“Are You Better Now?”

I had to return to my GP for a new referral to my psychiatrist. I had the Locum doctor who was obviously unfamiliar with my background.

While answering the standard questions about medications etc, another question was asked.

“Are You Better Now?”

And within seconds my eyes began to fill with tears and I took a deep breath before responding, “Well I do not cry every single moment of the day now.” And then the next 10 minutes of the appointment was spent trying to not cry because all I kept thinking was,

“How does anyone feel ‘better’ after child loss or losing a loved one?”

Because, no I am most certainly NOT feeling better. I am simply learning how to wear a mask and hide my emotions most of the time. I no longer struggle to hide my emotions from the general public, because most of the general public do not wish to see a woman sitting, drinking coffee, with tears streaming down her face. It makes them uncomfortable and wonder if I am about to leap up wielding a weapon and harming others. I can tell because of the looks of horror and uncertainty on their faces. As well as the fact I have had people move seats away from me lol.

Amazing that as a society we view genuine emotions with horror and discomfort, yet we encourage people to show a ‘strong face’ etc, in times of despair. Oh sorry, but my son died 2 1/2 years ago and you believe this to mean my feelings of despair should be over by now? Well let me tell you that I shall NEVER be over my feelings of despair and loss, regarding my child. And until or unless you experience this type of loss, you have NO RIGHT to expect me to meet your beliefs about this type of grief.

I am angry, so very angry. My son did not deserve to die how he did. My children did not deserve to lose their little brother. Jaie’s Fiancee and daughter did not deserve to lose him in any way.

So I am angry to be asked “Are you better now?” I am angry my baby is dead. I am angry his little girl will have no living memories of her daddy. I am angry that my eldest son spoke of everything being ‘tainted’ by Jaie’s death. I am angry that my daughter does not have an argument with her little brother, but in the next moment is defending him against  anyone else. I am angry that his Fiancee has been placed with so much sorrow and stress on her young shoulders. I am angry I couldn’t help my son.

But I am not angry with Jaie. I am simply devastated that my youngest child felt so bereft of hope he took his own life. I am saddened he did not realise that he had an illness which destroyed his mind and life. An illness which was manageable.

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’


6 thoughts on ““Are You Better Now?”

  1. My heart goes out to you, and you are by no means alone in “long” lasting grief. It is perfectly normal to *never* get over the loss of a child, regardless of how it happened – or when. It is inexcusable that Mental Health awareness, even in the medical profession, remains woefully inadequate.

    About the same time your son died, the mentally ill son of a friend and colleague was murdered by the police. He was shot twice in the back at point blank range – “in self-defense,” WHILE Jeremy’s arms and legs were held as he was restrained face-down and tazed. While the police cleaned up the mess and removed the body, they held my friend in the back of an unbearably hot police car (without even a window cracked for ventilation), and refused to allow her to join her daughter and ex-husband, only yards away. The media reported the “official” story, despite the fact that there were witnesses.

    Imagine being triggered any time you see a police car, hear a siren, or run into an uniformed officer in a convenience store. How does one EVER get over that? I will never get over the memory of my friend on that day in the hospital myself, and he wasn’t even my son.

    Personally, I will *always* be both angry and depressed about what happened as the result of the lack of mental health training for police – and at his Cincinnati psychiatrist of many years (unfortunately, still considered a “good” psychiatrist even though he “doesn’t believe in” first line anxiolitics and sees patients for 10-minute appts.). This supposed mental health “expert” refused to squeeze him in when Jeremy called for an emergency appointment SEVERAL times in the month prior – and refused to medicate him adequately, threatening to withhold medication entirely if Jeremy continued his “drug seeking behavior” — despite the fact that he had been a model, meds-compliant patient simply reporting TO HIS DOCTOR that he was under-medicated. [Search for “When Breaking News Becomes Personal” on my blog if you are interested]

    America’s “war on drugs” counts its casualties in the lives of the mental health community, under the pretense of protecting drug addicts from themselves.

    I ask how my friend is doing, and she does seem to be doing “better” in the same manner that you are, better at hiding her feelings of despair from the world – but for a supposed “professional” who has accepted money for the care of one who grieves a child who took his own life to ask “Are you better now?” can only be described as cruel and insensitive. NO excuses!

    Expecting the grief process to take any sort of “normal” or rapid trajectory is another sad symptom of inadequate training. I am angry on your behalf, and sorry to read that you felt as if you had to sit there with a stiff upper lip, essentially forced to lie about your emotions as you met for a referral from someone who darned well SHOULD know better (and I rarely use that “s” word).

    I added a link to this post as Related Content on my own 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day post. I am so sorry to read about your son. In my experience, it DOES get “not as bad” – but it never gets “better.” My intent is empathy and support. I pray that this comment did not add to your sorrow. Please accept my sincere apology if so.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Madelyn let me say I already found your 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day post and shared it on Jaie’s FB page. So much information in it that needs to be shared.
      approx 18 months after Jaie died I met another father who’s 17yr old son had been killed in a hit and run. He saw my Jaie’s Journey shirt and asked who Jaie was. I explained and he looked at me and told his son’s story. I reached out and gave him a big hug and told him he is by no means alone in this world with his grief. Even though it is our path alone, there are many others who will walk behind and beside him when he needs the support.
      Empathy is underrated and underused in this world.
      On this journey I have learnt so much and one of the main things I have learnt is that very few people can understand the impact the loss of a child has on a parent and the family circle. So the doctor was young and still learning. Maybe she realised she said the wrong thing? Maybe she didn’t? I won’t ever know.
      I understand what you are saying about the memory of what your friend went through at that hospital when her son was killed. My dearest friend also was with me when I was told my son Jaie killed himself and when I collected his personal belonging… and ID’d his body at the morgue. She came as close as anyone would ever want to, in experiencing firsthand the loss of a child, specifically to suicide, that any parent would want to come.
      I am so so sorry the police were like they were with your friend and her child.
      We were very fortunate to have compassionate and empathetic police officers (both were women) and they took the best care of me/us that they possibly could, given the awful circumstances.
      Saying this I believe there is a long way to go in the training of frontline professionals (police, paramedics, medical staff) to ensure the appropriate care and treatment is given to vulnerable and at risk folk. If proper training can be provided to tackle a problem before a situation escalates, then lives can and will be saved.
      Sorry if my response is messy and rambling. Some days the words form easier than others.
      Thank you for your feedback and response and please do not feel that you have upset me xx
      People such as yourself are earth angels and need to be recognised as such Madelyn ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How kind of you to take the time to ease my fears that I might have upset you – and thank you for sharing my article (and the links to others) on FaceBook. I rarely go on FB these days, so I would not have known if you had not told me.

        I am relieved to hear that you were treated kindly and with empathy in the time immediately following your tragic loss – and I’m glad that the officers were female so that you didn’t have to deal with machismo “stiff upper lip” nonsense at that time.

        Your willingness to chalk up the insensitivity of the more recent doctor to youth or inexperience is also kind. However, the younger the doctors, the most recent their mental health training, so the greater the support for my point that their training is inadequate. Sad, but all too true. The more of us who call it out and insist on better training, the more likely it is that someone will hear – and listen. As you say, “If proper training can be provided to tackle a problem before a situation escalates, then lives can and will be saved.”

        Your response to my comment was quite cogent, actually, and thank you so much for taking the time to leave it. My friend and I are meeting tomorrow night for a night of dinner and TV at her house. I shall pass on your kind words at that time.


        Liked by 1 person

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