by Brenda Saldecki
(Grand Island Nebraska)
My daughter was 19, but I think in some ways, I had lost her 6 years ago. She had began struggling with mental health issues. Cutting, peeling her skin off her fingers, pulling her own hair out. She had over 70 stitches, from the many times she had sliced into her arms and legs. She had over dosed and even attempted to hang herself, as well as an eating disorder.
She had spent her whole teenage years in behavioral treatment centers and foster homes. I had finally asked her physician to have her put in emergency protective custody, after she had inhaled a full can of dust off and I had to perform CPR on her. It was the hardest thing I had to do, but felt like I had no other choice. Everything else I had tried for her was not working. It became too much for me to handle by myself, I was having a hard time hanging on to a job because I was so over whelmed and consumed with Shayla's issues.
She would say and do things that would push me away, and form bonds with foster parents, till her behaviors became a liability risk for the family and they would have to replace her in another treatment facility. Once she had aged out of the system, they had placed her in a transition program in which she was learning independent skills and work on a GED, because she had not cared about her education. I refused to allow her to move home with me because my biggest fear was that she would eventually succeed in her suicide and I would not have been able to handle that. I had already accepted that she was going to succeed, it was just a matter of when it would happen. I had in many ways stepped back and let whatever would happen, happen.
February 3 2014, a police officer came to my apartment and began to identify me, and when he had asked if I had a relative by her last name, I began to scream oh my god, she finally killed herself didn't she? He explained that she had been found deceased in her apartment, she had hung herself.
I had last spoke to her, a week and half ago. She was upset and I encouraged her to go talk to one of the staff because I had no idea how to talk to her anymore. I called to check on her and when I finally talked to her she had reassured me that she had talked to someone and that she was ok. We had talked for a while and before we hung up, I told her I loved her very much.
Despite excepting that it would eventually happen, I was in shock, I miss her voice, and I have dreams in which I see her legs dangling and as hard as I try I can't reach her. I miss her every day although she had not lived with me for six years. Knowing she is no longer with us physically is overwhelming. ALL I know is she is my baby is dead and everything I did to help her was not enough to save her.