I met with a couple who had just shared their diagnosis of a different-brained child with a friend of mine. I was delighted they were open to talking to me about my journey with my different-brained son. Interestingly, I found myself to be the one who cried, which I didn’t expect. There were tears from their end as well, but I found myself quite taken aback by how much emotion I continue to hold around this difficult journey with my children. I found that I moved through feeling overwhelmed and sorrowful while sitting around the kitchen table with them.
I asked, “What are your fears?” One of the things they shared was one that I find the absolute hardest about this journey—what my son has said to me in the midst of a crisis—the language of suicide and killing at such a young age (six). My family doesn’t have nearly the amount of crises that we used to because of our medication. I’m glad about that. We did, though. As they were sharing their stories of the screaming death threats from their six year old, I was taken back to the moments when my son screamed, with the energy from his soul, “You need to kill me right here and now.” This over a math problem or a Frosty from the drive-through. Or another time when he pondered how he was going to kill himself. “With a knife I think, Mommy.”
I remember not being able to hold the “suicide talk,” as would be a reasonable thing for a mother not to be able to hold. We have had two “times of suicide,” where my son would talk about and scream about dying and leaving the planet on a daily basis.
The suicide times were followed by medication switches. Both times they were “resolved,” so to speak. It’s my experience that medications can absolutely be a culprit of suicidal thoughts and tendencies. These medications are typically labeled “black box,” which I find absolutely fascinating. The black box label is a “warning” label that the medication may cause tendencies for suicide . . . . Guess what? They’re often on antidepressants! Uh, I feel duped.
So I reached out to a couple just starting their journey with a label. I’m so glad I did, and I love how I am the one who benefits from sharing my experiences. I’m profoundly grateful for my two children, who make my life richer than I truly ever imagined possible.