I’m feeling pretty shattered at the moment and rather numb. The saying ‘the journey is never linear’ is so true. The bubble has burst and I’m really not ready to accept it. Nope, nope, nope. Jessie’s upward trajectory was going so well, and to sound as catastrophic as it feels, that trajectory has taken a downward nosedive. The future that I was seeing for her hasn’t just hit a brick wall, it’s been splattered all over it.
I can’t believe we’re back here again. I really don’t know how to deal with things, other than to go backwards and start again. Only this time it feels worse because I know the road, and worry I don’t have it in me to travel it again. It’s hard for me as a person, but even harder as a mum.
Jessie was taken to ER Tuesday night after I dragged her fighting off the balcony where she was threatening suicide. I haven’t needed to call 000 for an ambulance for years. I’d forgotten the intensity of multiple police cars arriving first, and their occupants seemingly filling our small unit. Once the ambulance arrived, she went off quietly with the officers. One thing that was different about this time, was that I didn’t go to the hospital. Maybe it’s Jessie’s age now, but the constable told me (as I knew) that they would just send her home if I was there, so better I not be. Trying to parent Jessie was broadly the trigger, so I’m sure that was a factor in his suggestion too! Feeling deadened and way in over my head, I wasn’t going to disagree with him.
Things have gone horribly wrong since Jessie’s major disappointment after her NFTA Showcase a couple of weeks ago. She was really hoping to qualify to attend the AUSCAAS (Australian Convention of Actors and Artists), but only a select few did. She was awarded 2 honorary awards for her performances, which was better than some. Her feedback was also really positive and useful. Sadly her disappointment blinded her from her achievements. Disappointment has never been something she’s handled well. That burst bubble has spiralled her down to a very self destructive place.
The Sunday night previous saw her leave home for a few hours after an argument about cleaning up after herself. None of her friends knew where she was, and although I did track her down at a local park, she wasn’t coming home. I was worried sick. And annoyed at the lengths she was prepared to go to, to avoid washing the bloody dishes! The ultimatum came in after midnight via text, we agreed not to talk to each other that night, and home she came. Much to my relief of course, however things can’t go on like this.
The last two weeks of tafe have been missed and the crunch really comes on Monday. If Jessie doesn’t go back then, her counsellor agrees that she won’t make it back. Too much time passed, too much prac and class work missed. I need to find a place where I can be accepting of either outcome, not just the one I obviously want for her. The only way to do that is to have no expectations. I haven’t yet succeeded in separating hope from expectation in these situations. Trying to keep my feelings neutral is very difficult. Does any parent find it possible??!
To add, she’s also quit her job. It’s been a massive crash from the positive direction Jessie was taking. As her counsellor said, she has complex mental health issues and a strong personality and we really don’t know what her future looks like. It’s heartbreaking, however that personality could really help her if she’d let it.
It’s so difficult to manage and I’ve been so grateful for the time with Jessie’s counsellor this week. We talked about ‘shark music’ which I’d learnt about a few years ago. For example: I was telling her that part of my coping issue was that when Jessie was nasty and abusive and trying to the control the situation with it, it made me think of her father. That in turn was building up to make this unbearable. Me getting that horrid feeling and associating Jessie’s words with her father was the shark music. The counsellor’s wonderful advice was to stop, feel my feet firmly on the floor, and keep reminding myself that this is Jessie – she’s neither of her parents, she’s her own person. She’s not anyone or anything from my past. Being a visual person, I think that’s perfect.
Jessie’s counsellor was the first counsellor I saw to get parenting help. She’s known us for over six years so knows the whole story. She’s always been lovely, but we didn’t progress so far by being told I was getting it all right. So I know when she tells me all that I am doing right, that she means it. With her complete understanding and praise I feel less like a failure because I’m struggling.
It’s just really tough situation and there’s no easy solution. So we just take it day by day at the moment, and see what Monday brings…and then take it day by day from there. Let’s hope the past couple of weeks have been no more than a bit of a slip up in Jessie’s journey to recovery that ends as positively as it can.
This has been sitting waiting for me to add the graphics, and time stops for no man! It’s now Monday night, and I’m so relieved to say that Jessie did pick herself back up and went back to TAFE today!! It’s a great fresh start and I know it wasn’t easy for her so I’m super proud of her efforts.
You’re so lovely Kate, and thank you, it does mean a lot. I’m so glad Jessie found that inner strength to go back too! She could’ve gone either way, and I was so fearful for the worst case scenario. Love to you guys ❤🌻
— Kat (@familyfurore) March 20, 2018