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Call the Police! (Chapter 1)

I kept telling myself if we could just make it to the therapy appointment, we’d be okay.

It had been a week full of rages and aggression.

For the first time ever I found myself using the word violence to describe it.

Everyone was hurt. Some even had bruises.

It was the perfect storm of triggers.

No matter what we did, no one could make it stop.

I had cried every day.

We needed help.

But every time I thought to call the police, I knew she’d calm down before they arrived, and no one would believe me. I was just a bad parent who couldn’t control their child.

After all who could imagine that an innocent six-year-old child could be capable of so much.

The true story of how a family sought help for their child with mental health issues.

Call the Police

The Therapy Appointment

The therapist arrived Monday at about 12:15 PM. She listened as my husband and I recounted all that had gone on during the past week. I cried once again.

Dinomite, Bulldozer, and Princess shared all that had happened to them.

I had taken video of one of the most mild incidents, explaining that I had replayed it over and over trying to find the magic word or action that would make it stop.

I showed it to the therapist.

If I could just figure out what I was doing wrong… Surely there was something I could do differently, even though I felt like I had exhausted all of my options.

But that’s when she said it.

“This is not okay. Sunshine is in crisis. Your family is in crisis. You need help.”

And just like that she started making phone calls.

My husband and I looked at each other. At that point I can’t recall if we were more devastated, feeling as if we had failed, or if we felt relieved and validated that what we were experiencing was as horrible as we thought it was.

The bottom line was the therapist knew Sunshine wasn’t okay and we needed help.

Phone calls seemed to lead no where as we’re just barely established here and supports are minimal.

But then it happened.

Make the Call

We were all outside enjoying the weather. The kids were playing. Sunshine had just left the porch after speaking with her therapist.

As she passed Bulldozer she punched him.

The adults intervened.

Sunshine just accelerated.

I had to go get her.

That’s when she started hitting and kicking me.

I was trying to calm her. I was trying to comfort her. But nothing worked.

She just kept punching and kicking me.

That’s when the therapist spoke up.

“Call the police!”

She led my husband inside with Sunshine, observing how the rage and aggression continued to escalate while I stayed outside with the other kids and made the call.

Even now I can’t put into words what it felt like to call 911 on my baby girl.

I was shaking, stumbling on my words, and pacing back and forth in the yard.

My other kids were frightened and emotional.

We all knew that at some point this would happen, but we didn’t expect it now.

The kids wondered if one or more police officers would show up. They wondered if they would come sirens blazing. And of course the big question was how long it would take for them to get to us as we live out in the middle of nowhere.

I couldn’t answer their questions. We just had to wait.

I took turns hugging each of them as they cried and expressed their feelings about the situation.

Princess’ words still echo in my mind.

“I didn’t believe this could really happen. I can’t believe this is happening.”

Help Arrives

It took over 10 minutes for the police officer to arrive. He came in a disguised car with no sirens.

I directed him upstairs.

By that time Sunshine had calmed down. One would say she was even excited to see him. My husband and I cringed. This was the whole reason we hadn’t called before. No one would believe us.

But here’s the thing. The therapist had seen the episode. She had seen the recording of Sunshine’s behaviors from earlier in the week. It wasn’t just coming from us.

It was the therapist that asked that the police officer take Sunshine to the nearest emergency room so we could seek voluntary placement in a psychiatric hospital for children.

Sunshine needed help.

Thankfully I was able to find someone to take my other three children before Sunshine was brought downstairs.

We weren’t sure if she would go willingly or not. We were warned she put up a fight she would be handcuffed and taken away screaming.

I didn’t want my other children to see that.

It turned out Sunshine didn’t mind going with the police officer. The two walked hand in hand to the police vehicle. He strapped her in the back and I watched as they pulled out of the driveway.

Just the Beginning

My husband and I grabbed essentials and then headed to the emergency room. I cried all the way there. Neither one of us could express how we were feeling in words.

Ultimately though we both felt validated.

This was devastating.

It was a nightmare.

But it needed to happen.

We needed help and the only way to get that was to call the police.

This was just the beginning though.

There’s no turning back after you call the police.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.

Call the Police! What You Don't Want to Have Happen When Your Child is in the ER for Mental Health Reasons What Should Happen When Your Child is in the ER for Mental Health Reasons Check-in-at an inpatient children's psychiatric hospital My Daughter is inpatient at a Children's Psych Ward Our First Family Session in a Psych Ward Nine Days This Was Not Okay Miracles What Family Life Looks Like After a Mental Health Crisis is Over To Be a Mother of a Young Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder Reactive Attachment Disorder Support and Resources

A true story about the reality of being a parent of a child with mental health issues.


  1. Oh honny, I am so sorry this is happening to you. I do hope they get Sunshine the help she needs. I'm certain there are SO many horrible moments playing out in your head, even hurtful words you are telling yourself. Stay strong hon and I do hope it gets better. Sending a long-distance hug xx

  2. So much love and strength to you.

  3. I am so sorry that you and your family have to go through this. If it is any help, it has encouraged me that if or should I say when I get to that point with my special needs children, I will know that others have gone through it, too.