share our stories. And you can’t feel guilty about what you didn’t know. I’ve spent many nights, lying in bed and going over every minute of his life, trying to find the thing that I missed. Never found it. xo Miriam

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