I've tried to start this post so many times over the last week. And each time I have given up. The words too difficult to pour forward. Too difficult to write without tears obscuring my vision. And too difficult to imagine what life will be like in the future.
I've mentioned briefly before that Ari was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder earlier this year. But I haven't written much about it since. And my hope is to start doing so in order to just even sort out my own thoughts.
There are days we have no idea what child we will get. Will the sweet, happy child awaken? Or will the dragon child? Will she be happy-go-lucky in the morning only to fall apart after we pick her up from school? And how will the evening go? Endless questions as to what will happen. Each day. Some days or weeks are better than others. We can go weeks without a full blown breakdown. But we can tell when it's starting to build. And we do whatever we can to avoid it, but it happens nonetheless. We manage. We struggle. We cry. And we laugh. We get to ride the roller coaster with her. And it sucks. Plain and simple. Even though I get to ride in the cart with her, I cannot imagine what daily life is truly like for her. Trying to hold herself together during the day at school and then feeling safe enough at night to decompress, even if that means it ends up in a trantrumatic fight. There are days we simply do what we can to help her. And it often doesn't feel as if it's enough.
When she had testing earlier this year, it was brought out that she suffers from low self esteem. Duh, we already knew that. But what we didn't know prior to that is that she sometimes thought she shouldn't be alive because she's not good enough. We were told she didn't have a depressive disorder and didn't understand what suicide really was. Sigh of relief right? That's what we thought. I've told her father that if we cannot help her along her path of life well enough, I can see her developing an eating disorder or becoming a cutter. Suicide is not something that any parent ever wants to imagine their child thinking about, especially at age seven.
However, that is what we have had to think about over the last two weeks. The other weekend, she became very upset at me and during her blow up in her room, she created a card for me. The front was beautiful with pink letters saying "I love you mom" and hearts. The inside left page speaks of being sorry for her actions earlier in the evening. And on the left inside page...."I'm sorry I am so stupid." With a drawing of herself. Putting a sword into her belly with blood dripping down, pooling on the floor.
Yes, that is what we have been dealing with. I had to have a discussion with my seven year old to discover if she was seriously thinking of harming herself while internally freaking out, wondering if we need to hide our knives and take her to the hospital. Through sobbing, I managed to learn that she was not serious about hurting herself, but did think she shouldn't be alive because she is too stupid. I made her promise to not hurt herself and told her we'd discuss it with her counselor. The counselor believes this is just how she is expressing herself. That she does not really understand what truly her photo meant. I cannot tell you how every fiber of my being hopes she is right. Trying to have a discussion about suicide with an intelligent young lady while not trying to teach her about suicide is delicate. No other word for it.
We hear often that no one cares about her, that we don't love her. I can tell her until I am blue in the face that I love her and she's the most beautiful and special girl and she doesn't believe me. Makes one feel like a huge fat failure as a parent that's for sure. It makes us wonder what lays ahead for her, for us. And makes us wish that things could be easier for her.
It's been a great week this week. I'm sure the high's and low's will continue. We'll have more fights. There will be more laughs, more awesome moments. Those make the unbearable days more bearable.