I Will Never Give Up On You

When she was three I took a job babysitting so that I could buy her her own toy kitchen.
It made her very happy. 
The high school called today; she is AWOL. The police are on it. She will need to be drug tested upon her return, and have an escort at all times--if she returns.
Five was a dinosaur birthday party. I made fossils out of homemade dough, imprinted them with footprints from plastic figurines, buried them in the large sandbox so the children could unearth them, all fossil-hunter like. Made all the favors, snacks, cake, from scratch. Games-- I hired teen volunteers to help me entertain 20 kids in my yard. That made her really happy. Me too.
She has been found, but you do not want to know where...
She wanted to be a Girl Scout in the worst way. All the troops were at full capacity. Although I had a special needs baby to care for and an older foster child  who hated me, I started my own troop of Daisies--never told anyone "No," had more little girls than any of the other moms--met every two weeks in my living room for a year--followed all the rules, fulfilled my duty, as it were. They were all happy. So was I.
She's gone again, this time with the parting words, "All I need is 15 hours and you will never, ever find me." The cops are on it, again, but they are not in a very good frame of mind. They try the 21 year old's apartment, reach in when she answers the door, grab her by the wrists, manhandle her, handcuff her.
She is home again and threatening to torch the place, hire kids to jump and beat us. When I say, "We love you and care about you; please do not do this, please talk to me." I hear, you stupid ******* ***** I hate you and I hate that you are in my life.
Nine was an American Girl birthday party. All the girls were sent scripts and were asked to come in homemade period costumes, which they all excitedly did. We put on a mystery play, complete with clues and games and a genuine old fashioned tea party, my beautiful girl the guest of honor. It was special and wonderful and everyone said so. We were all happy.
Did you know that if you even touch a police officer during any kind of altercation it is considered aggravated assault? It is.
After birthdays became passe' (how do you top yourself, really?)  it was gymnastics and soccer and softball, and dancing and basketball and karate and music... none of those things made her happy but we tried them all because she said she wanted to. Even the trying made me happy, because there was always the hope that she would smile, feel proud of herself, confident, happy. 
I plead with the officers, the doctors--she is mentally ill. Detention cannot be an option. I want her committed. And so it is. And I hold her, all pierced and filthy, skin and bones in her hospital gown and she sobs, and I tell her I love her, and she tells me she loves me too, and in that moment, as the security guard looks on and eyes the restraints he has ready, I look at him and I nod that it is okay, she has calmed down, for now.
She is a prodigy, a natural artist, wowing art teachers wherever she goes. She is naturally musically inclined as well, but she will not play, draw, anymore. Maybe she cannot right now. Depression and mental illness in general have a way of zapping your creative spirit. They say that what you express outwardly is actually an expression of how you feel about yourself. I just learned that tonight, as I am actively educating myself. That certainly explains a lot I think to myself.
I have been forced to give up my job because no one else can do what I do-- and it is a full time job again now, I am in advocate mode, and I have nothing else to give strangers at this point.
I can deal with her in ways ways no one else can, because I can see the three year old cooking me breakfast, and the dinosaur hunter, and the Daisy and the colonial tea party hostess, and the softball slugger and the percussion star, and I can hear, I love you mommy as they are wheeling her away from me, just an hour before they are forced to inject her with anti-psychotic medication because she is cursing and thrashing and spitting...
and I run up to her --stop the EMT's--and I hug her one last time-- hug her almost to break her shoulders, and I grab her face in my hands and I press my lips to her ear, and in between both of our sobs I tell her clearly:
I will NEVER give up on you.
And I won't.
Quintesse Quintesse
51-55, F
32 Responses Sep 28, 2011

I try not to use the phrase "never ending road" and prefer instead to say "unintentional detour".
I have been told that some of this will resolve itself with age. I am optimistic. Thanks for the hugs. I appreciate every single one of them.

Wow. Long, never ending road I guess. Hugs

There are a lot of issues here --way beyond your average depressive episode, but I believe you when you say you understand, and I thank you for reading this and for your obvious compassion for what we continue to go through over here. She is pretty resistant to help, but I stand by my word, so we will see.
Thank you again for this.

Thanks Papri.
It is a sad story.

Panic--thank you for your compassion, and sorry about the tears.<br />
I believe we are through the worst of it. We are all learning how to cope. Things are better now. Thank you again.

I've been told that I have "no heart", and what you wrote here made me cry. Actually cry.<br />
I am so sorry that you have to deal with these things.

Paco, Thanks. I know this is so sad. It has gotten a little better now that she is at least taking her medication and now that we have a new team of people helping us (had to call them today, actually). <br />
I get really down because mental illness is not something that ever really goes away. There is no chemo treatment, and not very many people understand. You have little successes and good days but you never know if they will amount to anything or if it will last.<br />
It just requires patience and understanding and an unlimited supply of love, but as a mom--when it is your child...it is heartbreaking.<br />
One day at a time as they say. <br />
Thank you.

I always try to keep in mind my thought:
"Life's little victories, one day at a time.
You have my thoughts and wishes.


Thanks for reading and for the blessings and prayers. I appreciate it.

God bless you and all who love as you do.

I am sorry for what you're going through too. Sometimes I look at her and I realize I don't know that person looking back at me and it is scary. It's pretty terrifying from the other side of a locked door as well.<br />
I hate to say it because it sounds trite, but one day at a time is the only way--and get as much help as possible, which it sounds like you are already doing as you mentioned "counselor."<br />
<br />
I blamed myself too, naturally, but I know now that mental illness cannot be blamed on anything other than biology, and I cannot get down on myself for not being able to make it go away; in fact accepting it and dealing with it in the most practical way possible is the ONLY thing you can do. Well, that and always being there for them. I owe her that. I owe it to myself too. She is my daughter and I love her. <br />
It is good to know that we have one another. This place is great for re-enforcing that. It helps to write and to talk about it all. Thank you for reading and commenting, and if there is ever anything I can do...I am here for you.

I am so glad things are working out. I hope for the best for you both. I do understand. I have a 14 yr. old teenaged boy with ODD and recently diagnosed with depression. I am walking on eggshells right now, locking myself in my bedroom at times when I think one of us might do something to harm the other. I told the counselor that either I am going to go to jail for hitting him, he go to jail for hitting me, or one of us will be committed soon if we don't get help. I do lash out at him because I feel like he didn't get enough "whippings" as a lil one. Now he's too big and fast for me to catch him. He knows how to get to me. He is manipulative, he changes words around. I blame myself, as well as he blames me. <br />
This is not easy for you. I have had to stand in front of the judge and say yes to 5 mo. in a boy's home. It's all my fault is all I hear. I understand, many don't. I hope the best for you and her. You haven't given up, don't. It's a long trip, but you are doing well. I don't know if I can do so well. I am glad we are not alone.

sorry for the pain you are dealing with<br />
<br />
guess i would say go old school for a few weeks and see what happens<br />
<br />
make her take a hot bath with a few cups of peson salts in the water<br />
<br />
my guess with what iam readinf this will take a few weeks to build up in her body<br />
<br />
this is very old school from the 60, 70 when i started to work as a nurse in a state hospital<br />
<br />
and it did work on many children and troubled teens even workd with autism even better

We are doing MUCH better these days. I thank you. <br />
Things have settled down, the proverbial "rock bottom" having been hit.<br />
It is all up from here. We are all doing well. <br />
Thanks for reading and for your heartfelt good wishes. It is greatly appreciated.

My deepest wishes are with you and your family.

Thank you.<br />
None of us in this scenario are crazy, least of all my daughter--she's too young.<br />
It is one day at a time.<br />
For the record, diagnoses lead to help and services and support and insurance coverage-- that is why the medical establishment and concerned parents rely so heavily on them.<br />
There will be no giving up.<br />
I am on top of it all.

problem will be keepingher on the drugs to keep her clam so many feel they are fine the stop then they go right back to the behavor<br />
you may want to look at diet changes to seewhat is casue the inbalnce

Thank you for your thoughtful response, for taking the time to write it. Yeah, she is at a difficult age, and she has a handful of difficult diagnoses, but I am fortunate to live in an area where help is available, and I am pursuing all of my options.<br />
I am open minded and I never say never, but no our focus is to get her into residential care to keep her safe as she is a real danger to herself at this point. She has not suffered any physical trauma, but she has endured mental trauma so in her case therapy (which she refuses to cooperate with) is an important element as far as her recovery is concerned. <br />
I am not a big believer in "fixing" the mentally ill as I believe acceptance is more in line with what is needed. That being said there are an amazing array of drugs available that I believe work well in conjunction with therapy, and that is where we are headed at this point although, in a few years, who knows?<br />
I thank you sincerely for sharing, and I have taken to heart all you have said. It's just that this is a very confusing and emotional time for me, head spinning and all. I thank you though, very much.

I don't think you have an accurate picture --the wheeling is from the ER to the ambulance to transport her to the facility that was equipped to deal with her inpatient, as our local hospital does not have an adolescent unit. It is a hospital rule. The drugs in no way incapacitate her, they calm her. <br />
And physicality is not an issue in terms of who is stronger--it is a safety issue--will she harm herself? and will others then get harmed in attempting to protect her from herself. It was one desperate moment in time.<br />
This story is more of a big picture kind of thing--not so much a minute by minute rehashing of the most awful night of my life. <br />
Once again, thank you.

i am sorry for you but there really comes a time when you have to say walk<br />
<br />
just be there when they grow up the hard way

thanks for replying, so she has to be wheeled? how come? I think it is very touching scene for me to imagine you caring for her. Your explanation of her being an adopted child do explain some of her behaviors, and I agree with you that she is testing you. <br />
<br />
Is she functional most of the time or is she restrained by drugs? <br />
<br />
Sounds like you are physcially strong enough to restrain her.

Whym. Love you too. Thank you.<br />
Excellent one. I realize that there are people out there who believe strongly in the existence of evil / demonic spirits. <br />
I am not one of them.<br />
It's a chemical imbalance. It's sad, but it happens. <br />
Also, being adopted is very, very hard to reconcile, especially as an adolescent. There is a constant and persistent fear of being abandoned. Think about that. That is what we are dealing with. She is (subconsciously?) trying to test us. <br />
I am up to it--the challenge of trying to convince her that I will always be there for her. She challenged me just yesterday, <br />
"Kick me out! Go ahead. Kick me out!" <br />
I said, "Do you want a corn muffin? I have some. Coffee?"<br />
I reminded her then of the promise I made to her as she was being wheeled away. I saw tears in her eyes. She is getting it.... but it will take time. <br />
As always though, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read and comment thoughtfully. I really do. Thank you.

Have you tried to find some ministers who are specialized at deliverance ministry? They could pray for her and see if she will get better. Sometimes the source of problems could be demonic.

Anti-psychotic can destroy one's artistic or mathematical abilities. Did she take those drugs before she no longer did arts?

Hell yes:<br />
Reactive Attachment Disorder.<br />
Oppositional Definace Disorder.<br />
Depression.<br />
Borderline Personality Disorder (my diagnosis accepted by the psychiatrist(s)<br />
and possibly Bi-Polar.<br />
And just for good measure the possibility of drug/alcohol addiction.<br />
She is 16.<br />
She has become my full-time job. The pay sucks and there are no perks, but I renegotiate a new contract daily. She lies a lot though, which invalidates the whole thing and we are forced to come back to the table. It is exhausting beyond words. In fact, I have no more words, other than I love you, which I tell her over and over and she repeats back to me. <br />
We are getting help--I have made progress, fought my way through the unfuckingbelievable mental health bureaucracy and maze of agencies and hotlines and support groups and advocacy groups and I have educated myself about conditions and medications. <br />
I cry in public now, unabashedly, pleading my case, begging for help and support. In fact, the tears fall down my cheeks in a way that I now find annoying because by the time I notice them I am a sloppy mess. I am a walking, talking nervous breakdown. I would pay good money for a hug right now. I don't need I love you. I don't need everything will be okay- because I know that no one can promise me that anymore.<br />
I just want a hug because everything hurts, and I have learned from past experience that sometimes a hug is good for that. I am keeping my options open and taking them where I can find them these days. <br />
There are an awful lot of people out there who unfortunately understand what we are going through as a family and I am utilizing them. Other parents are reaching out to me and I am making new friends.<br />
I thank you guys for your comments of support and concern.

Gwanji. I've missed you. <br />
She is coming home tomorrow. We are of course, extremely hopeful. I can never let go of the hope. Maybe together we can turn this around. She was rather traumatized this time (we all have been); that works in our favor in terms of compliance, although I am sorry it came to that.<br />
I am not shy about sharing my joy as well as my pain, and as soon as I have something good to report I will most definitely share. It is one hour at a time right now though.<br />
If my daughter were in the cancer ward undergoing another round of chemo, my guess is I would have loads of support. This is different, (but equally as devastating) and most people do not understand, which makes this a lonely and often humiliating and very sad road. You guys help me and I am grateful. Nervous breakdown notwithstanding, I am regaining my footing. I thank you all--sincerely.

keep us posted, Q! we will be with you on this very long road.

Thank you guys for your support and for all you have conveyed here. This is not easy by any stretch. You'd have to see your kid on a gurney, crying, being wheeled off, to really get it. There is a stigma--I hate that there is, but it's a fact. <br />
(however, that place is crowded I tell you--crowded with families just like mine...in fact, beds are hard to come by. We got lucky, very lucky. )<br />
I've been on this road for a long time. I'd like to say this time is different, and in some ways it is already proving itself to be--I have made progress with her already--I think, but still, it is a road, and for me it is a lonely one. <br />
I got another unsolicited I love you tonight though, and a promise, so, we'll see... <br />
Thank you all, sincerely. It was nice to come here and see this.

For heaven's sake Quintesse ... this totally breaks my heart. I bow to your strength and perseverence. I hope one day she can appreciate how lucky she is to have you as her mother.

You do the right thing! Show her your love. I have a son who drives me crazy since his birth, he has ADHD and it's a love-hate relationship between him and me. He even told me once that he would stab my heart with a knife because I had to correct him. You are a much better mother than me!

you are so very wise and brave and kind and knowing. we, none of us, can ever truly know the demons that have changed your daughter and caused her to hide her talent away. there is no handbook for how to bring her back, only love and patience and medical support, and you have and endless and unconditional supply of the first, and the second as well, it seems and are on track for the third. we are so here for you as you continue this difficult journey, Q. we love you and your duaghter, and do not ever think the two of you are alone.

My heart does the same thing--it swells with pride and breaks with exhaustion, almost on a daily basis--mental illness has a way of inducing that. It is hard, and I will take your well wishes. I appreciate them. Thank you.