Friday, February 3, 2012


Wow-it's been a tough week for our family.  Romeo had a crisis (of his own making), Goodwrench's girlfriend broke up with him and, worst of all, DJ had to leave the eating disorders part of the hospital and go back to the self injurious behavior unit.

She was discharged as an inpatient last week and has been going to intensive outpatient treatment at the eating disorders unit for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The first couple of nights she was home were good, but then she started tanking again.  I've been sleeping with her to ensure her safety through the night, but she managed to find sneaky ways to harm herself nonetheless.  Her therapist called this morning to let us know of her transfer.

I am so discouraged and surprisingly, really angry with DJ.  She will not, or can not, ask us for help when she is with us.  She feels like a burden, a failure, and would rather keep all that to herself than tell us. When the feelings become so strong,  she finds (inflicts) a source of pain that she CAN take, rather than experience the emotional pain that she feels she simply can't endure.

Yesterday she was able to share a bit of her feelings because we talked to her via conference call.  I had a feeling the relative "hidden-ness" would allow her to be more verbal and it did.  I felt hopeful that we had found a means for her to share her pain with us so that in those moments when she felt the worst that she knew she could come to us.  But she can only explain her inability to share with us by saying she had to lie for so long, and stuff her feelings for so long, that she doesn't really know how to do anything else anymore.

Maybe she's angry with us for the time she's lost.  OK-bring it on.  Tell me-I can take it-and then maybe you can move on with your life.  I don't know, I'm just guessing.  I don't think it's anything we've done since she's come out, so maybe it's from before.  I want to shake her and yell at her, "All you have to say is 'help' and we'll stay up with you all night, hold you, watch you like a hawk and keep you safe.  We'll rock you to sleep until you can face the morning."

But she won't even do that.  She just suffers silently.

When she comes home, we will do even more to create a safe environment  and continue to mirror what the staff at the hospital does.  This means "sterilizing" her bathroom and bedroom of pretty much anything that she could use to cut herself.  I was actually pulling thumbtacks from the wall a little while ago.  She will have to lose more privacy as well until she can demonstrate that she will come to us when she is feeling badly enough to want to hurt herself.

Parents of transgender teens or young adults-if you haven't faced this, consider yourself lucky, especially if you have yet to accept the true gender identity of your child.  Consider they may be hiding their pain well, too.  Does that frighten you?  It should.