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Extra Lucky Christina: Part 3

By Christina Atkinson

Trigger warning: this post discusses mental illness and suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

This is the last of our three part series. Our story with our son, Nicholas. This has been the hardest and most traumatizing journey by far. I think that is why I have left it for last and wrote it so many times only to delete and start over. Putting it in writing causes so many flashbacks but I know I have to do this. Our story, his story may just help someone else.

In a nutshell, I feel like I have always been fighting for Nicholas' life. From almost losing him early during pregnancy, to an emergency cesarean because his little heart desatted and he wasn't getting enough oxygen, and him needing emergency surgery at 10 years old to remove his appendix that burst and made him extremely sick, I was always in fight or flight mode. Begging God not to take my child from me.

Nicholas has always been a kind, loving and happy kid. He was always the one to reach out to those in need or sit with the kid at school that was eating lunch alone. He has a huge heart, incredibly intelligent and the best sense of humor. He loved being around his family and friends until one day that all changed.

When he was 16 years old and met his first girlfriend, his personality changed within a couple of weeks. I remember mentioning to my husband something just wasn't right. I know all mothers sometimes don't think a girl is right for her son but I knew deep in my soul I was never more right.

I won't go into details to protect my son's privacy but I will say she emotionally tortured him until the point he believed these horrible things about himself. He lost everything....his friends, his grades, his beautiful smile, he lost himself. We did everything we could to keep her away from him but there is only so much you can do. Trust me. No one fought harder at it than me.

Nicholas began therapy but it seemed nothing was working for his anxiety and depression. He became so angry and withdrawn, he started cutting himself. Nothing tortured my heart and soul more than to have to take my son to an inpatient facility and watch those doors close behind me. I fell to my knees, literally in screams and sobs.

After 10 days of treatment, Nicholas got to come home. It was so incredible to hold my boy again and have him home where he belonged. Those 10 days without him, I didn't move, I didn't eat and I didn't sleep. I just prayed alot. I did get angry alot with God too....I won't lie but our God is a forgiving and loving God and He understands.

I thought the nightmare was over but I could never be more wrong. Sending him back to school is something I wish I never did. It progessed into more bullying, rum