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A Mother’s Plea

Kasman, Deborah L. MD, MA

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828c5c80
Medicine and the Arts

From the age of 4, a young child continues the “tantrums” and “rages” of a 2-year-old, without rhyme or reason. He is put on strong antidepressants and even antipsychotics at age 10, and is hospitalized multiple times between ages 10 and 13, until he finally ends up in a long-term psychiatric treatment program for eight months. His diagnosis remains “unknown,” or “mood disorder not otherwise specified.” His mother seeks understanding through poetry.

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Mommy, I don’t feel well

What is it my dear?

I don’t know Mommy, I just feel sick.

Living with a light switch, and no clue when it flips

A word, a look, a gesture

And a raging fire ignites

The world becomes projectile:

Chairs thrown, fruit become missiles,

Broken toys, broken walls, broken doors,

In a moment, it just snaps.

Yelling ensues, cussing and anger rise higher

Walking away is impossible,

As his angry rage follows the one

Trying to achieve some semblance of peace.

He screams louder, trapped by his demons.

The only choice is to contain, hold, immobilize

Embrace the rage.

Hold the child warm inside

Who will ultimately arise

Through the tears exhausted.

He sleeps, and I cry.

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Suicidal Ideation

Mommy, I hurt.

How can I help you my son?

You can kill me Mommy, please kill me.

Is it a ruse? Is it a game?

No, I think not, it’s an unidentifiable pain.

Inside a young soul.

Two parents with a divorce.

Good schools and teachers.

A very high IQ and all the comforts of life,

Yet the pain inside is real.

Mommy, I’m not like the other boys.

I’m not really a nice boy.

I don’t react like the others.

The other boys don’t understand.

The world seems so mean.

All adults are mean to me.

Except Daddy.

No one understands,

Except Daddy

Who is never here.

Rage, anger, inward and outward.

Yet adults are too big.

They don’t accept my outward rage.

They don’t fix it. They cause my hurt and pain.

They are stupid, mean and ugly

They restrict me and punish me.

They don’t understand. So I walk away.

I leave camp. I leave school.

Now the police try to scare me,

They tell me I’ll go to jail.


Police are really mean.

Mom is upset. She is called from work again.

I’m kicked out of camp. I’m kicked out of daycare.

Mom worries she might lose her job.

Mom is mean. She doesn’t understand.

She is sad, but she does not get it.

She sets up punishments too. She is mean.

My big Sister is mean too.

She no longer wants to play. She is a teen, and

Only wants things her way.

We fight, and I hit her. Mom gets mad at me

But my sister is SOOO mean.

She hates me.

Mommy, it’s so unfair.

You are mean to me.

I want to die.

The answer Mommy is to kill me.

Please Mommy, KILL ME.

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Dull, aching throb

Tension, reminding one of broken wings

Paths fraught with disdain

Loved ones left behind

Challenges met, then fractured

Falling to rise up, then fall again

Living in the ghost of memories

One half of one’s potential

A shattered piece of one’s past

Living within and beyond one’s dream.

A gossamers skeleton hanging by a thin thread,

Trying to stand versus float away in the silent breeze,

Unnoticed, evaporating in a degree of heat,

Wishing tears would rain to the ground

And fill in the weight of my soul once again.

A wisp of smoke

Right between the eyes,

One tear rolls down my cheek.

The pain eases just enough for sleep.

Tomorrow is another day.

© 2013 Association of American Medical Colleges