This might be the hardest post I ever had written and I have doubted to post it or not, but it has been on my mind sinds last week and I can’t shake it loose.
Last week Cory Swapp died. He was the son of Heidi and Eric Swapp. I have followed, as many of you Scrapbookers, Heidi's life for many years through her wonderful Scrapbook creations. We got to see a glimps of her as a mother and see their kids grow up. Hearing the news that her son Cory had died broke my heart for her as no mother should have to go through losing her child. Then I heard that he took his own life, and it hit even more home with me and it has been on my mind ever sinds.
Anthony, my oldest son, is born on the 14th of April 1999, just like Heidi’s son Cory. And just like Cory Anthony suffers from depression. I never shared this openly with you because for me it was something that I was afraid of sharing. Because what if I shared my worst fear, would I jinx it? Also it is not something you can talk about with others as many people do not have a child with depression and they have no idea how to respond, so I kept it to myself, just like many moms do I guess. It also feels like you are failing as a parent to not be able to have a “happy” child. I now know I can’t help him think differently, he is “wired” a different way.
It started when he was 2,5 years old. It was the first time he said: “I want to die”. When he was 7/8 it was not:"I want to die" anymore but: "I am going to commit suicide". Horrible and frightning things to hear and it breaks your heart. You feel helpless and try anything to get that thought out of his mind.
With Anthony a lot of this has to do with his Autism. I now know that when he is depressed he is overly stimmulated or has too much stress in his life, which can come from different things. As many of you long time readers know Anthony has not had a happy childhood as he has been having difficulties with schools from early on. He has been teased, hit by a teacher and switched multiple schools and therefor it was hard to make longterm friends. Also the kids in his school never lived nearby to get together after school, so he feels alone a lot of the time and that hasn't changed much. And when he has a friend he finds it hard to maintane them due to lack of social ability due to his Autism. My heart often breaks in a million pieces when he expresses his loneliness. He still talks about killing himself when he is 18, cause what is the use of a shitty life? I always tell him that he would hurt me so much if he would do this, but I know really well in my gut that if he is at a point in his life where everything is really too much to handle it might happen. This has always been my biggest fear from early on. I have talked with his Psychiater about it and he said it is common with kids with Autism to be negative and more to the depressed side. Anthony's medication didn't help either, in fact it made the negativity and depression worse. Since we stopped his medication and turned to essential oils to support him we have seen a change in him for the better. He is less negative and less depressed, more open en more positive.
I myself have been depressed on and off from the age of 19, but only once did I thought about ending my life but never to the intent of actually doing it, because thinking about my parents and how they would feel made me stop thinking about it all together. Then I had a post-partem depression after Anthony was born but I found out years later that this had been it after a friend of mine had a post-partnem depression. I recognized myselve in her and put two and two together. In the years to follow I have had periods where I felt depressed, but never knew it was a depression until a few years ago a psycologist told me that I was depressed and asked me if I ever felt this way before......uh yeah! Right now I am doing OK but I know I have it always lurking around the corner.
For me it has helped to talk or write down my feelings or thoughts. To get rid of things that causes stress and to have some alone time now and then to get energized again. My oils have supported me as well to stay emotion balanced. I am a very positive person, I always know there is light at the end of the tunnel, I so wish my son would have this as well.
It is hard to have a child who sometimes can't see no other way then "out" and it takes a lot of parent to deal with this and stay calm and talk them through it. I am afraid sometimes to leave, go on a business trip because I am his “person”. I am his person when he is angry (not so fun), but also his person when he is sad, depressed to talk to. I am happy he still is expressing it, but still everytime I leave for a few days I am leaving happier when he is doing OK then when he is not. You are afraid to not be there, to not be able to talk to him or stop him when it does get to that point....if I think about it too much it can give me anxiety attacks.
So yes my heart feels so heavy for the Swapp family as they are now living my worst fear. I want to ask you to hold them up in your prayers today as they say their final goodbye’s to their son Cory. And can I also ask you to hold up my son Anthony, that he will always see the light when everything seems dark. Thank you!
If you want to show your support to the Swapp family here is something you can do:
I know that words of support after loosing someone means a lot, you feel lifted by the outpooring of love, even if they are strangers to you. So let's help lift their spirit and maybe also send a word of love to his siblings, they are hurting just as much.