Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?


September 22, 2001 - 9:50 p.m.

Wow

Looks like Iíve been at this diary thing for over a month. Itís almost painful to look back on because so much has changed since when I started this. My life has changed and the world has changed.

On Thursday afternoon I got a call from the school. Son1 went to see his social worker to talk about how he felt. While he was there he confessed that sometimes he thinks about committing suicide. When she asked if he had a plan, my pragmatic son answered yes. A gun of course, he doesnít own any firearms but has friends that do.

Armed with that information the social worker dialed up spidey and announced that Son1 was on suicide watch. She had to come and get him, and he couldnít return to school until he was in some counseling program. Oh and don't leave him alone. After he was out of the building the social worker called me and told me what heíd said. She said he had the classic symptoms of depression (insomnia, no appetite, weight loss, lethargy). She also said heíd tried to cut himself and that self mutilation was another danger sign. She knew that he had another counseling session this Saturday, one that I had arranged at his request. He couldnít come back to school until after that.

So I went to spideyís workplace to pick him up. He seemed quiet but agreeable. We went home, he practiced driving. I fixed dinner and he hardly ate. Sweetie came over and they went to the mall, but he was back by curfew. He slept okay that night in his own bed and was up by seven the next day. Then he went back to sleep and slept most of the morning. That afternoon he was his normal self. He was cheerful, talkative and agreeable.

This is the post-Columbine reality.

Spidey called me this morning after his counseling session. It seems that his counselor legally has his hands tied, he has to insist that we take Son1 to Poison Oaks, a division of a nearby hospital. He pulls the same rank as the whistle-blower at school, heís a LSW, not an MD.

Poison Oaks is where they treat druggies and compulsive eaters and psychotic kids of all shapes and sizes. They treat suicide cases there too. Based on what he said, my son is a suicide case.

The self-mutilation the social worker was so concerned about consisted of some slices to the side of his hand that he got while messing with a steak knife. He didnít even draw blood. Itís a good thing they didnít know me when I was a teenager, I used to bite my nails. Thatís self-mutilation too, isnít it?

My son goes to someone he thought he could trust to talk about his feelings and they kick him out of school.

Not only that, they wonít let him in again until he completes a two week rehab program at Poison Oaks. They admit him, and for $500.00 a day they try to make him not such a bad person anymore. And Poison Oaks is the only place where he can go to get this kind of magic goodness. Son1 wants none of this and I'll bet he's sorry for opening his big mouth to the wrong person. Now that's a good way to build trust amongst the student body. You can bet that the word is gonna spread, say you're gonna off yourself and you get yourself a "get out of school free" card.

I wonder if the school district is getting a piece of the action?

Iíll grant the kid is probably depressed. It runs in my family so he comes by it honestly. And as a wise Bart Simpson once said, ďEh, making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel.Ē He could probably benefit from some medication for that, but suicide?

I had it all planned out when I was seventeen. Since Pam didnít want me I was going to rig a hose from the exhaust pipe of my momís 1963 Impala to the back passenger window, and stuff the gap full of rags to make it air tight. Thatíll show Ďem, I reasoned. I thought about it, but I didnít do it. I wanted to stick around to see what happens next.

Too bad there weren't any know it all Licensed Social Workers around to save me from myself.





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