woman and therapist holding hands

Author Details

Shivani Chotai

Name: Dr Shivani Chotai

Job Title: Clinical Psychologist

Specialist Therapy: DDP

Current place of work: The Child Psychology Service

To past, present and future parents,

I see you desperately trying to hold everything together, why would you trust me to hold you as well when you have fought and fought and fought some more to give your child a voice and people have shut the door on you? I see you with the world’s weight on your shoulders, tired of telling your story continuously, never quite sure who is going to take you seriously. You have this story memorised, you have said it so many times. I see that even with your voice, things can feel powerless and you are lost, spinning in a world where the children who need help the most are denied and ignored with funding restrictions and waiting lists.

I see you giving more of yourself over and over again, while hope’s light scurries away into the darkness. I hear you criticising yourself, all the should and shouldn’ts, questioning your parenting abilities while you beg for help.

I see you dreading Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays and Christmases, knowing the change is difficult for your child. You forego any celebration of yourself as a parent to listen to your child’s pain and confused thoughts on days that you would like to celebrate but can’t. I hear you comparing your expectations to the reality, after you dodge the glass being thrown at your head, after you are kicked, punched and pushed, and yet in the blink of an eye you fully embrace your child, not changing a thing, just holding them, emotionally and physically.

‘That sounds really difficult’ I say, what I mean is ‘how do you find the strength to carry on? How do you survive day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, when you are pushed to the ultimate millimetre of your limit and yet you find strength to still love and care for a child who has experienced such pain, rejection, turmoil and despair?’ You shrug. You’re not even sure yourself but you do anyway… every single day.

I see your eyes welling up, trying to hold it together. I feel my urge to want to wrap a blanket around you and tell you I’m sorry, I’m sorry you feel alone, I’m sorry you feel broken, I’m sorry that you are fearful of never healing. The mountain to try to save your child from a world of pain is slippery and rocky where you feel like you’re continually tripping and falling back down to the bottom again.

I see you piecing the limitless pieces of the jigsaw together, absorbing and assimilating all the knowledge to help you understand your child and help them to feel understood. I see your unwavering dedication and commitment, you know your child better than anyone, you see their hurts before they do and you read their faces like no other. I see a tenacious carer, paving the path for your child until they can start to pave their own.

I see a remarkable parent. I see you.

Inspired by http://www.innerworldwork.co.uk/

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