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My Daugther is Inpatient at a Children's Psych Ward (Chapter 5)

When I arrived home from the hospital the house was empty.

My other children were at friend's houses and my husband was at work.

I made calls to let people know they could bring my children home.

And then I went outside and sat on the porch swing and watched the day turn to night.

This was the first time I had been alone in...  I honestly don't know how long.

My body was numb.

All I could do was breathe, listening to the sounds of nature around me.

The words echoed in my head,

"My daughter is inpatient at a children's psych ward."

It still didn't seem real.

My daughter is Inpatient at a Children's Psych Ward

Ice cream

The stillness brought with it a sense of peace, strength and healing, at least enough to get me through the night.

I just kept rocking the swing back and forth.

At one point it occurred to me that I was hungry and hadn't had anything to eat or drink in eight hours.

Usually I'm a stress eater, but through this experience, I just couldn't eat.

The sick feeling in my stomach just wouldn't go away.

I found some leftover Ben & Jerry's in the freezer and returned to my swing.

Ice cream was the only thing that sounded good.

I called my mom and then my Grandpa just happened to call out of the blue.

That's when I said it for the first time to someone who wasn't aware of what was going on.

"Sunshine is inpatient at a children's psych ward."

I really don't know how I said it so calmly without a crack in my voice.

But I did.

We spoke for only a few minutes as my other children started to arrive.

Then life just kept moving forward, whether I was ready for it or not.

Ready or Not

My other children were dropped off one by one.

I spoke with those who had been watching them, smiling, laughing, and joking as they told stories of the day's events before saying thank you and goodbye.

The kids needed to eat dinner, bathe and get into pjs.

At dinner I crumbled, almost sobbing because I missed my Sunshine so much.  She usually hugs me at least 50 times a day.

It had been four hours since my last hug.

I wondered how she was doing, if she was okay, if she was scared...

And then I had to stop thinking about her and take care of my other three children.

They were all feeling so many emotions as well and we needed to talk about them.  I needed to validate that whatever they were feeling was okay.

Each of them took turns.  Their feelings were pretty mutual.

They really missed Sunshine but at the same time they were so thankful she was gone.

No one wanted to get hurt again.

The Show Must Go On

It was a Friday.

This meant the boys were expecting their Friday night movie night with popcorn.

To them, their sister being inpatient at a children's psych ward didn't warrant changing their routines and schedules.

And so we just went on doing what we do.

The kids had so many fabulous stories to tell about their week of adventures.

I tried my best to be excited, smiling, and laughing where appropriate.

And that was that.


I made it through the night until the kids were in bed and my husband was home from work, and then I crashed.

Never had I felt so exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

So many people told me to take the time that my daughter spent in a children's psych ward to rest, have respite, and recharge.

But I knew even after just one night, this wasn't going to happen.

I was broken.

My daughter was inpatient at a children's psych ward.

How could I rest?

How could this be respite?

How could I recharge if I wasn't even okay to begin with?

Maybe this was all a bad dream?

And that's when I fell asleep on my tear stained pillow.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to follow the rest of our story, be sure to visit 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 Special Needs Support and Resources

My Daughter is Inpatient at Child's Psych Ward

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