Sorry if the title offends anyone, but it’s a phrase I heard more than I wanted to over Christmas break. My daughter has made these comments before, but this time it was in a different way. This was pure anguish.
I have written previously about my daughters depression and anxiety and self-harm. I had the jaded illusion that after she graduated from high school, was away from all the bullshit, she would find her own “being”.
I think summer was fairly decent. She had started on new meds and felt better. The meds were adjusted throughout the summer in hopes that when she started her schooling in September, she would be able to manage life a bit better.
To say I was scared to death about my girl leaving home, living on her own, starting a new school program and living almost 2 hours away – is an extreme understatement. The day she followed me to her new apartment was – well it was beyond words. We unpacked her things, set up her apartment, went shopping for food, went to lunch and then I left her. I left her alone, in a strange place, with no one around to take care of her. I questioned my decision the entire ride home (to be honest I still question it). She decided she would feel more comfortable if she went to her new place a week before school actually started. That way she could drive around, check the place out and basically get used to this new “normal”.
My girl did come home after two days. She wanted to do the drive home and back alone. She stayed for only one night and left the next day. I think she needed to make sure home was still home and she could come back. I was thrilled to find out that another student in her program reached out to her and they were meeting for lunch the weekend before school started. This is a huge step for my girl. Her social anxiety was on high alert – but she did it. She became fast (almost too fast) friends with this girl and was so excited. Her program started and I got daily calls or messages from her telling me little bits about her day. She loved the program. It was a very small class and after about a month (sorry, this is a 6 month program she is in) she felt at home in her new place. She loved her class and they were always doing things together. She still came home almost every weekend, mostly to see her cat, but she also did wash and to restock.
I could see a difference, a good difference. People commented on how different she was, seemed more mature, seemed happy, so many positives. I thought – YES! This is it. This is what she needed. She needed to figure out she can do this – alone.
By the second/third month I felt the newness had worn off. Now it was the daily grind of the program. Leaning new things, being challenged and falling back in to the mind set that she couldn’t do it, she wasn’t good enough. I kept the encouragement going and there are times I think she surprised herself as to what she was able to do and accomplish.
I was hearing a lot about the various friends and knew that there were a handful of students who were over the age of 21. I knew that she went to a few parties. We had the understanding that there would never be any driving and she had to stay wherever she was. She let me know when there were parties and always checked in before and after. If you are judging me – stop. It is no different than the kids that go off to college and spread their wings. Believe me I don’t need the lecture. She did seem happy, although she still touched base with me when she was feeling anxious or more depressed than usual.
When she came home for a visit before Christmas I noticed a lovely hickey on her neck. So, I asked about it. She of course became assy, told me it’s someone she met from the area she lives in. I asked why she never told me about him and she honestly told me because she knows I wouldn’t approve. I asked the mandatory mom questions and she was right. I didn’t approve of him. She ALWAYS attaches to narcissistic assholes. I don’t know how else to put it. She wants to be loved, needed, desired so desperately that the minute someone shows her attention (good or bad), she jumps in head first.
This was also the visit I was helping with her wash and OMG, the smell of pot/weed or whatever you want to call it was insane. Again, I know that she has smoked in the past. Again – I AM NOT CONDONING IT. But I also know that it helps calm her. Right or wrong, legal or illegal. It is what it is. It is a topic that we have talked about more times than I can count. She knows all the penalties if caught. I have made sure she knows it very well.
Next it was Christmas break. She had off for about two full weeks. My husband and I also take off over the Christmas break. It’s something we did when the kids were in school and we just continued it. There was really no part of the holidays that I enjoyed. OK, there was one. Our family was blessed with a new addition in October 2018. Having something positive to focus on is probably the only thing that kept me sane.
I can’t even keep all the arguments straight in my head anymore. When she came home I gave her a day to chill, sleep in, thinking she needed to decompress from school. I think the first argument occurred by day 2. Something small set her off. I don’t even know what at this point. This included the storming away, going to her room, etc. I don’t go for that, especially when the conversation isn’t over. I went to her room, started talking. I have learned with her if I yell/scream she instantly shuts down and I get nowhere. It was during this talk that the first “I don’t want to fucking be here” came out, along with uncontrollable sobbing. We talked at length about her feelings and thoughts, about school and the possibility of not going back. When the talk was done, I left her room with a very heavy heart.
It could have been the next day, she got up and came downstairs. I was doing something in the kitchen and reminded her to take her meds. This is her birth control (to control heavy bleeding) and her depression meds. She asked me to get them for her, which I did. When I gave them to her she asked why I gave her two pills for the depression. I reminded her that her dosage had been adjusted and she was supposed to be taking two pills at a time. She forgot that fact and since she left home in September has only been taking one pill a day. Basically she cut her dosage by more than half. Of course this could be a huge reason for her current state of mind.
Later in the evening we were hanging out, watching TV. At one point she asked if we could go upstairs and talk. I said sure. We got into my room and her tears started. After she calmed down she told me that she had “raw” sex with hickey boy. I wasn’t up on the term “raw” and figured out that meant unprotected. She had just gotten a message from hickey boy telling her he has chlamydia and she should get checked. I was really not ready for that and she was so upset it was hard to console her. Again, it was time for the mom questions. I found out hickey boy’s ex-girlfriend slept with someone and then hickey boy slept with the ex and then my daughter.
I called the doctor, he sent a lab request for a test, she did the test and of course it came back positive. She was allergic to the first set of meds, and threw up on the second set. Which made me wonder if she was pregnant. So I also made her take a pregnancy test. At this point I’m of the mindset if you are old enough to have sex, you are old enough to deal with the consequences. Old enough, yes. Mature enough, possibly. Mentally stable enough, no fucking way.
There other incident involving hickey boy was on New Year’s Eve. He contacted her with some travesty he was dealing with. He wanted her to leave and save him. Fortunately, her car needed work and it was scheduled during this break. No way we were letting her take one of our cars to save hickey boy because “his mom kicked him out and he has some blood disease and he can’t get cold or he will die.” She is in tears worried that this wonderful person who gave her chlamydia is in trouble. WHAT THE FUCK???!!! I am now beyond pissed, annoyed, aggravated – you name it I felt it. My questions started:
Q: Why was he kicked out?
A: I don’t know. I didn’t ask.
Q: Where is he?
A: Sitting in a car at his grandparents house.
Q: Why can’t he go into his grandparents?
A: I don’t think they actually live there, the car is just there. It doesn’t have a motor.
Q: He has no one to call? He has no relatives? But he has a fully charged working phone?
A: Mom, I don’t know.
Q: What disease does he have?
A: I don’t know but he can’t get cold.
Q: Here are the numbers for local shelters in your area. Send them to him. He needs to be a big boy and take care of himself.
It was just ridiculous. But I couldn’t make her see that.
We were having some very close family friends and family over for the evening and I had no idea how things would go. Low and behold she gets a message that he is OK and has some place to stay. Get the fuck out? He didn’t need you, you didn’t have to run to him and save him and leave your awful family?
I am scared to actually know what she has been doing. Is it worse not knowing or knowing? I know I need her to be safe. I need her to try and make decisions that don’t put her in harms way. I need her to take care of herself. I need her to focus on her. I need her to stay alive. Basically, I need her to be my daughter forever.
I really feel like this one was all over the place, my apologies. But right now my brain is all over the place. The guilt that I feel is overwhelming. How can even think about being happy? She’s not happy.
How can I be relieved when she leaves and it isn’t right in front of my face? But when I can’t sleep at night because I’m thinking about her and her well-being, I will hear a car drive down the street and I hold my breath. I don’t want the car to stop. I don’t want the doorbell to ring and have someone tell me my daughter is dead. That happens to me every night, multiple times a night. It’s awful.
I fight with myself. I doubt my decisions from the time this disease took hold of my girl. What else could I have done to make it better? What can I do now? What should I do now? Do I try to commit her? Well, I work in a field where I see that on a fairly regular basis. And I would be more scared that she would get worse being in a local facility. They are horrible. This is something I do know.
I get to see all the details of suicides and attempted suicides on a weekly basis. This sucks in a way I can’t explain. My mind goes crazy. The what if’s are the worst. It’s a 24/7 cycle that never ends.
I am currently researching places for my girl to go when she gets out of school in March. I think the best thing is for her to be in-patient some place safe. Some place where she will find her self-worth again, get the meds under control and learn to be part of life. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for reading and any kind words.