On Thursday I bought my daughter home from hospital. I have mixed feelings about this: the unit she was in is definitely the best we have experienced so far in terms of education, extra curricular activities and psychiatric care…in fact, the lead psychiatrist was fabulous!
However, they failed to spot her ability to blind sight them and they were suitably encouraged by her assurances that being in hospital this time had made her realise that she needs to aim for recovery, that it was a shock to her system almost. During the CPA, I fought hard not to roll my eyes at these statements! When they said she was not sectionable, I bit my tongue because I know if they dig a bit deeper she is very sectionable. I would normally have stepped in before this and made them very aware that she is “good at this bit” but where has that got us before?
In the past, this would have spiralled at this juncture and she would end up being sectioned and then we have months of institutionalisation as she battles to come home and then can’t cope in the community and then sees life as even more pointless and then ends up back in hospital. Right now, she is playing the game and wants to go back to school and try and get an ounce of normality into her life: who am I to argue with that, to dismiss this tiny bit of hope?
Maddy is no less suicidal than when she went into hospital just over a week ago. I have spent a lot of time this week researching the differences between Passive and Active Suicidality: I now have a reasonable grasp of each one but I also know that someone can switch from passive to active in an instant….and therein lies the risk. However, whilst passive suicidality exists, it can be built on, worked with. That is what I have chosen to do.
If you think I am taking an undue risk, (I mean, let’s face it, isn’t she safer in hospital if she is truly suicidal?) let me assure you, this thought has dominated my every moment in the past week or so. But ultimately, hospitalisation wont change the outcome: only Maddy can do that. I have learnt whilst on this journey that it has little bearing what I do, what I say or what I hope for: my daughter has an illness and I can fight with every ounce of my being to protect her but ultimately the decision to live or die will be hers. If you doubt this, consider those bereaved parents who have already lost a precious child to suicide: could they have prevented it? Of course, they will always wonder themselves if they could, but ultimately, they fought just as hard as I am to keep their child alive. Some of us succeed, some of us don’t, but our actions are so rarely an influencer on the final act.
So my choice, for my child, is to let her explore the option of being in a safe, loving environment, where she can socialise with her friends and be constantly reminded of her self worth and value; to be told how much she enriches our lives and how precious she is to us. We will continue to do this in the hope that it makes a difference; in the hope that we succeed…..ultimately, hope is all we have.
Stay Strong x