Sunday, September 18, 2016

Our New Normal

Last Monday morning, I woke up and felt relatively normal.  It's strange, really, how that happens.  I jumped out of bed even though I felt a little sluggish (which is normal for me on a Monday).  There was nothing out of the ordinary.  My feet hit the floor.  I took about 3 steps...and then, I remembered.  I remembered the nightmare we are living and the heaviness returned.  In a split second, it all came flooding back.

They had said they would most likely discharge her on Sunday.  We never got the call.  I had talked to the nurse at about 1:00pm.  She said the doctor was doing rounds then and as soon as he'd seen her, someone would call us.  By 7:00pm on Sunday, I was frantic!  Perhaps I shouldn't have waited 6 hours...but...they were holding my daughter against my wishes....they held all the cards.  I didn't want to sound crazy or unreasonable.  I was trying my hardest not to FREAK OUT, but it was all I could do to keep it together.

Being at work was hard.  I have to work, but focusing on my job was almost impossible.  Unfortunately, we need both of our incomes in order to survive.  I'm the one that carries the benefits and so, I had to be there.  I have never experienced the clock moving as slow as it did that day.  Torture.

They called at about noon time, telling me she was being discharged and we could pick her up!  I called Dan...he met me at home and we went together.  She was happy to see us.  We signed some papers, they gave us her clothing in a brown paper bag and handed us her shoes.  She hadn't worn shoes (other than those prison shoes) in 4 days!  She said she was hungry.  We went to get something to eat.  On the way home, she told me a horrific story.  One of the girls that was in her "unit" was there for attempting suicide.  Apparently, she gave Amelia instructions on how to properly slit her wrists if she ever wanted to end it all.  The young girl told her to "make sure you hit the main artery, that way you'll die quickly".  My poor baby.  I am crushed that she had to hear that.  I am angry that between the school and the dimwits at the Child Guidance Center, they exposed my daughter to this....NEEDLESSLY!  I have no idea how this experience will effect her now....or in the future.  This is a trauma that  may not show itself for many years.  Only time will tell.  All I can do is pray for God's protection over her heart, her mind and her soul.

She is adjusting to being home.  She was glad to see Nathan and Olivia.  Even the dog was excited to see her!  To be honest, I'm not sure I'll ever let her out of my sight again....other than with close family and friends...who we trust.

We had hoped to get her into the partial hospitalization program here near our home.  We went in to talk to them on Tuesday.  However, she didn't really qualify.  For one thing, the ages range from 13 to 17...and she's only 12.  The other reason is because right now, the group of girls they have there range in age from 15 to 17 and are all there because of a suicide attempt.  Because the biggest part of the program is group therapy, the nurses did not think it would be good for Amelia to be in group therapy sessions with those girls...listening to them talk about trying to end their lives.  Although I definitely don't want her exposed to that (any more than she already was from being in the hospital), Dan and I were heartbroken.  This program was going to last anywhere from one to two weeks and was going to give us some time to figure out what to do next.

Panic again.

For now, I've enrolled her in the Florida Unschoolers association.  While this isn't the ideal situation, at least she's enrolled somewhere and the county won't be at our front door.  Until we can figure out what to do, she will either be with me at work....or with a family member/good friend during the day.  She sees her new therapist this coming Friday. In the meantime, I'll be doing some 6th grade lessons with her to keep her mind working.  I don't want her to be too stressed out when we do find her a place, so if I can keep her engaged in doing some school work, perhaps she will transition better.

All I can do is take it one day at a time.  Please continue to pray for us because we are in territory that we are unfamiliar with...and frankly, we're scared to death.   As I reflect on these last 10 days or so, I think maybe this has been traumatic for all of us and as a family, we have a lot we have to work through.  The only thing I know for sure is that I will not throw her to the wolves againI won't do it!  If I have to quite my job, file bankruptcy and stay in a one room hotel....I will, if it will keep her safe, if it will allow her to breathe, if it will allow her to feel normal and happy and not like she's some freak of nature.  This is how every school she has ever attended has treated her.  I will not let that happen again.  Mark my words.

We talk with the attorney on Thursday to decide how to move forward. 

Moving forward.  I have to keep repeating this in my mind.  Maybe if I say it enough, it will be easier to do.