It was almost a full year ago – the last time that I laid my eyes on my only child, my daughter…Boo.
I struggled not to fall apart the entire time that I was blessed by her physical presence that night; the circumstances were, as they tend to be when it comes to my daughter, next to unbearable for me…but I remember how grateful I strangely felt the whole time that she lay unconscious in my lap at the Emergency Room. I was quite dissociated during the entire holiday season last year (every year for the past six years); and when I found out that Boo had finagled her way into a “home pass” from the facility in which she is court-ordered to remain, out of state, high security and with no socializing included – I became even more detached as a means of cushioning myself emotionally from the inevitable train-wreck that I associated with the “home pass”. I somehow remember the last two times that I saw Boo so vividly and clearly, it stabs my belly to reflect upon either instance, though.
The last 10+ “home passes” that Boo has been given ended in catastrophe, and I am not exaggerating. It began even before they moved her out of state and out into the sticks (when she was still somewhat socialized from her former life with me in a family unit): the disappearing act; she has it down to a science, and always pretty much did. Boo can POOF! Be gone within the blink of an eye, before you even know what hit you, she’s off on another death-wish driven expedition that she may never return alive from. Boo has always been uncontrollable by nature, I don’t know how else to describe her – she’s explosive and impatient as Hell – she’s a chameleon, and has her mother’s total lack of attention span – she has no sense of Self at all, she just goes with the flow that will lead her to the most trouble and danger – unfortunately, that’s just Boo.
Last year’s “home pass” was no different: I picked her up at the airport on the 28th of December (close enough to Christmas for me to have actually been okay through the day without her on the 25th), she was gone by the 31st. She remained missing that time for nearly two full weeks with no word of her whereabouts or well-being…it was sheer Hell, fucking Hell. I wouldn’t wish that shit on my worst enemy, I swear. When they found her that time, she was in bad shape…bad, bad shape…wow. She ended up being involved in a serious sex trafficking bust and returned to the county where I live by the police to the hospital, from which she left again almost immediately – before I could even get there. Boo knows how to betray me better than any living soul that I know, even when she’s not trying to. This happened three consecutive times over the duration of the following month and a half: Boo missing for unreal amounts of time – my not knowing whether she was alive or dead – HELL.
The final time that they picked her up on a highway in the desert somewhere, half-naked and so fucked up on drugs that she didn’t know who or where she was, beaten and burned with cigarettes, two busted ankles – unconscious and dehydrated – was the last time that I saw her face. I went to the hospital at around 10pm and held her until the morning, at which time she had been deemed stable enough for transport out of state, back to the locked facility that the courts leave to her in to rot. She was hardly coherent for any of the time that I spent with her that night…in and out of delirium and on heavy duty painkillers…ankles both freshly plaster-cast, eyes both swollen closed. I saw cigarette burns all over her arms and shoulders and hands. My heart broke the rest of its way into two separate pieces that night; I know that much to be true. As much as the whole thing was terribly painful and trying on me to endure – I could only imagine what her process of endurance for these things must be; I remember thinking: “Just rub her hair and don’t let her be alone…”, so I did.