Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It Scares Me

My son pulled me aside and told me that he had a bad thought of wanting to hurt himself. He didn’t have a reason for it, he didn’t have a plan of how to do it or why the thought popped into his head, it was just a passing thought.

After he told me, he said he felt better and was ok. I encouraged him, as I’ve done in the past, to always tell me when he has these thoughts and told him it’s best to be around others and not alone when he feels this way. I tried to explain that it’s just his brain making a mistake and sending him the wrong information and that it was so important that he never acts on those feelings.

He seemed to feel better by letting me know and was ready to play again. But for me, I felt sick to my stomach. I felt scared for him, terrified that these random thoughts could slip into his head. He wasn’t depressed, angry or feeling embarrassed or ashamed. He was just hanging out watching tv.

That’s what scares me, that we won’t see it coming and can’t help him when he needs it most. I’ve read personal accounts of where people commit suicide when things appeared good on the outside. Is this what happens to them? Do these bad thoughts just pop into their heads?

I’m scared for my son’s future, what will he do when he’s older and living alone and a bad thought of hurting himself comes to mind, will he act on it? Will these thoughts he has today, become much more threatening, lingering for hours or days? Is what I see today a precursor of something much worse tomorrow?

I know that I can’t be by my son’s side every minute of the day, but I’m still his Mommy and I want to protect my son in every way possible, even if it’s from himself. But at the end of the day, I honestly feel like I’m not enough when it comes to protecting my son, I feel completely inadequate against a disorder that strikes in unexpected ways at unexpected times, I feel like I’m up against an invisible monster that’s trying to take my son away and it scares me.

Can you relate?

13 comments:

  1. ((hugs)) As an adult you have the wisdom to know not to act on the impulsive and destructive thoughts. The thoughts become just a distant annoying idea. I have not acted on self harm in over 5 years. Now I rarely have those thoughts but unfortunately they are a common occurrence with mental illness.

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  2. Yes I can relate. I agree with In the Pink though. The more practice he has now, with your help, in dealing with these thoughts and recognizing that they are the results of his illness--the better he will deal with them in the future. I have to believe this.

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  3. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I know exactly how you feel, and wonder the same. I don't trust myself to be enough, but my trust in God is absolute! I have to believe that He will protect my son.

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  4. I can relate all too well. My son tells me how much he hates his behavior and himself, and when my daughter was hospitalized I found out she thinks of suicide every week...and we had no idea.

    It is very scary, but I have to hope that we will be there and give them the tools they need to get her through.

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  5. First, I want to send you ((((hugs)))))
    Second, I have so much to say, but so little time. I'll have to come back or send an email. :)

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  6. Yes, yes, yes...I feel what you describe all the time. But it's positive that your son told you he was thinking about hurting himself. As others have said, I think you're doing a great job of helping him to understand and work through his scary feelings. Hopefully, the better equipped he is to deal with this stuff now, the better he'll be able to handle it as an adult when you can't always be there for him.

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  7. Yes, this just happened to us this week and I just spoke to my son's therapist about it. My son told me he wanted to run in front of a car and hurt himself. He has never shown any risky behaviors like doing something like that, but he has said things like that before. When I have mentioned it to his psychiatrist, the psychiatrist gets all in a tizzy and has recommended inpatient hospitalization the two times before. Problem is...it was a fleeting statement and within a few minutes he was back to "himself" and not another word is mentioned. So, how do I know when it is going to be real? It scares me...what will his future be like? I has a coworker whose 30 year old son last week committed suicide...all week I have thought--will that be in our future? It is terrible and very scary!

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  8. Anonymous-I know what you mean about not knowing when the thoughts are actually going to lead to something real. My son also bounces back quickly. If he was stuck in those thoughts, we would obviously take him to the doctors, but when they're just passing thoughts, I don't want to traumatize him over it, making him afraid to express himself when it's more serious.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your coworker's son, it's just so sad.

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  9. I started dealing with this when my oldest was 5, then my other son. My oldest is now 14 & my younger now 13. You are doing just great. The more he knows he can come to you, he will & when it is most vital & you will be there. Hang in there mom. www.myfruityfamily.com Sonya

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  10. Sonya-Thank you for your encouraging words.

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  11. You are already doing the best thing which is to honest with your son and know that he feels comfortable telling you these things. Also, if he ever feel uncomfortable saying it, he can write it to you. That's what my daughter does. Find a good therapist that you can talk to on a regular basis, and most importantly one that your son can relate to. Keep reaching out to blogs like this where people can suport you. It is so important. Keep up the great work!

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  12. I can somewhat relate to this. When I was about 5 or so I used to get terrible suggestions of things like this.. Except about my parents.. just totally random. It would pop into my mind while say the parents were reading a book or something. Haunts me to this day, that I ever had such thoughts. Hope they never return.

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  13. Anonymous- I can imagine that was very scary and unsettling for you.

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