2003-08-04 - 9:37 a.m.
Its a nice temperate day outside so I just sent all the kids out in the back yard to play while I'm taking a writing respite while going back and forth to the window to watch them climb on the Little Tykes plastic slides. My mornings are filled with laundry and dishes and catching a few minutes of studying and reading between facilitating activities for the kids and acting as ref in their disputes.
I talked with a law school friend yesterday and the day before who told me she slashed her wrists Fri night in the bathtub. She is seriously depressed and I am trying to do what I can to help her. With my own responsibilities I can't drive the hour to see her at EVERY moment of crisis-- as she has many. So I do what I can. I got off the phone with her once I found that her boyfriend was with her- knowing that if he has half a brain he's call authorities if she is again out of control and its not being managed. AS she confessed to me- she doesn't REALLY want to end her life- but desperately was seeking his attention. He responded by telling her she was being selfish, and when she told me that she had to agree when I replied "WEll it is a selfish act, isn't it." Another friend called the local crisis hotline for Mental Heath crisis and they had called her back so she is being monitored by professionals. Keep her in your prayers as she heals. I spoke to her and she is doing much better. Her mental illness has recently spiraled out of control as she is pregnant and was advised to go OFF her medication for the early trimester due to possible complications with the pregnancy. She has a one and a half year old, and did OK during that pregnancy. She however had a MUCH more supportive relationship and environment at that time than now. Going off the meds just wasn't managable by her at this time. It's quite depressing to her to know that she can't be healthy enough to carry a baby WITHOUT her medicine, and that her needed medicine could HARM a baby. She said herself she knows it's most responsible to care for herself and the child she has WELL, and to not become pregnant. She however IS pregnant and trying her best to do what is best for all -- including her unborn child. She is most upset at those who advocate abortion. I understand her moral objection- especially when she is feeling the stirring of her new child that is already quickening inside her.... yet even as one who has been staunchly Right to Life, and Catholic, I have to say the Catholic Church DOES believe that abortion is a morally responsible choice in the case of jepordy of the health of the mother. In this case, I can understand those who advocate abortion as my dear friend is not functional, suicidal, and dangerous at this time to her own daughter who she in incapable of caring for. Even the Church would sanction a decision of abortion so she can be stable and healthy. Its a horrible situation she has found herself in. She is not married, and the father to be is an alcoholic and sounds destructive. No more stable than my friend and her one and a half year old daughter's father who left them shortly after her birth. So in such a case, I have told her to try not to be so hurt and to judge those harshly who don't understand her strong personal conviction against abortion. I tried to help her see those friends who dared say that to her DO LOVE her and her daughter and are trying to help the best they see how. I tried to help her not be suspicious and afraid of those who called for professional help, and of the cousin who suggested she could take care of her daughter.... even though it was in the back stabbing threat "I could seek custody" I tried to support my friend with the conviction that she IS a good mother, and she can get through this. I visited her four times a few months ago to child proof and clean her apartment so it WAS habitable and safe and healthy for her daughter. I brought all five of my kids with me, and the three youngest played with her girl, which was good for them all- even if amid squalor the older kids and my friend and I scrubbed clean. I loaded my car with STUFF that was clutter and drove to the salvation army to make space for her in her home. I bleached the grime from the extra fridge that had sat there unused, but she who has so little was afraid to get rid of as she OWNED it, and the one being used was the landlords. I tried to convince her that once it was clean to run an ad to sell it, and put the money in a bank account and leave it there should she need to shop for a second hand fridge at some future time. The space in her cramped apt for her daughter to play in would be worth more than an unused refrigerator. Its hard to watch the effect of dire poverty which my friend grew up with. It was hard for her to get rid of ANY acquired possessions, whether she used them or not, functional or not. I knew when I talked to her, that she was Ok, would be OK. That's what hope she is now clinging to. This too shall pass.