It can be hard to say, "we need help." Hear Stephanie and Jermaine's story about setting their pride aside in order to get all of the support and help they needed to care for their children.
“One specific day where we had, I’d have to say the worst day ever, was a Sunday. Dad and I were gone to the grocery store and we got a call from our oldest daughter saying that our child was trying to hurt herself. And so, at that point, we rushed home to find her choking herself, punching herself, and, um, she told me to kill her. She was the one who was sexually abused and she had nightmares that the man that sexually abused her was coming to kill her.”
“I cannot say . . . I felt completely powerless, powerless that day in general. Because of all my years, as far as I could, even growing up where my mom and dad were foster parents, I’ve never seen anything to that magnitude. At that point, it was like a show, but this was reality and it was happening right before me. There was nothing I could do. I mean, nothing I could say to her that was gonna bring her back, nothing I could even you know like offer at that moment. It was like, ‘what do we do?’
“At that point, we couldn’t get her to calm down and to stop like scratching at herself and hurting herself, and so we had to call the police to come and took her to Rogers Memorial Hospital, which is the psychiatric hospital. And so she was admitted that day. In the moment when our daughter was going through that crisis, like, who wants to show the world? Like, I didn’t want my neighbors to see the police show up at my house. Who wants that to happen? And then for them to see my daughter walking out with the police . . . like that was not something that we could have planned. But at the end of the day I realized that we couldn’t help her in that moment, and we had to reach out to whatever we could at that time to get her the help that she needed.”
“If you’re going to be ashamed about you’re never gonna get help that you actually need, or want. One has to be able to just say. ‘You know what, I know it’s going to be better for myself and for my child at this point. So I have to move past what I’m feeling right now so we both can be better.”
“And so we find that, you know, talking to other parents helps. ‘Hey, my kid is doing this. Have you ever experienced that?’ And they’re like, well maybe no, but I have something similar. And so, you know, we’re able to kind of glean off of that and just learn from it to help us be better parents. We went through those difficult times where, for whatever reason, that may be and maybe it’s because somebody else is going to go there or someone else is going to be sitting in our shoes and say, ‘Hey, I just had to get my child into Rogers,’ or, ‘Hey, my child just had a mental breakdown, what do I do? How do I support them? How can I still say, you know, I’m going to be here and I’m all alone in this situation.’ But I tell people, everyone goes through something. And it’s never for you; it’s always for somebody else. Her life is worth me saying, all my pride aside, how can I help my child? And she’s so much better for having that help.”Transcript