I'm not sure why a Saskatchewan father took his seven year old daughter's life today. Perhaps he and his wife had yet another fight and he wanted revenge. Perhaps he was mentally ill. No, wait…to take your child's life, you are most definitely mentally ill. I almost know it too well…
You see, I have tremendous fears of being part of the next news story that brings a province to a stand still…my OCD keeps me in its grips and brings me thoughts of wanting to hurt my own children. Even kill them. There…I said it. It's out.
I have difficulty with bath time because I want to hold my children under the water until they are no longer breathing. When I am cooking supper, I want to slit their throats with whatever knife I am holding. When we're driving on the highway, I want to steer into oncoming traffic and take all our lives. I live in a pretty constant state of warding off negative thoughts with regards to my children. It's a living hell.
This afternoon, after learning that little Nia Eastman was no longer alive, I needed to lay down. As I laid there, my OCD took over and began to make a plan to drown the kids and then kill myself. But this time? Instead of telling myself I'm crazy and no one has thoughts like these, I decided to just let the thoughts be. I questioned them…why am I thinking of this? What possible good can come from thinking this way? What makes my brain go to these dark and twisty places? Why me? And a funny thing happened…my mind eventually went quiet and I was able to nap somewhat peacefully. Of course, waking up and realizing all over again that there's a mother out there that will never get to hug and kiss her seven year old daughter broke my heart all over again.
My OCD is a psycho hose beast. But it's one of my truths. I have many truths, but OCD seems to be one of the most prevalent ones…it dictates so much of my day and affects those around me. When mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Mike has missed work because of me and my thoughts of feeling unsafe, whether it's with regards to the kids or myself. My kids have missed school because I've been kept awake by these thoughts and then too tired in the morning to pack lunches and kiss foreheads before they catch the bus.
I realize that this post may be shocking for some to read, but to me, it's just the norm. I've talked about this so often in counselling and psychiatry sessions, it seems old hat to me. I can be speak quite flippantly about my thoughts because the topic is brought up often in my life, whether by me or by my team of supports.
Mike asked me how the news today affected me. I was honest with him and said that it scares me that I could do something like that. Mike made me promise him that I would NEVER hurt our babies…I swore on our wedding rings I would never do that…that I would just take myself out of the equation if my thoughts ever drove me that far. And then we come back full circle…why I find myself in hospital so often…because I'm plagued with these thoughts and afraid I'm going to act on them. It's vicious and nasty, but it's my life. BUT but I am getting stronger with the help of my counsellors and good medication. I journal more regularly now and post for help on Instagram when I need some extra support. And my friends always come through for me.
One day at a time is all I can do…it's all any of us can do.
Keep Nia Eastman and her family in your prayers tonight. And hug your babies a little bit closer when you tuck them into bed.
And so it goes...