For the last few weeks, I’ve been haunted by fearful thoughts. If I’m honest, I’ve had these fearful thoughts for four years, ever since the first time Little Man told us life was too hard, hurt too much, and it would be better if he were dead. Once someone you love tells you those particular words, and has a plan for how to go about it, you never, ever forget. It’s always there. It can’t be un-said. It can’t be taken away.
We talk frequently about “getting him to the other side” of growing up, getting him to adulthood, when maybe he will better be able to use all his tools, when life and all that comes with being a kid/teen are just easier. I want so badly for life to be easier for him, or at least for him to be able to do it better, handle it better. I keep hearing if we can get him to that point, it will be easier. He will be more capable of processing, dealing, tolerating.
But can we get him to the other side? Ever since the first time he talked about ending his life, I can’t get past the fear we’re never going to get him there. Every time he gets in a dark place, I am terrified. What if it’s today? What if this thing is that last thing, the one thing that is just too much for him? I am fearful every day. It’s always there, even if I’m not specifically thinking about it, I can almost just feel this layer that won’t go away.
Can we get him to the other side? What is the likelihood? And what will it take to get him there? How many times do we have to go into emergency mode? How many phone calls will I get from school? We check in with his psychiatrist every six months. He has been and will be seeing a private therapist. We monitor medications and any changes that might need to be made. We make sure he knows how much we love him, how much our family needs him. I’m always afraid it isn’t enough, and then sometimes I get angry when I worry it isn’t enough. Aren’t we enough for him to want to be here?
He is okay now. He’s come out of that place he was in a couple of weeks ago. He’s smiling, laughing, engaged, content. His outbursts and meltdowns have gone back to normal level. His tears and depression have gone back to normal levels. But that level of fear in my heart remains. Can we get him to the other side? What will it take to get him to the other side? Are we enough? Is what we’re doing enough? And will this fear ever go away?