Canyons of life

JLS

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Joined
Mar 26, 2012
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15,472
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
Disclaimer: very much non hunting, and some incredibly heavy shit. If that isn’t your thing, stop reading. This is truly the anti instagram reel about life.

This is without doubt, the hardest post I’ve ever written. I debated about sharing this, and my natural inclination is to lock it away from the world where no one can see it. However, some of you are close and personal friends. Some of you are parents. Some of you will be parents. Some of you may be walking through something similar, and some of you may be in the future.

I left late morning Friday to meet a couple of friends for a season finale chukar hunt in Oregon. I almost didn’t go. My youngest two daughters had an apocalyptic blow-up Thursday while I was at work. My youngest daughter went to a friend’s house to stay while things cooled down. I thought we had things kind of worked out that we could let emotions cool for a few days, and then revisit things early in the week.

The last hour and half of the drive is completely off grid. As I drove Friday evening, I had an increasingly overwhelming sense of dread something horrible was going to happen while I was gone. I chalked it up to an overactive mind and a lifelong struggle of giving things like these a little time to settle. I prayed for peace of mind. My sense of unease lessened but didn’t go away.

Saturday, while hunting, I had an overwhelming sense of urgency to find some cell coverage. I tried climbing higher but couldn’t find any. When we got back to camp, I borrowed my buddy’s inReach to send a text to my wife. She said come home ASAP.

I called my wife as soon as I got cell coverage on the way. My youngest daughter attempted to overdose Friday night. By the grace of God, she threw up twice during the night, which probably saved her life. My wife went down to talk to her Saturday morning and ended up taking her directly to the ER. When my wife finished telling me the story, she gave the phone to my daughter. I cried so hard I had to pull over. I was almost unable to speak. When I got the hospital that night, I was able to see her. She was exhausted and barely awake. I held her and cried.

My wife stayed in the ER, and I came home to take care of the dog. Saturday night was one of the darkest nights of my life. There is a back story here. Both of my parents committed suicide when I was 25. Mental illness and suicidal tendencies are a genetic reality. I blamed myself for the pain and torment my youngest daughter was living in. All three of my girls have struggled with anxiety and depression. I struggled with the reality they had to bear the burden of my family’s past. I fought an overwhelming urge to burn the house down and disappear.

I cried. I screamed at no one. I asked God why my kids had to suffer. I read the notes she had left and cried more. I screamed until I was hoarse. I slept fitfully.

Sunday was rough. I was a physical, mental, and emotional wreck. My daughter told me I looked like an 80-year-old man. I felt like it. I cried and prayed with her. I told her I was sorry in whatever way I had let her down as a parent. My best friend sent me a text Sunday night. He told me “We don’t get a say in whatever God’s plan is for us, but it’s inevitable.” I read that over and over that night.

On Monday, a psychiatrist interviewed my daughter, and then us. He recommended inpatient treatment. My daughter was scared and wanted to go home. I wanted to take her home. She wanted to see Finn. We all cried. I told her I thought inpatient treatment would be best for her, but in the end, she would not be forced to go.

Segue to the backstory again, my mom attempted to overdose prior to her death. She was held for a 48-hour mandatory stay in the psychiatric ward in the hospital after she was released from the ER. We visited her, and she was pleading and demanding we get her out. As family, we could do so. We refused. I will never forget walking away from her room with her yelling at us to get her out. She needed help but refused it completely.

Fast forward, that memory was haunting me. I was terrified we would experience the same thing here. Finally, at 1:00PM they told her there was a bed available and she could check in at 2:00PM. I sat down by her and asked her what she thought. She closed her eyes and began to cry. My heart stopped. She opened them and said, “I’ll go.” I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I cried pretty much uncontrollably the whole way home to get her some clothes and take Finn to see her.

The check in process was hard. She can’t have visitors. I can’t even begin to describe how scary it is to leave your baby girl in a situation like this. I am praying continually for God to watch over her, to protect her, to give her the strength to be vulnerable, to heal her heart, and to give her confidence in who she is as a person. We don’t know how long she’ll be there. The uncertainty and fear is nearly crippling at times.

The ripple effect from this is like an emotional tsunami. Where do you start picking up the pieces and sorting through emotions? The mind is an amazing and beautiful thing, but it can also be terrifying in how it works. Hug your family. We get a second chance at being whole, and for that I am forever grateful. The what ifs are incomprehensible. Don’t take anything for granted. Talk to your kids. The signs aren’t always obvious, even to professionals.

Even in the deepest and darkest canyons, there is hope.

I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1-2
 

Rzrbck918

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Aug 13, 2016
Messages
1,497
Location
Bixby Oklahoma
Wow. Heavy isn't even the word for that. Im sorry you are facing this and I truly hope and pray she gets the help she needs. Not sure where you are located at but if there is anything we can do, don't hesitate.
 

mulecreek

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Nov 16, 2010
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Location
Rock Springs, WY
You and your family will be in my thoughts as I take your words to heart. You are blessed with your family and they are blessed with you as a father.
 

Carl 9.3x62

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Jul 4, 2016
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Location
Laramie, Wyoming
Dang man, I can't even imagine what that must be like, and I have kids of my own. As hard is it was, I appreciate you sharing. It is a good reminder that the unexpected can happen to anyone, and to hold loved ones close. I'll lift up a prayer for you and your family.
 

TOGIE

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Dec 13, 2017
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Location
CO
sending prayers JLS.

not that i know anything, but i feel like i do know that you can't be blaming yourself for this situation.
 

2rocky

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Jul 23, 2010
Messages
3,631
JLS My thoughts are with you. As a father I understand what you feel for your daughter, your family and yourself. It sure isn't easy and I'm glad HT is a place where you can share with us.

I wish you the peace you are looking for and hope your daughter can appreciate your love.
 

Dougfirtree

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Jul 27, 2016
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Location
Adirondacks
I'm so sorry, JLS. That's an awful thing for your whole family to be dealing with. I can't imagine. My instinct is that it's going to be good for you to talk about it like this. I have no doubt that you'll be there for your daughter in the days and months ahead and she's lucky to have you. I'd encourage you to also think about who's there for you right now. You carry (several) very heavy burdens and you may be better able to be there for her if you ask for some help from a therapist and have that outlet/assistance. Wishing the very best for your family!
 

NoWiser

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Feb 12, 2013
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Location
Minnesota
Prayers for your daughter. She's lucky to have a father that loves her so much. I can't imagine what you both are going through right now.
 

fowladdict

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Joined
Aug 20, 2005
Messages
2,314
Praying for your daughter and your family JLS. As a father who has been there with a daughter of his own, I understand your sadness, anger, feelings of hopelessness and frustration. My best advice is to love as hard as you can and have a couple of scriptures handy to read when you feel helpless.
 
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