One of the behavioral therapy techniques they teach in my 30 day program is self affirmations. I write them on my bathroom mirror in lipstick.
I am not responsible for Mali’s death.
I am ok
I am safe
It is ok to sleep
It is ok to laugh and smile
I want to throw a brick at that mirror. I don’t believe any of it. The person that looks back at me is not me. It’s some remnant of the person that used to be me.
As parents when we knew our girl was in trouble we jumped right on it. Took her to the Behavioral Health ED. Had her admitted for suicidal ideation, took her to her group therapy, hovered. Took her to her therapist, observed her closely. Took her to her psychiatrist and I prayed a lot.
I tell myself we did everything we could. Then self-doubt creeps in and ninja smacks you before you even know you got slapped.
I have thousands of photos of her. For the life of me I seem to be losing the images of her face in my head. I am forgetting the way her voice sounded. I listen to the one voicemail I managed to salvage from ICloud and cling to it greedily.
All she had to do was walk into a room and it was filled with sunshine. Those great big brown eyes with the impossibly thick, black, curly eyelashes that would melt your heart.
I went to confession today. For my non catholic readers, Confession is one of our most cherished of the sacraments.
I confessed I had been skipping out on Mass. God and I seem to be in disagreement about this whole business. I demanded a refund. Pretty selfish and petty of me but, I rolled the dice.
The priest on the other side of the confessional was not my usual confessor. That priest would have known the exact words to guide me back to the path. The priest I got was silent for a good 60 seconds. I asked him “Father, did you hear me?” More silence. Bless his heart for trying to be wise with his words. I got compassion out of that confession. It was enough to reset the brain thinking pattern I have been kicking around the last couple of days.
Free will still says I want a refund. I want my kid back. I’m not perfect. I’m human.
I guess there is still some fight left. I’ll wait until tomorrow. I miss you Mals. Can you come back for a visit? Just so I can see you and make sure you’re okay least?