When Our Children Break Our Hearts

Written by:  Leonie Segall – October 18, 2012

Disbelief, anger, hurt, wrenching pain, denial, confusion. These are just a few of the emotions I felt as I read a report from the OCL and saw what my son, my heart, had said about me. I just wanted to curl up into a tiny ball and disappear, somehow have the pain go away. Instead, I put on a stiff upper lip for as long as I could, kept my back as stiff as a board, squeezed my nails into my palms. They say pain cancels pain…not this time.

The harder I tried to block the pain and hurt, the worse it felt. It was as if someone had my heart in a vice grip. It took my breath away and I kept reminding myself to breath. Breath…this has got to be a mistake.

I tried using the anger to help me control the flood of tears that was threatening to overflow. That didn’t work. The anger was weak compared to the hurt.

I know now what it feels like to have a knife pierce my heart. The pain is excruciating, but of course I didn’t die; there was no knife, just heartbreak.

How can I hide in a public place with so many people around, looking at me, judging me? People I don’t know and never want to know. Some I know but I want them to leave me alone. It’s hard enough not to curl into a ball and bawl my eyes out without the hugs, the ‘I’m sorry’s’ and the ‘don’t be so angry’s’.

Why is anger the only emotion people think I can feel? There are lots of other emotions. Yes, anger is one of them but it is minute compared to the crushing pain of heartbreak.

At one point I found myself saying “thank you God” “are you really there?” “how could you let this happen?” As soon as I could, I bawled my eyes out in the hope that the tears would release the pressure on my heart and undo the large knot in my stomach. It didn’t. It hasn’t. The pain is still there; still close to the surface.  At least now I have a bit of control, as small as that is, it has helped me to turn the car around, to stop driving aimlessly, and to go home to my son.

Through all this pain and hurt I love my son. I hugged him and snuggled beside him as he fell asleep, as is our nightly custom. As he fell asleep and his breathing became even and moderated, my tears flowed quietly, because no matter what he says or does, and how much that hurt, this is my baby and I love him more than life.


© Copyright  2012 – Leonie Segall