What Do You Do …

When your daughter is in misery, but can’t talk about it?

She’s reaching a crisis point. I sense this because she is snapping more frequently, telling me in brief moments that she’s unhappy (which she never does), and very obviously hurting. Normally she’s the strong one who seems cheerful. She’s following the suicide Instagrammers again. (More about that later)

How do I approach this? How do I once again, for the millionth time, suggest counselling as an option? She’s so fragile, and she simply can’t fathom having to invest different emotional energy in getting better.

Yet if I don’t, I run the very real risk that she will attempt suicide.

She can’t keep this up, but I don’t think she fully understands that. She only knows a world of pain.

Back to Instagram.

I get that it’s an outlet for so many people. This is an outlet for me. We all have our coping mechanisms. I find that one to be particularly insidious and dangerous. Hell, after a half hour of looking through those posts, I’m ready to pack it in! I call it “doing depression.” It’s where you purposely engage in activities that feed the darkness. I don’t know the kids who do this, or their families and friends. I suspect, though, that not all of them have families who hate them, not all of them have lives where no one truly cares. I suspect that many are like my daughter, with families who love them so deeply, and desperately want them to be well.

Only they don’t, or won’t, see that.

Then they post memes that tell the world how “everyone just leaves me,” and “you pretended to love me and then betrayed me,” and “you have no idea that I’d die for you,” etc. In reality, no one has left them, no one has betrayed them, and they’re surrounded by love. So my daughter sees these, somehow they resonate with her, she saves them, and returns to them hour after hour, and immerses herself in this world of possibly artificial hurt.

Then of course feels more miserable than before.

This is my world today. Trying to get through, trying to show her some light today. Trying to show her that her inward-looking perspective is not necessarily always accurate.

My youngest daughter asked me last night why oldest’s day had been so bad. In fact, it hadn’t! It had been a truly fabulous day full of friends, and fun, and really neat gifts. Oldest didn’t see any of that. She saw a mistake where she beat herself up inside. She saw jealousy. She saw a challenge that she didn’t meet. She saw imperfection, and thus disaster. She saw everyone having better things to do, when in reality, more people than not wanted to be with her.

Today my world is about a rope that I am hanging onto to keep fighting. Today I’m searching for something that will tell me that we’ve got hope. I’m going to find something beautiful in today, be it her smile (on the rare occasions that it’s real), or be it some sunshine or a flower. Seriously, whatever the small things I can find today will help. Waking up with fear and concern are not excellent ways to start the day, so I will do something to be mindful and turn it in a different direction.

One hour at a time today.

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