"Mom, I'm a risk to go out with." Damn. So that's how she sees herself. And I guess she may be right. Jordan and I were talking about certain blatant signs that you probably should not date someone. You know, heavy drug use, especially before school, school suspension, but what about someone who struggles with mental issues?
Our conversation was kind of a revelation for me. Not only because of how she sees herself, although this was quite an eye opener, but because of how others may perceive her. The more open and honest she is about her issues, the more aware people will become. I thought that this would lead to positive outcomes. But what if along with this awareness, comes fear and discrimination? I guess it didn't dawn on me that some people may not want to, or be capable of, dealing with the messy parts of life.
So this was poignant event number one.
On this same day a friend opened up to me about her sixteen year old daughter. She told me that things were getting worse, and she was afraid her daughter was going to hurt herself. My quick reply was that she should not ignore these gut feelings. No one knows, and can read their child more intimately, than a mother. What's the worst that can happen if you are wrong, an extra visit to a therapist, or another honest conversation with your child? But if you were to ignore your gut feelings, and your intuition was correct, the result could be tragic. That was number two.
The third profound event that happened this same day, was when I offered my condolences to a friend who I found out, had just lost her sister. I was not aware of the specific circumstances until she opened up to me about them. Her sister had finally lost her lifelong struggles with anxiety, perfectionism. anorexia, and alcoholism.
There's that "whole package" of illnesses again. The list that usually includes a few of these: Anxiety, Depression, Perfectionism, ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anorexia, Cutting... It's like there's this certain unspoken category of people who share this similar package of struggles. Usually the tell tale traits also include the positive aspects like: determination, good grades, incredible memory, insatiable thirst and desire for growth...
But sadly, the common coping mechanisms of this list are so very destructive. They are unhealthy, and dangerous: Drugs, alcohol, anorexia, picking, cutting, suicide.
The first thing that came to my mind (and out of my mouth) when she told me what had happened, was: "Oh crap, I'm afraid for Jordan." Not the most sensitive comment of my life, but it just automatically came out. She was so sweet, and then she reassured me. She told me that what I am doing, trying to stay one step ahead, and communicating with (and about) Jordan, is exactly what needs to be done. Talking about the issues, opening up the lines of communication so people won't feel lost and alone, and supporting those who are struggling, these are pretty much all anyone can do.
I sure hope she is correct, and I truly appreciate her candid honesty and her positive feedback, especially when she is experiencing such a difficult time in her life.
Having had these three events occur all in one day, helps me to realize that maybe UsToo does have its purpose. So as long as Jordan supports the idea of my sharing UsToo, and as long as I keep getting positive reactions from readers, I guess I'll continue doing this. :)