You don’t know me, but I’m proud of you

(While this post is directed at a specific person, it also applies to you. Whoever is reading this. You don’t know me, but you’re still here, fighting whatever fight you’re fighting. And that’s something you should feel proud of.)

Hey bud, this whole thing might sound super strange, but hang in there with me for a bit, okay?

You don’t know me, but we’re actually pretty close. You don’t know me, but you’re my favorite person in the entire world. (Don’t tell anyone though.)

You don’t know me, but I know you. And you will never have to know me for me to continue knowing you and loving you.

Today I felt so incredibly proud of you, and I just wanted to let you know. The way you care about others, the way you empathize and do whatever you can within your power to help… (hmm…I wonder where you get that from…just saying…)

I’m honestly not surprised. You’ve been a very special force on this planet from day one. But today, everyone else got to see what I’ve known all along.

You live in a big city…(a very big city…) and you captured some attention from the news today. You were named and awarded with some pretty big stuff…and you even got a news segment. It will be airing next week…and I am just proud of you. You have an pretty amazing life, but this wasn’t handed to you. You had to care and you had to act. And you did both of those things.

You’re 7 and a half now. It’s been a while since I’ve heard your voice…seen you in anything other than a picture. I pretty much have a nationwide guarantee that I’ll be able to see you, for pretty much the first time, in the format of a relatively lengthy news segment soon.

If I’m being honest, I’m not quite sure what to do with all of that. That is a pretty intense amount of beauty and heartbreak all wrapped up in 3 minutes of perfection.

I can’t explain it in any type of way that would ever make sense to anyone…but the burden of this pain is exactly what I am always hoping for.

Seeing you hurts. Plain and simple…it hurts. But the best things in life often hurt. And you will ALWAYS be worth it. You have been worth the pain from the very start.

I’m not going to lie. Seeing you…my child..in a video for the entire world to see is going to do some significant emotional damage to me. I’ve just…

I’ve never heard you in anything other than background noise for a few years now. I have never heard you speak conversationally. It’s absolutely everything I want, but it will be indescribably difficult. But you’re with the pain, son. You always have been and always will be.

I am proud of you ever single day. But today, like I said, everyone else got to see what I’ve always knows. You are special and you are incredible.

You deserve every good thing about life. I’m sure you already feel so full and fulfilled and prideful right now, as you should. You’re family is awesome, and I know they are helping to unlock the awesomeness already inside of you. I’m sure you know they love you.

But what you might not know is that I am proud of you. Your 2 brothers are proud of you…(and by the way, they love you so much that it actually hurts to see).

You’re my son, but you don’t know me. My absolute biggest dream in life is for you to someday know me, but for today, you don’t. I don’t know what you know, I don’t know if you’ve gotten any gifts, any letters, any pictures…

Kid…you have no idea how many HOURS I put into creating the most perfect gifts and letters for you. You just don’t know. And that’s okay! But I do hope that at least one day…you can just feel even an ounce of the love that exists for you on this side of it all.

Your family is great. Your parents..your brother…they’re absolutely amazing. I know because I picked them.

But I’m sorry…it’s absolutely baffling to me that there is a person out there who thinks about you and loves you SO MUCH that it just, well, it hurts. And you don’t even know it.

You don’t know me. And really, I don’t know you in all of the ways I wish I did.

But know this:
You are absolutely never alone. You’re loved more than you just could even consider to be possible. You’re brothers miss you SO much…and you don’t know them either.

You don’t have to know someone to love them, I suppose.

And you don’t have to know me for me to be proud of you.

I Really am, kid. Keep being awesome, keep being amazing.

And even if no one ever sees it ever again….I’ll always know that you’re more special than the sun and the stars.

I love you…even if you never know me.

(I’m proud of you always, but today I was proud of you extra.)


Goodnight, little one.

5 thoughts on “You don’t know me, but I’m proud of you”

  1. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.

    I hope he will know you someday.

    1. Alana – Just another person trying to find my footing in this world ❤️

      I hope so too. I can’t even tell you how incredible that would be.

      1. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.

        Fingers and toes crossed.

    1. Alana – Just another person trying to find my footing in this world ❤️

      Thank you so much. That means more to me than you could ever know. I appreciate you saying that. ❤️

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