I’ve told people when I see them in person, but it has been too painful to make an effort to reach out, so I feel I should put an update here. Short story: over the last couple months of fourth grade, my son became more and more anxious and upset about school despite there being no bullying or any trouble with his friends nor any difficulty getting his work done – in fact, he was ahead of the game most of the time. He also became furious at us over anything at all. We tried to listen/diagnose/encourage/help but the situation devolved until he finally refused to go to school at all and confessed that he was living in a gray world, things would never be better, and he felt that it would be best to commit suicide. He had a reasonable plan as to how to achieve this.
Enter psychologist, psychiatrist, low dose of an SSRI, removal from school, working from home as much as possible & family leave for my husband so that my son would never be alone. Hospitalization was considered but not ultimately deemed necessary.
Also enter guilt (about my role in his nature and his nurture), fear, grief, and constant worry every moment of every day and night.
My job is very hard at the moment and there is literally nothing that can be done about that short of quitting (which I’ve contemplated but that would create so many other problems), so I’m just doing a crap job on everything. I have told my bosses and they’ve been great, but there is only so much they can do. Oh and my assistant went out on extended sick leave.
My son refuses to talk with the therapists. He will go under protest but sits there angrily. (My husband and I are also going without him to develop strategies.) Things have gotten somewhat better. He says he is no longer suicidal (though we are of course not leaving him alone). He has continued to do his music throughout and with enthusiasm. He is voicing some of his feelings instead of just being angry all the time. But he started his day camp, which he usually loves, this week. The first couple days went well, but it has gone downhill and today he refused to go.
I am not shocked that he would have trouble – this child has always been so intense and dark that I feared he would have to face some of these things eventually – but he only just turned ten. I figured we had a little while left before the demons he was born with started to torture him in this way.
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced and I’m afraid it will only get worse from here.