19 days

“When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling” E. Kubler-Ross


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The wilderness: her temporary new home in Duschene, Utah.

It’s been 19 days since my daughter was taken away.

It’s been 28 days since I received the franctic call from her father telling me our kid was out of control and she needed to be taken away to a far off place as soon as possible.

On March 14th, 2017 the kid and I had one of the most un-nerving encounters we had had. I’ll explain later but this ended up in me calling her dad saying to him if he didn’t come get her, one of us would be gone in the morning (and by that I meant me). Her dad came upset I was messing up his night, after much arguing took the kid to his house and that was that. I was shaken to the core. That night I didn’t sleep. Or the night after that. I had failed. I had completely failed at parenting. I let a 17 year old do to me what I had been fighting for years not to let adults do to me.

Our family counselor (FC),  whom we had been seeing for almost four years on and off recommended that she stay with her dad for at least two months. Two months would be perfect to give us some breathing room and possibly ‘fix’ our relationship.  She quickly agreed that separation was paramount to rebuilding our relationship because of how the kid had become in the last year.

What ensued in the next couple of weeks were texts from my daughter asking me to kill myself, telling me what a disgrace I was, and those were the nice texts. A week of pure hell. Everytime my phone dingged I didn’t know what to do. When I saw her name I didn’t even want to read it. She was working hard on punishing me for ‘sending’ her to her dad’s house and boy was I paying the emotional price for it. I lived with an abusive set of parents and by this time I was feeling the same way I felt when I lived with them as a child.  I even told my daughter this. I was sick of being treated like someone’s punching bag and after having done so for a long time I was done being her punching bag.

Everyday I got calls or texts from her dad. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes he would call me a total of 15 times per day because he didn’t know what to do. Now I know, he never dealt with her so I know he needed a learning curve but holy baby Jesus, I didn’t expect it to be like it was.  The phone calls would go like this: “did you know…?!” (yes I knew, I’ve told you that she says/does that often, you just thought I was exaggerating). “How in the world does she think…!!!?” (yes I know, that’s how she’s been the last year or so. I’ve brought it up to you but you thought I was being overly dramatic). “WTF is wrong with the way she acts!!!????? (exactly! I’ve been telling you …well you know the drill).

March 27th was the day. The day that set the wheels in motion to change my life as I knew it.  The kid had confided in his girlfriend about everything that had been going on in her life for the last 12 months. Drugs, alcohol, breaking and entering just for shit and giggles, drag racing, you name it. Her dad called me franctic saying she needed to get out of here. She needed to go to a far away place, far from these kids, and reset her way of thinking. He put me to task and being the dutiful, task oriented person, I spent the next 96 hours doing just that.

I scoured the internet. Boarding schools? too late in the year.  Progressive schools? Would not take her in with alcohol or drugs in her system. Therapeutic boarding schools? She needed a psych evaluation and this would take time, plus I thought ‘my daughter is not nuts, she doesn’t need that at all!’ But time we didn’t have because what we had was a kid growing more and more frustrated with us and she was a ticking time bomb. I secured the services of an educational consultant and she quickly told me what to do. After an hour long conversation and quick background on my daughter she suggested wilderness therapy in one of three places. Thing is those three places were already on my list so it made the choosing that much easier. A few phone calls later, she was all set to go to Second Nature in the outskirts of Salt Lake City, UT.

From March 27th until April 5th, I cried everywhere and all the time. At the gym I would burst out crying on the treadmill. In the car. At the grocery store. At a restaurant. At the drive through. I cried everywhere and at the drop of a hat. I didn’t sleep. I had nightmares. I just couldn’t believe what was happening and what I had done to get us here.

And then it was just a matter of waiting for the day to come.

Peace & love

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