Friday, July 1, 2011

Doing Everything I Can

"Keep and eye out for Cinderella and tell the kids that I love them!"

This is the text that I received 10pm Sunday night.

Since taking the kids on full time since May, they've seen their Dad only a handful of times. And have not slept over his house for months.
He's being treated for anxiety and depression; checked himself into a local behavioral treatment center TWICE and is working to find the right combination of therapy (group vs. individual) and medication. All while taking steps to get closure on certain events (like his toxic relationship with Maleficent, our divorce and issues with his mother and sister) and look for a job so he can keep his house, get medical coverage to PAY for his therapy and drugs and help support his kids.
That's a tough reality to face, even for the healthiest of individuals.
He's up. He's down.
The day before, I awoke at 7am to a text asking if I was awake.
He sent it at 6:30am.
His meds weren't working he said, so he was cycling through some kind of emotions that he did not share, because I mostly didn't pursue. I didn't push for more info. Didn't engage him or pull him in or put myself into the role of caretaker.
I told him I understood and then went about my day.
Then I get THE text the following night. 36 hours after he first reached out to me:

"Keep and eye out for Cinderella and tell the kids that I love them!"
"It's hard not to read into that text," a friend noted.
Yes. Yes it is.
"You put too much trust in a habitual liar. You're the only one who believes him," says the (recently) ex(ed) BF.
(I actually laughed at his accusation against Prince Charming, when considering his own 20+ year history of adultery and current attempts at manipulating the immigration system. A certain saying about a pot and a kettle comes to mind. But... I digress.)
Maybe I believe Prince Charming.  Maybe I don't care enough to NOT to believe him.
I mean, my energy is better spent on making sure my kids and I are taken care of and supported, than expending it on trying to figure out if I'm being told the truth or not.
His truth isn't my concern. My truth is.
My truth is that I have two children who need love and support. I can give that to them. So that's what I'm going to do.
And, for arguments' sake - what if Prince Charming ISN'T lying?
Quite frankly, I don't want the responsibility of NOT doing something. I'm sorry but anyone who receives a text with even the slighest hint of a suicidal threat is OBLIGATED to do something - whether you believe it or not.
Which is precisely what I did.
I texted him back and when he didn't immediately respond I called every goddamn number he had until he finally picked up. I advised him to call someone - his therapist, his doctor, a hotline. Threatened to call 9-1-1- if I have to. Made him promise me he would call someone and then check in with me because he was stronger than this and giving up was not an option.
Yes, I chose to believe there was some truth behind that text.
I did it for my kids. So that, in the most horrible of potential endings to this chapter of my fairytale, I can honestly say to my kids that Mommy did everything she could do.

8 comments:

Amy said...

I think you did the right thing. Better to over-react than to have to explain a tragedy

Anonymous said...

As an adult child with divorced parents, my father did commit suicide. His only sign was something similar to what PC wrote to you and it was about my child of divorce in a generalized statement of her well-being and his love.

I'm glad you too it seriously even if it turns out to be crying wolf, dramatics or simply a broken person needing some kind of reassurance *someone* in this world cares enough to call him on it...to test that.

Your children don't deserve the very real possibility of a father committing suicide.

My father's suicide gutted me. I wish I had listened to that inner voice nagging at me that "something was up" and followed up on it.

Wishing you strength and healing despite these storms.

Anonymous said...

you did the right thing

redheadstepmom said...

You show incredible strength, wisdom and grace.

lisa said...

coming to an understanding with yourself and with his "issues" is extremely strong. you are SO strong! having the energy and the confidence in yourself to care for someone who has hurt you, that you do not wish those awful things upon him is wonderful. keep up the great work. you are a GREAT person!

stef said...

you definitely did the right thing. Hope you are getting support too!

cassee01 said...

I think u did the right thing too and I think EX BF is speaking from jealousy not objectivly ;)

Sarah Mickalson said...

Good for you. My ex husband was suicidal in our last year of marriage and i was the only one who believed him. After we divorced I warned his family deveral times of his bipolar behavior and depression, yet the ignored it. Last December he killed himself leaving behind 4 children ages 1,4,5,7....who loved him dearly and miss him. He ahd been reaching out to family about his depression and no one believed he would harm himself. Never regret believing those small signs...the end result could be far too damaging