Holding ~ 29/52 ~


[Joining Bella Cirovic at 52 Photos Project - Week 29:  Holding]

Holding.  I just need to see the word.  To hear the word.  And I remember the pain, the dread, the fear that I felt every. single. day. when my son was holding.

For almost three years he held his bowel movements with a physical strength and a strength of will that matched his anxiety.  An anxiety so intense that he was convinced he would die if he did not hold.  So much physical pain.  So much confusion.  Simply too much for a small boy to endure.

My fear, helplessness, despair, heartache, and anxiety.  Such a chaotic, downward spiral of emotion.  His and mine.  Each feeding off the other.  Creating crisis.  Every. Single. Day.

I had to let go of my fear.  Like the fear that washed over me when his play therapist had a conversation with us and shared that it was just like conversations she has with parents of anorexic teenagers.

I had to let go of feeling helpless.  Like the helplessness I felt one of the times I laid in bed with my son for hours, just holding him, as he screamed in pain and repeatedly called out for me to help him.  Unable take away his pain.

I had to let go of my despair.  Like the despair I felt as I sat on the floor with my back pressed hard against the door, head in my hands, sobbing.  Too tired, physically and emotionally, to face yet another blind rage that my son was lost in just on the other side of that door.

I had to let go of my heartache.  The heartache I felt every time I watched my precious son squirm around on the sofa, unable to find comfort.  The heartache I felt every time I looked into his beautiful eyes, the same eyes that full of tears pleaded, begged for my help.

I had to peel away all those layers and let them go.  I also had to let go of the feeling that letting go somehow meant I wasn’t acknowledging just how much pain my son was in.  That letting go somehow meant I was abandoning him.  Oh yes, layer upon layer to peel away.  To let go.

I had to let it all go.  Only then could I reach what I needed to hold on to.  The completely raw, unconditional love I have for my son.  The trust I have in his strength and his ability to heal, truly heal for himself.  The belief and respect I have for alternative forms of healing.  Knowing that I was truly and completely there for my son, even if I couldn’t simply take away his pain.

Amidst the pain and suffering of a small child.  My child.  I became very aware that I had to let go of my fear, my helplessness, my despair, my heartache.  Instead I had to hold onto love, trust, strength, respect.  So that I could give my son what he needed.  Me.  Being present.  Compassionate.  Understanding.  Patient.  Calm.

In this letting go.  In being more mindful and accepting.  In seeking the help of play therapy and homeopathy.  There was incredible healing for my son.  Authentic, gentle, long-lasting healing.  He hasn’t held for almost three years now, not even once.

It was terrifying.  It was hard.  So hard.  Did it look messy?  Absolutely.  Did I stumble?  Yes.  And some days are still messy, and some days I still stumble.  But now I am grateful that my son is thriving, that he is happy, that he is healthy, that he is pain-free.  I am grateful for all that he has taught me.  Every. Single. Day.


  1. Wow … beautifully written. I admire your strength and wisdom.

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