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Behind the Walls: Let Me Tell You My Side

One song writer stated, “no one knows what goes on behind closed doors”. I am teaching sometimes even the people that live there don’t always know either. We can put on such a façade when we are in others presence, but do we really know what is going on behind the walls?  I thought I knew my sons very well; after all, I was their mother. I had birthed them into the world and now here it is fifteen years later and I am looking at one of them like a total stranger. I found myself asking, “Is this the son I birthed”?  I know that may sound strange too but let me give you a picture of what I am now seeing.

 As I sat there listening to the doctor talking with my son, my heart was flabbergasted. I just kept asking myself “where did I go wrong?  Where was I when all this was happening”? Couldn’t I see the signs or smell the coffee?  Oh my God- where was I?  I just didn’t understand it and as he continued to talk I kept asking, Why-Why-Why. I sat with my mouth open as I listened to him expressing himself to the doctor telling her all the things he was experiencing in his life and sharing with her all the hard liquors he was using and drugs he was experimenting with. He was calling out names I couldn’t even spell. He was taking one to make him high and then another to bring him down. I continued to listen and hold back the tears. The doctor then asked us  to step out so she could talk with him privately.

 I tried my best to recall the events he had been sharing with the doctor but all of this was new to me. All I know is one day in September of 2004 I received a call at work stating that my son was afraid to come home. He had asked me a few days earlier could he go out and I had told him “No”. So after school the next day he did now show up. He knew I was upset with him. The worker on the phone continued by saying that  he told them, “if he came home he would kill himself”. So they took him to mental health and placed him in a safe house. I immediately called on the church for prayer. I cried and cried. I didn’t know what to do. This truly was a new devil for me. I had been praying about headaches and binding the spirit of suicide. I thought it was for my twin sister. Never in my wildest dream did I think it was for my own son.

 That night I had this dream:  In the dream it looked like we were getting ready to put on a drama. I went to one cart to sit down but I was instructed to go to another one. I moved there reluctantly and joined the people in there. A group of people entered the room wearing Angel attire. One of them began to speak harshly to someone on the other side. The two broke out into a fight and another angel came to separate them. As he began to escort the ones that were fighting out he looked directly into my face and pointed at me and said, “Don’t let this affect you”. I was startled and jumped and he repeated himself, “I said, don’t let this affect you”. I sat in shock and the angels disappeared and a thin light with the picture of a man in it kept trying to appear but it would not fully come into focus. I woke up and burst into tears.

Over the next few months my life drifted into a tailspin that you would not think imaginable. Many times I felt as though I was in a major nightmare and could not wake up. I watched as his behavior changed. He started painting his fingernails black. He would wear only black items. I would walk into his bathroom and find all the mirrors turned around to the wood side. He moved into his brother’s room so he could be by himself. I believe the younger brother share a room with his older brother. I came in from work one day and he had pinned three blankets up to the window and the room was pitch black, even the furniture had all been moved out of the room. I cried because my hands were tied and I could not figure out what was going on. I went to church and we bond together in prayer and asked God to intervene.

A few days later I came home from work early and opened the door to his room and found him sitting in the middle of the floor smoking weed. I was shocked but God had already shielded me for what I was about to find out. Immediately the dream came to mind. I didn’t yell or scream. I spoke with him very softly and let him know how bad this was hurting me. I let him know his choices were not only affecting him but everyone else around him.

I began to experience a pain that I had never experienced before. I found out what it meant for a mother’s heart to ache. I spent many sleepless nights wondering where he was as he continued to stay out on the streets more and more. My words just didn’t mean anything to him. I felt has if I was hitting a stone wall. My words just bounced back at me. I called doctors and police for help and counseling. I was told “Unless he committed a crime and the judge order him into detox there was nothing I could do”. I felt by now he had more rights than I did as his mother. His father was in the home and he would talk with him for hours but when all was over, he would take off again. Over the course of the next five months he mainly stayed on the streets and lived in parks or wherever his friends would let him in. I would call the police station to see if he was in jail but they didn’t know anything either. I would get up checking the doors at night, making sure he wasn’t on the porch or out on the lawn passed out. The schools were alerted also in-case he would show up there. Still no word.

So all I could do was sat behind my walls praying for his safety. It was during one of my prayer times I was instructed to write. So my therapy during this time was to write-write- write. This piece and parts of this journal was actually birthed during  one of my learning experiences.

Still My Son

When he chooses to run away-
He is still my son.
When he chooses to curse at me-
He is still my son.

When he chooses to drop out of school-
He is still my son.
When he chooses to use alcohol and drugs-
He is still my son.

When he chooses to run with the wrong friends-
He is still my son.

When he chooses not to serve the God I serve-
He is still my son.
When spouse and church family don’t understand-
He is still my son.
If he gets locked up for his mistakes-
He is still my son.

A mother’s love is unconditional.
I’m learning this day by day.
I birthed this son into the world and
Have loved him all the way.

The choices that he may decide to make,
May seem like Greek to me.
There will be more days to come,
When we may never agree.
I will continue to love and pray for him
Until my life on earth is done.
God gave this child to me and
He will forever be-My Son!

@ Mary Ann Duhart


My son is now twenty-one years old and the struggle is still there but he is learning he must give account now for his own actions. He will forever be in and on my heart. My heart goes out to him daily.

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