When you child tries to commit suicide….here are some emotions and conclusions you may feel or experience….I know I have felt them…
- · Guilty. You may feel guilty….even when it wasn’t YOU that made your child try to kill themselves, the guilt will swamp you.
- · “Why” questions will assault you – why didn’t I see the signs, why, why, why??? Hind sight is 20/20.
- · You will never feel the same way about your child and life again…..you will be very changed.
- · You will feel like people look at you and say “what is so bad in your home that she would do that?” It is the feeling of guilt again. It goes with your shock of “Not my kid” thinking – but it can happen to anyone. Nothing YOU did or said pushed that edge…
- · You will learn all her close friends feel guilty too….and other family members.
- · You will hopefully realize, suicide is a selfish act – it was their choice, but involves and affects you forever.
- · There is no way to erase it or ignore the cry for help, you HAVE to do what is right for them…and that is hard, very hard….it will tear you to your core when you walk away from the Psychiatric unit….but they need to be there to get the right help. Don’t just try to go on like it didn’t happen.
Teen suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents. It is the 2nd leading cause among college aged youth as well. Kids generally are not in crisis, however, mine was and is always – emotional crisis.
As a parent, you’ll ask “what can you do? Watch for the warning signs of suicide….even if they give you facts like “It takes 52 pills to kill yourself” – despite when asked “are you thinking of doing that?” and they answer no, it is an early warning sign. Also, watch for changes in their behaviors. Friends notice it too – more withdrawn at school from friends, more anger, mood swings. The internet – watch what your kids do and say….we learned soo much dark stuff AFTER the fact we had no idea about. Despite supporting mental health services and reporting these things, it still wasn’t enough for us to stop the attempt she made. Opportunity came knocking at a crisis for another family member, which was the open door that was used. When her coping skills were being challenged and not met – it was the tipping scale in the cry for help.
Lucky. I do feel lucky. Lucky that it was a cry for help that was caught and the attempt failed. Lucky is a word I don’t care for – definitely God had his hand over our family as we found her the help needed and once you are on this path….there is no turning back. Sometimes I think the idea was planted by someone else, but the truth is she acted alone, it was her choice, hers alone.
Just like drugs or alcohol use – you have to talk to your kids about suicide….so if you are reading this and are a parent….talk to your kids today…..let them know there are other ways to get help. Suicide is a desperate act by someone who is in intense pain and want their pain to stop. Over 90% of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death, they simply are not thinking clearly.
Worry – I have worry, can she safely come home and not hurt herself again? How can we continue to monitor her in trusting ways again? She is angry at the ongoing support we’ve put in place. It is like the 7 stages of grief watching her process her treatment now. But without this path, healing can’t come to the level of this professional resource is needed…it is right in fighting to give her the best that we can in all areas of life. In this journey we continue – we ask for your prayers and not your judgement. Until you’ve walked this walk, you don’t know….I see friends, I know they don’t know what to say – no one does.
Last post of the year - while dark, I do have HOPE - that we all Hold On & Pain Ends.
So - bring on 2016 I'm so done with 2015.....