I've been having an internal wrestling match with myself about writing this blog. I decided to go ahead and write it in the hopes that it will be therapeutic for me. And maybe, just maybe, someone can say just the right thing to make it all better. Although I don't know that anything can make it all better.
Today I got a call from Derick's school. He's 12 and in 7th grade. After having encountered an episode that upset him today he made a comment twice that tore my heart out of my chest and made me a blubbering mess. The episode was nothing earth-shattering or really a big deal. But Derick is sensitive and smart and when things don't go the way he plans, he freaks. He told a teacher and his school counselor that he wanted to kill himself.
When a child utters such words, the school is required to do a suicide intervention. They called me first to explain what happened and within 2 minutes I was in my car driving to his school. On my way, I called Derick's psychologist to see what he recommended I do. After assessing Derick, the school counselor and the psychologist determined he was medium-high risk for suicide. When I heard those words I fell apart, My kid? My sweet first born who wouldn't hurt a fly? It was decided that I would take him immediately to the local children’s hospital to the emergency room to be evaluated.
My mom met Derick and I there while we waited to talk to the hospital counselor. I'm so grateful my mom was there, I don't know that I could have kept my shit together without her there. She talked to Derick and told us stories. Since I couldn't leave him alone in the room, she stayed with Derick could I get some lunch from the hospital cafeteria. She was my saving grace.
It was determined that Derick would not require an intake stay at the hospital. He came home with me but is not to be alone until further notice. It's been recommended that I enroll Derick into a 'partial school' for a few weeks. At the partial school they teach kids about coping mechanisms and have counselors that talk with the kids. I need to get more details, but I think we will go this route and then follow up with continued psychiatry appointments and obtain a regular counselor or therapist for Derick. Right now he's sleeping peacefully. Unaware, for the most part I'm sure, what havoc this has created.
A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and mild depression. I suppose his comment was probably only a way to get some attention. I truly don't think he meant he was honestly going to end his life. The counselor at his school and at the hospital agree with me. But we can't be too careful.
It's been a roller coaster ride today and it's not been fun. Not one bit. One the way to the hospital I was visibly upset and Derick tried to comfort me by rubbing my shoulder while I drove. It was so sweet and I just wanted to smack him and tell him that he's not allowed to leave me. I would never be the same if I didn't have Derick in my life. I told him that he has so many experiences that he has yet to encounter. I want him to out live me. I want him to get grey hair and saggy parts. I want him to know the freedom of driving a car. I want him to fail at things and succeed at things. I want him to have a family and to get his first real kiss. I don't want him to stop existing, physically, at 12.
Depression runs deep in my family and I fear the worst. But I hope for the best. I hope to get Derick the help he needs to function and be a happy, well adjusted kid. I can't imagine losing Derick. He's 1/2 of my heart. And I don't think people can function with 1/2 a heart.
Please, if you can, think positive thoughts for my Derick.