Monday 6 June 2011

It's a year since the "roof" episode...

Just looking back to where we were one year ago and I notice it was the "roof" episode... Ben was at his lowest, mood-wise. He couldn't face school or his friends. He was about to sit his GCSE exams alone so he wouldn't freak out or freak his peers out. He was resisting recovery (to say the least) and his eating disorder was RAGING and so was he...

This is (a version of) what I wrote the next day:

Last night my son got into such a distressed, depressed and "manic" state... worse than anything from the "dark days" before he started treatment... (it's been bubbling under the surface for days)... that he rushed up to his loft bedroom after a particularly grueling fight (over the amount of oil I was using to fry an onion to make a pasta sauce).

Instinctively, a few moments later, I went after him to find him climbing out of the Velux window. I had to pull him back in. I can't even begin to describe the evening we had after that... I reached my lowest-ever point as a parent and believe I went beyond what any parent should ever have to experience. Hell? That would seem like a pleasant vacation!

Even if he didn't plan to kill himself (which he insists he didn't - says he was just going to climb onto the roof) he could so easily have slipped. It's a heck of a long drop to the ground, from 3 storeys... The outcome would not have been good.

...My stress levels have gone off the scale. And they were already sky-high due to CAMHS axing the nutritionist from our team. What on earth are parents supposed to do in this kind of situation? Everyone jokes about "sending for the men in white coats to take you away", but in reality WHAT DO YOU DO in a situation where your child is so distressed they're doing something like he did?

The "roof" episode was part of what was to be a long, hellish summer followed by a worrying return to school in September followed - phew! - by a watershed turning point in October when everything suddenly started to change for the better.

It was like coming out of a long, dark forest into bright sunlight.

You wouldn't believe the stark, dramatic contrast between the June 2010 Ben and the June 2011 Ben.

It's like two different people.

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