361 days ago, I wrote poems about my pink cheeked child on the ice
She had been admitted to a psych ward for 72 hours
Diagnosed with major depressive disorder
Put on drugs and sent back to college
Fighting the pain to fulfill her destiny
I spoke in rhymes and riddles, weaving my way through
a swamp of terrifying revelations, pushing for answers
while reaching out in the darkness, forever hitting and
missing a moving target that until that day, I was unaware
plagued my offspring.
Almost a year and she has blossomed in so many ways.
Two more semesters down, a job, new friends, and
hobbies. Nothing balanced and no sense of security
but signs of improvement, plenty to keep me at the
fountain of hope.
Last time, there was a plan to end it all. This time, no plan but
letters and gifts, saying her goodbyes. Again, the wave of despair
and agony has crashed down and swept us all into the sea. We
got her to a psychiatrist who set up safety plans, treatment
plans, and a path to put in motion. She was home an hour later,
worn out, distant, but trying to be a part of bland conversation
with that huge elephant in the room haunting every corner and
every space in our minds, our bodies, the air. Late at night, plan
tucked in her pocket, with shaking hands, stiff limbs, and a stare worlds
away, she crawled into bed to drink in an escape through sleep.
I lay in bed, eyes huge, heart pounding, hearing the words over
and over and over again. "She wrote letters." Three words,
enough to clog my thoughts and block any positive messages from my
mind. "She also reached out for help and we have a treatment plan
On the edge of a cliff, every moment of my child's life flashing
before my eyes, the wind howling around me while the pit
of my stomach weighs so heavily in my gut it anchors me
to the ground, ready to withstand yet another storm. "Take
care of yourself so you can be strong for her" - instructions
for me. "Sleep. Eat. Rest." I cannot sleep when my child is hurting.
I cannot eat when my baby, who came from my belly, is wrapped in
a spiral of choking despair. I cannot rest when my heart stops in a
myriad of fears building inside me.
Eric will be here soon. Tomorrow we go to family therapy
to learn more, understand more, be given a plan for our
role in the treatment plan for a magnificent girl who is
drowning right before me. Right before my very eyes,
my child is sinking and I have no rope and my feet are lead
and I can't move and I can't yell and I can't seem to do a
damn thing but add tears to the pool that is already
"Take care of yourself"
I have no self.
I am a shell of her mother
Going through the motions
Of spinning my wheels
to try and save