to say that these past five years have been hard is an understatement.
never could I have imagined walking through such heartache and loss; nor could I have imagined one of my children ever hating me.
but five years ago, this became my life, and my reality.
not only did I lose my dad, but three months later, my oldest daughter–then 18 years old–walked out.
we had no signs leading up to this horrific day, so imagine our surprise when she walks into the kitchen and informs me that she’s leaving, and that I can’t do anything to stop her.
within a few minutes, she had her bags packed and a friend here to pick her up.
we cried and begged her not to go, but she wouldn’t listen.
she had just turned 18, was halfway through her senior year of high school, had no car, and no job.
and did I mention that she also had nowhere to live?
for months, she jumped from one home to another, and she’d call me occasionally, just to “brag” about her life and how happy she is.
she also felt that it was necessary to tell me all about her new “promiscuous” life-style.
drinking became her new favorite past time, as did partying.
three months after she left home, she got herself into a dangerous situation, which left her homeless and scarred.
we asked her to come back home, which she did, but not because she wanted to be with us. mainly because she had nowhere else to go.
she was with us for almost five months, and quite frankly, those were the most hellish five months of my life.
she showed us no respect, lied to her siblings as well as to my husband and myself, and was living a life of deception behind our backs.
on top of all of that, she was in and out of the psych ward more times than I can count.
what I believe was PTSD, was diagnosed at bipolar.
the doctors prescribed her a boatload of meds and sent her on her way.
between 3-day visits to the psych ward, and week after week of day therapy (that I had to drive her to and from while trying to homeschool my other kids) we were seeing no changes in her behavior.
I felt like I was a prisoner in my own home, and what’s worse, I couldn’t leave her alone with my younger kids, which means I had to watch her constantly.
when she had first come back home, we had made a contract of sorts with her, basically as a way to hold her accountable.
nothing major or to hard to follow.
we asked her to agree to counseling, as well as consistently taking her meds and being honest with us. no lies or deception AT ALL.
deep down in our hearts, my husband and I knew that she was lying to us and deceiving us that whole summer, but we kept hoping that we were wrong.
until one day when I had to check her phone–with her permission–and I saw all the texts that were full of lies about my husband and I, as well as texts proving that she’d been deceiving us and lying to us all along.
I can’t tell you how hard it was reading texts where she ran us down and called us names, as well as laughed at our stupidity for trusting her.
reading all of that was like a slap in the face.
it was then that we realized that she had to go.
we could no longer live like this; she was destroying our family and I was a mess most of the time just trying to cope.
I felt as if my younger kids were always on the back burner because I was devoting most of my attention to her; attention that was getting us nowhere.
it was during one of her “staged” psych visits that we made the decision to tell her that she couldn’t come home.
we knew if we told her while she was in the hospital that she wouldn’t be on the street, and they wouldn’t let her leave without somewhere to go.
can I just say that telling my child–my firstborn–that she could no longer live with us was the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever done.
once her counselor and therapists heard our reasons for this decision, they were in full agreement that she needed to be on her own, learning lessons the hard way.
that was five years ago.
since that time, she has been kicked out of transition-type homes for breaking the rules, as well as other people’s homes when she chose not to abide by their house rules.
she’s been homeless probably more times that I even know about….do you have any idea how excruciating it is to know that your adult child is homeless?
and yet, you know that there’s nothing you can do to help her, because she refuses to be helped.
she calls us about once a year, long enough to stir things up and make us miserable.
it’s so hard not knowing anything about her, and not knowing if she’s ok, but this is the reality that I’ve had to come to accept.
I’ve learned to focus my attention on my younger kids, who want and need me in their lives. as well as on my husband, who’s walked this long road with me.
losing my daughter has been a sort-of death for me.
the death of a relationship that had been dying for such a long time.
and the grieving process is ongoing due to the fact that she pops back into my life whenever she feels like it.
this isn’t the path I would have chosen, but I can say that I’m a much stronger person for having gone through this, and for that I am grateful.