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The Girl Behind the Door: A Father's Quest to Understand His Daughter's Suicide

By John Brooks

An award-winning, candid, and compelling tale of an adoptive father’s look for the reality approximately his teenage daughter’s suicide: “Rarely have the themes of suicide, adoption, youth, and parenting been explored so overtly and in truth” (John Bateson, Former govt Director, Contra Costa problem heart, and writer of The ultimate bounce: Suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge).

Early one Tuesday morning John Brooks went to his teenage daughter’s room to ensure she used to be getting up for faculty and located her room darkish and “neater than usual.” Casey was once long past yet he stumbled on a observe: The automobile is parked on the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m sorry.

Several hours later a safety video was once discovered that confirmed Casey stepping off the bridge.

Brooks spent months after Casey’s suicide attempting to comprehend what led his seventeen-year-old daughter to take her lifestyles. He examines Casey’s trip from her abandonment at delivery in Poland, to the orphanage the place she lived for the 1st fourteen months of her lifestyles, to her adoption and existence with John and his spouse Erika in Northern California. He reads. He talks to Casey’s buddies, lecturers, medical professionals, therapists, and different mom and dad. He consults adoption specialists, researchers, clinicians, attachment therapists, and social workers.

In The lady at the back of the Door, Brooks stocks what he realized and asks “What did all people omit? What might have been performed differently?” He’d come to achieve that Casey could have been helped if somebody had well-known that she’d most likely suffered an attachment sickness from her infancy—an illness universal between young children who’ve been orphaned, missed, and abused. This emotional deprivation in early adolescence, from the inability of a safe attachment to a chief caregiver, can result in a variety of critical behavioral matters later in life.

John’s desire is that Casey’s tale, and what he chanced on considering her dying, may help others. this crucial publication is a wakeup name that oldsters, psychological future health pros, and teenagers may still learn.

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Hallelujah. domestic unfastened. Having exhausted my holiday days from paintings, I again domestic to Connecticut. Erika remained with Casey for an additional weeks as visitors of her aunt Nusia and uncle Marian in Wrocław until eventually Casey’s U. S. visa was once issued. 8 Over the following few years, Erika and that i eased into conventional parenting roles. With the adoption ordeal at the back of us, we would have liked to calm down to a standard kin existence, and for the main half it was once. I went to paintings at a small funding company, whereas Erika gave up her jewellery enterprise to stick domestic with Casey.

Physique warmth generated greater than enough heat on that chilly January evening. The air within the chapel was once thick and noisy with anticipation as I made my method from front door to the tip of the pews the place I was hoping to discover a seat. I observed regular faces within the crowd from church or college, all of the as far back as Casey’s kindergarten type. I took a seat the place i'll see the level and peer over the folks in entrance of me to appear for Casey. I stuck her on the foot of the degree together with her girlfriends, chatting contentedly, falling into them and giggling.

Greater than sixty years after the struggle, the method is much smaller, serving an anticipated twenty-five thousand kids, however the institutional constitution nonetheless has a child-to-caregiver ratio as excessive as ten to at least one. The emotional wishes of the kids are frequently sacrificed in want of uncomplicated care, in what quantities to a hugely regimented, mass-care surroundings. employees individuals are discouraged from bonding with the kids. it's thought of to be unprofessional. yet there also are sensible concerns. Caregivers will be simply beaten by means of such a lot of youngsters clamoring for his or her affection, resulting in burnout.

Classes, and obsessed over her admissions essays, the place she would actually shine. If she desired to shoot for Bennington, I voted to provide her an opportunity to be ok with herself instead of carry her again. In gentle of Casey’s newfound decision to take cost of the subsequent section of her existence, we made up our minds to not difficulty her in regards to the behavioral matters that had plagued us for therefore lengthy until they have been really egregious—say, discovering a pound of weed stashed below her mattress or noticing a dramatic weight reduction. We simply desired to get her off to school.

Her face used to be frozen in terror. I picked up the bedside mobile. It used to be 6:40, simply ten mins for the reason that I’d gotten up. “Nine-one-one. What’s your emergency? ” The phrases tumbled out of my mouth. “My identify is John Brooks. I reside at 15 Claire manner in Tiburon. My daughter Casey’s disappeared. She left a word asserting that she left the automobile on the Golden Gate Bridge car parking zone. ” “Okay. Sir, please try and settle down. what sort of automobile is it? ” “A crimson 1999 Saab 9-3. ” “And you stated the Golden Gate Bridge car parking zone? ” “Yes.

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