I Don't Want to Hurt My Mom Anymore
Updated: Apr 18, 2020
The waiter had just placed our chips and salsa on the table when a large table was sat right in the middle of the small room. A bunch of teenage girls, a couple of moms, and a few younger siblings. The volume level of the room increased, which I didn’t really mind due to the fact that my toddler only has two volumes – loud and louder.
I noticed the girls at the end of the table near our booth weren’t touching their chips and salsa. At this point, I could already see the bottom of my basket. They were pretty girls; each with long straight hair, donning their beach vacation shirts.
Turning my attention back to my party, I ordered a large platter. It was a late lunch and breakfast was far gone.
As the waiter approached the girls at the large table, my attention was diverted to them again.
“A side of rice and water,” the first girl said.
I thought maybe she had already eaten and this was just a snack, but then the second girl ordered the same and then the third girl followed suit. And then my mind conjured up an image of Bailey and a fresh pain pierced my heart.
All I could see was long blonde hair sprawled out all over the twin bed as I entered my room. She was sleeping with two blankets up to her chin. I quietly retrieved the item I came for and left my new roommate alone.
The next time I came in the room, she was awake but still in bed. She was young and very beautiful. “Hi, I’m Darcie. I guess you are my new roommate,” I announced as I sat on my bed. “I’m Bailey,” she said in a sweet tone.
Noticing that she was quite pale and seemed to be in a lot of pain, I asked if I could get a nurse to help. She moaned as she sat up in bed and swung her legs to the floor. She was wearing a large baggy college sweatshirt and pants. Her long blonde hair tumbled down the front of her shoulder.
“I have a stomach disease,” she said. “It causes a lot of pain.”
“Oh, I am so sorry. Please let me know if I can get you anything.”
We stayed in the room and talked for a while. Bailey wasn’t ready to venture out yet. I felt this pull to keep telling this young girl just how beautiful she was. She had this hair that I coveted, a perfect complexion, and gorgeous blue eyes. And so I did.
I mentioned her beauty over and over again throughout our conversations. What I didn’t notice was her frail body neatly hidden under her oversized sweats. Only after I accidentally walked in on her in the bathroom while she was throwing up her sports drink, did I finally begin to realize the exact reason she was there.
I now noticed just how pronounced her collar bone was when the neck of her sweatshirt slid down. Then she rolled up a sleeve and I could see how her skin seemed to rest on the bones of her arm without any cushion.
Maybe eighty pounds, I thought, maybe.
We stayed up talking and I joked with her about attending my rival university.
“Were you in a sorority?” she questioned.
“No, I was invited to one, but I declined. I do much better hanging with the boys.”
Then she shared a story from freshman year. She called them her sisters – her friends. The upper classmen woke the newbies up in the middle of the night and had them strip down. In front of everyone, they had lines and circles drawn on them with permanent black marker.
The “sisters” were marking the areas that needed improvement. I gasped in disbelief, shaking my head as she finished the story.
“Oh, Bailey those girls were not your friends and they certainly did not deserve the title of sisters. Listen to me, real friends and you will find them in this world, I promise. Real friends – do not treat you like that.”
“I bet you’re a great mom,” she said.
“Well I’m not so sure. I haven’t had long to prove that. My son is only two months old and I ended up here for the week,” I replied.
“Not sure really. They call it postpartum psychosis and it is really rare. Apparently I am one of the lucky few to experience it,” I said.
“I’m here because I don’t want to hurt my mom anymore,” she quietly replied.
I remember pausing for a second, caught off guard by her words. She had a selfless soul. She just wanted to be accepted and loved by others.
“Bailey, you are going to get the help you need. Just take it one step at a time. You are going to get healthy and you won’t hurt anymore. And your mom won’t hurt anymore. Just believe it.”
The words, “I don’t want to hurt my mom anymore,” reminded me of fifteen and how I thought the same thing.
Boy, I could relate. I was young once and I looked for my worth, for affirmations in all of the wrong places – the wrong people. A lot of my adolescent years were spent facing bullies, trying to make real friends, and drumming up the courage to endure the bus ride and the seven hour school day.
I was stuck in this image trap, drowning in despair – always feeling lonely, trying to belong. Then one day, I told my Mom how I really felt, my struggle and she said through tears, “I could never imagine my life without you. Please don’t hurt me.” She said exactly what I needed to hear.
I never wanted to hurt anyone, especially my Mom. From then on, I started to change my focus. Really, God changed my focus. I learned to focus on others. Focusing on others, draws the self-inflicted, self-abusing attention away. It’s not a fix all, but I know it is a powerful healing weapon for many.
With the grace of God, I began to focus on my strong attributes. I was fairly intelligent – never struggled with any of the subjects. I could help others in this area. He developed my sense of humor. I was able to make people laugh and able to see the humor and joy in the silly, slightly embarrassing antics that seemed to follow me.
I’d like to say this focus lasted 365 days a year in all of my years, but the truth is life has a way of getting busy and throwing us curve balls. Our situations change, events occur, people come in and out of our lives and with that comes a constant questioning of our worth – a questioning of our image.
Did I do enough? Could I have done better? Why haven’t I reached that pinnacle in life like she or he has? If only I had more money, a better career. If only I was thinner, stronger, braver, smarter, a better parent… The focus being on the dot, dot, dot instead of the Him, Him, Him.
Truth is, we are human and we will always have “if only’s, what’s, and why’s” and we will bring one or more to the grave.
So, how do we keep from drowning in the dot, dot, dot? We proactively change our focus. We seek Him, Him, Him!
We teach our children to seek Him; to focus on Him. We open the communication lines with our children, our neighbors, our families, and our friends. We put down the phones and share a meal and then we talk and listen. And then we do it again.
Then you remind them and yourself about the free communication line with our Creator. It doesn’t require any technology, the four walls of a church, or a pastor, preacher or priest. Heck, it doesn’t even require words if you prefer. Just close your eyes and call Him.
As with most of my stories, I can’t tell you what happened beyond my time with my new friend. I can’t always give you this glorious story of redemption. I wish I could.
I wish I could tell you how Bailey turned it around and all about her happy ending.
I would cross paths again with another beautiful girl suffering from the same disease and again my heart would ache. She looked further gone than Bailey. Her hair was falling out and she couldn't manage to smile.
But like Bailey, she had a loving, caring mom fighting hard for her. Hopefully, with God’s grace and mercy that was enough to tip the scales.
Don't Let the World Blind you from Your Beauty, Your Worth, His Image of You
The Treasures of the Dark
"I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know the I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel." (Isaiah 45:3 NKJV)
I came across this passage when I was writing this story and for some reason I focused on the "treasures of darkness." I know according to theological commentary that this passage refers to literal treasure stored up by kings, but I believe those “treasures of darkness” also refers to our lost brothers and sisters. You know the ones that we are meant to tell them about their savior, to tell them that they are beautiful, to tell them they are worthy in His eyes, to bring them the Light so that they can find their way Home.