Oh, by the way…

Chatting… random stuff… medical problems. 

Me: um… would you like me to make you an appointment? I can find a male doctor for you…

Knight: no, not for that…

Me: are you sure? You don’t need to tell me. You’re 15 now. But I can find someone and make an appointment. 

Knight: no… I don’t want an appointment for that…

My brain reeling through possible ways to convince him… and suddenly… I actually heard what he’d said. 

Me: So what do you want me to make an appointment for?

Knight: because I want to kill myself…

Me: for real? 

Knight: yeah… no? Maybe… I just don’t want to sleep. Ever. Again. 

Me: okay… but you don’t want to kill yourself?

Knight: well I do… but I really just don’t want to sleep…

And the Wizard comes in. Refuses to leave. Wants attention. The Knight refuses to talk again because he no longer is in the mood…

But I’m in the mood! I need to talk about this! 

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When you kick your child out of home…

Okay, maybe he didn’t kick him out if home… but…

It’s been going all week. I knew the peace couldn’t last, but this week has been crazy. I think he finally realised he’s lost control. 

The Knight tells me that his father never thought it would last… I’m confused – why wouldn’t it?? Oh… because history was rewritten. I forget this. I forget the claims that I beat my child up. That I picked him up, threw him against the wall and punched him in the face. I learnt this week that I left holes in the walls because I threw him so hard. And it was more than once… This week though, I’ve had enough, and I make it clear that the lies will stop. Or the truth will be known. 

I’m done with this week. I’m shattered. I don’t know where my kids find their strength. I’m in awe of their resilience. 

So today. I wouldn’t allow them to travel on the train for 3 and a half hours without an adult. A train with people coming and going. No adult supervision. In frustration… because I am the bad person now… I say I will drive them. A six hour round trip today. A six hour round trip to collect them on Monday. All for his family Xmas. 

The week has already been insane. The threats and accusations. The abuse. The endlessness of it and the randomness of the targets and the bullets fired. 

But today. My patience is shot. I’m a mess. I drive for 3 hours. 

And I come out of the shopping centre to this. My Knight’s belongings piled on the side of the street beside my car. 

What’s this? I thought he was keeping his room? I have nowhere to put all this stuff. He doesn’t want it in my house. My Knight tries to reason too. 

But there’s no reasoning. The room is still his room… but with none of his stuff… and he can’t actually sleep in it because it’s a guest room… so he’ll be sleeping in a tent in the backyard with the Baby Dragon and Wizard… 

I bite my tongue. Hold back the tears. My Knight is shattered. I watch his chest cave and his back bend… his shoulders slump as his heart crushes… 

The kids pile in the car and I smile. Wish them well. 

Then sit on the side of the road amongst everything and hold back the tears. 

The day hadn’t even ended. The last information I had, the Knight has ‘run away’ to his best friends house and I’m buying a train ticket for his return. The two younger are refusing to sleep in the tent alone. The eldest just shakes her head sadly and says – they’ll work it out mum… they’ll get there…

And the day goes on… the week continues… and I’m bewildered and shattered and searching for answers in all the psych books and articles at my fingertips… searching for answers as to why he does this and why I couldn’t see it for so long… because that sword cuts both ways… 

Words Part 2…

So… he told me to lull myself…

The next morning, I was telling a friend the story of being very pregnant and losing control of my car. It seems my tyres were bald and I had no idea. My husband knew. They were beyond bald. The tread was completely gone in large sections. The 4wd I was driving around with our three kids plus fourth brewing…

Anyway…

A young guy lost his life locally when his car hit a tree, at about the time my teen was telling me to kill myself. 

These were the tales I was telling to a friend yesterday before I dragged myself from bed to face the day. 

Drove the kids to school. Steering felt heavy. Dropped them off. Waited forever for a break in the traffic and finally took a gamble. My car doesn’t have the torque I’d like, but I know it. Four lanes of cars bearing down on me, knew it wasn’t ideal, knew the car would be fine… 

Except…

The tyres spun out… twice… as I crossed. 

That moment when time stands still and everything flashes slowly before your eyes. The four lanes of traffic. My son’s words. The fatal accident the night before. The sound of my tyres spinning on nothing. 

But I made it. Heart racing. Drive home, thinking about tyres. The tyres are less than a year old. They can’t be bald…

But…

They can be flat :/

A job for coffee. A mathematical equation waiting to happen. 


A neighbour appears. I love my neighbours. 

We are sad though… we know the tyre is under the car… but how do you get it out?!? 

Reach for the manual…


Score! A phone call… half an hour later…


But hey… he changed it! 

Sent these snaps to the teen… if I’d died… I’d it wrong to guilt them? To make him realise that his final words to me could have been: kys… and then I did. 

It’s a spade…

Let’s call it what it is. Sometimes, it’s just hard. Hard. Hard. 

I take his Xbox controller and he tells me to kill myself. Threatens all sorts of dire things. I disconnect the internet and he accesses the router and turns it back on. I change the password, he hacks passed that. 

Last night, we have a reasonable discussion. It’s midnight. I don’t care if you’re on the iPod and lights are out, but the Xbox and tv are off. 

Suddenly, he needs dinner. It’s midnight. 

At 5:30am I come down to let the cat out and he moves… asleep? I check FB… on 1 minute ago…

Sigh…

Getting kids organised. We’re loud. It’s morning. Friday. Summer is almost here. Going to be a hot one. Have you seen this on YouTube? Heard this song? Did you know? Would you rather? Can I have your toast? Do you have your swimming gear? Park this afternoon? Can we have a lunch order?

It’s morning. Friday. Almost summer. 

He can’t handle it. He roars. Swears. Threatens. 

Ummm… you’re the one who went to sleep at 5:30 this morning… 

you’re the one who’s trying to make me angry!!!!

Ummm… no… we’re just going about our everyday stuff… we don’t do anger… we don’t do rage… if we stay up til 5:30, we don’t blame others when we’re tired…

School can’t start soon enough :/

I’ve had a number of conversations of late about feelings… particularly about negative emotions… and particularly about the fact we’re not allowed to have any…

I seem to be constantly telling friends – let yourself be sad! You’re grieving! But I seem to be the only one. They’re bombarded with well meaning voices telling them to get over it, be happy, move on…

But you have to grieve. You have to work through the process. If you don’t, those emotions control you.

When my marriage fell apart, I’m the one who finally said the words. And I’m the one who refused to change my mind. He went around the town sobbing to anyone who would listen. He rang my family and friends. I remember sitting in our lounge room and every device in the house just kept ringing. That was the day I learned you could make a phone call through FB… That was the day I first shut down almost all of my social media.

What everyone saw was a guy, broken, desperately trying to get his family back together… and i was the bitch who just wouldn’t listen to anyone. One friend kept saying to me – okay, you’ve made your point, he’s sorry… now take him back.

They didn’t care about any of the reasons I gave. Umm, he has a girlfriend! Surely that would work.. no. We all know men have needs, he doesn’t love her…. Hmm… Ah, he’s unbalanced and keeps threatening and harassing us… That will stop though if you take him back – he’s told you this!… Okay, so I’m meant to be bullied and threatened into taking him back, and I’m meant to want this person in my life, in my children’s life, and I’m not meant to be terrified of him?… You’re being silly, listen to me, he’s sorry, he wants you back, you’re doing this to yourself you know…

So… he was allowed to grieve… he was allowed to turn up to my workplace sobbing… he was allowed to physically pin me to my car in the main street and scream abuse at me… he was allowed to have his ‘needs’… he was allowed to do anything he wanted… because I’m the one who said the words. I said ‘I want a divorce’. And since then, he’s still constantly forgiven for everything he does, because I destroyed his world and broke him.

Firstly… no I didn’t. He was doing all these things and more long before we broke up. He was leaving. He had already taken a job in another state and only planned to visit the kids every 2-3 months for a couple of days. He’d already made that choice, but he didn’t want to be the bad person, so I said the words…

And as a result, I wasn’t allowed to grieve. The second I showed any unhappiness, the wolves pounced. I was obviously doubting. I was obviously regretting.

Because we’re not allowed to have negative emotions… But I WAS grieving. I was grieving the loss of the ideal. The plans you make for a future. The ideas you have and the choice you’ve made. I still had to grieve for all those things. The loss of the life and the lifestyle. The hurt in my children’s eyes because mummy and daddy just can’t get along and they’re always in the middle of it. All those things…

And I see friends going through crap and they are told the same thing. Move on. Get going. You need to get over this. Smile. Why are you sad? You must be depressed… you need to see someone.. get medication.

And this takes away from the reality and seriousness of true mental health issues – but that is another story…

So why are we so terrified of feeling anymore? Why can’t we simply allow ourselves to grieve?

I was talking to a friend this morning who is going through a divorce. Only a few weeks. He’s doubting, he’s unsure, he’s feeling isolated and he’s constantly told to be happy… after all, he wanted this… There’s no mention of the psychological abuse everyone knew his wife has inflicted for years… He said the words.

Or the friend whose husband recently walked out the front door to go to work and never arrived… They found him 3 days later, miles from home on a drinking binge. Hospitalised for a week. Now going through the very long process of medication and therapy for suicidal thoughts and depression. His company is bust… she’s left to sort out the finance, clean up the warehouse, and close the business down… They have three young children…but he’s not coping with life himself, so that’s hers to focus on as well. The house. She was on maternity leave… but now they need an income, because his company is bust and he’s currently unable to work, for who knows how long…. She walking on eggshells wondering what’s inside his head. He’s trying to function at all. Her entire world has turned upside down. Her entire future has changed. But he’s back now, and he’s fine so move on… There’s no time to grieve for the life they had planned. There’s no time to be selfishly sad and angry and to shake your fist at the universe…

There are so many stories… big and small… but the theme is consistent. Move on. Be happy. Smile.

The media took a spin with the smile thing earlier this year. Telling a woman to smile is sexist… and I get that. You’re beautiful when you smile – I like you better when you smile – I tried an experiment when this was actually in the headlines. I posted a series of selfies (I don’t often have me in my profile pic) to gauge the reaction, and every single time, there was a comment on my appearance – smile, being the most prolific. But ‘smile’ also exhausts you when you just don’t want to. Because today is crap. This week is crap. Right now, it feels like this whole damned life is crap and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and I just don’t want to smile… Oh, then you must need medication!

No. Sometimes, you just need to be sad. To work your way through the grieving process. To rant and to roar and to cry. Because when you finish that, then your smile will be genuine.

** And obviously, clinical depression is a very different thing to grieving and feeling sad.

One of my closest friends died almost a year ago, and a part of me is still so damned angry with her! If she’d had regular pap smears, she’d still be here today… And she had to know… and I’m pretty sure she did… and she was scared… but then, when they said the words – maybe a month, probably less – she just went to another place… acceptance… happiness… I think she was just so tired of fighting life…

I look at my son and my heart breaks. I see the vision of who he may become.. the man ready to emerge… but it’s smothered by the anger and the sadness and the hatred boiling within…

I shared this on FB the other day:

dep

his response – well said, mum…

Because this is the bit that people don’t seem to understand. They think that today is a good day, but you’re laughing, you had a fun time… then they take it personally – aren’t I good enough to make you happy, why would you think of killing yourself when you have people who love you, if you love me you wouldn’t even…

They don’t understand the despair… My son tells me – you don’t understand mum, even when I’m having the best time and I’m laughing, I’m still so angry inside…

And anger is a secondary emotion… we know that… but how do you find your way past it to find the primary emotion?

Sometimes, when he is in the midst of his darkest moments and he is talking to me (so yes, they probably aren’t even the darkest moments)… when he sends me photos of his latest cuts to show he hasn’t cut too deep and that he’s not going to bleed to death… when he promises me he will get someone to let me know he is safe at least if he runs… when he refuses to promise what he can’t give you… Sometimes… in these moments… I feel myself drawn down into those depths… and there is so much raw emotion… so much anger and sadness and despair and hatred and…I can’t stay there… I can’t even describe the blackness of it all….

And it’s in these moments… these fleeting, fleeting moments… when my heart is shattering and I just can’t see a way through it all to find him… to hug him… to let him know i am here…. because he can’t hear anyone at these moments… he’s locked himself so deeply within that there’s just no opening…

In these moments…. I understand suicide… I understand why…. and it’s in these fleeting, fleeting moments that I think the unthinkable… at least he will finally find some release… finally be free of this darkness… because how can anyone live with that all the time? How can you possibly live so deeply in that well and survive?

They are fleeting. I want my son. Alive. I want him to be happy, but I’ve been told that’s not something I can qualify… I want him healthy. I want all the things I am supposed to want… but deep down, what I really want is my little boy back. I want to hug him and to hold him and to reach him… I want to find him again and drag him out of that mess. I want to go back in time and undo this mess somehow. To fix it somewhere back when I could. To insist. And a part of me wants to go so far back that I don’t have him at all – because then he wouldn’t be hurting so much… because he tells me this – he can’t forgive me, because I’m the reason he was born… so I want to fix even that for him… because there is nothing in this world that destroys you as much as watching your child in so much pain… and you can’t fix it…

I can’t tell when I’m being manipulated… and I can’t take the chance that this time it’s real…

He just called me during class.

I want credit.

No.

Please!

No.

But mum…

And so it goes… He starts chatting… telling me he’s a satanist and his friend is a necromancer… He needs to call his girlfriend because she hasn’t been at school this week and won’t talk to him… and last week she slit her wrists…

I can’t follow most of his chatter… most of it’s for show. He’s in class. His teacher is telling him to get off the phone. I know I should hang up on him. That’s supporting his teacher. Supporting the school rules. Teaching him boundaries. But… what if he just needs to talk. If right at this moment, he’s feeling a bit more lost than usual and he really just needs to talk to me right this second…

So I can’t hang up…

Somewhere in the garble, he tells me his dad is taking him to the GP later this week to get anti-depressants…. Ummm, who has diagnosed you with depression?! Of course I’m depressed mum… Honey, there’s so many other things that could be going on in your head, and it’s really important you have a full mental health assessment so they can find the primary cause and give you the right treatment…. Mum! I think I know whether I’m depressed or not. *Dad’s gf* went cause she’s OCD about cleaning so they gave her some pills and she’s good now….

OMG….

I am too far away. He’s 14. My head is spinning in a mess about this… If they give him the wrong medication and treat the wrong thing….

OMG…

How do you sit so far away and deal with this without going insane? Without having your heart shred over and over?

It’s okay mum… mum? Are you there? It’s okay… I just need credit… I need to call *my gf* and make sure she’s okay… Did I tell you I’m a satanist now? There’s a spirit looking over my shoulder. Protecting me. That’s why I didn’t fall. It’s four storeys – did you see that? Or three really – I was standing on the fourth. If I fell, I’d die… I was just hanging there by my arms, conquering my fears mum, you know I hate heights, scares the %$^ out of me… but this spirit is protecting me. Satan sent him… Mum? Can you send me some credit… please mum! I had a panic attack yesterday…. Can I smoke if I come stay with you? What about outside?… You know how you always say – you get more flies with honey mum? You don’t you know, you get bees. And did you know, you get more junkies with ecstasy… Please can I have some credit? No, don’t hang up… I really just want to talk to you mum… I want to live with you… Please can you move here? I won’t smoke in your house…

How did we get here?