When a child has abused the mom to the point that the child must be moved out of the home – whether it be temporary or permanent – the mom must have time to heal. If we look at the healing process of a broken leg, in relationship to a broken heart, the overview may be more clear.
With a broken leg, the leg must be set in the best situation to heal (usually a cast). During the healing time (especially in the beginning) the pain is very acute and any jarring or prodding at the wound will increase the pain and slow down healing. Loved ones would not think of doing such a thing! The doctor will often recommend propping it up and avoiding using it for a few weeks, and then advise minimum protected use for six weeks or more. When we have emotional pain there is often a need for time to not poke and jar the memory, but, to let it rest and heal.
With a broken heart the healing will take years! After the cast comes off, then the physical therapy must begin. And, exercise, although painful, is often required. The emotional healing after a time of rest is also difficult and requires courage and endurance.
The healing time can begin for the parents when they are not being prodded and jarred by reminders of the child and the illness. I hope the healing can begin right away. Both parents can have their health highly affected by the major stress that a mental illness will bring into a home.
If parents have entrusted their child to the care of someone else, the new caregivers must NOT be criticized or corrected or directed. That family needs support, encouragement and appreciation. I know it is hard for parents to give when they are exhausted. But, it is important to at least send the new caregivers a card or two.
The mom that is healing has ‘done her time’. She did the best that she could. The parents have set an example of love, honesty, and integrity for the child to follow. It is now time for them to pick up the pieces of their family – that were left battered and bleeding – and support each other through the healing time. Broken hearts can heal just as a broken leg can!