Council for Sustainable Healing 

A Personal Story


A degree in psychology, a stint on the local suicide hotline and still nothing could have prepared me for that day. The day I found my child sitting on the bathroom floor….Staring blankly….


 “Get away from me!” 


What’s happening? What is she doing? 

Why is she on the floor?           

Is that a knife?


                                  “Don’t touch me”….. a whisper…. 


What did she say? I don’t understand…. 

Ash?…. Ashley?


“Stay away from me.”


“Stay away from me.” 


“Stay…. away…. from me!” 





Don’t touch her? Stay away?

None of this is registering….

She’s my child.  She’s hurting…. 

Something’s gone terribly wrong…..


 Hold, love, stay…. That’s what I do…

I’m her mother.

 That’s what I do……

What strange and alternate universe has crashed my reality?


Now she’s crying…the tears falling silently.

I sink down to the bathroom floor…..

 and there we sit….this child and me….

shock, fear, pain, loss …..

and the distance in-between. 


CSH Pattern of Progression 1. We came to know for ourselves how debilitating and scary it can be when our mind or behavior feels out of control.   


Debilitating? Yes. Scary? Yes. Out of Control? Yes. All good words and quite compelling. And yet… here is what I “came to know.” 


On that cold bathroom floor something changed inside of me… something vulnerable, raw and dare I say, revolutionary! A shift …. A gift…an “altering” of the sacred space between mother and child. A breaking apart…. and… an opening. The beginning of a new and beautiful story. A story of love and hope and healing.  


Member (CSH)