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Philip was admitted into the hospital yesterday in the afternoon. We were supposed to take him there this morning at 10 am, but he couldn’t make it. Thankfully, one of the five beds in the entire state was made available to him. Walking  from the parking lot towards the hospital he remarked,

It feels like I’m coming back home.

While his dad was in the cafeteria Philip and I put his things away in the closet and I placed all the prohibited items in a bag to take home. Even bags are prohibited. They can throw up in those. Next he put on his bleached-out, yellow hospital pijamas and lay down on his bed.

Mom, does my dad know why I’m here? 

Of course his dad knew. He has an eating disorder and issues with self-harm. We want to keep him safe.

Does he know it’s because I’m suicidal?

No, he doesn’t know that. In fact, the day before we were told by the specialist nurse that he wasn’t. It was even written on one of the reports from the psychiatrist.  Self-harm is common because it’s a way of releasing emotional pain. Somehow if the physical pain is strong enough, it’s relieving. Self-harm is not the same as suicide.

Of course I told the nurse on duty and his father. And as you can imagine his father didn’t take it well. I had to do the usual protocol of explaining to the nurse what he had used in the past and what he couldn’t have in the room. As Philip is not a “minor” anymore, I am not allowed to call the hospital ward or ask for any information during the night. It is prohibited to give any messages over the phone and visiting hours are limited.

When I went back in the room there was some tension about whether or not he could keep his headphones and laptop charger.

Please don’t take them away. You know I can’t stand it otherwise. He hates TV. Who doesn’t? I won’t hurt myself. I promise. That’s why I had to come in here today. If I was going to kill myself, I would have done it already. I’m here because I’m asking for help.

Catch 22. What should I do? I want to give him what he needs to get through the night, but nothing he can harm himself with.  And I’m not allowed to stay.

I had to catch the last but back to my city at 6:30. I hugged Philip tightly and told him I loved him. His father, who lives near the hospital, was able to stay until 8:00. It’s better that way. If we’re all together too long I start to get irritated.

I’d like to tell you that everything was fine last night. Tom went to bed early. He has to get up before the crack of dawn to read and take the dog out before going to work. I did my usual routine of hanging the laundry to dry on the radiators and left out water for the dog. I wiped down the counters in the kitchen and folded the blankets on the armchairs. Then I sat down on the floor with Lincoln on his cozy bed. I had my phone with me and started to look up a prayer that my aunt had sent me about leaving what we can’t handle to God.

That’s when it hit me. I couldn’t get through the prayer. I really wanted to believe it. But what if God doesn’t handle it?



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