She needed help and fast.
I was left no choice but to take her to A & E – even though it meant she could be taken away from me I knew I had to put her needs first.
A decision no parent should have to face.
It feels so bitter for me; this time six years ago I was at this very hospital with PDA daughter as she entered the world.
It was just her and me and she was cradled up, looking perfect.
The only worry I had back then was if I was feeding her correctly or if I could move away from her hospital crib to go to the toilet.
It was all so new and fresh and I was on cloud nine.
She was tiny and untouched by this over powering world.
But this time we are here on terms I would never have deemed possible.
You think of the ‘what ifs’ when they are born.
What if she doesn’t put on weight?
What if I dropped her?
What if somebody stole my baby?
Never once did I think to myself what if she had a disability so bad that it would riddle her mental health – so much so that she would be admitted to hospital for not only her safety but the safety of those closest around her?
Or that she would be assessed and deemed high risk and have management plans to deal with her unpredictable state of mind.
These are concepts completely foreign to me and things that I have to learn to live with.
I look at her right now in her hospital bed so peaceful and serene, so in touch with her surroundings.
It feels like we have been on a roller coaster and it has somehow paused for just a moment. Being in this bubble has restored some inner calm, but we both know it’s only a temporary solution.
We need to still go back out again into the big bad world and to face being warriors again.
Did it have to come to this?
Why did nobody listen to me from the beginning?
I’m so mixed up right now.
I feel so angry and frustrated at a system and a world that has contributed to both of our demises.
I’m jealous of my own life I had before; of the freedom that has disappeared and the prisoner I’ve become.
But most of all, I’m sad.
I’m broken by the child I witness in so much pain and distress.
Friends and family keep asking if I’m ok – they fear that I’m falling shortly behind PDA child and I’m swiftly on the edge.
On the day I took her to A & E my own mum looked at me frantically – she was concerned that I was not capable of looking after myself, let alone three small infants.
I had stopped still, unable to carry on, quietly in my own solitude as the chaos continued to spin around me.
My mum told me there and then to make a call to cancel an upcoming TAF meeting – she felt it would be the final straw to send me over.
Ironic really as the team around a family should make things feel better and not frustrate or isolate us further.
The continual fight when you feel trapped in a corner is contributing to my own destruction.
I’m not saying I don’t have fight, or that I don’t have spirit, but when you are forced into a defensive mode most of the time it can send anyone over the edge.
More importantly, it’s zapping me of valuable energy sources that are already on the brink of depletion from parenting at the extreme.
A system around me should be beneficial and not contributing to the problem.
Forgetting my own need for tranquility, what actually sent her over the edge?
How did we enter this crisis point?
In actual fact it has just been a steady incline of events which culminated recently by her telling us, “I want to die.”
She was still aged five.
She actively tried to pursue this desire.
At first, she tried to throw herself out of a window. It had safety locks on so this didn’t work. She then slapped herself around the face and hit her head against the wall and when that all failed she hung on the banister to fall down the stairs.
She said I shouldn’t have born her with this brain – it’s all my fault.
Finally, she picked up a butter knife and started making marks on her arms.
All of this was being witnessed by two small cousins and a four year old sister, the latter of which was panic stricken and crying “mummy, I don’t want my sister to die!”
They are affected, we as parents are affected, her grandparents are affected.
That night she cried in bed that she didn’t want to go back to school and here was my major mistake – I carried on sending her into an environment that she is unable to fit into.
So she school refused and when I finally coaxed her into the grounds, she absconded.
And what is even more unbelievable is that I still have a fight on my hands to find her an appropriate placement. Is not acting upon suicidal thoughts enough evidence for the local authority?!?
On the day we came to hospital, I was at my wit’s end.
I was unable to manoeuvre around incidents and navigate the realm of our delicate ship.
Instead, we were all sinking and I was powerless to keep anyone afloat. We needed medical intervention and fast.
When you have a child who is unable to smile anymore, who punches and kicks at anyone, or screams at a baby sibling as soon as they murmur, violently trying to attack them with no obvious trigger, you know that things can’t carry on.
When you have pleaded to every service possible and nobody listens.
When you are crying silently inside, please help me.
When you want to give up, but can’t.
When you dream of running away as far as possible, but you can’t.
When you feel trapped in your own mental prison just as much as your child is in theirs.
It was time to say enough is enough, we can’t do this alone anymore. We have tried our best as a family, but the what ifs have become too much of a reality.
Who needs it most?
They say she needs to go to rehab…
She says NO, NO, NO.