Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

It had been nearly a year, and despite my best efforts and constant prayers, the tumultuous relationship with my daughter continued to be on a downward spiral. 

I never knew what side of her I would get, some days she was the little girl I had always known, but most days she was a stranger. There were days at a time she refused to get out of bed, filled with little energy she was irritable, angry, and hostile. Followed by days at a time when she wouldn’t sleep, conversations with her were jumbled, and she spoke too quickly to keep up. She spent these days jumping from task to task, never completing one before beginning a new one. 

The years passed have taught me the harsh realities of being a mama, lessons many don’t speak about. I have been humbled by temper tantrums and strong-willed face-offs. I have bitten my tongue, supported, and chosen my battles carefully during the awkward phases and bad habits I have witnessed my children go through.

RELATED: To the Mom Whose Child Needs More Help than She Can Give

I prayed for clarity and answers but was paralyzed with feelings of helplessness and fear. I was angry and heavy-hearted. I was filled with uncertainty, doubt, and shame.

One year ago, during yet another disagreement with my daughter, I saw the scars she worked so hard to hide, some new and some in different stages of healing. I was faced with a new reality, one in which I realized I am not enough. She needs more than I can give. We need helpprofessional help. 

My child needs therapy. She needs testing. She needs evaluations and possible accommodations. She needs medication.

I prayed our family history of mental illness would skip a generation. I hoped the likeness and symptoms she was struggling with were temporary and would pass.

Coming to terms with the reality that this wasn’t something I could put a Band-Aid over or cure with a hug was life-altering. Knowing the fate of my daughter’s future weighed heavily on a stranger is something I am still struggling with.

RELATED: Taking Your Child To Therapy isn’t Always Easy

So many questions and so few answers . . . Will they be able to relate to her? Will she grow to trust them enough to help her? Are they the right person with the right information? Do they accept my health insurance? How often will she need to be seen? Could I have done something differently? Will this be a struggle for her for the rest of her life? Is medication truly needed, and if so, what are its side effects?

I was in denial, I was filled with rage, I begged and bartered, I was lost in sadness and despair, and eventually accepted that we will travel this road together. The trajectory of our futures changed foreverwe are now walking a path I’d hoped we’d never experience together. I will continue to learn until I am an expert. I will advocate for her fiercely, and when given the chance, I will protect her.

She is my everything and the fact she is still here means we have a chance, we have an opportunity, and I won’t take that for granted. She is a beautiful soul with a fiery determination to live.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kristina Guerrero

I am a faithful wife to my soul mate, a mom to our 5 incredible kids, a birth mom to a sweet 5-year-old little boy, a daughter, sister, and friend. I stay busy with our large blended family and working full time for the State of Nevada child support enforcement program in rural Nevada. I am pursuing a master’s degree in social work that I hope to use together with my personal experience as a survivor of domestic abuse to support and inspire victims. In my spare time I find pleasure in a tasty cup of coffee, getting lost in a great book, and long hot bubble baths.

Dear Parent of a Struggling Teen, Her Smile is Not Gone Forever

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Young woman with hills in the background, color photo

Hey, mama with the struggling teen, I want to show you something. See the young woman over there? The one with the smile that makes her eyes glow? The one laughing and chatting it up with a stranger she literally just met (they have a dog . . . so instant friendship, right?). Yes, the girl who exudes confidence and walks with her head held high and looks you in the eye. The one who dreams big and loves bigger, see her? She has dreams and plans like young adults her age should. Plans to have a place of her...

Keep Reading

I’m Raising Kids Who Aren’t Afraid of Therapy

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom walking with kids

My husband and I have joked before about how we need to put money into a therapy fund for our kids. We’ve also questioned whether we should save for therapy or save for college. I know we aren’t the only ones to joke in this way. I often hear it said after setting a boundary that kids aren’t happy about or when we slip up and do something wrong ourselves—parents are human after all.  Five years ago, I made the agonizing call to seek out therapy. My doctor prescribed Zoloft for postpartum depression at my 6-week appointment after the birth...

Keep Reading

Teen Anxiety and Depression Live Here With Us

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl looking out window

Anxiety and depression are quarantined with me. They’ve lived in my home for several years. But now. This pandemic. This virus. This new world of masks and social distancing and isolation, it’s fed them and they’ve grown so big I can no longer contain them. I can’t escape them. Neither can my teenage daughter—they live within her. Depression wakes with her in the morning. She rolls over with great effort. The weight of depression pulling her back, preventing her from sitting upright and climbing out of bed. Its grip is strong. She fights. And finally, she breaks free. She trudges...

Keep Reading