BE THE VOICE! Join me on this mission! - by Christy Smith

Published on 24 March 2022 at 14:58

This guy has captured my heart. Before my son turned eight years old, it was clear that he had a life-altering brain disorder. Before my child started calling himself the Hulk, before my child began to give up on life... I was the mom that "knew of", but I was never THAT mom...I was the mother that knew of these disorders. I was the mother who was aware of mental health. I knew of children with a variety of illnesses. I was the mother who knew of children and young teenagers who had died by suicide. I knew of families who struggled with disabilities. I knew of parents who struggled with schools and IEPs. I was aware of many things. I never knew the truth about the fight until I became THAT mom. I never thought it would happen to me. I just didn't see it. 

Some people may throw stones at me for discussing it. They may disagree with how open I am about our story or the images I post on my page with my children. However, I found that I never knew of all these things, because no one talks about them. It is easier to say my son has cancer than to say he struggles with aggressive behavior at home due to a brain disorder that requires intensive therapies and medications to maintain and control.  Typically, when a child has a rare illness, the community raises funds through donations and prayers (if that is their thing), and they all bring comfort to the family by offering their support. However, a mother with a child who has a mental disorder cries her tears alone.  If she can not talk about how serious it is, how will her child ever be able to? How does this normalize it?

I do not feel bad about disclosing our family's struggles. I am not ashamed of my child. I have spent the last few years teaching my child to use his voice rather than his actions when his body is not feeling well. I am practicing what I preach by using my voice to teach others that it is acceptable to be heard. Advocating for the benefit of others is acceptable. I want to go in so many different directions, and there is not enough of me to do it all in one day. My mind is like lightning flashing across the sky. I am all over the place. I want to help so many people. I feel I have so much to say. I am on a mission to save the children who fall through the cracks by encouraging no shame in advocacy. I want to normalize mental health so that other families do not feel as isolated. You are NOT alone!

Our problem is not limited to adults. First and foremost, we must address the issue with our children. They require an opportunity to receive help at a young age; to grow up feeling normal, safe, and understood without being punished by the system; to be separated from their families who live in low-income households and cannot afford treatment; or to be forced to remain at home with no immediate assistance during a crisis. There are so many gaps in the system that children are becoming trapped. It is easier to teach a child coping skills, self-care, the importance of treatment, counseling, and so on, and establish this as ongoing normalcy in their lives, than to expect a grown adult to change everything they have ever known. Hatred, crime, drug/alcohol abuse, prison, revenge, suicide, and other negative consequences stem from their failure as a child. This life becomes their normal, a struggle to survive and self-sooth. It is time to interrupt the cycle. 

I am working on deciding which direction I want to take and what title I want to use. Currently, I am seeking everything and training until I find my fit. I am considering becoming a Certified Parent Peer Specialist. I am working my way up. My long-term dream and goal is to effect change! As I grow and interact with other families, I hope to be a voice. I want to help others find their voice. I am on a mission to bring about change. 

Why am I different? I am not afraid to discuss mental health and the seriousness that comes with it. I am not invisible. I am Christy Smith, The Unmuffled Unbreakable Momma, and I would like you to know how mental health has affected my family, my son, and so many other isolated families out there. I am not afraid to discuss the uncomfortable anymore. I am not hiding. I do not have any reason to. Change will not happen without our voice. Let's talk about it!

I want to hear your story. I would like to hear about your battles, cries, and accomplishments. I would like to hear about any experiences you have had because I know this fight is tough on its own. Tell me how the system failed your child. I would be grateful if you could leave a comment or send me an email with your story. If you have life experience or knowledge and want to join our mission, please contact us! It's time to Uncover The Voice