Parent Support

Why women need women as a part of a support system.

I want to take the time to thank everyone who has been reading and commenting on Letters to My Son.  I started this to simply let people know that they were not alone; as I often felt like I was alone and no one could possibly understand what I was going through.

The analytics prove otherwise, I am definitely not alone on this journey.  I was shocked to learn that almost 1600 people have viewed the blog to the tune of over 4500 times. I am so touched that anyone would take the time to sit and read my stream of consciousness writing.  I don’t think I could have anticipated the deep soulful honest responses that have been shared with me, I have been honored and humbled by each and every one.

Every time someone gains the courage to share something with me, I take on a bit of that courage for myself. My insecurities lessen a smidgen each time, and it helps me know that I am on the right path and should continue to do this.  Many of your responses brought both tears and smiles to my face.

As we get closer to my holiday, Christmas, I am reflective of the last 18 months of my life and how much I have grown.  It made me think what made it different this time, that I was able to have “gotten it”.

The honest answer is that my family has been more successful than ever before because I changed.  I made the choice to not only look at my son, but to really look at myself.  And one of the helpful aspects of this that led to my metamorphosis was that I had found a tribe.  And for me, in the oddest of places, a small group of six other women. I can tell you historically I do not gravitate to women groups; I am too intimidated by them and often feel insecure and inadequate.  It didn’t happen because I was looking for it, it happened because I made the decision to reach out, be honest, and let them know I needed them.   It not only was right time, it was with the right people at the right place.  I was lucky, I know this to my core.

It started with two and then it grew to seven of us.  We clicked, we understood each other, and we were a team.  The only common thread was Red House as  nothing else in our lives would have had us crossing paths or bring together; certainly not geography as we spanned the entire US from coast to coast.; we were of different faiths and cultures; and none shared the same job industry.

As our children progressed and regressed we supported, and we listened. We also all shared and chose to be vulnerable.  We held each other accountable for our actions and behaviors, we cheered on the wins, and often would just listen with support through sniffled teary phone calls on the bad days, I fully cop to this one myself. We were a resource and support for each other like no other persons could be.  We understood each other.

I believe one of the main factors in why I am doing so well is because I know that I have my tribe.  They are awesome at pointing out my bad behavior, or the rearing of old patterns. They are also amazing at finding what I have done right, and telling me so.  I often, like many people have the tendency to focus on the 5% failure instead of the 95% success.    These ladies are like bloodhounds and will immediately find the success among the crap and point it out.  Every conversation and interaction has the underlying knowledge that we have all struggled, none of us is any better than the other and we all need help.  These amazing women do this with full empathy and without judgement.

Currently five of the seven boys are home and graduated out of program with the other two happening in probably the next four to six weeks.  Our sons are all doing well, and that does not mean without stumbles, setbacks, or some questionable behaviors, it means they are far better off then they were a year ago, and we as parents are learning to work through whatever comes our way, to continue to communicate, and to continue to build on it for healthier relationships for the future.Preview(opens in a new tab)

I encourage all people, not just parents to look for and develop a tribe.  It will not just show up at knock at your door, it requires work on your part, the hardest work; to put yourself out there and start to be vulnerable and share, people will respond to it, as you all have for me.

I dedicate this post to my tribe and every other man and woman out there with whom I have texted, spoken, emailed and met for coffee or will connect with someday.  

We are all warriors.

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