Today finally saw myself and Emily waiting for our assessment at the residential unit. Emily became more and more nervous so we tried to make light of our situation by laughing at theTV. I'd never had to sit through an episode of 'In the night garden' before. It seemed to revolve around lots of charactors with too short arms trying to use a ball, still it provided light relief.
We were taken further into the warren like passages by a Nurse and a Specialst Doctor. They were both very kind and apologised for keeping us waiting. Emily was very sullen and for while kept her head down and angled away from the Doctor. I sat next to her and held her hand, the hand with the felt heart keyring in it.
The Doctor wanted to know why we were asking for help.
I started to speak about the 'episodes', the self harm, the voices, the people she thinks she see's, the fact that she can rarely leave the house and if she does, it needs to be with me. I explained that she can no longer go to school or see the one friend she has left. I described what its like when her legs are kicking out in pain, when she screams 'mummy they're coming for me!' 'mummy they're hurting me, make it stop!!' I explained that these were the times you would see her with handfuls of her own hair tightly clenched in her clawed hands.
Amongst my input, Emily managed a few words of her own before the Doctor moved on to why this was happening.
Between us we told her story once more. We told of the confident girl who left her junior school and unbeknown to me, was teased even on transistion days to the new Comprehensive. We spoke about the verbal taunts and name calling which started pretty much straight away. We relived the pushing and kicking from boys and girls in the corridors between lessons, which happened several times a week throughout year 7. I told the story of things being thrown at her in the classroom.
I explained the additional problems resulting from a forced change in her friendship group, which resulted in people Emily had called friends being nasty and vindictive. I talked about the facebook bullying, the BBM bullying and the liveprofile bullying. Finally Emily spoke about the year 11 boys who attacked her, got her by the throat and hurt her. It was clear to see the shock on the faces of the Doctor and Nurse when I explained school did nothing to help.
Emily was really starting to struggle by now, through her tears she kept asking to go home. I sat closer, explaining that we wouldn't be long, but we needed to talk if we were going to get her better. I told her how well she had done.
They asked about suicide. Emily has often said she had made plans but didn't want to tell me what they were. Today she finally agreed to speak about them, but only after I said she could say in front of me and I wouldn't be upset. Her preferred methods are taking an overdose, drinking something toxic or hanging herself in the local woods. I did as I promised, I didn't get upset. To be honest I didn't feel anything, it feels like its nothing new, these are methods I guess are the most common, shocking yes, but still common. In my heart I don't think she would do it, but I may be wrong. I manage the risk by never letting her be alone, except when she's in her room and even then I'm monitoring the situation.
The outcome of the meeting was that they could take her as a resident, but felt that Emily was too dependent on me and to remove me so completely would be counterproductive. I have to say I agree. The Doctor looked me in the eye and said if I couldn't cope and needed her to go in as a resident this was possible. I am struggling, really struggling, but I didn't want them to know that. I couldn't put Emily through that just because I'm not strong enough, I will have to cope.
So we settled on Emily going every morning and coming home every afternoon, a bit like school hours. Unfortunately, whilst there is room in the residential side of the unit, there isn't in the day only provision. We now need to wait for a place in the next few weeks. So it is likely that when other children start their summer break, Emily will be starting her days at the unit.
We left feeling drained.
Later, at home, I spoke to Emily about the outcome of people who overdose with the likes of paracetamol, she thought they would kill her, I explained the reality.
So are we there yet? No, not really.
- Mum of 2, suffering my own mental health issues, I began to write this blog as a way to release feelings and emotions. At 13 my daughter was terribly bullied which has led to her having serious mental health problems of her own. She is now 16. I wanted to document our journey and hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come.