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"Please understand, we wouldn't be saying this if we didn't feel like this is
                what  needs to happen."

                                           "What if I say no?"

                                                                       "We have the ability to force it."

That was just part of the conversation I had with my 10 years old daughter's Therapist and her Psychiatric Doctor's Assistant on the evening of June 29th, 2013. 

It all began with an episode that quickly spiraled out of control and ended up with my daughter, who was diagnosed as Bipolar in 2012, being voluntarily admitted by me, her Mom. 

You know, the one that's suppose to protect her and keep her safe. 

My beautiful, talented, little girl, begged to be taken to the Psychiatric Hospital the evening before.  Although she had never been, she said she needed to go.  I on the other hand was terrified at the thought . All I knew about Psychiatric hospitals was what I saw on TV.  But, after four hours filled with threats of jumping out a window, screaming, crying, running down the street and lastly threatening to hurt her sibling, we made the trip.  Five hours later we were sent home, exhausted.

The next day, I was cautiously hopeful the storm had passed as it had before. Standing in the bathroom not 10 feet from my daughter's bedroom, I was coloring my hair.  The grays seemed to be coming faster these days.  I heard a noise, almost a cough, I thought my daughters Acid Reflux was causing her trouble.  She had developed Gastritis  as a result of all the emotions her Bipolar brought her.   That morning she was quiet but remorseful for her episode the night before.

She asked me early that morning , "Are you sure you love me?" 

          I replied,   "Yes, I will always and forever love you."

                      "But, how can you love someone like me?" 
                              "Because, you are my daughter, and you bring me so much joy." 
A few seconds later, she poked her head in the bathroom door.  She looked upset. 

"You are going to be mad at me." 

     "Did you throw up on your bedroom floor again I asked?"

That had happened two nights before because of the acid reflux.

     "No.  I can't tell you what happened."

                                                    "Yes, you can, it's ok." 

My daughter has an amazing support team in her Therapist, Psychiatrist and family.  Her therapist and I both thought she was going through some preteen moodiness.  The weeks prior she had started spending most of her time in her room.  She no longer wanted to hang out with me.  She had to be constantly having a friend over or going to a friends. Being idle, agitated her.  She was still engaging with her friends so we thought it was nothing serious.

Back in the bathroom doorway, my daughter lets her hand drop for her neck and the tears start flowing. 
"I am so sorry Mom,"  is what I hear but, I have tunnel vision, there were angry red marks and what looked like broken blood vessels on her neck. 

     "What happened?"

           She responded, "I tied something around my neck and pulled as hard as I could for as long as I could, then I got scared." 

This couldn't be real.  My beautiful, talented, funny little girl, hurt herself? 

I told her it was ok.  I asked her to put her shoes on, I called my father quickly and said we are coming over.  I didn't know what to do.  I needed time to think but she needed away from the situation. By the time we got to my Dad's 20 minutes later, she was out of the car showing Grandpa her round-off she had been working so hard on.  I was confused.  I called her docs office they said bring her in at 4:00.

4:15... please understand we wouldn't be saying than if we didn't feel like this is what needs to happen.  My daughter had just told her Therapist that she had a plan to kill herself, that she would hurt her brother, that she didn't feel safe going home because of what she might do.  She told them she wanted to go to the hospital.  Imagine...being 10 and knowing, you needed to be someplace to keep those around you safe. 
My daughter spent 4 days in the hospital.  I visited her every day, twice a day for the hour that they allowed.  One of the most powerful moments for me was when she was admitted and was on the other side of the glass door about to go to her room,  she mouthed to me,

     "I am so sorry for doing this to you."  

She knew she needed to be there and was more worried about how I would be. 
We now have a safety plan posted in a few places in our house that lists the things she can't do, such as hurt herself or anyone else or to be in her room with her door closed.  It also lists what she can do, call a family member, listen to music, and call the Crisis hotline.  We have a plan.  It's been two months and she is doing really well. 

     When I asked her why she tied the scarf around her neck, she said
                                                                            “to get rid of the pain in my mind."
She is fragile and moody at times.  But, she isn't her Bipolar, or her attempt at hurting herself. She is the bravest and strongest person I know. The changes tell us when our loved one is hurting.  Our loved ones sometimes tell us when they are hurting.  And me, her Mom, I was reminded by someone that I did protect her and keep her safe, because I was willing and strong enough to let her be admitted and cared for by people that had the skill to and ability to monitor her every moment until she was better.  But, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
During this Suicide Prevention Week, I ask that you watch closely.
I was only ten feet away. 
That you love those with mental health issues. And most of all, remind yourself that as a family member or friend, you have the strength and obligation to support and love someone that is struggling. 

To those that read this and are struggling, you are loved and you can be strong and you will feel better, if you ask for help.

~A Proud Mom



Worldwide Directory of Suicide Prevention hotlines, online chat, text-lines, and resources
9/11/2013 02:21:43

Oh, poor baby! I can imagine how scary it must be for her to be going through this. She is so young... but she also seems so strong. I first started experiencing depressive episodes around her age, and I didn't understand the pain I felt, either. Tell her that things will get better! Keep doing things she loves and working on that round-off. She seems to be in good hands. You obviously love her so much. Keep pouring that love into her. I wouldn't have made it without my mom. :)

Hugs and love to you all. Everything will be okay.



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