When I was younger, and had trouble sleeping, I would sit up in my bed and look out of my window. I would look at our garden, so familiar yet strange in the darkness. I would think about our neighbours, my friends and family - children, mums and dads - wondering if they were asleep or lying awake too. It was peaceful yet eerie, to be alone with my thoughts, to be the only one awake in the house, perhaps the street.
Last night when Jewhurst came to bed I woke up. The rain was pouring outside and a cool breeze was coming through our open windows. I lay awake again, waiting to drift off, thinking mindless things. And then someone popped into my head and soon it was difficult to get her out of it again.
Yesterday Kate Takes 5 flagged up a blog on Twitter because it had made her cry. Out of curiosity I had a look and found it very difficult to drag myself away. The blog, called "Mental Health Diary", outlines the journey, the ordeal, of a mother and her teenage daughter:
"Mum of 2, suffering my own mental health issues, I began to write this blog as a way to release feelings and emotions. My 13 year old daughter has been terribly bullied which has led to her having serious mental health problems of her own. I wanted to document our journey and hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come."
I challenge anyone to read this and not be profoundly affected by what is written. The sorrow and despair of Emily and her mother just screams out from the page. I feel anxious and breathless reading her accounts of Emily's "episodes", I feel frustration and rage as I hear the despicable reactions of the school, and helplessness as I see how professionals are trying to help yet are bound by lack of funding and bureaucracy. I am beyond angry that boys in that school were allowed to beat, punch, kick and push a young girl completely unchecked. I cannot even begin to image what it is like living with this illness, hearing voices in your head, being told to kill yourself, wanting to die; nor can I fathom what it is like watching your daughter harm herself, not knowing when the next episode will be, screaming for help and not getting it.
So last night, I lay there thinking about Emily and her mum. I wondered if Emily knew she was safe, or if she was scared. Was she sleeping peacefully or battling the voices in her head? I wondered if her mum was able to get some sleep, or if she was awake and worrying. I wondered if her mum's wedding was still able to go ahead. I wondered if Emily would get the help she needs before it is too late. I said a prayer for Emily, and her mum. I prayed that the peace that passes all understanding would descend upon that house. I prayed that action would be taken, that Emily would be taken care of. I prayed for Emily's mum, her brother, her mum's partner, her Nannan. It's all I can do for them, but there are others who can do much, much more.
Please read this blog. There are hardly any comments on the posts. This poor woman is screaming into the silence. Please pray for them.