Its always so hard and emotionally sensitive, saying goodbye to my only biological child. It has made many things that were easily taken for granted grow too difficult to deal with. The simplest of Life’s treasures and everyday, “little things” now seem decadent and wrong to enjoy. When your grown-up daughter has seemingly CHOSEN homelessness and the chaos that unfailingly attaches to such a lifestyle, the colors of the pages telling the story that’s your life dulls down a few shades. After getting married, I went back to get Boo and bring her with me to Arizona. She came willingly, at first. But, convincing her that she wasn’t leaving anything or ANYONE noteworthy behind was a different story; and proved too be impossible in the end. Boo ended up breaking every agreement we had in terms of house rules etc. She eventually got hotwired my car and attempted to steal it. Luckily, it wouldn’t go anywhere after being hotwired, so I got to keep my car, unharmed for the most part. She stole my purse, credit cards, emptied out my change jar in secret, and basically brought nothing remotely positive to the table. She wound up going back to San Jose to live in poverty and poor health. It hurt me deeply but I had to let her go. I’ve been with her for 2 weeks and am heading back to AZ today. It is very hard leaving her behind in the conditions she’s living in. Its difficult not to be eaten alive by guilt for having a warm bed to sleep in at night, to be honest.
“I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.” – John Keats
I cannot blog about my current state of ‘scarcely kicking’ as of yet – because of legal constraints – but let’s just say that a trial is FINALLY underway now, and Boo is to be on a plane to fly home for six hours to testify on behalf of not only herself, but for the rest of his victims, also. This is because Boo is officially documented as “Janey Doe #1” – his first legally acknowledged victim in a long string of them who came after she tried to tell everyone about what he is. I am surprised as Hell that they haven’t found a way to disallow her testimony because of the horrid implications that her truth screams behind the broken ass child welfare system.
Boo didn’t ask to be sexually preyed upon by a man who was her “counselor” at the “treatment facility” to which she was court ordered to reside; she never asked to be steamrolled and labeled as a liar for telling on him – way back in 2009; Boo didn’t look to become the cynical, dissociated, unruly and self-loathing creature that she has been molded into because of these very things, either…so, Boo definitely struggles with the notion of her burden to testify now, after all this time and all the lies and bullshit that she has been force-fed in the time between then and now. Boo comes and goes as she pleases – physically and mentally. THAT is how she has evolved herself in order to SURVIVE.
Each time it comes up (which is often, and always has been), she shrugs it off and says stuff like, “I don’t even want to think about it after all this time, let them [by ‘them’, she means the subsequent line of girls younger than she, who fell victim to her abuser as well, after she tried to tell everyone what he’d done to her] deal with it.” We have gone round and round about this element of the bigger picture…a debate that I argue passionately from either side – depending on either one of our mind states at the time.
On the one hand, I feel it is intrinsically necessary that Boo testify in summation and on behalf of ALL of his victims; she is ferociously honest and raw when it comes to shock value, she enjoys triggering people – she feeds off of the collective stunned reactions, it’s the only form of reaffirmation that she’s ever been able to scrape up off the fucking floor from these despicable “professionals” charged with her “care”. I am of the opinion that with Boo on the stand, his justice will be served much more unanimously and without further delay (for lack of a better description, as there is no such thing as justice in this circumstance at all).
On the other hand, I agree with Boo when she says, (verbatim):
“Mom…it’s been like five years…I just want to forget about all that already, he’s not even my biggest problem anymore…”
And she means that – she has grown up quickly since she was preyed upon by the man on trial now…she has been involved in much more dangerous and lastingly traumatic situations since age thirteen, She is currently also a “star witness” in TWO additional court cases as well…one of which is EXTREMELY HIGH PROFILE and has caused me to start sleeping with a loaded pistol nearby because she witnessed a fucking murder/robbery and the men in question are out on bail with my contact information – thanks to the courts. Boo has bigger fish to fry…which is a sad thing in itself. Tick tick tick….next week shall be the climatic catch to the cliffhanger in regard to Boo’s decision to testify or not.
And, if she flies out here to testify, she will likely take off afterward and be missing again…thing is: as much as Boo hurts me and as much as I brood over her well-being and safety when she disappears, it’s not very different from the ways I worry when she is locked away to rot in a different state without her Mommy, she’s being fucked up either way…I keep hoping one of these days, instead of running away to the cesspools again to hide and feel safe, she’ll just come home and let me hide her instead. Yeah, I might end up in jail again, so what? I’d do it. I’d do it to send a message to Boo, that she’s safe with me despite her lack of ability to feel safe anywhere. Criminal charges added to my file for protecting my own kid…done it before, I’ll do it over and over again. That’s what a Mom is for.
Last night, at around 8pm, my phone started ringing in my pocket; I was surprised to see Boo’s name brightly lighting up the screen through the dimness in my lap, playing the custom ringtone “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd loudly to the vibrating beat. It made so many wrong things feel right to talk to Boo on Christmas, last night…
It has been since our dog Ozzy died in late June, that we last spoke. Since we have seen one another, she had a birthday…our relationship truly couldn’t be any more estranged and alienated. The more time that passed by without any contact, the more guilt was stacking up behind each minute spent separated from each other like we have been forced to be. It’s been so, so long this way…inhumanely long. She writes to me often enough, robotic letters that hold no meaning – just words that she thinks she’s expected to write to her Mom at a given point in time. I admit, I have been withdrawn from her; which is inexcusable, so I won’t bother with coming up with any excuses behind this fact; it is what it is.
Last night, we talked for 37 minutes straight! This is by far the longest I can ever recall having a conversation with Boo (in person or on the phone) without some type of major drama or explosion on her part. We are typically like fire and water; and the older Boo grows, the less often have we been able to even remain in the same vicinity for very long without combustion. She is very different than I am, always has been. She thinks that I am a “goody-two-shoes” somehow; this is a truth that still just blows my mind. I’m not sure where she ever got that from, but that’s her perception of me. It is what it is. I think she is a disloyal and conniving, beautiful and intelligent little blonde, long-lashed, doe-eyed creature; who has unfortunately come to epitomize the poster child for the self-imposed cycle of traumatic experience; she wouldn’t even begin to know how to break down that label into anything that made any kind of sense, though…she barely reads. It is what it is.
We talked last night about all kinds of stuff that I wouldn’t have expected to talk about with her. She has decided that she’s gay again – which is a song and dance that she has played with me since she was thirteen years old – for a reaction that I can’t believe she hasn’t learned by now, she isn’t gonna get from me on that score. I always tell her without fail (and I mean it, too) that she can be with whoever she wants to be with and have my approval so long as it’s a healthy and somewhat “normal” relationship. I couldn’t give a shit if she’s gay. It is what it is.
We talked about her caseworker and how useless she is, which led to other conversations that got my blood boiling, as usual, in the context of that good for nothing, stinky bitch caseworker assigned to my daughter’s gig. Boo said, “I wish I could just get myself arrested somehow so I would get a probation officer, instead (of the caseworker)…”; a remark which at first made me cringe, until I remembered having once said the exact same words from a juvenile holding cell…damn…it is what it is.
This past weekend, my parents went to visit Boo out of state for Boo’s seventeenth birthday. I could not go. I did not want to go. I knew that something bad was going to happen by the way that she has been talking to them on the phone leading up to their wasted and painful trip…I don’t want to be used anymore by people, not even my only child.
“You guys need to buy me a nice little dress that I can wear; not something too dressy, something I can get dirty in…” is what she had declared over the line just a few days prior to their departure flight at the airport to see her. I told them as soon as that phone call ended that if they bought her a dress that she can get “dirty in”, she would bail out on them and run away to be pimped out by some disgusting grown man, as she always does when given the slightest opportunity.
YES, my child is teenaged prostitute by choice. YES, she does things that scream loudly how miserable she feels about herself, she displays the worst type of PTSD: the kind that continuously undoes any “progress” she’s able to forge in her own “recovery”. YES – my only child is a train wreck…and it breaks my heart too much to bear most times, but I know that she is nowhere near ready to begin to heal; therefore, I have chosen to keep my distance from her so as not to antagonize our already crumbling “relationship” to one another.
Point in case:
When my parents arrived and picked Boo up from the locked facility in which she has been court-ordered to reside indefinitely past her eighteenth birthday because of worsening mental health issues, Boo seemed to be happy to see them and they picked her up without incident and continued on to their hotel room. It was Friday night, my mother and step father had been traveling all day and were exhausted of course.
Within an hour, Boo was itching to go to Wal-Mart because she claimed to need some toiletries for a shower etc. My step father (who has been Boo’s ONLY consistent male presence throughout her lifetime, might I add bitterly) finally broke down and agreed to take her there, against his own better judgment of course. She bolted from him in the parking lot and ran straight into a mini-van full of strange, grown men on the expressway. My stepdad, needless to say, diligently chased the vehicle in his rental car for several miles.
During this time, Boo apparently had told the men in the van that she didn’t know my step dad and that he had been chasing her with a gun and trying to kill her. The men, who had no clue what was going on, were concerned for her safety and pulled over to the side of the road, where all six of them got out and waited for my step father to pull in before proceeding to beat him senseless. Boo watched the whole thing happen from inside the van, too.
He is lucky he wasn’t beaten to death…my heart feels so torn by this latest piece of unbelievable heinousness put forth by my own flesh and blood…
Her own grandfather, someone who’s been her staunchest ally and always had her back, even when her grandmother and I had given up on her and said it was no use to keep hurting ourselves by trusting her or believing her, he has stood by her and not wavered. It breaks my heart what he has had to go through this past week, recovering from a violent attack on his already degenerating body. It makes my blood boil to know that she sat there and watched him be beaten almost to death, based on a lie that she told in order to serve her own warped needs and desires…
I can’t apologize enough to my stepfather, it’s hard not to look him in his eye now, with every word that I speak to him…I feel so deeply bad and regretful whenever I look at his swollen and disfigured face – hoping to see a glint of anger or betrayal or realization when it comes to Boo and what he has just endured…
Yesterday, he burst into tears – full blown grown man tears – and says, “I just wish I could protect her…”
I know exactly what he means, how he feels…