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Personal Stories

"Warrior Mom”

By Luz Celenia
First Published in May 2010 Issue of “The Mom Egg”
“Women are strong, strong, terribly strong. We don’t know how strong we are until we’re pushing out our babies.We are often treated like babies when we should be in training, like acolytes, novices to the high-priestesshood, like serious applicants for the space program.”
-Louise Erdrich, “The Blue Jays Dance”
I am a warrior mom and I have been chosen for my children.

There is no other mother on the planet who is raising children exactly like mine, or with my specialbrand of mothering. This is MY beautiful mess. Every situation, every public meltdown, every parent-teacher conference, every lesson I learn as I ignore the stares, murmurs and judging glances of strangers – or of my own mother -- is unique to MY children, MY circumstances, MY precious chaos. I am in perpetual training with a constantly changing playing field but my purpose is clear. There is not only a method to my madness, there is task at hand that I have taken on with a vengeance – a vengeance like no other, like only a mother can muster.

Last year, I was the closest I’d ever been – and ever want to be -- to losing one of my children. I watched, horrified and helpless, as my beautiful, creative and sweet child moved farther and farther away fromme, from our family, from all the joys in his life, into a dark, emotional abyss full of anxiety and fear.He stopped touching his toys. Objects throughout our home and school became “toxic.” He refused to touch pencils, papers, books, doorknobs and even certain sections of the floor. His hands were chafed and bleeding from constant washing. Our lives were thrust into a whirlwind of doctors and therapists to combat a bizarre condition that was as cruel as it was insidious.

The warrior mom inside me was awakened the day my son was diagnosed with severe obsessive compulsive disorder. I knew that if I allowed myself to succumb to the overwhelming uncertainty and terror that engulfed me, my son would be lost. I also knew that no one could or would advocate for my son like I could. No one knows my son the way I do and I was prepared to fight like I had never done before.

I planned, organized, prepared and strategized. I read, researched and diligently followed up witha small army of specialists, doctors and teachers to keep them on task and focused on helping my son. I insisted that he attend classes during his recovery, demanded access to the school for therapy sessions, and initiated the necessary meetings and paperwork to get him immediate accommodations and support in the classroom. The day he returned to school, I sat in their main office the entire day to appease the worried and unprepared staff. Alas, they were not trained to handle a child who was suffering like mine, but that was not my problem. Like me, they had to rise above and beyond, becauseI would accept no less. Miraculously, I never lost my cool. There were many moments when I wanted to scream at everyone like a banshee. But I also knew that the diplomatic, politically correct mother generally wins out over the psycho-mother and I acted accordingly.

I began to keep a daily log of progress, teacher updates and doctors’ reports. I began working with his therapist, side by side, to ensure that what he learned during his sessions, I could continue with him at home. And I made it clear – quite clear – to everyone involved, that when it came to my son, I would do everything and anything in my power to get him back. I would write every letter, make every call, attend every school meeting, make every appointment, read every book and join every organization to support me in the job of supporting him. In the end, I got my son back because I fought for him, and by example, I taught him how to fight for himself.

I learned my greatest lessons as a mother that year. I learned that every single day is to be cherished for its simple pleasures. I learned that my greatest goal as a mother is to ensure that my children learn to fight, as I have, for every opportunity to live the fullest, most fulfilling and happiest lives possible. I also learned that I possess an inner strength and determination as a mother that cannot be stopped.

I am a warrior mom and I have been chosen for my children.

International OCD Foundation - OCD in Kids