To all the friends -- the ones I know personally and the ones I don't -- who have reached out to me/us via email, Facebook, and this blog, thank you. I don't have the energy right now to respond individually to everyone, but please know I am deeply comforted by your gestures of kindness and empathy.
Every time I insist to myself that this world is filled with haters and miscreants, people like you prove me wrong. Thank you for that, too.
This would be such a lonely journey without you. Even with you, at times it is almost unbearable. I told Lars this morning, on a walk with the Hellacious member of this family, that I feel every day like I am playing a coerced game of Russian Roulette.
Because from one hour to the next I do not know if the gun is loaded.
I hate that metaphor, but still it seems apt. If things are stable at ten o'clock we might descend to hell at 10:50. And by 2:00 in the afternoon Benjy and I might be playing tennis, only to find ourselves drowning in anguish at 4. His is the anguish of an unquiet mind, a despair so profound and resistant to help that it transforms him materially and psychically into a person we do not know -- a fevered, aching, anxious, seeking, sobbing, sometimes furious boy. A boy who wants more than anything on this earth to make his pain go away, however he can. Mine is the anguish of a mother forced to watch her child suffer, and know she is powerless to make him better.
If the best doctors and medical centers in Boston cannot help him, then god knows who can.
Today Lars and I felt only relief. We stayed close together and enjoyed the beautiful Boston sun. We laughed a little. We savored the quiet. Spent time with Saskia.
It's hard not to feel like a Bad Mother when you feel so good when your child has gone away. I am struggling mightily with that right now. I love him with the heat of a thousand suns but right now I need him not to be here. More to the point (as this is not about me -- not really) HE needs to not be here. He said it himself Thursday night to the crisis social worker: I am not doing well at home.
I told Benjy that day that I would never stop fighting, as long as I live, to get him the help he needs. I will not quit until he is better.
"I don't believe that I will ever get better," he said. "There is no hope."
"I know there is hope," I told him firmly. "And I am going to make it happen."
That a child not yet thirteen should have given up, on himself and on life, is horribly wrong. And so, so sad. But these days my faith in my own power to aid him, and in the powers of all of our mighty helpers, is faltering. I hope it comes back full-strength really soon.
In the meantime we have the sun, our ornamental apple tree out front is blooming, we have some respite, and we have some time for each other, Lars and I. Time to simply BE together.
There will be no Russian Roulette here for a while.