Educating the world about Reactive Attachment Disorder through experience, hope, humor and love.
(Warning: nothing here should be taken as medical advice)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Saddest. Day. Ever.

Sometimes we really have no idea what is going on inside somebody elses head. Even if we think we do, and we try really hard to, if you haven’t lived it you just can’t fathom it. For example, if you have never experienced an episode of major depression, you don’t realize just how debilitating it can be. It’s not something you can just smile your way out of. I was reminded of this just recently.

I was watching a movie called Wake Wood. Without giving it away, it’s about a couple who loses their daughter in a tragic accident and moves to WakeWood where there is a Pagan priest who offers to bring their daughter back to life for 3 days. At a price of course, but that isn’t the point. I hate movies like this. They always make me think of how I would feel if I lost my daughter(s).

So it was time for my daughter to check her blood sugar levels for the final time of the night and I mentioned this to her – that I was watching this horrible movie about a mom and dad that lost their daughter and how horrible I would feel if I lost her. How much I would miss her and just couldn’t imagine how terrible it would be. She quickly began making a joke of it, saying things like “oh you know you’d be happy, you’d probably have a party”. I was shocked. I told her that I was serious, that I wouldn’t miss anybody more than her but she kept on with her “you’d be really happy” dialogue.

After a couple of minutes I asked her if she was joking… I mean, she couldn’t possibly feel that way right? Her answer was “sort of”. I knew that wasn’t a lie. I know when she’s lying about her feelings and she was dead serious. Deep down inside of her, there is a part of her that truly believes nobody would miss her, nobody would be upset if she were to die.

How heartbreaking is that? To hear something like that come from your own flesh and blood. It bothered me all night long and I slept horribly. I haven’t always been the most attentive parent (untreated major depression will do that), but I’ve always been there for her, have always done things I felt were best for her, and have always thought we had this bond.. a bond I have with no others (I have a bond with my other daughter too – just as strong, but different). So for her to feel this way just blew me away. That’s how deeply she was affected by the trauma she suffered as a baby. It was a brief glimpse into the dark inner workings deep in her mind, and I felt powerless. And sad.

I had a long discussion with her caseworker at the day treatment center, and she says this isn’t uncommon among children who have gone through what she has. That all we can do is keep showing her that she’s worthy of our love and care, that we’re there for her, that she doesn’t have to be alone. But ultimately it has to come from within her.

As we ramp up to possibly move out of state, her behavior is similarly ramping up. However, along with that have been several major breakthroughs – this being one of them. Certainly there’s some good to be had from this. It’s information we can use to help her continue to heal. But in the meantime, wow….

Just. Wow.

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