You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

By: Ms. Orent

Our then 25 YO daughter crashed and burned seemingly overnight.  I saw it coming like a train wreck in slow motion; my husband saw a young adult struggling with what she wanted to do in her life. She had graduated from college (school was always a struggle—she’s bright but never very motivated), moved to Austin, TX for a great job opportunity, then started doing some quirky and out of character things.  She quit her job, was fired from a new one and became very secretive.  She was always very independent, but started gravitating to non-traditional practitioners and spent a lot of money on them.  She pushed us aside and didn’t want to hear our concerns.  One of her best friends died right after they graduated from college; we offered to get her help (we were grappling with it, too), but she insisted she was fine.

DD (dear daughter) nearly killed herself under the guise of trying to be uber-healthy.  She didn’t see it that way and had fallen prey to disreputable practitioners that guided her and took her money, though she was convinced they cared about her more than we do.  She hasn’t been the same ever since.

She finally asked us for help.  Since she lived far away,  we had no idea how far she had gone into the depths of depression, anxiety and eating disorders.  We felt like deer in the headlights trying to formulate a plan to help her.  Thankfully, close friends had a son who had gone to a Therapeutic Boarding School for a year of high school after a breakdown.  They were instrumental in helping us seek out professionals to begin the journey we had no idea we would be taking.

It’s been 3 years since she crashed.  It’s been a nightmare in every sense of the word and every day is a challenge. We’ve met some of the strongest people and have been lucky to connect with kind strangers every step of the way.

This was not the plan.  We did not see this coming.  Her diagnosis is complex and possibly changing.

We all have stories to tell with different twists along the way.  But we love our kids (spouses, siblings, parents, dear friends).  That doesn’t change.  But everything else does.

We’ve attended some amazing support classes (NAMI Family to Family being one of them) and that impacted our lives tremendously!

YOU DON”T KNOW WHAT YOU DON”T KNOW…….and I learned….that’s okay.

The next step is to find people that DO know.  Ignorance is not bliss—it can be deadly or have other terrible outcomes.  Reach out.  You’ll find amazing people who can guide you to resources you didn’t know existed.  Ask for help.  Tell your story.  When we shared our story (including why DD was not at her sister’s wedding), friends came out of the woodwork to support us and tell their stories, too!  Though it may feel like it, you are NOT alone!