I love my children so fiercely. I can’t imagine being in this world without them.
But today, my home is absent one child and her absence is felt.
I feel it when its dark out and she doesn’t come out of her room for one last hug or a complaint of “I can’t sleep.”
I feel it when its bedtime for Scooby and she doesn’t appear at his door, arms wide, then clobbers him in bed with a goodnight hug.
I feel it at dinnertime when no one is complaining about what I cooked or what I put in the meal or what I put on her plate or how soft the veggies are.
I feel it throughout the day when I realize that I can open a bag of chips and it will still be there tomorrow because she won’t be sneaking it and devouring the whole bag in one swoop.
It’s a week day, which normally means school, but it’s a teacher workday. I am keenly reminded of her absence as the bright and sunny day has all the neighborhood children outside playing. She’s not coming out of her room (Where she’s been grounded to) every 5 minutes for a drink of water or to say something she absolutely can’t forget.
No. I am keenly reminded that Saturday morning after a psychotic rage that could have resulted in hurting her little brother very seriously and after grabbing a knife and threatening to kill herself to avoid punishment, she has been placed in a mental health facility for 5-10 days.
I know that she is getting proper care there. I know that this is a good step because they can observe her behavior and give her the help she needs to be herself again–the self I know is hiding underneath all the chaos. The self I know she can be because I get glimpses of her every once in awhile.
It was the hardest thing in the world to watch them take my child, even though there was no fight (she wanted to go). It’s a hard thing to have a new fear wondering how far will she go next time to avoid punishment? Will she hurt herself? Will she hurt me? Will she hurt Scooby?
It’s a hard thing to have to protect one child from another. I’m going to confess here too, that it is so hard parenting a child like her, putting up with her abuse (yes, she is verbally abusive to both me and GC. )
And I feel a whole lot of guilty for feeling a little relieved that its quiet, that there’s no chaos, and that for the first time in years, I feel relaxed. I shouldn’t feel guilty, but she’s my kid. I’m doing the best I can in parenting her, but I feel guilty just the same.
I will get through those moments when my heart hurts because she isn’t here. Scooby will be okay without his hero for a few days. Jellybean will be okay, too. I’ve got some powerful Prayer Warriors on my side (and that’s you, too!). Just pray for us. I already know He’s waiting on the other side of the storm.