As I was finishing yesterday’s post and getting ready to click the Publish button, the phone rang. It was 2:07. Twenty-three minutes left in the school day. I was not sitting in the pickup line as Spouse had texted earlier to say he would pick up Little Man. Yes, school was calling. He had been complaining of an upset/nervous tummy before lunch, per his teacher. He ate all his lunch and was fine when I left school at noon.
The school nurse was calling. I thought it was because of an upset tummy. It wasn’t though. She very calmly told me he was in a very bad way. The wheels had come completely off. He had intimated suicidal thoughts. The school psych had been called to come and evaluate and assess him. They would release him to us only after that was completed. I knew immediately I couldn’t get to him. The entire driveway into school would be full of cars, the parking lot full with multiple cars double-parked. I tearfully told her I would be there as soon as the way cleared. Then I called Spouse and immediately fell apart. He was en route, not in the line yet. I told him what was going on and asked him to come get me. He dropped me off outside of school and I walked in, anxious and terrified.
We’ve been at this school for eight years now. They know us very well, thankfully. I just wanted to get to him, but I didn’t know where he was. As I waited, his SAI walked out, and I lost it. She just grabbed me and held me in a hug. She and the principal led me away from the lobby to the nurse’s office. Then Little Man walked in and calmly asked me what was wrong. He was safe. He was okay. I touched his beautiful face and held him close to me. Spouse walked in, somewhat surprised to see Little Man there with me rather than in a room with the psych.
The events of the afternoon were recounted. He’d become anxious and agitated. He went to the resource room but could not settle. He wandered the room, unable to find anything to calm himself or focus on. And then he blew up. He yelled at his SAI. He was angry, frustrated. He felt isolated and alone. He knows he’s different. He’s perseverating on the potential for taunting from other students (even though that hasn’t happened since the one incident). He’s convinced he’s a bad person who does bad things. He wanted it to end. He wanted it to go away. She asked if he’d felt this way before and he told her about November. He held nothing back. He let it all fly. Per protocol, because he didn’t seem to be safe at the time, they had to call the psych. And then they called us.
He was released to us without the evaluation. We did have to sign a form acknowledging what had happened, and that we would be following up with his own psychiatrist. And then we came home. His psychiatrist was not super helpful the last time we went through this. His answer usually seems to be trying a new medication or upping a dose. We are looking for a new psychiatrist. My boy needs more than he’s getting. So I called his pediatrician. She’s known him his entire life. She has a son exactly like my boy, so she gets it as a mother as well as a doctor. I just ache. He’s ten years old. It breaks me that he hurts so much. It is more than I can take that I can’t just love this away for him.
A ten-year-old boy should only be worrying about the newest video game, whether it will be warm enough for him to ride his bike or scooter, when he will next get to play with his buddy down the street. He shouldn’t be dealing with psychiatrists, multiple medications, endocrinologists, therapists, resource rooms, and social workers much less have suicidal thoughts.
You know, when you have kids who are ten, twelve, and thirteen years old, you’re thinking about where they’re going to middle school, starting to contemplate driving and college visits. It never crossed my mind one of them might not make it that far. I could not let go of that thought last night. I’m terrified. We’ve been able to get him this far, and I have no doubt he is going to be an amazing adult, if we can just get him from here to there. I knew this road was going to be rough, but when he was diagnosed, I never imagined there would be a chance he would go down this road. Then I think about what this is doing to his brother and sister. We have been honest with them what’s going on, but at the same time, I don’t want to overburden them. They are just kids. They don’t need this responsibility or anxiety.
We are thankfully in a much better place this morning. He was calm and happy all evening, playing games with his brother, eating pizza, watching television with us. He read to me before going to bed last night. He didn’t want to talk about what happened, but he did tell me he felt much better. He had just needed to get it all out, which he did with flying colors. His pediatrician did call. She gave us some resources, asked that most importantly we get him to sleep well this weekend. He did not have a “plan” this time, so we relaxed a bit. I do think he did just need to let it all out. It’s been building up for a couple of weeks. I’d asked him to utilize the social worker and SAI at school -that’s what they’re there for, right? He listened. And I’m glad he got it out. He was up somewhat late last night. Melatonin doesn’t help him fall asleep, but once he’s asleep, it helps him stay asleep. He was out until 9:30 this morning.
I have work to do Monday. A new psych needs to be found, and probably a new therapist to go along with it. He has refused any type of support group, but we need more support for him, and for me. I am thankful for friends who were there in the moment of emergency, and who checked in throughout the night as well as this morning. I am thankful for our church family – they’re praying. I am thankful for our school staff…there was an email from his SAI when I woke up this morning asking how we were doing.
You think once it happens once and you survive, you’re going to be able to handle it if and when it happens again. Yeah, not so much. But we’re breathing, and we will get through once again.