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We The Families

Kristi Glenn Co-Founder, Pinnacle Partnerships

There is a quote by Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet. I read it often.

"I have lived on the lip

of insanity, wanting to know reasons,

knocking on a door. It opens.

I've been knocking from the inside."

These four lines permeate my soul. They speak so deeply, yet simply, to the life I have lived as a mother raising a child with significant mental health needs.

Am I falling off this cliff? Has my son fallen off? Are we insane? What is this term insanity anyways? I hate it.

Why does it feel like no one is hearing my screaming and pounding to get into the door? Don’t these psychologists and doctors and teachers and neighbors hear me? It’s cold out here.

No one is around but me and my two suffering children- one spiraling out of control because of his mental health and one clinging onto me to save all of us from this tundra.

Where has my family gone? Where are my friends who used to call me every weekend? Why aren’t we invited to their children’s birthday parties anymore?

It took me years to unlock the door. But once it opened and I realized I was knocking from the inside, my life changed.

There are others. Sweet, charming, funny, wonderful kids and teens- simultaneously working through their mental health struggles. There are mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings- supporting these kids.

We have all opened that door and stepped into this new world. We walk this road together. We help each other find services. We listen to each other cry. We exchange stories that would be horrifying to others- but that we find the humor in. We aren’t trapped inside anymore.

We are in the sunlight. Together. There are passing storms. We seek shelter in each others’ arms and homes and closed Facebook groups and over bottles of wine. The storms end, yet we know there will be others, like all other stormy patterns. We are prepared now. Mostly. Still together.

We entered this world that we now reside in. There are new residents every day. We welcome them. Entry is free and you’re never denied support and love and hugs.

WE are in charge of this world. We the warriors, we the brave, we the families.

Kristi Glenn is Co-Founder of Pinnacle Partnerships and a professional with lived experience of raising her own child with emotional health needs. She has worked in government, community, and direct service to support family driven care and advocate for family voice at the highest levels.

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