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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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?

  
This is my son… No, there’s nothing between him and the road… No, he isn’t wearing any safety gear…. Seriously, can you SEE any safety gear? What exactly do you mean when you ask that?!?

My son is not making the wisest of choices… Obviously… But so many people are actually more stupid than he is! The questions… The comments… The constant judgment! 

Because you just don’t know… You have absolutely no idea. 

You should just tell him not to do it. Tell him it’s stupid. Tell him… 

I’m past burring up at the diatribe though… Because they can’t help their stupidity… Their thoughtlessness… Because they just don’t understand…

People think mental health is attention seeking. A self indulgent sulk. 

This child and I were talking recently about suicide. I said to him – there’s worse things than death. You could end up a physical vegetable with your mind still active and engaged within. You could end up with chronic, debilitating pain for the rest of your life. You could…. 

But mum! Mum! Listen… Do you know what’s worse than suicide?! Do you know what’s worse than death?!

Yes… That’s what I’m trying to tell you… There’s worse things than…

Depression.

Depression is worse than death. 

Sometimes, when the phone rings, I still forget to breathe even after the message has been delivered… even after I know he’s safe… for now…

Those phone calls shred me… they leave me broken… and I cannot even begin to imagine how they leave him…

I don’t know the words to say. I don’t know what he needs to hear. All I can hear is the despair and the fear…

He was sobbing… so hard… He’d screwed up. One mistake. Just one. And his whole world has fallen apart.

I’ve spent hours sitting with a teen just listening and hearing and trying to offer whatever support they need…. listened to them tell me of the weekend… the plans they’d made… the bath they’d run because they’d heard it soothes the pain of the knife… or the concoction of pills they’d researched to make sure it was enough… I’ve listened to teens tell me of the anger and despair and hurt and hatred and fear…. and I’ve listened to them tell me that they just want it all to end…

I’ve listened… and my heart has broken… and broken even more for the ones I didn’t get to listen to… the ones I knew who didn’t seem to talk to anyone and just went ahead and did it….

And my heart has broken and ached for the family and friends they have left behind…. and for the life they just couldn’t continue…

But now… I listen to my own teen… a five hour drive away… and there is nothing I can do… just listen… pray… hope… and make deals with the Universe that somehow he stays safe…

I don’t know the words to tell him… I find myself repeating the same thing… trying to get him to remember that I love him… that my heart would ache for eternity… but he says to me – I’ll be dead, I won’t care… I make light of it and tell him I’ll bind his ghost to me for eternity and he will have to listen to me nag and tell him off for all time… but there is no humour in him today…

I ask how he is hurting himself now and he confesses he is still cutting… So I find myself asking – how deep… and he tells me – just quick and across the surface, just blood and pain, lots of slices… I ask if there’s something else that might work… he says no, this works… So I ask him to just not cut deep…

He begs me not to tell his father… It’s why he called… because he has screwed up and his father is going to kill him… My brain is registering – yay, he doesn’t actually want to die… but I know this is not it… He doesn’t want to face his father’s wrath…

So I talk to him forever… calming him… trying to somehow find a speck of reason… reminding him there are people he can see, talk to, phone… but he doesn’t want them so I let the thought slide…

His father calls. He’s furious. He’s home and waiting…. So we are on a 3-way conversation suddenly and I dance again… twisting words… catering to the ego… convincing him that he can help his son… he can be the hero…. and I hate this. I hate this manipulation of the manipulator. But I learned well over the years. I just need to remain calm and remember that it is not about me… this is about my son…

So I have lessened the punishment for the crime. I have pacified the ego. And I am left with such a bad taste in my mouth as I use his tricks against him.

But my son is without a phone and determined to stay where he is… begging me to move there… to upend everyone to move there… because he hates the city and he loves his new friends at the new school… but he just can’t stand living with his father…

But with this is the knowledge that even if I upended the world of my other children to cater to this one, he would hate me too… or is this just what I tell myself? Because all the professional voices are still in my ear reminding me – he needs to be with you. Being with his father is a bad option.

But how do I balance this? Because when he is here and decides he no longer wants to be, the lives of my other children are in danger…

I don’t know how to be so far away and to still be there… I don’t know how to choose the safety of three children over the safety of one, and still sleep at night… I don’t know how to do any of it and I’m so tired of people who have not lived it having an opinion and a solution I haven’t asked for….

And underlying all of this… the bit we are not meant to mention… if I had a time machine… I would go back in time and not have children… not because I don’t love them, because I would sacrifice my life over and over for them…. but because I can’t bear the pain I see… I can’t bear to watch him suffer the way he does and I can’t fix it…

And I just can’t find enough words and enough time to fill him with enough love that he can see a way out of this… because my words don’t touch him…

I am writing several days after the event. I need to stop the self pity. The moping is doing my own head in and i know people are not wanting my company at the moment.

Sunday. It had all just gone too far. Too much. I had a friend fly in on Saturday and spend the day and night. She’s known my kids forever. And yet, my teen just…

What exactly? What did he do… I don’t have the words to explain it. I am so exhausted by it all… that self pity again…

He decided his 7 year old brother is a great side kick. That was the final straw for me. Seeing my youngest trying so hard to impress his big brother. Being rude, defiant… everything they could to upset and hurt…

But Sunday… Sunday my teen decided to run away… and take his little brother with him.

He’d answer the phone just to laugh at me… mocking… calling me names and telling me they weren’t coming home… they’d die first…

I drove around trying to find them. I saw them at one point. I was on a busy road and couldn’t stop. They saw me and ran. Up the stairs and into the bushland.

And that was the kicker. My 7 year old running too. My 7 year old swearing at me and calling me names. Refusing to come back. The 7 year old who gives the best cuddles and can’t bear being away from me for too long… He ran away too. He just needed to impress that big brother.

So that was the straw that broke my back.

Do you know that police don’t answer their phones on a Sunday? Apparently, it really was an emergency and I should have called…. but in the moment, I just kept calling all the stations that were kind of nearby…

Finally, I called their father and he managed to get hold of them. Told them to come home. And they did…

But I was done. Finally. I insisted he get his stuff and get in the car. That he was going back to his father’s or anywhere else. Anywhere but here.

I’m sure that this was the wrong action in the eyes of the experts and the amazing parents. But taking my 7 year old down that dark, destructive path he has chosen… that was my straw.

The phone call with his father lasted for over an hour. I have no idea what was said. I imagine the fear of having his son with him convinced him to pull out all the stops though. I’m pretty sure the girlfriend gave him an ‘it’s him or me’ speech… because my son eventually came back in, in tears, and begged my forgiveness. Acknowledged he has been an arsehole. Please let me stay mum…

And I caved again. And I am waiting for the next outburst.

We’ve just been to gymnastics and he started again – ignoring me, encouraging his brother to ignore me too… misbehaving… breaking the rules… because it’s fun….

He turned 14 on Tuesday. His first appointment with the mental health team is on Monday (finally!). And the road is long… and I am already exhausted…

The start to my morning:

Me: Morning kids!

Child 1, 3 and 4: Morning mumma – followed by loads of cuddles and giggles and stressing about getting out of the door to school on time…

Child 2: Sometimes I just want to stab you in the stomach, or in the kidney, and just watch you in pain while you die…. (insert superlatives and loads of venom)