Getting to Skye

From the moment I gave birth to my beautiful daughter I was terrified someone was going to take her from me, I just never thought; it could have been her. I was a very protective strict mom. I was always within reaching distance of her anytime she went out to play at the playground or any other place anyone else was around. My daughter was under strict conditions all the time from how she spoke to people with manners to what she wore, to even her hair cut.  I remember going over to my visit my family in Aurora & my second mom telling me to back off & let her be a kid.  As a matter of fact I was not supposed to not tell my daughter anything when we went to go visit family because my second mom (My best friends mom since we were 9 years old) saw that I was suffocating my daughter with keeping her limited on everything she did. No was my favorite word and my daughter was going to grow up in to a respectful adult, was the way I thought of it.

Signs started showing me my daughter would fight for her freedom as early as first grade. I showed up at her school to pick her up & her teacher had to explain to me that my daughter had taken scissors to her long hair in the classroom and cut over half of the back of her hair off.  Skye had long blond hair & she chopped it off all the way up to her neck.  When I asked her why she chopped off her hair she told me “It’s my power”. I was so mad but she needed some sort of control in her life other than what I wanted. As Skye grew her smile faded & her skin became pale.  There were times I would worry that she was sick with cancer she would be so pale.  It was almost like someone took her pigment away. I never realized, I was putting out her light.  I was a single mom trying to raise my daughter to be a respectful adult.

I did everything I could to protect my daughter & loved her with every ounce of my soul.  As she grew older her need to be independents grew stronger & I pulled the rope tighter.  As a pre-teen she became withdrawn, around 7th grade. She was given a laptop from her Pop, Pop on her dad’s side and she submersed herself in it any moment she had. We discovered she had been talking to strangers on the laptop &  a cell phone her friend gave her & I took it away. One morning before she left for school we had started to argue about her attitude & why she was not allowed an IPhone her friend gave her & she got into my face and screamed the word Fuck. I was not sure what to do so I told her to go to her room & as she stormed away she turned & ran towards me & screamed the word fuck one more time. This time I reacted by slapping her across the cheek. I immediately regretted realizing we just put her in braces on her a few days before. I decided to take her to school scared she might try to run away on the way to school & I knew I had absolutely no control over her.  When we got to the school I asked to speak to the counselor & see if she can help me with some insight. Of course Skye made sure the counselor knew I slapped her that morning probably hoping I would somehow get into trouble.  To both of our surprise the counselor told Skye she was lucky I only slapped her for yelling the F word in her mother’s face because her parents would have whooped her butt as a kid if she had ever spoke to her parents in that manner. We came up with a plan to take Skye to a therapist for Skye and I to work things out. We saw a therapist for about a year that had determined; Skye was taking all of her anger & aggression towards her biological dad that chose not to be in her life and directed it towards me because Skye knew I would never leave her. I even took Skye to a police station to have a police officer explain to Skye why it was dangerous to talk to strangers online.  Even after everything we were trying Skye still seemed off. Skye would stay in her room all day, if she wasn’t trying to get out of the house. She started saying anything to get under my skin or make me uncomfortable with her as if she was always trying to argue with me.

I decided that maybe it was the school & friends Skye had adopted in our neighborhood & moved to the opposite side of town. We bought a house in an established neighborhood that had family close by & a great school system. Skye was furious when we moved. Her 8th grade year was tough, she did not like her new school & was not making a lot of friends was her biggest complaint.  She would demand to go live her dad & I would try to explain why she could not live on her dad’s couch or on his roommates couch. She ended up sneaking a boy into our house while I was at work and got caught by our neighbor as she snuck him out. During this time my second mom was dying of cancer & I was in no way in the condition to handle this on top of dealing with the first death of a person I loved so much. After my mom passed I found Skye was on Facebook without my permission. Talking to strangers again and saying very inappropriate things to men she did not know. I had no idea how to handle the things I read on her Facebook page that she wrote to these total strangers. As I scrolled through her page & private messages I found photos of a man’s penis that were sent to her & I called the police.  She was sending messages back and forth between the boy she had snuck into my house, they threatened each other to do self-harm if they ever broke up.  He sent her messages saying he would cut himself if she broke up with him & she sent him photos of a butcher knife against her leg next to her underwear. Thank God his dad called me & told me they were having this toxic relationship behind our backs. The police came to our house & went through Skye’s lap-top & got all logins and pass-codes Skye had. He knew about chat rooms Skye was in that I didn’t even know existed. I had no idea what to do.  I gave the police the laptop in hopes they catch the sicko that sent my daughter a picture of his penis. Everything had spiraled out of control & Skye was screaming to be put into a mental hospital.  I had absolutely no clue what I did wrong after working so hard to make sure she had everything I thought she needed. Distraught I called a new therapist and set up an appointment to see how I can help my daughter. After telling Skye I set up an appointment with a new therapist she went to school and told her counselor she was thinking about suicide. Of course the school did not take this lightly & called me immediately and told me I had to take her in to get assessed that day.  I took Skye to a professional to have her evaluated & even though the therapist thought Skye could be using suicide as a way to get attention she did not want to take a risk & sent Skye to a local mental hospital for 72 hours. I really thought this was all for attention.  I went home that night not able to sleep with worry & sick of what I did to cause this. I had no idea what I was doing to make my daughter worse.  When Skye came home I was determined to do what I could do to make her happy & let her know she was loved & wanted. I went as far as buying her a puppy hoping it might be a therapy dog that can give her unconditional love.  She was only home for about a week & I thought everything was coming together when I got the call. It was October 31st Halloween morning when her school called me at work. Her counselor told me Skye came to them that morning and told them she took a few advil & tried to choke herself with her belt by a tree outside the school. He explained to me they have already called an ambulance and needed me at the school right away.  I’m sure I did not react the way I should have, not understanding the severity of the situation my daughter has done. When I arrived to the school I went straight to the nurse’s office yelling at my daughter. Asking why she would do something so stupid to herself. I was so mad thinking this was just Skye looking for attention. I didn’t realize my daughter no longer wanted to be alive. Skye was taken by ambulance to the ER of the hospital she was born in.  I was so mad at myself for not seeing this coming. When I got to the hospital Skye was hooked up to an IV of fluids and being guarded by a nurse. She was set as high alert of trying to commit suicide. The doctor explained to me it was too late for them to pump Skye’s stomach & we had to allow her body to detox itself. It was explained that it only takes 15 pills of Aspirin to shut down an adults kidneys & my daughter took about 50 & she tried to strangle herself with her own belt.  I asked Skye why she wanted to hurt herself & she would just scream Fuck You at me. Skye was moved for a short while into the psych ward & stripped of all of her possessions. Both of us crying and hardly able to speak to each other without exploding on each other, a nurse came in & asked Skye what she wanted for lunch. She offered Skye pizza & I immediately snapped at the nurse on why my daughter does not deserve a treat after such a selfish act. The woman continued to ignore me & let Skye choose her lunch.  I felt like I had no control over my daughter or her future or even if she had a future. We waited quite a while for Skye’s lunch & we got to witness firsthand what a mental ward was really like.  There was a distrait man walking the halls of the mental ward, yelling & ranting as he walking back forth in the hall. I closed the door because I could tell he was scarring Skye. When Skye’s lunch came in she ate a few bites of her pizza.  Within a few minutes Skye threw the pizza up all over the floor.  Only then did I realize the woman was not giving Skye pizza as a treat but to force her to throw up and get some of the Aspirin out of her body. Unfortunately the tactic did not work & Skye was transferred back into the regular ER for them to keep a closer eye on her. Skye’s ears were ringing so loud she could barely hear & the effects of the Aspirin kicked in & started to become painful. She was moved to the children’s critical condition ward. As we went upstairs I watched a nurse carry Skye’s bag of clothing she was wearing that day behind the nurse’s desk & was told they have to lock up Skye’s possessions until she is transferred to the mental hospital after she was stable again.  After getting situated in her new room I called Skye’s biological dad & let him know what Skye had done.  I let him speak with her when the hospital allowed it. I slept in the room with my daughter almost every night afraid to take my eyes off her and went to work during the day to still keep a roof over our head.  Thank God I was remarried to a man that was willing to step up & take care of our younger daughter Zoey.

Skye was finally transferred by ambulance to a mental hospital after about two weeks & it had been determined the Aspirin was no longer causing more damage to her kidneys and her liver that it already had. I worked in the morning and drove to the mental hospital every night across town to see my daughter that really just did not want to live this life anymore. She would tell me stories of the other children that would attach each other & slam their heads against walls out of fits of rage. Skye spent more time trying to heal the other children than taking care of herself. Even after such a selfish act she was more concerned of others around her. I started to realize Skye & I were a lot more similar than I ever realized. We spoke to several different therapists that over and over tried to convince me this was not my fault but I could never let go of my responsibility. I cried myself to sleep almost every night trying to understand where I dropped the ball & then it hit me.  I pulled that rope way to tight.  I spent Skye’s whole life trying to protect her from the world instead of raising her to face it. But it wasn’t just me. Skye spent her whole life trying to gain her biological fathers love who was more worried about himself than his own child at that time. He was an alcoholic at that time. Skye choose to stay at the mental hospital for about two months to help herself & finally get the help she needed. I had to learn how to let go and show my daughter I loved her.

Skye came home right before Christmas & we started working with our new therapist I called when Skye started making threats of suicide. I found a lot out of destructive behavior my daughter had done to herself over the years. Skye’s color came back and she no longer looks sick. We went to family therapy & individual therapy & I have learned to trust Skye & let her grow on her own.  We went to therapy for a little over a year & have finally figured out how to connect without anger and control. I have agreed to allow Skye to make her own decisions. I tell her to be smart, use her brain & try not doing something that will get her into trouble.  I also allow her to face her own consequences on mistakes she is making in her everyday life. Everyday gets a little easier for me to let go and for her to live a happy life.  It has been a little over a year & Skye has completely turned around. She has completely opened up to me know that I have learned to allow her to be her own person & not who I think she should be.  All of Skye’s grades are up to mostly A’s and B’s and she is back to drawing and her art that makes her happy. I allow Skye to stay at her dad’s as long as it does not affect her schooling.  I am 100% honest with her about everything & in turn she is honest with me.  I believe this was Skye’s way of waking up.  We all have a point or event that happens to us to make us grow up in life. Mine was a rollover accident in Iowa with friends when I was 15. My second mom told me Skye’s whole life to release the control over my daughter & I almost lost my precious daughter when I pulled the rope tighter. How can your child trust you, if you don’t trust your child? Talk to your children let them be them. Show your child how to act instead of telling them what to do all the time. Let your children fall & trust they will learn from their scraps & bruises just as you did. We all want our children to have a better life than we had but you can’t force it & your children are not you. Stop yelling & start talking so they can hear you. Today Skye & I are best friends & she will be turning 18 in a little over a month. I asked her this Thanksgiving what she was grateful for & she stated being here today. Skye has become a well-rounded young lady with awesome manners & loves her mama. I am excited to see how she impacts this world with her kindness.

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