Midwestern Mama is Here!!!
I am DELIGHTED to have a very special guest visiting today. Holly is here! Everyone say hello! In case you didn’t know, she was extremely instrumental in getting this very blog off the ground. As you may or may not remember, I had an old blog called Saucy Redhead (don’t worry – you’re not missing anything. I brought everything with me in the move!). My family was reading and caused some issues. So I decided to stop blogging. With a swift kick in the ass from Holly I was back up & running over here in no time! I owe her big time! So when she sent me a story to use as a guest post I was flabbergasted – hadn’t she done enough? Now she’s going to get her awesome readers to come over here to meet me & read her work? What a doll! (Hi Holly’s readers! It’s a pleasure to meet you! Have a look around & make yourself comfortable. I hope you come back to visit often!). So, if you’re familiar with Holly, you know she is a seriously funny chica. She came over her to tell a more sobering story. This couldn’t have been easy to live through, let alone write about. So please, give Holly some respect & love as shares this moving story about her daughter. And then make sure to venture over to her blog and have a good laugh! XO
Her fourteenth year started out much at any other. Even though we had recently moved over 1000 miles from her lifelong home she made the transition better than expected. There were the few expected bumps in the road, but now she had a new circle of friends and was happy.
This was also the year she met him, the first boyfriend. He seemed like a very nice boy, always respectful when came to our house and as time went on we began to embrace him as part of the family. About six months into this she started to change. At first the changes were subtle; she wasn’t always as happy and was spending less and less time with her girlfriends and more and more time with him.
One night when the daughter was out my husband and I decided to check out her computer screen and her instant messages. I thought that I would pass out when I read the things that had been written. This boy who we thought was kind and respectful had a dark side, a very dark side.
The instant messages revealed his controlling, manipulative behavior. When she would write she wanted to go with her friends, he would come back with something that would guilt trip her into staying home or going with him. With every message I read, I cried. My daughter was losing herself in this controlling relationship and I could read the loss in each word. This is when my husband and I put an end to this relationship. There was crying, pleading, screaming and the eventual acceptance. Or so we thought.
Over the fourth of July weekend we found out that she and this boy had been sneaking around behind our backs. We again had to step in and be the bad guys. Again the crying and pleading and the screaming started. Again we thought this would lead to acceptance and this time it would be for real.
Two days later while my husband happened to be home on a weekday we got a phone call that would change our lives forever. My daughter, my beautiful baby tried to kill herself. She swallowed pills then went upstairs to call her lifelong best friend to tell her what she had done. The friend told her father who in turn called my husband on his cell phone to tell him what she had done.
That night we spent in the hospital with her. I held her hair as she vomited after her stomach was pumped. I stroked her hair and wiped her face with a warm wet cloth as she got sicker and sicker. I pretended to be so brave as we waited there for the mental health evaluation. The husband trying to wrap his head around all of this set about making plans to make it all better.
The next morning we came home and by afternoon she was threatening to do it again because I wouldn’t let her see the ex –boyfriend. That day we did the hardest thing I had ever had to do, we had her committed to a psychiatric hospital that specialized in teens. More tears as I left her there, stripped of all of her clothing and looking at us behind locked doors as we left.
When she came home there was ordered outpatient therapy and more drama. There was a day she decided she was going to leave and when we told her no she decided she would kick the window screens out of her bedroom and leave. My husband found her trying to go out a window, brought her back inside and again that night she was taken out of the house in handcuffs. Yes, I, her mother pressed charges against her. Thankfully in this county they have what they call a juvenile diversion program for teens that are not bad enough for juvenile detention which she was placed in. At the end of completing the program she would have no juvenile record.
The rest of her summer consisted of community service, paying a small fine (that we made her pay from her own money) and writing apology letters to us, the police that were involved in bringing her in the night she kicked the window out, and an apology to herself, as well as more therapy . The therapy would last well into the following winter. We as a family also attended sessions with her and together, it was during one of these sessions that she revealed to us that she never really wanted to die, she only wanted to scare us so that we would let her see the boyfriend, and she only used the threat of doing it again as a means to scare and punish me because she saw how it scared me. She admitted this was wrong and she had great shame in having done these things. The emotions that were brought to the surface weren’t always easy and they were rarely pretty, but they needed to be said and they needed to be heard, on both sides.
Now some four years later she is a completely different person. She is a strong, confident young woman who is planning her life. She has been a straight A student all these years, and when she graduates this summer she will do so with honors. She has been accepted into the University of her choice for next fall and is looking forward to this.
That summer is something we rarely talk about. She has spoken about it several times. She has spoken of it to her school and to various church groups here in our community and each time she thanks her father and I for (as she puts it) “being nosy” and she understands why we did it, and has no doubt that if need be we would do it again.