My daughter is back in the hospital. I know all the platitudes, that which doen't kill us makes us stronger, God only gives us what we can handle, behind every cloud . . .
But I just feel like hell. Scared and sad for her, and yes, for me and her siblings. My mom, my only local family member, is not willing to help, and was bitter and unkind when I asked for support. This is not a new life lesson, but I always want it to be different, for her to be a different mom.
So, I need to put that away, it's not the most important thing right now. I want Lily to feel better, to see improvement so she can function like a normal 13 year old girl. I want her to roll her eyes at me over something inconsequential. I don't want her to be so manic and lost in hallucinations that she has to be locked up with 17 year old troubled young men and young women. The differences between 13 year olds who've been sheltered and 17 year olds who have not, is incredible.
The meds are wrong, they're not working, we've been talking to the professionals about it for weeks now. We don't have anything good to show for all this trial and error manner of handling her distress. I'll keep talking to the psychiatrists about it of course, and I clearly need to be more assertive about my concerns. I've been told I need to bring my "bit*h" out when speaking with the doctors. Maybe that's true, it's an approach I haven't tried yet, and I'm running out of tricks.
So I drove by the beach this morning on the way home from dropping my younger son off at school. I wanted to see the surf and feel that cool breeze. I love the blue water, the sparkle of the sun on the choppy tide. But it's a foggy morning. I parked anyway, high on the cliffs, and peered down at the surf. The only water I could see was straight ahead, about twenty or thirty yards out. Just a small section of crashing waves, foam and sand. To my left, right and rear, a soft wall of gray fog insulated my meditative state. Usual sounds were muffled, but I could hear the sea lions like they were in the next parking space over.
Why do certain sounds carry in the fog? I tuned in, to the sea lions, and then to the waves crashing on the sand. When I focused on the waves, the bark of the sea lions receded, and vice versa. I focused on the metal railing protecting the walkway from the drop of the cliffs. Slightly corroded, gaps at the joinings, marked by bird droppings. Just beyond the vertical supports, a dying stand of dandelions, fluff long since blown away, stems and withering leaves darkening before they crumble in the autumn wind. A bird flew past and drew my gaze to her fellow scavengers. They hopped about on the asphalt and picked at debris before scattering upward and onto the next likely picnic spot.
I have just about enough concentration for one thing at a time. When I stay focused on Lily's suffering, or my own pain, I have a physical sensation of drowning, stomach ache, shortness of breath. When I take a mini-vacation and retreat to the natural world, I breath better without thinking. It's not a place I can stay. I need to get back to my phone calls and war to help Lily heal. But the breather probably helps to keep me from cracking up. If I'm leaking all my insides out onto the ground, I'm no help to Lily, or anyone. But if I can stay focused on what's right in front of me, I can handle one task at a time. First, phone the hospital to see how Lily's night was. Second, well, I'll have to decide on that after I've completed task one.