parenting

she’s come undone

“Mine, immaculate dream, made breath and skin, I’ve been waiting for you,
Signed, with a home tattoo, Happy birthday to you was created for you . . .

Who do you need?
Who do you love?
When you come undone . . . .” – Duran Duran

I started feeling a little better that evening. My daughter had gone to bed uncharacteristically early, and didn’t say goodnight. It wasn’t alarming, because I assumed that she was staying up until midnight and watching Netflix.  Which was usually the way Saturday nights went.

The door to her room was ajar, which was unusual. The light was off. Also unusual. I checked on her and she was asleep. Breathing. I went to sleep, thinking nothing at all was out of the ordinary.

We had been through the ringer over the course of the previous several years. Angry scars from shallow cuts adorned her fair-skinned arms and legs, which she proudly displayed for all to see. All of her behavior was tinged with drama that was both perplexing and exhausting.

Her suicidal thoughts and behavior plagued our lives like a dark cloud, from which the only reprieve was a retreat into denial for periods of time.

Pretend to be normal. At least for these five minutes, these hours, these days. Until the residue of multiple hospitalizations, treatments that continue to fail, medications that don’t help, doctors that don’t listen, quiet sobs of frustration that are seen and heard only by the walls of an otherwise empty room – they all leave a sheen of despair that you whitewash with the power of positive thinking.

And then there’s the fight. The fight for treatment, the hope of a cure, the endless phone calls to anybody and everybody’s supervisor.

Stop ignoring my child. If you don’t help her, she will die. Please help her. Please. Tell me how I can help her. We are drowning in this.

Flailing.

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