This post could be triggering for some readers.
I don’t like to say she killed herself or that she committed suicide because that is not what happened.
She made a conscious decision to end her life and she had been wanting to do it and thinking about it and talking to us about it for over 10 years since she was first a teenager.
She did not do it out of spite or in a rash moment of insanity or after a heated argument.
She planned it; she researched it and she prepared for it.
She had been dealing with mental illness for all of her life, even as a very small child she was always different and difficult and sensitive but often defiant and oppositional. She was also sweet and loving and adorable and bright and intelligent.
We took her to all kinds of therapists from the time she was about five.
When she started pre-school, she was okay, she didn’t like to follow the rules and could not make friends easily but she loved to paint and draw and she loved nature and animals.
Extended family gatherings became very stressful. She was very jealous of the time and love the grandparents gave to the other grandkids; she only wanted to play “her” games with the cousins playing by her rules.
One on one she was amazing, caring, kind, sensitive, thoughtful, and outgoing. She seemed confident like a confident toddler.
We had her assessed for ADHD, ADD, autism, Asperger's; we had her hearing and sight tested.
At primary school she was very disruptive, it was a struggle.
She was our first child so we did not know how to prepare for what was happening; we had no point of reference, all we knew is that she was not like all the other little girls.
While she could be so sweet and fun and affectionate at home, at school she was aggressive and difficult, and this also became apparent when socialising with family friends.
She saw the school councillor; we did family therapy; we did the Triple P Parenting program. She was given the diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance Disorder. We were shocked.
We were later told this was wrong, she was anxious but with the anxiety “fight or flight” response syndrome she was “fighting”, and this was being ignored.
We had weekly family meetings with our kids, planning activities and made good behaviour charts with goals for her to look forward to.