My son was Baker Acted yesterday.
He has ADHD/ODD and clearly did not want to do his work for the umpteenth time. So I got a call. Then his father got a call. And he spoke to his father the way he speaks to me for the first time ever. He knew he was in deep shit with me and his father and decided to divert our attention and tell everyone that he wanted to die. He proceeded to bang his head on a desk that is almost always designated for him in the school office. When asked why he was purposely banging his head, he said that he wanted to “crack his skull open so he would die”. That’s the video I was sent via i message from the vice principal of the school. I was on and off the phone all morning since I dropped him off. With this message, I ran. I left my computer on, coffee hot in the mug, and smoke behind me. My son was crying out for help.
I got to the school. He was already in the protection (from himself) of the Resource Officer at the school. She had to restrain him from hitting his head repeatedly. She asked him in my presence, several times, if he was sure he wanted to kill himself. He didn’t deny it nor did he show any kind of remorse for the display. I cried. His father came. My fiance came. I cried some more. He cried. I had to explain to him what a Baker Act was.
Have you ever had to explain to an 8 year-old what a Baker Act is? The only thing he could hyper-focus on was that he would be somewhere for 3 days without the luxury of his home or seeing his mom or dad. He never uttered the words “I’m sorry” to me or anyone. He was sorry, alright. But sorry for himself.
The counselor at school asked him what he thought the word “advocate” meant. He thought she said “adjective”. She said no, advocate is someone who fights for someone and speaks for someone. That his mom is an advocate for him. That I walked into the school this year for the first time and laid out what I wanted for him; the things I wanted him to accomplish and what I thought it took to get him there. She said that no one fights for him like I do. That i’ve made enemies trying to get everyone on the same page. That she envies him because he has such a strong and persistent mom.
I wish he felt the same.
We made it to the Emergency Room at the Children’s Hospital. My ex-husband, future husband, and me and my son. They watched me interact with him. They watched me give up my license, walk him to the room, sit with him, talk to him. I felt sad eyes on us. Pitiful eyes. Concerned eyes. I wanted to scream at them and tell them to stop fucking staring. I wanted to explain that he isn’t normally like this; that he has never threatened suicide, ever. I wanted to explain that I really am a good mom; a great mom. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME!
He was released after a brief intake. He was found to obviously be in his right mind. That he was angry because he didn’t want to do his work. Because my step daughter broke her arm and got a gift from me to make her feel better. Because he doesn’t get anything from me. Because he has less attention. You name it, he used it as an excuse.
Later on, he was fine. As if nothing happened. As if all was right with the world. I can’t explain it. Or understand it.
The fiance and I fought. He called off the wedding and with my chin in the air, I said that that was fine with me. I knew he didn’t mean it. But I let him think I believed him. I told him to sleep in the other room. I told him that he needs to tell his family that HE called it off. He didn’t. He apologized. I forgave him. But I am still extremely angry.
So I went off the diet I have been on for a month. I ate four pieces of pizza.
Tonight I drank a bottle of wine.