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.
All that is happening now does, indeed, go back to the incident in Arizona. The surgeries that she has already undergone and recovered from have each been in attempt to separate scar tissue that has grown around Boo’s trachea from being cinched by a belt for nearly two days; also – her inability to speak has finally been de-mystified as well. The same thing is happening at the base of her vocal chords, as a result of scar tissue build-up, only the vocal cords have been permanently affected by residues left from the chemicals that Boo had been forced to drink during her captivity. The doctors have done what they can without sending her to a specialist for what is considered as “delicate surgery”; the next step to come.
Within the month, she will be going to Stanford for such things…and I have little doubt behind her strength or ability to deal with it. She remains in care still – a milestone in and of itself; she is bored beyond description, covered in bed sores, and must be feeling pretty low…yet, she hasn’t left again. Her little boyfriend (the one who do not necessarily like so much but cannot deny his humanity in comparison to the other men she has surrounded herself with in the past) comes to visit her now; I know that makes her feel like the world isn’t ending, after all. Anything that helps her to stay put and ride out the road ahead through her physical recovery – I am on board with it.
She has grown up so much…in such a short time…she is so jaded and darkened by her own experiences, that I watch her struggle with simply being cared for by another human being…it’s rough. But she’s letting it happen – as hard as it may be on her.
At this very moment in time I am so overcome with love for Boo. There’s not a particular reason why besides that she’s my daughter. And despite it all, she’s so brave and so strong. Even if she has a complete lack of her own self-worth…she is beautiful.
My best friend Sam (more of a guardian angel the gods have blessed me with for whatever reason, I don’t ask questions) helped me to understand a key element of this nightmare situation a few weeks back…and yes its only barely setting in now.
“Babe, the Boo you are waiting for is not going to come back. She’s gone.”
Admittedly, this was NOT an easy conversation for me to digest; and luckily I have a best friend who understands my slow computation process; part of her likely expected me to explode at such a statement. But between me and my best friend, anything can be said without such lingering negative affect – and so the story goes. After my conversation with my best friend, I went through some different things: types of mourning, grief, and acceptance of a loss so deep that it cannot be treated or cured.
During all those trials and emotional roller-coasters, things continued to play out with the current situation surrounding Boo and her status, reinforcing the fears and sadness and loss. And then, something happened. The last time Boo was found unconscious and unresponsive – right before they gave her the first tracheotomy – my perspective and/or perception had shifted somehow.
Now, anytime I spend with Boo is different, but not in a bad way. I do somehow see her as a different girl from my own, yet, she is still my daughter. And, all I can do is try my best to be a good mother to the Boo before me today. She will not be the things I have been hoping to see her become…now at least, maybe never. But should the Boo I have today survive through this, there’s hope for a relationship with her, instead. Which is good enough for me.
“Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper.”
~ W. Rawley
When you have a daughter like mine, this is the element that destroys you:
The incurable death wish that transcends even a hole in her own throat; Boo left the hospital last night at some point with an unknown couple and has not returned.
Granted, it is her M.O. to disappear from a recovery unit in the hospital, she has always done that. But never before has she had something as serious as a tracheotomy to worry about. She was notably struggling to breathe in the hospital – what is she going through out there? I don’t understand…I don’t believe it…but I am forced to accept the fact that she intended it. She apparently walked out by her own free will once again. She likes to think that she knows everything and has it all under control, somehow…and…well, we have all seen how well she keeps things under control…
So once again, as of the instant I woke up this morning:
My heart has disappeared to an unknown location outside of my body but still pumps and beats painfully.
One element of the strained relationship that I have never written about before on this blog is that which makes up the dynamic between myself and my parents (my mother and step-father) and Boo; the reasons behind this were self-serving, as the depth of detail that would be involved in trying to write down this dynamic is daunting to consider. In order to write about the current status of things now, however, I must do a summary of that dynamic first:
• Upon my return from a long-time in-patient stay at the hospital, she had changed (this much, I HAVE written about in the past on this blog) – changed in the sense of her overall characteristics, personality and functioning behaviors – she had become “spoiled” in the classic sense as a result of residing with her doting grandparents for too long without any real ground rules.
• It didn’t surprise me as much as it hurt me to quickly learn that when given a choice in the matter, Boo would unfailingly and repeatedly choose to be with her grandparents (instead of me) – as she could control the situation to a disturbing degree when she was with them, as opposed to when she was with me.
• A wedge was built between all of us.
• Boo’s “splitting” set the stage for the years to come.
By the time I had come to terms with Boo’s preference of my parents over me, it was because I was unable to uphold the rules and culture of my home when she was at home; her disregard and disrespect for my expectations as well as my consistency when it came to cause and effect, and any attached repercussions that she might have at a given time. She never had consequences with my parents: they let her run all over them and always found reasons to excuse her behaviors – to the point of sheer enablement. It had become so bad that even prior to Boo’s being put into a “residential treatment facility”, our family was at constant odds in regard to what to do with her. They always accused me of being too hard on her; and I still stand firm that they were detrimentally lenient with an unruly child.
I hate to say this, but everything that has become…everything that our so-called family has disintegrated away to…I had flashes of it years ago; I saw it coming – or at least the very clearly represented possibility of such an un-solvable puzzle as that in which we now reside. As time wore on, Boo began to steal from them; by the time she was eight years old, she had already broken into my step-dad’s safe and stolen close to $1,000.00 over the gradual period of about a year or so. When I learned of this, I exploded and went into a rage, admittedly; I was disgusted and ashamed of Boo for such despicable things. It was within the following few months that she was remanded to the place where she became a child victim of sexual assault – and things obviously tail-spun from there to a much deeper and darker type of despair for our family. However, my explosive reaction to Boo stealing from my parents had started another period of time in which I was once again: cast out and collectively shunned by my mother’s closest family. Things were in such a state when Boo went away, and I did not start to speak to my parents again until several years later – when Boo was almost killed for the first time by a grown man while she was on the lam. None of us had seen nor heard from her in over a month and our fear drew us together at the hospital.
Since then, we have been pretty solid…
I believe the healing that seems to have been happening within my relationships with my parents (together and individually) is due to Boo’s worsening behaviors and lessening concern with how those behaviors affect the people who love her i.e. my parents and I. These days, it’s during the times when Boo has showed her ass and stabbed one or both of them in the back with painful blatancy somehow, that they tend to want me around for comfort. I am happy to be around them for this purpose and always have been, so in turn, is created a circumstance to which I am only bound by the negative and destructive displays put forth by my daughter. Upon my return from the last visit I had with Boo on her 18th birthday in May, I have only been re-affirmed through her own actions of her complete inability to live an honest life, in pretty much any context. She has since that visit, been kidnapped, tortured and maimed, literally nearly killed, had surgery, been hospitalized, and eventually returned to my her home county as a judicially procedural result; she has come back to her hometown – where I live.
She did not come back with any changed sense of appreciation for Life or how close she was to losing hers, unfortunately, either. No, Boo was flown back by her trusty and ever-disappointing “case worker” with nowhere to go besides yet another joke of a Sober Living Environment Safe house that only allowed her in because of some professional future perk the county offered in desperate return for an open bed. Boo lasted all of two whole days there (never calling or apprising any of us to the developing situation surrounding her living status or whereabouts – because she doesn’t have to now that she is an adult). As soon as she finished her course of antibiotic and needed no further assistance to shower etc. due to her numerous and severe recovering flesh wounds that are dispersed quite evenly from her head to toe – she was gone again.
She showed up at my parents apparently; and next, somehow managed to talk my dad into buying her a fucking top of the line i-phone and adding her to his phone plan (he still uses an ancient flip-phone w/out a camera); she promised all kinds of shit and then took a shower, ransacked my mother’s bedroom and jewelry, put on some hooker shoes, and left once again.
• She stole heirloom jewelry from my mother
• She came to the house with ONLY the plan of exploiting my dad’s fondness of her
• She has not returned since
She has, however, had the fucking audacity to call and ask for more cash!!! Not only from my dad, but also me and my mother also!!! My mom has finally been forced to water and I’m helping her to drink as slowly as possible, because it hurts like Hell to be stabbed in the back by a grown child of your own line that you helped raise up, I know…I know. But my dad…well, he would likely GIVE HER MORE CASH if he had the opportunity to do it without me and my mom finding out, I just know it deep down…and I don’t like it.
“You get justice in the next world; in this one you have the law.”
~ William Gaddis
I’m not angry at her; it’s hardly her fault at all – what she has become. I am angry at myself, at her monster of a sperm donor, and at the failed juvenile courts system of the United States of America. I am angry at the useless social workers who weren’t paying any attention to what I told them when I reached out for help with her so long ago; I am angry at the many handfuls of children’s services that miserably disappointed her needs back then; I am angry at the laughable façade called the JUSTICE that remains only through legend and lore.
I am angry at the judge who has sat back for over six years now and watched with a wretched smile as my only child has been spiritually battered to death under her “care”; I am angry at the court-appointed legal representative that gets paid to protect my daughter’s rights as a clueless child in the midst of a heinously constructed legal process; I am angry that my community doesn’t give a shit about my daughter’s demise; I am angry at the various grown men (at least one of them, an employee of above mentioned failed court system) who saw it fitting to have sex with my underage child, beginning when she was only eleven years old.
I am angry at the case worker who claims to love my daughter and truly care for her…she is undoubtedly the BIGGEST piece of shit breathing air at present – the one who could and should have stopped many things many times, but didn’t. I HATE HER. And, I hate nobody else in the Universe.
Ah, the insatiable façade…
of a government organization,
charged with the ongoing care,
of a child’s overall “protection”,
and look at the job they’ve done!
Producing mass demoralization,
burning without consideration,
crushing and burying memories,
fueling the hatred inside of me,
thriving within the destruction,
so many of my moments: stolen,
spiritually drowned and chopfallen,
hiding like cowards behind,
the safe-guarded legal confines,
professional rape of the mind,
is defined in some subsection,
of a somehow “acceptable”,
and despicably procedural,
part of systematic separation,
then perpetual alienation,
and completely legal,
the picture in full,
strikes the eye as odd,
an agency playing God,
motivated by sheer evil,
signed in disappearing ink,
no cause for hope,
down with this agency!
Else soon enough,
they’ll own all of us,
in with the afflicted,
and doomed, too,
no light gets through,
tried and convicted,
by a government’s rule,
backed by ignorant fools,
cracked heads affected,
from such a shallow gene pool.
“Be Fucked.” – Calamity Jane
I received a package containing all of my daughter’s school papers, notebooks and any other miscellaneous documents that she collected over the years of her incarcerated teenaged life. I have had possession of the box for almost a month now and only opened it the other day because my mother was seeking out a particular photo that she assured me was inside.
I have avoided opening this box and exposing myself to the mess of utter bullshit that it encloses, as I know that there is very little about her persona that is her own; the lies that she cultivates and maintains regarding her real life events and the real family associated with them. It’s been a few years now that I’ve had to digest the fact that my only child is a compulsive liar who seems incapable of telling even simple truths in the most casual of contexts.
I can imagine what it must feel like for the mother of a serial killer or a fucking terrorist who has been identified and detained before the world to see: the inconsolable shame and regret, bewilderment and lack of any ability to relate to the actions of one’s own offspring – much less: be able to account for any of those actions as the mother of the creature in question…I don’t need to imagine what it feels like to go through the later part of one’s life in absolute shock and faltering denial pertaining to the finally produced grown-up version of what was once her child; the child she never understood or related to, the child that boggled her mind and trampled her heart in the long run.
Was I surprised by the horse-shit chronicles that I found inside?
Does it hurt my very core to its hollows upon being reminded how very fucked up my kid is as a human creature, to be able to put such miserable dishonesty in writing?
Hell yes it does, every time…to read such disillusion in her own words always stings and burns like it was the first time reading it.
Yes, the box is chock-full of lies and delusions in written form; horribly non-believable versions of her life story that paint not only me – but my parents as well – as warped, mutilated and fabricated versions of ourselves to fit the varying purposes such documents were meant to serve. These constructs of penned deceit written by the hand of my only child are not something I take lightly – on any level; as they have come to serve as written proof in my mind that my child has been lost to me and my family for a long, long time already. And, somehow – as crazy and unhealthy as this may come across to my readers, to be reminded of exactly the depths of character incessantly displayed by her at the cost of her own family – the only people who have ever given two real fucks about her – is a comfort to me now; as I have no idea whether she is dead or alive, anyway.
Well, I’ve been trying to find out exactly how to put into words what I’ve been experiencing since my return from seeing my daughter (possibly for the last time ever).
On the day after her eighteenth birthday, she disappeared and left me to swallow the reality that she could truly care less about our extremely strained relationship ever getting better. I spent the next day and a half alone and in tears, until it was time to catch my flight back home. I knew it would only be a matter of time before she burned the bridges (as rickety as they were to begin with) between she and her “girlfriend’s” family and people; before she found herself excluded from whatever setting she had been so compelled to ditch me for.
Of course, I was right. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done to actually leave that place by my own will, seeing as how I truly feel as if I’ve walked slowly away from the arena in which she will be tortured and killed eventually. The years of her teenaged life have been spent with her running away – running away – running away…and now that she’s an “adult”, there’s no chasing her anymore. And, that’s what it all comes down to for me I guess, is the fact that I’ve spent so many years in having to “force” my way into her life, if I wanted to be there at all…which is anything but a good feeling when it comes to one’s only child.
Boo has found her way, once again, to right where she undeniably wants to be: a place where she is regularly treated like an animal by grown men who buy her for a few hours at a time to use as they like, before tossing her aside (if she’s lucky). The lies that she spent our time together in telling me only make my blood boil in retrospect:
“You never have to be on the street, Boo; you know as long as I have a roof over my head, so do you…”
“I’m done with that lifestyle Mom…I know that I deserve better than that…”
Her father was the master of telling me what I wanted to hear in order to get me to fall in line with his bullshit…and the older she gets – the more she makes his ways seem so feeble and small. I haven’t heard from her since that day…May 14th 2015; and now I am once again living in that mindfuq place where I am afraid to answer my phone again. I am back to waiting for that call in which I am told that she has been found dead somewhere in a garbage pile. It hurts. Bad.
I go back and forth over those upcoming days:
do I dress myself up for Boo’s eighteenth birthday?
do I play myself down and just let her have space?
I will spend the first in silent awe of her beautiful face…
it’s so difficult to describe to anyone who may be asking –
in any words or phrases in any language that is known to me,
the deep losses and emptiness that linger above me, cloudily,
my mind feels confined to the place that’s defined by utter misery…
to be a mother to a daughter who’s lit the darkest of my nights,
a little girl who centered my world when nothing else felt right,
a little spirit whose existence is eternally intertwined with mine,
but, my girl has grown up to hold her standards anywhere but high…
most parents are worried about colleges and hot-boxed minivans,
my motherly fears are so vast and sincere, it has hijacked who I am,
after the few days we get for her birthday and high school graduation,
and to wrap it up – I have to leave there without her once again…
to have a daughter who calls you “Mama”,
and she brags about how young I am to her friends,
the absent parent, ‘Orphan Annie’ over-glorifications,
if she only knew how hard I’ve fought to stand in line and fall in…
things have gone so horribly wrong since they broke our family,
they’ve pushed her further and further so inconspicuously,
built a framework in her state of mind that disregarded me,
it’s not the eighteenth birthday party I’ve been imagining…