Monday, March 3, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

Always get me down.

But, it’s more than just raining on Hysteria Lane today. It’s almost as if the world is weeping with us.

Late last week, my daughter received the most saddening and shocking of news. Her lab partner at school had committed suicide.

On this rainy, Monday afternoon, my daughter’s friend, Christina, will be laid to rest on what would have been her 16th birthday.

I didn’t know this child personally, but my heart is just broken for her and her family, for everyone who loved her and for my oldest daughter, who is having a very hard time accepting and dealing with this.

This morning on the radio, they played this Karen Carpenter song and I cried the rest of the way home after taking the kids to school. Karen Carpenter has always been one of my favorite singers. Unlike a lot of female singers, Karen had beautiful sounding tones at the lower end of her vocal scale. She didn’t scream, screech or belt out tunes like a lot of today’s singers. Karen sang from her heart and you could feel it.

What I've got they used to call the blues
Nothin' is really wrong
Feelin' like I don't belong
Walkin' around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.

Karen Carpenter died in the early 80’s from complications of anorexia. Little was known about eating disorders and depression at that time. Fortunately, that's changed, but there's still too many misconceptions out there.

No one needs a reason to be depressed and it’s more than just “the blues”, a temporary sad mood. You can’t just snap out of it. The Depression Monster can strike anyone at any time, children and adults alike.

I’ve been visited by the beast myself and I tell you, probably the only thing worse is watching one of your children have to take on this monster.

For the last year, my beautiful and talented Middle Daughter has been battling depression and anorexia nervosa. It’s been a long and uphill battle and probably will be a lifelong struggle for her, but she is finally appearing to have gained enough strength to beat this for now.

I’m very proud of her. Being a teenaged girl is hard enough. Having to do that and deal with two overwhelming disorders is beyond what any child should have to bear. Fortunately, my daughter came forward about the feelings she was having and we were able to get her the help she needed.

I only wish Christina had done the same.

Today, for Christina, please make sure that everyone you love and cherish knows just how much they mean to you. You can never tell them too often.


Karina said...

I have tears in my eyes as I write this. My thoughts and prayers go out to your daughter, and to her friend's family.

FRIGGA said...

That was a very thoughtful post. I hope your daughter and all who knew Christina will find the strength to deal with the wildly mixed feelings that come along with such tragedy.

Vixen said...

Your moving post had me in tears, just with the title. That song has always brought me to tears. When I was sixteen my friend committed suicide. It is a difficult thing to deal with, but your daughter has such an intelligent and caring Mom who gives her a strong foundation that with time she will heal. Sending positive thoughts to you, your family and Christine's family.

Jessica Morris said...

oh that must be so hard on your daughter.
I am so very sorry.

Dustin said...

There's not really much more that can be said - my prayers are with your daughter, and the other friends and the family of your daughter's friend.

Malcolm said...

I literally bounced back in my chair after reading what happened to Christina. When these tragedies happen, there are always so many unanswered questions and "what ifs" that go through the minds of the survivors. That was pretty brave of your middle daughter to come to you about her problems. Silence isn't always golden.

Di said...

I am reading a book called Comeback about the relationship between a mother and a daughter in the face the emotional and behavioral problems of the daughter.

Their story and yours and that of your daughter's schoolmate remind us of how important it is to keep our minds and eyes open as our children grow. It's not about controlling's about being open to whatever the eventualities might be...even if it's not in your worldview of "normal."

The beast is a fairly regular visitor in my life...and I remain stationed at the door prepared to go down fighting to keep it away from my kids.

The Rock Chick said...

karina: thank you for your thoughts and prayers. It means a lot to me.

frigga: thank you. I hope so, too. You're right..the emotional rollercoaster is wild.

vixen: thank you for the kind words and the compliment. I appreciate them both. It certainly is a difficult thing to deal with.

jessica: thank you. She's doing better.

dustin: thank you, too. Kind words are kind words and are always appreciated.

malcolm: Yes, my Oldest Daughter is struggling with some guilt that she didn't notice how truly sad her friend was. She said she always appeared very happy. And as difficult as it has been for Middle Daughter, I'm so glad she said something before it became worse. She's a strong kid, she'll be good, I know it.

di: Totally agree! I think sometimes, though, you only see what people want you to see and some people (myself included) are able to really put on a good face to the public when need or want be......

I have to say that when my daughter came forward with what was happening with her, I was shocked. Even knowing what I know, in hindsight, I really don't think I would have suspected anything and yet, she is almost the textbook personality of an anorexic. Her grades are top of the class, she plays 4 instruments in 5 bands and competes on a competition cheerleading squad. She pushes herself to do things and be the best at them and sitting and talking to her, you'd think you were talking to one of the happiest and together kids you've ever met.

I'm glad you brought up the point in the book about controlling your kids. The one thing that my daughter does not have that is typical of anorexics is a controlling mother. When my daughter was in the hospital, we attended therapy sessions with other families. Some of these mothers wanted their daughters to fit into this mold or something. Nothing was ever good enough, ever.

I guess I'm fortunate to be part of a large and rather eclectic, to say the least, family. "Normal" can be pretty much anything, including depressed or having some other disorder. Harming yourself though, is not normal and it''s definitely something that needs to be addressed immediately and by professionals.

I just think it's a shame that people still feel shame over these things. They are illnesses just like anything else. I'm hoping that the more they are spoken about, the more we will keep chipping away at that and help a lot of people.

Crystal said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter's friend, as well as for your middle daughter having to endure that hard road.