Healing Together
Guideposts|Aug/Sept 2023
Mental health issues. You hear about it in other families. You never think it could be happening with your own kids
TONYA MAY AVENT
Healing Together

I sat in my car at the school bus stop, waiting for my 14-year-old daughter, my heart racing with anxiety. “God, please let Kennedi be on that bus,” I whispered.

That morning, when I dropped her off at the bus stop, she stormed out of the car, shouting tearfully, “I hate my life, and you just don’t understand! I’m not coming home after school!”

It had been like that for weeks. All of a sudden, my considerate and high-achieving daughter was talking back to my husband, Kenny, and me. Being dishonest. Telling me she hated her life and thought I was a terrible mom.

The changes started after Christmas break, when volleyball season was over and she fell in with a new group of friends. Seemingly overnight, my 14 years of hard work as a parent went out the window. I prayed. Doubled down on rules. Begged Kennedi to tell me what was going on.

“You don’t understand anything about me!” she shouted during one of our many confrontations.

She was right about that. I had worked so hard to be a perfect parent. Even before Kennedi was born, I was reading parenting books and thinking ahead. Rocking her to sleep one evening when she was a baby, I had felt her little back arch as she yawned and stretched out her arm toward me.

“I love you, my sweet girl,” I’d said, kissing her forehead. I wanted the best for my daughter, whatever it took.

I’d felt the same love three years later, when Kennedi’s little sister, Kassadi, was born. Kenny and I were intentional about everything. What our family ate. How much sleep and exercise the girls got.

This story is from the Aug/Sept 2023 edition of Guideposts.

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This story is from the Aug/Sept 2023 edition of Guideposts.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 9,000+ magazines and newspapers.

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