Space and time

The leaving and the driving home do not really prepare you for the being home. The emptiness is enormous; there are acres of time to fill. How can one person take up so much space?

It is that sensation when is emotional pain is physical, when your pureed heart feels septic. This really, really hurts, you wander around your home looking for reminders and they are of course everywhere.

You learn really fast that it is not a good idea to go into your kid’s bedroom, strange given they haven’t slept there for ever but it is full of their personality and they and their most important possessions are missing.

You and your son bumble around in the emptiness. Both forgetting she is not there and checking for noises, it like having a toddler, when silence is the time to worry. You can see the relief in your son, he believes that there will be a positive outcome, he is more relaxed than he has been in ages. This break is good for him.

Work is a blessing, people are nice, kind, non-judgmental. There is support there and it is a very busy environment that calls for all your attention when you are there. You are there do to a task and persuade the world that you are functioning. It is respite from the hollow sadness that you feel, this feels like grieving. It is not right, she is not dead, she is fighting to stay alive but you are bereft.

You are grieving your relationship, you have a fear that this will never be the same again. You have learned to live with the abnormal as normal of riding the choppy waters of your family dynamic, you have been here before.

Different person, different time, different illness but your family was annihilated, then your life exploded, you learned then that as everything is in freefall, there are very few things that are important but your children were front and centre, they were caught, the rest of your life crashed in ugly ruins but you caught them. To have to let go now is agony, it is howling at the moon, pulling at your clothes, gut wrenching kind of pain.

You are not sure that this is normal to feel this bad. Where is the optimism, the hope the belief that this will all work out OK? This should be positive, this should be hopeful, this should be a new beginning, a way forward, doesn’t feel it.

There is so much time to fill, looking at the clock and you can’t quite believe how early it is.

It will be another long night.



Small world

It is only looking back that you understand that even though relative to what had gone before that summer was good, it is not normal to have to factor into your activities that if the weather is warm the hallucinations are more severe. That even with a minimal stress level I still had a sixteen year old kid who could not sleep alone or be left alone. It is like providing the same level of supervision to a toddler but one who is almost six foot and has the ability to break through child locks quicker than you can put them on.

They have the wit to find the hidey places and really then the only solution is to get rid of as much dangerous stuff as possible and otherwise keep it on your body. It still doesn’t work. I have a large handbag, some days I used to contemplate lashing a strap to a sea trunk and dragging that with me. According to Gok handbags should be large enough to make you look small so I think I could carry it off.

The reality is that if someone is determined enough, anything, anywhere is dangerous. You saw the stark reality of that when she was inpatient and how anything, literally anything, can be chewed to become sharp enough to gouge and saw down to muscle if you are determined enough.

It is really hard because always there is that dilemma of trying to reinforce choices and developing independence whilst needing to think safety. Your kid wants your trust, they go out with a trusted friend. This is normal behaviour to go to town with your friend when you are sixteen. Admittedly, not that many have a small stash of lorazepam and their mother on speed dial in case of wig outs but you keep trying.

You then kick yourself when you are in A and  E at 2am as your kid has brought contraband razors back home and are quietly, methodically stock piling over the counter paracetamol ready for when it all gets too much and they need to try again to kill themselves. You keep trying.

In the end you can no longer keep them safe and actually that is all you can even aim to do, they are not getting better, they are getting worse.

All you are trying to do is control the environment and stop them having access or the opportunity to do something self-injurious. And failing, your kid who used to be so open and who you could tell what they were thinking before they thought it is a stranger, impulsive and self- destructive. It has become all about them not killing themselves and the weird thing is this feels normal.

Planning who will be supervising every minute of the day. You work therefore have rely on others who should really be living their own lives and not having to manage the responsibility, the not much older kid and the grandparents to supervise and take to appointments, people without whose support everything would unravel.

It is a team effort. Everyone has now taken a back seat to getting the kid where she needs to be, when she needs to be there and making sure she does not die.

It is like having a little child, where you know where they are every second but it is not like having a little child because this child is equally as vulnerable but is able and fly and impulsive and devious. They want the trust but cannot have it because insight is failing and their ambitions are no longer acceptable.

At times the kid was seeing people every day and speaking to the crisis team at night, that and their own reaching out to the Samaritans.

You consider yourself lucky in the amount of professional support your kid has had. You have read horror stories of people being left, of their kids dropping through services and not receiving the support they need.

They die and you worry that even with the help as by now you understand that really no one has the answer, there is no magic pill that can fix this, that your kid might be one of those young people whose photo you see shared on Facebook as they are missing and then next time you see it they have been found dead.

Tales of funding cuts and massively long waiting lists, there have been waits for you and changes of services and care coordinators but you have been lucky in the people have been committed to helping and also committed to keeping your kid out of hospital. Between school, CAMHS, outreach, crisis team and your kid’s determination they got through without hospital admission until they were nearly seventeen. They have some shared experiences with their peers until this point.

Then it fell off a cliff and a rapid downward spiral began. It is so strange looking back how normal the abnormal can become, because the world is now so small, tiny yet all-consuming, by now there is no point talking to friends as they really don’t have a clue what to say.

There is nothing to say, people like progress and resolution, it is depressing to hear from someone that actually things are no better, they are worse and you feel so tired of being upbeat and making a positive spin on a shitty situation it is not worth the hassle. You can no longer be arsed.

Even if minded to there is no time to look on the internet for helpful advice, it is now one hour to an hour, down to minute to minute, down to breath to breath. This is now really serious, it makes the previous times when it seemed really serious look like a party in a fun house and you wonder what on earth were you worried about then, when now the 125 train of mental health is screaming into your station and you really did not have the distance to see that fucker coming. It was probably a Sunday service.

Hospital admission varies for different people, a lot seem to go from A and E direct, for us it was from home. Recommendation on Thursday, assessment on Monday, referral for beds Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday  and Thursday morning, bed available Thursday afternoon, 100 miles from home, cross country journey, three hours away.

Okay…rock and roll.

I consider that I have experienced some random stuff, that took me well out of my comfort zone but that week and the next couple of months really meant that I couldn’t have found my comfort zone with the aid of compass, a map and the helpful guidance of Ray Mears from the side-lines.

Admission was the slow freight train and there was time to plan, pack a bag, do good  byes, it was as good as it could be.

If by good you mean having your heart ripped out and stamped on repeatedly by a troop of evil pixies who then whiz it up in the blender before pouring it back into your chest cavity and this is the feeling during a positive moment.

And of course there is the overriding task to keep your kid calm, to reassure, to be positive. It is almost like creating a new persona, the ‘everything will be OK’ based on no knowledge that it will be but in the knowledge that things cannot stay the same.

My poor mother in her attempts to normalise it all kept saying that it was like the kid is going to boarding school. It is nothing like boarding school. Of this you can be assured it felt nothing like packing for Mallory Towers, this is not a trip to Hogwarts.

So two weeks before Christmas your little household of three, in the dark and pouring rain, fortunately it was not a mild and dry night as that would have seemed just too spiteful, take the world’s most convoluted route to the South Coast to an adolescent inpatient hospital.

This does not feel good.

For you who will be on the outside, you are bereft. You have lost someone who has taken up your every waking hour, who has been the centre of your thoughts and plans for so long. You are taking a massive leap of faith. It is hard because there is really no choice. Just Hobson’s choice, you can do this the easy way or the hard way. A trusted care coordinator had said ages before that if told they needed to go in to go. So it was really go or be sectioned.

You take her, this is a voluntary admission after all and you need to be sure that they are settled and you want to see where they will spend the next who knows how long.

What you don’t realise on that very long journey is that you took her to a world of shared experience, of other young people who understood and had experienced the same kinds of things.

It was a most unexpected benefit and went a massive way to help her and her recovery.

Decoding the message

When your kid is in hospital, there begins another round of re-starting the diagnosis, a new round of treatments, medications, it is no wonder that the drugs didn’t work at home because in order to attempt to hold her the level of drugs increases to the maximum, even then PRN is a part of daily life.

You learn to accept that you can give the staff the benefit of your experience of caring for your kid, the warnings that they are extremely impulsive and will turn on a sixpence and it feels they pacify you. You feel you are not qualified to have an opinion, you have earn your spurs. Then later comments that your kid is really impulsive and can change without warning…being vindicated doesn’t actually feel as good as you thought it would.

The favourite activity you develop is decoding the conversations with staff, it is an environment where actually speaking plain English is just not possible, when you are the newbie parent you are treated to more conversations littered with ridiculous phrases than you thought were possible. This eases off after a while and you become accepted and they get to know you but in the early days it is worth remembering that;

‘They had a few difficult moments but was able to get back on track’ – this means they had a wig out, we saw it coming and were able to get the PRN down them quick smart.

‘They are settled in the communal area interacting with their peers’  – this means she had a wig out we got the PRN down her and now we have locked the bedroom.

‘They have needed some staff input to maintain their safety’ – we needed to restrain them as they had found a rogue treasury tag and had chewed it until it was sharp and cut themselves with it.

‘No they are not able to come to phone right now, no I am sure they are not able to’ – the alarms are going off for your kid and several members of staff are now involved in a full body restraint situation.

You hold on to your belief it will get easier and it actually does. First you will get to hear about sides of your kid that you would never have thought they had. This is not pretty, mental illness can be pretty ugly up close. This is the real messy,weeping, snoting ligaturing reality.

You would not have expected that your kid would have the ability to silently, partially demolish a wardrobe in order to get implements for self-harming and you will worry that even is such a closed and designed to be safe environment that injuries are still inflicted.

The level of determination is breath taking. The injuries are worse, way worse, grim though razor cuts are they are clean, tidy readily stitchable. Gouging with wood screws, contraband staples are not clean cuts, this is a whole new level. The damage is bad.

The first ten weeks will be beyond scary and you will question whether you should be trusting the people and do they actually know what they are doing?

Actually they do. This is a good thing.

They hang on in there, she hangs in there, you are hanging in there.

There is talk of a transfer to a more secure environment but they hold on, through the now epic levels of self-harming, worse than at home but the big difference in the plan is it is not about containment, it’s about understanding and moving on.

This is a good thing.

Car bubble

That car journey was something else, you know you have no sense of direction so take a really long route but you know the way up until the very last bit, the kid has to navigate using the mobile. It is a legacy from all the ebay road trips you have done together and it is apparently is good to feel like there is some control over the most uncontrolled situations.

You are in the car bubble, you three, you have lived this breathed it together for three years and you are safe in the car bubble. Actually, it is chucking it down outside and there are leaves on the road so actually this is the not safest place to be at all but it feels it. No one self-harms in the car two feet away from everyone else.

It is a journey you do not want to end, it is like you can suspend time, somewhere familiar, somewhere that feels safe.

The car bubble is a place where you can’t be got at you are in transit, no one knows exactly where you are, it is a peculiar place of safety. You feel like it might never end and you can all stay here in transit never getting there but being safe.

You don’t want to give your kid over to these people however well-meaning and well qualified they only know them through the referral paper work. They don’t know them like you do, they don’t understand how much time and care your kid needs.

They don’t know that your kid has not slept alone for years, that they have needed to be nursed to go to sleep because of their nightmares, that you have spent night after night telling them that they are safe, that nothing is going to get to them, you have slept holding their hand for longer than you can remember, in fact you can now no longer remember a time when it wasn’t like that. Your world is so tiny and they are totally at the centre of it.

You do weird things like signing along to show tunes and Eminem, who really worries about parental advisory stickers when things are this fucked?

All the while you are thinking about the epic fail that you are as a parent, your primary function is to keep your kid safe, to keep them well, this is even before you think of things like making them happy.

Keeping them alive is a pretty basic parenting task and you know you have fucked up royally when you can’t even do that. The guilt of failure is painful and while your psyche is being put through the grater of guilt, outwardly you are positive about it all because you may not have been able to prevent this but it will be the smoothest and least unpleasant hospital admission of all time…..always good to have a goal!!

It is now getting late, people are hungry you know you must be close because due to the mad route you have chosen you have been driving for four hours and off the roundabout you see the Golden Arches, bless you Ronald MacDonald one of the few food outlets where you do not actually need to interact with the real world. Drive through is a godsend when you feel so stretched and shredded that the idea of actually not being able to get the correct McFlurry might cause a total meltdown but at least if it does you are in the car bubble and no one will see it.

The façade is exhausting, you are like a meerkat on speed, looking out for every twitch and indication that you kid might do a runner, combined with holding your own feeling of what would happen if we just don’t go, maybe we can just drive until we run out of petrol. No one would know, they might not find you, we can stay, safe, in the car bubble

You are aware that this is not the best idea and that you might end up on the news. Also the basic practicalities of living off grid in the woods is not actually built around your skill set, this would take more preparation than there is time for.

When you get there you now morph into irritated parent, when your kid needs to be searched, completely forgetting that your kid has turned into a devious hoarder of all things sharp and despite checking the bags several times there was always a moment when it was left alone and you watch with a sense of embarrassment as various pencil sharpeners are removed, a small stash of paracetamol. And you thought your kid wasn’t going to take their weapons of choice with them? A school girl error!

The room is nicer than you expect, all smooth surfaces, no edges to hang yourself on or attach a noose, it is reassuring. You have now morphed into Ethel Merman singing ‘there’s no business like show business’ you are now crackling with positivity, you almost have a top hat and tails on, with a cane. There are sequins.

This is all going be fantastic, this is the best thing ever, it is an opportunity….a quick look at your kid’s face reassures you that she is not totally mad and can see through your deception and frankly if you say the work opportunity again she is going to deck you.

The deal you made is you wouldn’t cry and you two would be brave, you do it, you may be a total fuck up parent in the grand scale but at least you can do this task adequately.

Leaving is desperate; the urge to say, ‘actually thank you so much for the offer but we can manage’ is almost over whelming. It is the kid’s need to get to a better place and their constant drive to find answers and a way forward pushes you through, you remember that they have never refused an appointment, that unless the side effects were too grim they have always taken their medication, they need this, they really need it.

Back in the car bubble, too stunned to speak, you two end up making small talk about the curtains, they were nice. You won’t even remember the drive home, you needed to rely on the road signs as your navigator is not there. The route was better. You are told it will be at least few weeks for the admission; it will be almost nine months before you complete the return journey for the last time.

On holiday, hallucinations are happy…….

My mother always told me when I was feeling like a crap mother, a feeling that  I think is a pretty universal one. I had this feeling even in the halcyon days when life was going OK. (Obviously a lesson in noticing and recognising when things are going good that I was too dim to understand at the time.) that motherhood does not give you an angel’s wings at the point of delivery.

This is very true and having a kid with mental health problems challenges parenting ability. It is parenting on steroids. It is parenting without the benefit of shared universal experience.

Everyone has their funny stories of their children and the great potty training disaster. Of embarrassing stories of them asking the loudly in the supermarket queue why that lady has a moustache, you standing there making a swift sidewards glance hoping that it will actually be a man with long hair rocking a beard and a Jesus complex, never is. Not so many are forth coming about the experiences of being with the kid who is mentally ill.

It is a weird experience because despite the difficulties, life is pretty normal in many ways and there are many funny experiences, experiences that we in our house call ‘fun with your hallucinations’.

My kid has many self derogatory and denigrating voices and the running commentary, I think this is fairly typical but sometimes the voices and hallucinations can be a little more light hearted. Their hallucinations were mostly hideously frightening but sometimes, just sometimes they could be funny, laugh out loud funny and influenced by things going on in the world, on TV, movie posters, adverts.

It is hard to convince someone that the voices and other symptoms are products of their imagination, that they are not other and only have the same knowledge that they have. When the voices are all consuming they must seem as if they are coming from somewhere else because even in a person’s most disordered times they must wonder why they would be so unkind to themselves. But then distorted perceptions are a very big feature of being mentally unwell.

For us it has worked by recognising these symptoms and discussing them, it helps as anyone who has a mental health issue seems to be also gifted with an innate ability to hide it. Every day is an Oscar winning performance of acting ‘normal’ of trying to keep it together, to try to have conversations with other people when the voices in your head are screaming at each other and you. When you are seeing weird stuff that is scary and just not there. It is knackering.

Being an inherently lazy person and also having a massive need to know what is going in their head, knowing kind of feels that you can reduce the risks and maybe see that train coming – it does not always work but at least it feels like there is some level of control and anticipation available, we took the route of acknowledging the symptoms and checking in with what the voices were up to. It is a whole world of weird.

We were told that the voices and hallucinations are a stress response so therefore when less stressed the voices were less nasty. Therefore, they are at their happiest when on holiday.

We like the seaside, we go body boarding, I am a great advocate of any exercise that can be done lying down and being of a lardy persuasion we are all able to bob about in the sea in April for hours without a wetsuit, although the invention of a rash vest is a great thing for hiding scars.

There is the checking in as to whether anyone else can see something, ‘no’ we cannot see Jean Claude Van Damme lying on the bonnet of the car, ‘no’ that pink crab sidling across the stones and waving is also not real, ‘yes’, that noise is a car alarm going off in the distance.

There is amusement in the most peculiar situations and although they are laughs that others don’t get and looked slightly po-faced when you try to share an amusing anecdote, such as when they are bored the voices take part in the Weakest Link and Michelle and Barrack Obama eat cheese sandwiches after yoga.

It gets us through the day and sometimes laughing at the absurdity of it all can pull us through the more grim moments.

Psychosis, psychosis, psychosis………

At the moment that I created the blog she had just completed her GCSE exams, having been nursed through the education part by a fabulous group of staff in the learning support area of her school. Her school attendance over years ten and eleven had averaged fifty percent and most of that time had been spent in learning support. However, she had managed to gain eight GSCE at the magic C and above and above, in fact mostly B grades says the proud and at the time uplifted and optimistic mother. We were looking forward to a new and fresh start at college.

College had appeared very equipped to manage young people with issues. We met with some learning mentor back in the spring. The process of having to spill your child’s life and frailties to a complete stranger whilst they assess what support the college can give is always a joy and just one of the petty indignities that you get used to as a parent of child that is unwell.

It is that feeling of being judged, of knowing that people want to know the back story, that feeling that people see a deficit in your parenting. Part of the parenting process under these circumstances is learning not give any (fucks), this bit does get easier, not sure whether it is acceptance or exhaustion.

Anyway back to the interview: the lady arrived with an array of A4 sheets with the requisite tick boxes to ascertain what disorder and what support would be required, there were about five in total, we go through them. Prior to going through them we have the interview, the ‘tell me about yourself and what help you need’ conversation.

My kid discusses her issues, anxiety, depression and the really scary one for others the psychosis. We have learned that it is always worth taking a brief pause to assess the reaction of the person who has just heard the word psychosis…..PSYCHOSIS…it is a very loud word and makes people super uncomfortable.

You can dress it up and say things like severe depression and acute anxiety but they are the fluffier more gentle ways to ease people into the understanding or the knowledge at least that hearing voices is pretty typical for people that have mental health problems of the heavy end variety. It is, as described to us, the critical inner voice gone wild and if you are especially lucky they will generalise into many more nasty symptoms of seeing things that frighten you, badly frighten you, that a person can feel things physically that aren’t there, smell stuff that isn’t there and joy of a thousand joys the command hallucination that tells someone to do stuff to themselves. For most people, it seems, hearing that word it translates in their heads as bat shit crazy nutter, don’t be on your own with them as they will probably stab you.They are wrong.

This woman was very professional, she immediately took the professional position…head slightly tilted to the side, eyes slightly squinty, looking a little constipated but most definitely listening, in fact actively listening…with both ears. Except she hadn’t really or the word PSYCHOSIS was screaming in her head with the subtext of this kid is batshit crazy.

We get to the sheet relating to support for ADHD – do you have trouble organising yourself. Dear lady had not listened to the earlier conversation as my daughter had to point out she has OCD so therefore has no problem organising herself or others and could probably organise the questioner into a coloured coded neurotic state too, if left alone long enough with her.

Despite the less than helpful sheets the college was equipped to a much greater level than school. School, where some staff really did give the impression that they thought she was likely to go Columbine on them and kill her classmates or herself, probably in a main assembly, hosted by the Head teacher and probably one where they had the Mayor in to visit to give out Duke of Edinborough Awards, and for good measure, the local paper in attendance.

I get their anxiety, I get the worry that if something happens that the school would probably take some epic flack in any serious case review and more importantly their reputation amongst the apparently liberal middle class parents of the catchment area would be dented if something happened but it is rage inspiring that people hear PSYCHOSIS and immediately assume that this is an outward thing that it makes someone dangerous to be near that they have the capacity and intention to do something unspeakable.

When in reality it an inward thing, full of self-criticism and self-hatred and self-harm on many levels and a secret thing. It is still the case that a person with mental health issues is much more vulnerable from others than anyone is from them.

You will discover that your own anger towards a world that really does seem to be full of fuckwits is hard to deal with and when you come across someone who is not professionally trained but displays a degree of insight and compassion, they are a rare treasure and should be recognised as such.

The lack of mental health understanding when people are faced with PYCHOSIS (shouty word, remember) is really sad and leaves people more isolated and in a position of denying what is happening to them, it is difficult when teachers tell your kid not to tell their friends as it will scare them and then they will not talk to them.

Although I get this is, on one level, a sensible and pragmatic strategy it does not help the person accept themselves. When the mental health experience that I have witnessed is characterised by fear, self-loathing and a compulsive and impulsive need to hurt themselves, being told what they have is not OK to talk about compounds that feeling that they are not worthy.

It also does not help the next kid with the same issues because they think they are the only one.

It is tough when the kid with cancer gets an announcement in assembly and a cake bake fundraiser and your child, who also has a life threatening illness, that does not even have a tried and tested recovery trajectory, is told not to tell anyone because they will scare people into ignoring them and will make them subjects of derision and hostility.

Stigma is a killer.

The train is coming…….

I live in a world surrounded by positive quotes, my daughter scours the internet looking for quotes that inspire and are recovery based. Having seen the hours she and her peers spent scrap booking I noticed that these quotes are highly sought after and much valued.

Whilst I can see their merit and wish I could hold those thoughts to my heart, I do think that I am a little old to practice my typography skills and turn them into posters. Unfortunately, I am also too old and too cynical to build my hopes and optimism on these things.

My personal view is more there is light at the end of the tunnel but be very careful as it is probably an oncoming train….sometimes this will be a very fast unstoppable train that will flatten you even if you get off the tracks, it will fly past leaving you rocking with the force of its passing as you stand pressed on the platform wall wondering what the hell it was and trying to make sense of the speed and brutality.

Sometimes it will be an ancient, sneaking freight train that will approach really slowly leaving you thinking that you have plenty of time to plan a way out, that someone will help you get out of the way but even slow and sneaky trains are heavy and will squash you and leave you feeling that you have a massive weight on you and will need some serious engineering guile to get it off you and to ever see daylight again.

Trouble is you will never be able to estimate which train it is and there is never enough time to plan or to see how bad it will be when they hit you. This is because you have never been squashed by the train of mental health problems in this way before. You have never been in this type of accident in your life, you may have had people in your life who had depression, anxiety, worked with people and although you know it is serious you don’t know or didn’t realise what it would be like to live with and try to help someone who is so mentally ill that it is life threatening.

You will become used to normalising it and living with it and find it almost surprising when you reach the tipping point when you stop just be sent home from A and E, stitched, glued and dressed, with a ‘when are you next seeing CAMHS? Discuss it with them’ conversation, when it actually reaches the point of this is now an inpatient situation and your child is, without some serious intervention, going to die.

You will have noticed that the self-harming is bad, you have followed advice about sharps in the house, you will be eating many more casseroles that you thought possible as these do not need sharp knives to either prepare or eat.

Your underwear drawer will probably be full of any remaining sharp knives and frankly you probably will not have even seen a Stanley knife in years, impromptu DIY or crafting activities are no longer your thing. In days gone by your might have kept a secret drawer, wherein lay a somewhat neglected vibrator bought spontaneously on a weekend away with your husband. Now none are given if this is found as after all no one to your knowledge has even beaten themselves to death with a rampant rabbit. The excruciating embarrassment of that find would be eclipsed by the relief that the sharps stash had not.

Likewise the pain of epilation is worth the risk of forgetting to take a razor out of the shower. Well you may decide that really after a certain length arm pit and leg hairs don’t actually grow any longer and it is actually a blessing to wear long sleeve tops and trousers no matter what the weather. You daughter wears long sleeve tops summer and winter to hide the cuts and the scars you wear then because you do not have ready access to razoring implements and it is not worth the risk.

In fact you won’t really have the time or head space to worry about such things and will find the number of people that advise you that you need ‘me time’ so annoying that you may well struggle to resist the desire to poke them in the ribs with the carefully collected sharp knives in your possession.

You will also come to appreciate that some people actually are brave and compassionate enough to try and say something helpful and practical as most of the world and the people you thought were sensible are really inadequately prepared to be your friend when it really hits the fan.

You may have travelled with the medications in a box hidden under the passenger seat of the car just in case of a spontaneous overdose attempt, whilst trying to balance your kid’s need for developing independence by learning to manage their medications. Balancing your knowledge that they have to learn how to be independent of you and the smothering motherhood that having a sick child brings out in the most laissez faire parent and your desperate desire to keep them safe.

Trust will be a big issue as your kid is still an adolescent trying to find their independent identity and being allowed to develop their skills but the skills they need to cope and manage are not the normal skills, this takes parenting to a whole new level.