My daughter was 3 at the time, and we spent so much of our time locked in my room together.
I feared for everyone. My son, my daughter, my unborn baby, and myself. The night I phoned the crisis line, I felt completely defeated. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor, sobbing and sobbing. I felt like I had failed. I couldn’t take care of anyone.
When I was on the phone with the crisis line, I couldn’t catch my breath.
I couldn’t stop crying. I was trying to answer all their questions and keep everyone safe. I was drenched in sweat. I remember feeling like I wanted to lay down and close my eyes, and not have to open them. My son marched his way up the stairs ready to throw something, and I had to hang up the phone.
Fifteen minutes later, my doorbell rang.
I opened it to find the RCMP standing there. Never in my life had I had an encounter with them before. As soon as I opened the door and saw them, my heart started beating so hard, it literally hurt. I couldn’t slow it down. I couldn’t believe they were there. My tears flowed into streams, and I couldn’t stop crying. I’m not sure if I was relieved they were there or if I was terrified.
I always had had this fear of losing my children.
I had thought that I was an awful mother, and the RCMP were going to take them away from me. But, at that particular moment, I really just wanted everything to stop. To say I felt like a failure would be a complete understatement. An officer went to speak with my son in his room, and the other spoke with me. The crisis line had contacted them, and they were following up with me. Admitting out loud that I really didn’t know what to do, made me feel awful. What kind of parent doesn’t know what to do? What kind of parent can’t keep their children safe?
After they had left, my husband was home shortly after, and I remember I had a warm bath. I thought my life was over. I wasn’t ever going to experience happiness. I had wondered if maybe I just didn’t deserve happiness.
A month later I was in the hospital with pregnancy related complications.
I had had high blood pressure for too long and I had to go in. I had been told to keep the stress levels to a minimum out of safety concerns for my unborn baby. I couldn’t. I lived in fear all the time. I lay in the hospital bed feeling like the worst mother in the world. And, it was my birthday. My family was falling a part, and I didn’t know how to keep it together.
I went home with my unborn baby to face it all again. It felt like they were sending me into a fire and telling me not to burn. It wasn’t possible. I couldn’t not stress. My house was a war zone every day. My son angry beyond words, and no one knew how to help us.
We got him in for an emergency psychiatric assessment and again, the same conclusion.
He’s smart. The problem must be me. I felt so much anger upon hearing that, I just didn’t even know what to do. My head started playing tricks on me, making me believe that I was the problem. That somehow, I was making this all up. Maybe, none of it was real, and it was all in my head.
The baby was born, and I can’t even tell you how many times I spent afternoons locked in the main floor bathroom or my bedroom with him and my daughter, trying to calm down my oldest.
Trying to reason with him. Trying to understand his anger. His fury. His rage was so intense, he never felt pain. Nothing stopped him. I was not prepared to be a mother to 3 children. I felt like they were all losing out. They needed me, and I didn’t know how to give them what they needed. I didn’t know how to help my oldest through whatever he was going through. I didn’t know how to help him understand what was going on with him. I didn’t understand. Everyday I would give him a hug and kiss when I tucked him in, and for those few seconds, I’d forget how we spent our day together.
His blue eyes would sparkle and dance in the light of his lamp, and I was looking at my newborn baby again.
The one I had welcomed into the world 6 years before. I’d tuck him in all tight, snug as a bug, I’d say. And I’d tell him, “there isn’t anything you could do that would make me not love you.” And, we’d wake up the next day, and start all over again.
Stay tuned next week for the next post.
If you missed the first one, don’t forget to check it out over HERE.