Caleb Finally Breathes Easy
Caleb’s mother simply disappeared overnight.
She must have snuck out in the wee hours, while her children were sleeping. At least, that’s what Caleb and his older brother assumed. They woke up one morning and she was gone, along with most of her belongings.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time Caleb’s mother disappeared. She struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. It wasn’t unusual for her to disappear for days at a time on a bender, only to reappear like nothing had happened. But this time seemed a little different. She had never taken all her belongings with her before. Caleb’s brother wondered out loud if his recent 18th birthday had anything to do with his mother’s disappearance. But just because he was legally an adult didn’t mean Caleb’s brother was prepared to parent 13-year-old Caleb.
In Search Of A New Home
Caleb’s life, which was already unstable, plunged into complete chaos. Caleb’s brother didn’t want Caleb to be taken away from the home, so they didn’t tell anyone that their mother disappeared. Caleb was already working long hours to help support the family because of their mother’s inability to hold a steady job, but he decided to drop out so that he could work full-time.
Caleb was grateful for his brother’s sacrifice, so he did everything he could to help out at home. But it was exhausting trying to run a house and keep up with school at that, plus the emotional toll of being abandoned by his only parent was almost too much to handle.
No matter how much Caleb’s brother worked, he just couldn’t make enough to keep up with the rent payments. They were already behind when his mother left. Now the landlord was threatening to evict them and kept asking questions about where their mother was.
Caleb’s brother was forced to admit that his mother was gone. Social services were called, and Caleb’s brother was going to live with the family of a friend so that he could finish high school. Caleb was sent to Mercy Home.
It wasn’t until Caleb started to settle into life at Mercy Home that he realized how deeply the events of the past several months had affected him. It felt like he had been holding his breath the entire time his mother was gone. And he didn’t realize how much her abandonment affected him. She had never been a very involved mother, but to have her leave without a word hurt him deeply.
Caleb had a hard time talking about feelings, whether it was with his therapist or the other boys. But one of our coworkers introduced him to art therapy. Caleb couldn’t always find the words to express how he felt, but he could express it through his art. In every piece of artwork he made, he was able to let go of a little bit more of the pain of his past.
Finally Able To Be A Kid
Caleb also stayed in contact with his brother. Mercy Home provided services to his brother to help him go to college, and he often came to visit Caleb on weekends. Caleb was glad to still have his brother in his life.
Today, Caleb is beginning to thrive for the first time in his life. He’s doing well in school, has friends, and is no longer worried about adult things—he is finally able to be a kid. Thank you for keeping boys and girls like Caleb in your prayers. We are so grateful for your support.