At a Loss with Parenting

Thoughts On Watching My Child Struggle

Alicia Rust
2 min readSep 24, 2018
Photo by Zhu Liang on Unsplash, color adjustment by Alicia Rust

I’m a mom.

I’m a mom with bipolar 2,

with anxiety.

I’m a mom with a teenage son.

My son has depression



obsessive compulsive tendencies,

sensory issues,

My son has an attention-deficit.


and social awkwardness.

My son is brilliant.

Overcoming challenges for academic success

are elusive.

Finding ways to cope is a struggle.

He shuts down,

mentally breaks down,

emotionally breaks down.

He succumbs to uncontrollable tears,

hands over face in embarrassment.

I’m his mother, and I want to comfort him,

protect him,

help him,

But at this moment, I just want to hug him.

I’ve worried about him since kindergarten…

the first time I heard him say he wanted to die.

He’s in therapy

and takes medication

and has 504 accommodations.

He has parents who love him beyond all else.

Nothing seems to be enough.

I want to take away his pain,

to see him successful in school

and in life;

to be happy,

to feel he has a purpose.

I am his mother,

and I feel helpless.



Alicia Rust

Writer. Lover of dark chocolate, coffee, tea, & being me. I’m an anxiety-ridden, chronic depression survivor...