It’s been a very difficult six weeks. The maiden has, on a few occasions, said she wants to kill herself. And while I’m not sure she truly understands what it would really mean if she killed herself, I know she is likely overwhelmed and wants the stress and confusion and changes to end.
When we sat down to look at what has been happening in her life, it’s no wonder she has become overwhelmed:
- In June she moved out of the home, in a small village, she has lived in for eleven years and away from me. She moved to an apartment in a city with her grandmother, to prepare for College.
- Just before moving out, her best (and only friend) had a stroke and was in the hospital in a coma for most of nine weeks, suffered a series of strokes while in the hospital and died, at 25 years of age, in September.
- Over the summer, as she tried to adjust to a new way of life, without friends, in a big city, she we had some worrisome times while she out at night without us knowing. developed an addiction to scratch tickets, and spent most of her money every week buying scratch tickets. One night she thought someone was following her, so she ran back to the store and the staff called the police.
- She also spent a lot of her time on an on-line computer game. She experienced some “bullying” from some players, as she doesn’t always understand the nuances of rules and doing things when helping other players she shouldn’t have been doing.
- Her cell phone was stolen.
- One of our cats (which we had for ten years) died.
- She fell down the stairs on her birthday and fractured her ankle – so spent the next four weeks in a cast.
- She started College. The program, although for students with a developmental disability, did not offer much support for the first few weeks – so the faculty could assess what support was required by each student. However, leaving the maiden without support meant failure to accommodate and she started to refuse to get up, was leaving early or walking out of classes
- Her grandmother had two cataract surgeries, so at two different points over the summer, the maiden was asked to take on a few more duties around the house and I started a new job so was not available 24/7.
All of this is happening without any community supports. We are still on the wait list for Developmental Services Ontario funding and services. Until we get that, there are no community services to help. We are still on the wait list for a psychiatrist who specializes in serving people with developmental disabilities so we can have her medications reviewed.
So – once we looked at everything that was happening, we realized no wonder she is feeling overwhelmed. That’s enough for anyone to cope with – let alone someone who has trouble processing regular life.
We also met with the faculty of the College and the Counseling Department. The program coordinator has made some changes, added more check ins and support for the maiden, and the counsellor has made some enquiries to find out if we can get hooked up to some interim mental health programs while we wait for DSO.
Hopefully we have ridden this wave and crisis and are on the way to smoother waters for the next little while. So, I hope you will excuse me for not having posted in the last six weeks. Most nights I’ve been exhausted and couldn’t find the strength to be creative.
During this time, I heard a song written by Chester Bennington of Linkin Park as a tribute to Chris Connell of Soundgarden who died by suicide in May. Chester took his life on what would have been Chris’ birthday. The song is hauntingly beautiful and the lyrics are more poignant given that Chester could not find the light to take away the darkness that he sung about. I played the video tonight for the maiden and I cried. I told her I did not want her to take her life. No matter how difficult life is, I will always be there for her.
I couldn’t figure out how to upload the video: so here is the link One More Light I chose the video of the performance on Jimmy Kimmel live as it is a powerful version.
What do you say to someone who is suicidal? I’ve read articles and suggestions of what to say, what not to say. I myself in my earlier life felt suicidal. The only thing that stopped me was my fear of the act itself. I’ve never told the maiden. I don’t think she would let fear stop her. She is impulsive. And that’s the fear I have that if things get too much, she would do it on an impulse. And I couldn’t help her fix that.
All I could do was play this song for her. Cry. Hug her. Tell her how much her life means to me. How things will get better. To hang on. And that I would care if her light went out. I don’t want her light to go out. I don’t know if that is enough however.