The drill never changes, if looked at from a very broad perspective:
my parents give in and allow themselves to be further abused and mistreated while I desperately try to distance myself from the situation (because I will ALWAYS eventually be defeated by the helplessness attached to it), before the proverbial explosion takes place once again.
My daughter knows the drill all too well, also; which is the only reason why it works out to her own benefit over and over, without fail; she knows that when she has created a rift and I withdraw from her obnoxious bullshit (while my parents do not), it is at that time that she must strike and strike hard in order to keep the distance in place between then and I. She is well aware of the plethora of ways to manipulate people; she is already a seasoned veteran at doing this as a means of survival. She has honestly been manipulating adult professionals from various backgrounds and specialties in the system since she began counseling at age 6, so the puppeteering of her own grandparents must feel like something she could do with her eyes closed if she wanted to.
I know when she is busy digging down the trench between me and my parents; I know because she holds them hostage through her behaviors (just like she used to do to me in the months leading up to her placement in a “treatment facility” for those very characteristics. I know because I stop hearing from my mom at all – due to the fact that my daughter will have by now painted my mom into a psychological corner, and in turn my mom has been enabling too many things to make excuses for. I know because of a sudden but sharp slice through the fabric of my own meager reality: the silence replacing my mother’s voice in the background of things that creeps its way back into my daily routine in the absence of her constant play by play updates. All of the things that I always wish would cease to exist about my relationship with my mom seemingly CEASE TO EXIST when my daughter is in the picture – and up to no good.
I have come to several understandings over these past few weeks while I have been MIA from my blog; I do not fully comprehend every element of every understanding I have found and tucked into a mental pocket – on the contrary, I have only been collecting these understandings to sort through on another day.
Boo was released from the hospital a week ago pending her next major surgery at Stanford (the one that focuses on the scar tissue building up at the base of her vocal chords and keeping from speaking on her own); she came home to my parents’ house because that’s where she wanted to go. My parents were gracious and forgiving enough to allow it (at the time that the decision was made, everyone was so desperate to keep Boo from returning to the track and many acceptations were made as a result of that desperation); it only took a matter of hours for Boo to begin to fall back into her old routines after being released from the hospital: wanting to go here or there on a whim, spending countless hours on my phone with any one of the stupid people she calls “friends”, being secretive and sneaky, dishonesty, shadiness, and eventually stealing again, too. My parents made her leave and I tried to let her come with me – but she proceeded to steal from Dice, my roommate right away. I can’t allow her to spread her affected instabilities to the realm of my ONLY safe haven; she had to leave my house as well.
She hasn’t changed; despite all of it, there isn’t even a slight shift into a more mature and/or personally responsible creature in regard to who Boo continues to be.
The thing that has driven the biggest and longest standing wedge between my daughter and me in more recent years has been BOO. Boo is 110% incapable of owning her faults, much less her personal actions…it is increasingly more impossible to try and reason with her at any given time because she has this obnoxious entitlement issue that causes her to fly off the handle defensively whenever she fucks up – which is often. As soon as she becomes aware that I’m onto her, or as soon as I call her out on anything shady or dishonest that she does, she blows up and leaves (especially now that she can play her “I’m eighteen” card). It’s always been this way though, even when she was very young – her best defense has always been a good offense. And she makes certain that by the time she’s ready to come back into one of our homes, we are so happy she’s alive and safe that one of us will bend and let her in.
I am sick of it. It is unhealthy. I see what it is doing to my parents again, mentally and spiritually and financially, and I can’t let it continue. The question now is:
How will I clarify myself on this issue for all to understand and perpetually respect? Is that even possible?
I will not allow my child to hold my family hostage through her outrageous behaviors anymore; things have changed for me since she turned eighteen, also, and it is a card that I can now play as well. But where is the line that defines dead and cold from wounded and bleeding out slowly in the snow? All that know for sure is that I will not spend a single year more of my own life in feeling as if my very existence is hinged upon Boo’s behavior and the things that her behaviors create in the lives of those around her. There was a point when it dawned on me: how her father continues to abuse me through her very actions…I escaped her father and have risen above his reach, such abuse cannot continue in any context.
At what point does it become okay to admit how unhealthy my own child has been to my own livelihood and how destructive she continues to be in the midst of the tiny village I have managed to construct and maintain in her absence?
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.
Apparently, she thought that walking downstairs and meeting “a friend” at the hospital was safe enough.
All I know is that within the hour of her leaving the hospital, her trach cap had been taken away from her and she was unable to speak and barely able to breathe. She spent almost 36 hours away from medical care with a brand new, unsettled tracheotomy that needed attention.
She has returned now; out of sheer necessity of course…and she has further complicated her own condition by allowing the trach to become clogged and dirty. Now they will need to replace the original trach with a new one – another surgery, another gamble with her life.
“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.
Dear dead terrorist man,
AKA: my ex-husband,
I wanted to confess to you,
your continued presence in my space,
a circumstance of Déjà vu,
black and blued our daughter’s face,
I thought you should hear it,
since you’re not here to have to,
look in her face,
with her eyes like a raccoon’s;
it’s only fair,
that you be,
what she’s again been through,
you still fucking linger,
in the carbon atom,
forgiven in an innocently executed ruse,
she has your eyes,
impossibly long lashes,
to bat away told lies,
you’re a Dead Man now,
no sweat left for your brow,
you’re gonna have to handle the truth;
you’re gonna have to know it,
hear it all, through and through…
I wish you were living,
can you believe I’d say so?
Just long enough,
to walk in all tough,
you like to think,
can make your eyes blink,
but if you had to see,
if your eyes,
had to perceive,
as our own,
just like you battered me…
you’d die again.