I’m in the deep end.
I stood in front of my husband feeling defeated. “I’m tired. I’m exhausted.” I said to him. What I really wanted to do was cry and scream. On the inside I was.
“Are you tired as in you need a nap? Or something else?” He asked me.
“I’m tired as in mentally and emotionally drained. I just feel like I’m failing and I can’t handle it.”
We were talking about our daughter.
It’s hard being a mom to a 10 year old who is depressed and has suicidal thoughts. This isn’t what I signed up for. I thought that if I did it mostly right — if I honored my children and treated them with respect as autonomous human beings, if I gave them every opportunity and made a conscious effort to be present with them in the moment, if I learned about all the parenting styles and read and learned about child psychology and development, if I showered them with unconditional love and never put them in harm’s way or abused them the way that I was abused — then I wouldn’t end up with a child who feels like dying. That I wouldn’t feel like a failure. That I wouldn’t wonder every moment if this is the moment I said or did that one wrong thing that she’ll play over and over again in her head when she is deciding to end her life. That I wouldn’t have to bear this unbearable burden of feeling that no matter what I do it’s not enough and I will fail her and she will end her life and it will be my fault. And nothing anyone will ever say will ever convince me otherwise. This isn’t what I signed up for. Where is this in my contract? I demand arbitration. Someone needs to go back and fix this. Hello? Anyone?
The thing is that when you have a physically sick kid, or even a kid with some obvious mental illness or handicap, there is something in particular to blame. Your kid is bipolar? “Probably genetics.” Your kid has cerebral palsy? “It was because they used those suction cups on their head when they were born and they got some brain damage from it.” Your kid has leukemia? “Cancer sucks and it’s totally random and you all are saints for being such warriors.” But when your kid is only 10 years old and is depressed? “What did you do wrong? What happened? What are you doing to make it better? Is she seeing a therapist? Why is your kid still depressed? What aren’t you doing?”
Thank God for my husband. Thank the fucking Universe that he was able to get to the bottom of my spiral. That he talked with me while he made the sushi that I was supposed to be making for our other daughter’s birthday. Thank goodness he told me I’m allowed to crack and to send our daughter his way for a little while and give myself a break. Thank you Goddess that he held me while I cried and told me I’m the best mom in the world and there is literally nothing else I can do other than what I’m doing. So I guess I take it back. He was able to convince me otherwise.
Being parents to a 10 year old who is depressed and has suicidal thoughts is really freaking hard. It’s not what we signed up for.
I really hope this ends well. ’Cause right now I’m floundering out here in the deep end and I see no boats coming to rescue me.