She is now asleep next to you.
Remember this moment -God brought you through it.
Your lip swelled after she knocked her head back to head
Your cheek stung when she slapped you.
Your foot hurt as she hammered down on it with her heel.
Her Elbows tried to dig in your ribs.
She punched your back and legs and anywhere she could.
She snapped at you with her teeth trying to bite you.
Her body writhing in anger possessed by this demon of
She was trying to hurt herself and anyone else….
She almost crushed your glasses and you quickly moved them.
You held her in a proper restraint doing all you could to
keep her safe… but worst of all were her words:
Telling you that you’re nothing.
"You are a terrible parent. "
"No one really likes you."
She wishes she was never born.
She wishes you would go away and never come back.
She says she wants to die
"If you loved me, you would
let me die and go to heaven."
"Leave me alone.
You don't care about me anyway."
She is so angry and so sad.
You prayed and asked God to help you stay steady and not
When you didn't know how to continue to you reached out to
call her aunts/ your best friends so she could hear that others love
And…so, you could draw strength from their presence and
Even when you tried to say, "I
She became more fearsome and
lashed out more.
So, from then on you only said,
"When you drink the water and take a bath, I will let you go and leave you
She said, "I want to
You asked, "What is your
She said, "I am not going to
cut myself or shoot myself that would hurt too much. I will just refuse to
drink and eat and I will starve and die."
It took everything you had not to
say a word- not to react- to simply stay focused on holding her safely
and keeping her from hurting herself or you
When you called her aunts she was
polite and wanted the conversation to end.
She said you made her feel guilty
and like a monster.
She said, as she often does, "You
are the worst.
You don’t know how to do
You are bad at calming
The phone calls were a mirror
where she could not deny her behavior.
It was a moment for you to know you
were not alone.
You had to send Dad away to
another room, because he screamed when she threatened you and then she reacted
You had to ask her big sister to go
upstairs because this was not something she needed to be part of and every time
she tried to help she could only talk about wanting to play her video game with
her sister-- so then she was screamed at and told she was selfish and didn't
You knew--- they just didn't have
the capacity to give what was needed at the time.
You… didn't have the capacity
Finally- like a miracle-- she
said- "I'll drink the water."
You said, "How about you have
11 sips, since you are 11."
Then you said- "Great now you
can take a bath."
You said," I'll get the bath
all ready for you."
You turned your back for a moment
to get the water going and you didn't know where she went.
You ran downstairs, heart pounding
with so much worry, fearing she had gone outside in the rain or gone to hurt
But then you found her on the
floor in her sister's room cuddling the dog.
You got everything ready.
Lavender Epson salts in the water.
Her muscles ached from refusing to
get out of bed for a few days.
You placed a hot towel on her
She looked up and said, "I
hate that I feel so mad. This is not how I want to feel. I'm sorry I said all those
terrible things to you.
I didn't mean
At least not all of them.
I'm sorry I hit you and hurt you."
You told her you loved her, you
forgave her, you were there to hep her.
And then you stopped talking.
She talked about how laying in bed
watching TV was the only thing that made her feel good.
You reminded her of spring break
and how you all did art and exercise and had fun.
You mentioned how fun hiking last
She got mad and splashed you.
You calmly reached for the towel
and wiped yourself off.
She said, "Mom!
You can't just get up and do stuff when you
When you don't want to get out
of bed, you just want to lay there and watch TV.
It's the only thing that helps."
You said, "Until that wears
It just numbs it for a while."
She said, "Sometimes I want
to feel numb."
She got mad again and screamed
about getting out.
You stayed calm and said,
"Let's rinse the conditioner out."
Then she let herself lay back in
the warm bath and she closed her eyes and breathed.
Then she was done and wanted out.
You asked her to stay while you
got fresh towels.
She got dry and but still felt
She decided to crab walk to the
room with her towel on.
She hasn't slept in her own room
most of Quarantine.
She asked you to fix the bed and
You got a hairbrush and brushed
She said she wanted a haircut.
"Momma cut my hair now!"
You said, "I'm not good at
that, but I'm happy to get an appointment for you. For now, I can brush it and braid it and get
it out of your way."
You slowly brushed all the knots
and mats out.
She laughed and told you stories.
You sat brushing her hair and she
said, "I love you Momma."
An hour before she was telling you
she hated you and wanted to die.
She colored on a coloring app while telling
Today you pushed depression back.
And you still you resiliently
You breathe and remember the
advice a church member gave you when you brought your first child home,
"You only need to keep them alive."
Advice meant to keep you from
worrying about all the other stuff.
It's harder than you think.
Every day-- Just keep them alive.
They will hate you, then love you,
they will know everything, and you will know nothing.
Keep on loving.
It will get better.
Then let your busted lip heal.
Read this and remember whenever
you need it.