Poetry: “Light at the end of the tunnel”

I wrote this about 10 years ago, shortly after my son was diagnosed. We’ve come a long way since then. At 17, he barely tics, the RAGE is gone and he’s doing well in school. I hope that this shows that you are not alone in the struggles that you face. Know that there is light at the end of the tunnel….

“Why do you keep on clearing your throat? Are you feeling sick?” I would say.
And so, it continued…again and again.
Day after day after day.

Then, one day it stopped…and then you began
shrugging and jerking your head.
And then, you started hurting yourself
and picking your nails ’til they bled.

The blinking is hard; it’s like a strobe light
is flashing in front of your eyes.
I can’t seem to calm you, when you get upset,
no matter how hard I try.

Mothers all want to take care of their kids
and give what they need everyday…
to kiss all their boo-boos, whenever their hurt,
and make all the pain go away.

Oh, how I wish I could magically fix
all the things that are so hard for you.
I’m so sorry to say, my sweet special child,
that is something I just cannot do.

But, I’ll always be here, whatever you need.
I’ll give comfort when your poor heart aches.
And I promise I’ll always give you my best,
though I know I will make some mistakes.

Remember, we’re in this together
and through the years, we both will grow.
I know you’ll do fine, my dear child…
and I love you, more than you know.


  1. Sharon, thank you for your lovely reply. Your sons’ issues sound very much like my son’s. He has pretty much every co-morbid condition related to Tourette’s, though none of them extreme. We have been very fortunate to have a good school system and have found wonderful treatment options for our son, without using drugs. His two siblings have also been wonderful with him. Of course, they fight among themselves, but they are all very close and support each other as well. It’s definitely a challenge growing up with TS, but rising to the challenge brings strength and character and tolerance of others. That’s something his siblings have learned as well. They don’t see disabilities…they see people. What you say in your comment is very poetic and will also give hope to others going through the difficult times now. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Your poem is beautiful. And I can totally relate. Ten years ago, my twins were 9 and were diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome shortly before that. Their tics weren’t their biggest problem, their OCD and social issues were much bigger. (The ADD didn’t help either.) When we renovated our house, we included a basement space for an adult to live in independently, not knowing if one of our boys would need a space like that when they got older. When they were younger, they would have such difficulties with so many social situations because of how “different” they were, we just couldn’t imagine how they would function in the world as adults. And yet, they were and continue to be the sweetest boys. It broke our hearts. After years of counseling, advocating and getting them the services they need, teaching them to advocate for themselves, etc…. they are both in college, making Deans List and following their dreams. We don’t need that basement space for them anymore – unless they just can’t find a job like so many other young people who don’t have TS! What a wonderful turn of events. I’m proud to say – My boys sure showed us! Thank you for your poem… it reminds me once again of where my boys were and, as you said, should make others feel hopeful that their children will make it as well!!!

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