January 1, 2013.
Phone rings at 7:37am.
It's a nurse from Cumberland Hospital saying Marina had a bad day/night.
She swallowed some beads while doing a craft and took a pipe cleaner and cut herself with the end of it.
She is on suicide watch, her stomach will be x-rayed, and her stool will be monitored for the beads.
Wow. What a way to wake up on the first day of the New Year.
January 2, 2013.
Phone rings at 4:15pm.
Once again, it's Cumberland, but this time it's Marina.
She does not sound good and admits to cutting, to swallowing the beads, to scratching her incision on her back.
She starts to cry and for the first time she says to me, "I want to die."
"I want to die."
There is no manipulation in her voice, just despair.
What do I say to that?
I tried to comfort her, to ask her why.
Her answer is that her whole body hurts.
Lately, she's also been having visions of her deceased grandmother. Not dreams, actual visions of her sitting on her bed, extending her hand to Marina.
I asked Marina, "Where does your grandmother want you to go?"
She swears that her grandmother is there. On her bed. Reaching out her hands to her.
We visited Marina right after Christmas and seemingly, the visit went well.
The original plan was to take her out for dinner since she was on a level that allowed her to have a pass to leave the grounds.
Unfortunately, she self-sabotaged with self-injurious behavior several days before we arrived.
She was demoted to a Level 1 status and was unable to leave her unit.
We exchanged gifts and she seemed pleased with everything and we left on good note, promising to be back on her birthday, February 10.
Since our visit, however, she's increasingly gone down hill.
We talk to Marina by phone every day, sometimes twice.
Every day she complains of an ailment.
Her side hurts. Her head hurts. She's dizzy.
Her arm hurts, her wrist, her leg.
It's always something.
I hate to admit it, but many times I hang up with her rolling my eyes, glad the conversation is over.
Glad she is there and not here.
But these past 2 days have been different.
I hang up and feel sad for her.
I feel sad that the best she can do for herself is remain on Level 1, under the tightest restrictions Cumberland has to offer.
I feel sad that she can not, or perhaps simply will not, try to use any of the coping strategies she's been taught.
I feel sad that she does not think she deserves any better than this.
I feel sad that at a time when everyone else is making resolutions, toasting to good heath and new beginnings, my daughter says she wants to die.
There was no Happy New Year for Marina.
My new wish for 2013 has nothing to do with me.
My wish is for all of the kids out there who have survived trauma to find peace.
My hope is that someday, somehow, they will begin to heal from the inside out.
My praise is for their parents and caregivers, who have the strength to carry on, even during the darkest of times.
My prayer is for Marina, whose arms look so, so scarred, that she may finally address the scars that are on her heart and soul.