Anything but that. Seriously…anything.

When Carter is coming down from a rage episode, after he’s done screaming and cussing and trying to claw his face off, he sometimes looks into my eyes, and says, cold as a dead fish, “I’m going to kill myself someday.”

The prayers that start moving through my body when he says that are jibbering, tiny birds, banging around inside my ribcage: Not that; please God, never that. Never. I can’t survive that. Please, God, what do I do? What do I do? WhatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdo?

What I do is look back into his face and say, firmly, “I will never let you do that. I love you and want you here with me, in our family.” I say this with conviction, but I know that he won’t always be a 50 pound, 7 year old child. Right now we can protect him from himself, but there will come a time when we can’t. God help us, sometime in the next 6-7 years, he’s going to have testosterone flooding him from ears to toes.

We’re living in the desert, nothing but sand in every direction. There are no landmarks, nothing to give us some idea what comes next. Oh, yeah, I know, I know, nobody knows what comes next. Yeah, I get it. But most of the time, we kind of do know. Yes, something could suddenly happen, but it probably won’t. Us? Will Carter grow up and become an independent adult? Or will he end up in prison? Will he need us to take care of him forever? Will he need an institution to take care of him forever? Will he even survive?

And wow, ain’t I just a ray of sunshine? A suicidal 7 year old will do it every time. Tomorrow is Gaudete Sunday (joy and rejoicing) and I’m supposed to talk for 10 minutes during the sermon. Methinks I could struggle, writing joyful words tonight.

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Anything but that. Seriously…anything.

One thought on “Anything but that. Seriously…anything.

  1. Oh, Adrienne, honey. It took me three tries to get through this post. I kept bursting into tears. Ry turned seven on a pediatric psych ward. It was his first hospital stay, seven excruciatingly long days away from my baby to hear the dreaded words “He has BiPolar Disorder” the day after his seventh birthday. I was devastated. The hospital stay was precipitated by exactly what you were describing- mind-boggling rages followed by terrifying suicide threats. When one of those episodes happened IN his psychiatrists office, we admitted him. I was a single mom then, just me and Ry and his little sister, and I remember crying so hard while I signed the paperwork that I couldn’t see where I was signing.

    Fast-forward seven years, and we’ve had three more hospital stays, and one stay at a residential treatment facility this past November (for the whole month of November). Ry’s a lot better off now than before he went into the treatment center (and it was a fantastic place. He really liked it there, and I was happy with it too. It felt like a home, not an institution.), and he freely admits that he’s glad he went. He was asking, BEGGING, to go in when he did. There is NOTHING more gut wrenching than listening to your child desperately plead with you to help them save them from themselves.

    Please, please, please know that emails are more than welcome as you continue to move forward with Carter. Things will be rough, but there will be moments and stretches of joy, triumph, and happiness, too. I’m more than happy to chat about where we’ve been with Ry, and how we got through it- sounds like our guys have some things in common.

    My prayers go out to you and your family, and especially to Carter. He’s a strong kiddo, with so much love surrounding him. He’ll make it.

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