I believe you baby, I know you wouldn’t lie
Like a dog won’t bark, like a bird won’t fly
Yeah pretty little baby, you’re a weapon with eyes
I know what you want, but it’s a surprise
Let me up – I’ve had enough
………………………………….Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
I am trying to figure out if I have reached a breaking point and am prepared to step back or walk away completely. I am struggling because we have been through so much with her, have fought so hard and have endured with the mindset of “this in mental health” and “she’s our child” and “we will never give up on her”, but in the last six weeks or so some things have been coming to a head and that have me wondering if it is time to tap out, to say “Let me up – I’ve had enough”.
When your daughter spends an enjoyable weekend with her family and ends it by alleging that we were so drunk (my wife and I don’t drink) that she had to care for her disabled sister is that the enough?
When your daughter calls her mother a fucking asshole and that it was too bad she didn’t die when she had cancer (my wife is a cancer survivor) is that enough?
When your daughter spends time with you, runs up and literally jumps on top of you because she is so happy to see you and then proceeds to tell everyone else that things aren’t going well with her parents in that enough?
When the system gives her a lawyer who caters to her every whim and gives her lies and delusions a legal voice, a CAS child worker who she is able to manipulate (the same child worker who believes that she has my daughter under control), a mental health system that allows a treatment center to abandon her when things became difficult and now can’t help because of consent issues is that enough?
When the only psychiatrist she is allowed to see when she is taken to hospital by police and/or EMS refuses to listen to anyone else’s opinion (including other Psychiatrists) and contradicts himself by first blaming us and later saying that she needs to be locked up for her own protection, but can’t/won’t try to have her placed in secure treatment is that enough?
When the mentally ill child is allowed to refuse treatment that you have fought so hard to get her, is offered space in the child protection system even though she needs help not protection and the system is shutting you out and allowing her to happily careen out of control is that enough?
When your daughter appears to be working directly with a cop who doesn’t know the facts or the backstory, seems to believe all of the lies that my daughter is spewing (did I mention pseudologia fantastica) and is not only enabling her but conspiring to become one big happy foster family is that enough?
The answer is that I don’t know for sure, but for the first time in this descent into hell I am contemplating giving up. I have often wondered “what’s the point”, have thought “why do we keep banging our heads against the wall” and have wanted to scream at my daughter “why are you doing this to us”, but it has always come back to she’s my daughter, she needs help and that this isn’t her it is mental health.
What’s different now? Part of it is an accumulation of things, death by a thousand cuts, the straw that broke the camel’s back or whatever cliché you would like to use. Part of it is that I feel like a dog that has been beaten down so many times that I can’t muster the energy to stand up and growl so I just want to lay down and whimper. Perhaps it is just finally sinking in that despite two years of fighting, scratching, clawing, begging and pleading for help we can’t do anything.
The straw that broke my back? Realizing that your child wants a new “family” because her parents care too much and want her to get help. Realizing that everything in the legal, healthcare, mental health and child protection world is lined up to let it happen. Realizing that maybe not seeing her will hurt less and let me heal before I break. Maybe, but can I do it and if I do will it break me completely.