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You take a lot from her. I don’t know if I could.

Yes I do.

I freely admit that I take a lot from my daughter. I am the brunt of most of her outbursts. I am the one person that she blames for every thing wrong in the world. I am the one person that simply cannot do anything right, nor help her in any way, at all. I am the one person that she truly hates in this world. Heck, I’m worse than every boy who’s ever broken her heart. Yes, to my daughter, I am the Antichrist.

For me, being a parent means that I have to be there for my kids… No. Matter. What.

Even, being there for them, when they are at their lowest points, and are so angry, hurt, and upset with Every Thing that they Know; they lash it out at anyone within arm’s length. As the saying goes… “Hurt People… Hurt. People.” Generally themselves, the most. Most people run and hide. After all this is the sensible thing to do when confronted with someone who is bound and determined to hurt someone, something, anyone, anything – to make it feel better. ((not that this actually makes anyone feel better, as we all know))

Me. I stand right there next to her. Doing my best to make sure that in her fury; she doesn’t harm herself. Sometimes… Well, sometimes, I get a bit battered and bruised, in the process.

Yet, I don’t know that I like the alternative.

There’s a loosely termed word, for the people in charge of keeping my child safe.

I’ve been okay in the last 28 days, with Daphne’s care and well-being. When we talk she seems safe. She seems happy. She seems that everything is fair, to mid-lin.

Now though, it seems that these so-called adults are nothing but over-aged children.

I teased Daphne on Sunday afternoon, with the idea of flying up to Pittsburg, PA and meeting her at the airport. Having dinner. Then flying home together. Just so that I could be with her a little bit sooner. She bristled at the idea and told me that she would be fine. To stop worrying so much.

Now, I’m getting a text from her, asking if the idea of me flying up there was still on the table? Could I come and get her from Terri’s house? Seems that Shandelle and Jeremy don’t have enough money between the two of them, to drive from WV, to OH, pick her up, and drive her to the airport in PA.

Huh?

These are the people I’ve trusted to take care of her, and get her to the airport On Time, to catch her flight on Tuesday. Now they may not be able to do that? You’re kidding me, right?

So Daphne says that she will let me know that I may have to fly up there, and come pick her up from Terri’s house, and drive her to the airport. But not to say anything to Shandelle about it. She’s waiting for Shandelle to text her back, and let her know if she is. Or not. She doesn’t want me to start an argument with Shandelle over this. Or Terri.

Huh!!!!

She’s worried about me starting an argument with these people. Trust me when I say that an argument is the least of anyone’s worries – if she doesn’t have a fucking ride to the airport on Tuesday. … and worse!!! If I don’t find this out until Tuesday morning!!

It is taking all my strength not to throttle Terri, through the phone right now. My child should not have to worry about how she is getting to the airport. She should only be worried about having fun in her last 6 days in OH.

I’ve already looked at airline flights – I can get on the same plane as Daphne but it will cost me $758.00. Not to mention renting a car, the gas to get there AND back, the parking fees here in Orlando, and the loss of money at my job.

Over $1,000 all because these people can’t figure out how to drive her to the airport.

Holy fucking crap!!!

I knew this was a bad idea. A very very VERY bad idea. I want to throw up. I want to fly to WV.

Wait, shouldn’t that be OH?, you say. Well, sure… IF Daphne was in OH.

Not in OH?, you say. No. NOT in OH.

Yes. You read that correct. “Not in OH.” She was in West Virginia. Not only the wrong city, but the whole wrong freaking state!

I’m telling you that I appreciate my folks. I do. But in this moment, offering me a glass of wine, to keep me calm was so off the radar, it’s not even funny. What keeps me calm, is having information. And the information I was receiving, as I went along; was making me more and more nervous; rather than doing anything to calm me down.

So let’s back up a little bit. I was fine at the airport. I was. Okay, so I sat there for nearly an hour, just hoping that the plane would come back. And when it didn’t, I drove home. Well, I drove to my folks house. They were taking care of Russell and Bronwyn for me. Which I appreciate so much. But I have never really had my emotional needs met by my parents. They simply don’t know how to deal with me, and my emotional side. This was definitely pushing all of my Emotional Mommy buttons.

It started with Daphne texting me, as I drove into my folks’ driveway. I called her, and she denied the call. Then texted that she wasn’t off of the plane yet. In a few more exchanges, and she called me. We talked about the flight. Then I helped talk her though, getting to the baggage claim. Using her street smarts… she has such good street smarts. I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable if this had been Rebecca, to begin with. Lord only knows what I would have done had this happened to Rebecca.

Why did I have to talk her though getting to baggage claim, you might be wondering. Well Terri wasn’t at the gate as she said she would be. When she sent Taylor to me, I got the security pass, I spent time in the line, to get through the security section, to personally meet Taylor at the gate. To make sure that Taylor was safe, n sound. Terri was supposed to do the same thing. She didn’t. That should have been my first clue.

So at baggage claim, there was an excited Daphne, yelling at me that she found Taylor. And Shandelle. Taylor’s older, half-sister. And Shandelle’s boyfriend, and her young son. Okay. Fine. Bring the whole family. No big deal. Where was Terri?

Ahhhhh— Daphne didn’t know. She was just so happy that she had Taylor in her embrace again, she wasn’t caring about that little fact at the moment. Then a few minutes later, Daphne tells me that Terri isn’t there at all. She wasn’t coming either. They were driving to Shandelle’s house. That they were going to be staying with Shandelle, in West Virginia.

WHAT?!??!!!!!

I hadn’t talked to Shandelle. I didn’t know where Shandelle lived. Hello, West Virginia is a big state. Where was this place? Were they ever going to OH? What age was Shandelle? What was her last name? Worse — Could she keep my child safe? Did she understand Daphne’s special circumstances?

This is when I am doing my best to just breathe. Trying not to call up Southwest Airlines, and find the next flight out of Orlando, heading north.

My mother’s suggestion, is to have a glass of wine. *shakes head*

Instead, I’m making calls to the one person I know who can keep me from running head-long into complete and total, panic mode. I pack up the kids, and start driving home. Making a phone call into Tim, as I am pulling out of Momma’s driveway.

Tim is amazing. He is my rock. Plain and simple.

I explain what I’m finding out from Daphne, and second-hand from Shandelle. Who I still don’t even have a phone number for. Let alone an address. Or a last name. Which is not the same as Taylor; different fathers. All I know of Shandelle is that she is half-related to Taylor. She has a five (5) year old son, as a single mother, with no father. She is engaged to a man named, Jeremy; again, no last name. Is an assistant manager of a local Wendy’s.

I go over all the details that I have.. which aren’t much.
I go over the possible outcomes.
I go over the possible ‘next steps’.
I breathe.. remembering not to speed – nor grip the steering wheel so freaking hard.

I get home. I park. I make a phone call into Terri. Who at this point, still hasn’t contacted me. I get NO answer. I try to leave a voicemail message. I can’t because she can’t accept any. I resort to texting her. I leave 4 of them, before my phone is ringing.

I do my very best to not start yelling. After all at his point Tim has done such a good job at keeping my blood pressure from going through the roof – I don’t want to mess it up.

I get an apology from Terri, which is a good start. But it’s one of those ‘I’m not to blame’ apologies, that really isn’t an apology. In my personal opinion, she is to blame. She had plenty of opportunities to text me, or call me, letting me know that the plans had changed. To make the decision to put Daphne on the plane, or not; due to the change in circumstances.

So Terri gives me sob story about being in the hospital. Which she may have been. But I don’t see how she couldn’t have contacted me to let me know what was going on. Or for Shandelle to have made the connection. Especially if she is responsible enough, adult enough, to be trusted with my child because she has one – then where was her responsible actions, in this case?

I just breathe – as she talks, and interrupts me, when I try to explain my fears, my worries, my reasons for being upset. “Terri. Remember how you felt when you put Taylor on the plane? Remember your worry? Remember how you felt when you got the photo from me? How you felt knowing that she was safe with me? Where was my reassurance? I didn’t get that Terri. Nobody was there to meet Daphne at the gate. She isn’t even in the same freaking state I thought that she would be in. I have nothing but someone who’ve I never met, or talked too, or even have an idea of where they live – picking my child up from the airport, and spiriting off with them. I have reassurance. I have nothing but worries, that just get worse, when things changed but nobody thought that I would need to know.”

I like to think that she finally started to empathize with me, and why I might be crying on the phone to her. I like to think that Terri has a bit more compassion, and a little less self-absorption. She just said that she’d be happy to get Shandelle on the phone, to text me. To send me a photo of Daphne. Some sort of reassurance that Daphne would be okay.

Then the subject of Daphne’s challenge with hurting herself. Could Shandelle do anything to keep Daphne safe? Did she understand the addiction? Did she have the resources to get Daphne to medical attention, if it came down to it? Could she understand about not confronting Daphne about it? Would she understand how to handle Daphne? Could she discreetly put a baggie of ice cubes in the freezer, and not bring them up?

Terri tells me that Shandelle used to do the same thing. Which I find a bit far-fetched, if Terri tells me just a couple of weeks ago that she had taken to the internet to do research on the subject, in preparation for Daphne’s stay. Why would she have done research on the subject, if her own child had suffered from the same challenge?

At this point I decide to take matters into my own hands. I just hang up on Terri. Each time I bring up one of my concerns, she half-answers it – followed up with another tirade about her own problems. Pfft!!! Honestly, if she has this many problems, I would have just suggested that Daphne come another time. When things were less hectic. But I wasn’t given that opportunity, because nobody gave me information until it was too late. Nobody communicated with me.

I text Daphne asking for Taylor or Shandelle to send me a photo of her. To defer my fears a little bit. Then I remember to type “Please.”

At this point Daphne says “Sure.” Then replies to my, please with a text to Calm Down. She was working on it.

This is when I lost it. I flat out told Daphne: “Do not tell me to calm down. It is all that I can do to not take the next flight up to there and find you, and fetch you home. You are not in the place I thought that you would be. You aren’t even in the same freaking state!!”

Daphne got all apologetic. She said that she would do her best to keep me in the loop. That Shandelle was sending the photo.

I got it a few minutes later. I thanked her for it. I tried to keep calmer, and asked about her dinner. Teasing her about eating vegetables. Reminding her to do her best to keep safe. To call me every day. That I was happy, that she was happy. That I loved her.

I also had a little bit of a texting conversation with Shandelle. Getting her to understand my reaction, mother-to-mother. I even said, “I’m told that you have a young son, so perhaps you can understand my fears here. I was not told anything about your mom’s situation. OR that you would be taking my child to a different state, let alone a different home for the visit. OR that you wouldn’t be there at the gate, to meet Daphne. Please put yourself in my shoes, here.”

Shandelle, for her credit, understood this better than Terri did. She really seemed to, at least in her replies. She even apologized. For the lack of communication / the change in plans / the failure to call me when Daphne first landed… I don’t know. But it felt more heart-felt than Terri’s apology. Mainly, because it wasn’t followed up with a ‘but’, sort of reason.

She gave me all the information I needed. Landline. Work location. Home address. Then her reassurance that she understood about how to help Daphne. That she would take care of the Ice Baggie, as soon as they got home. She makes no mention of her own struggles with the condition… which makes me feel more sure that Terri was lying about that part. ((shrug))

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So in the end, Shandelle does text me a photo of Daphne. Smiling. Happy. With Taylor. At a Taco Bell. 🙂 For the moment, that is about all that can hope for. Its really all that any mommy can hope for.

He really thinks that I don’t know my own kids?

Really?

The problem with Daphne’s cutting came fully out into the open this week.
It started with Barry – of course.  When doesn’t the problems in my family start with her father?  He was spouting off – trying to push my buttons – when he wasn’t getting his way about the counselor decision… (see previous posts)  So he tells me:  “Well they tell me things that they won’t tell you.  They don’t like you.  They want to live with me.”

Normal ‘button pushing’ statements.  Pfft.

He tells me that Daphne was cutting.  That he learned it from Rebecca.  So he told Debby the counselor (who admitted to knowing about it when Barry revealed it to him)  But she had no answer for me, when I asked her:  “Why didn’t you contact me to let me know this about my own child?”  What a piece of shit, counselor.  I understand privacy – I understand the need for confidentiality – but if one parent knows, then its no longer private in my eyes.

I didn’t let it get to me – I had my suspicions anyways – so I admitted to him:  “I already knew that.  Duh!”

Barry: “You don’t know them.  They don’t tell you things.  They hate you.  You don’t even know that Rebecca is no longer a virgin.”

Me: “I knew when she lost her virginity.  It was right around the time of our divorce.  I didn’t need to blab it to you.  It was her news to share.  I even know the boy that she did it with. You think I don’t know my own children?  Really!”

Barry:  “No I don’t.  All they do is bitch about you.”

Me:  “I know my kids.  I know more than you think.  I’m the one who knew Daphne was dying.  I was the one ranting and raving at you to hurry up.  Who refused to believe me.  I know them like nobody will ever know them.” 
(*idiot!  Of course they bitch about me.  I am a parent.. not a friend. I give them rules.  I give them limits.  I give them safety.  They want you to like them. You’ll only like them if they show you that they don’t like me.  Cause you don’t like me.  And will not like them, if they like me.*)

Being a parent means knowing your kids… and he hasn’t the first clue about them.

I had called Barry last week to let him know that the DCF appointed counselor had been by my home, and interviewed each of the children.  To do their in-take evaluations.  That in the course of those evaluations, it was made clear to me, that Daphne couldn’t have two (2) counselors; so Debby W. would have to go.  I thought that he would be happy to know that his reasons for contacting DCF, were coming true.  DCF would be providing counseling for each of the children, especially Daphne, free.  That he wouldn’t have to pay for Debby, at $100.00 per hour, any more.  Considering how much he complained about it, and said that he didn’t have the money for it.

Nope.  He was all indignant and pissy about it.  Claiming that he was going to pay for Debby to see all of the children.  Even though he didn’t have the money for $100 a week/ he now had money for $400 a week?  Even though she wasn’t DCF compliant?  She refused to take any insurance, even once I get it in place again?  She was not well-versed on communicating to me, as Daphne’s mother.

Of course I called Debby.  I told her about the DCF counseling.  I told her that she would no longer be needed.  She tried to say that she would be seeing all of the kids.  That she had already talked about it with Barry… which was news to me.  I let her know the truth about DCF being in the picture – she was under the impression that the school had called DCF… and that it had only been in the last 2 weeks.  I let her know that  Barry had called them… and it was 2 months ago.  Weeks before she even began seeing Daphne.  She was surprised by that too.

She tried to tell me that it was up to Barry.  I let her think that.  But after talking to Lenore, a social worker, familiar with DCF, and my rights.  I am these children’s’ mother.  I may have to make medical decisions with Barry, 50/50 – but then so does he.  He isn’t.  He didn’t check with me before signing Daphne up.  He just did it. I have the right to cancel Debby.  All I have to do is to send her a letter.  I will do that Monday.

I think that DCF counselor is fine.  She is at least flexible in her approach and willing to see Daphne and Rebecca after school.  Rebecca really does need to stay in her classes.  She needs to pass.  And Daphne is such a private person – that to be pulled out of class every week for the next 10 months, is not a good idea.  It would do more harm than good for her.  Barry has no clue about that, when he pulls her out of her last class every week – early!  Talk about somebody not knowing their kids very well.

I know if it comes down to it – the divorce agreement says that Barry and I will have to go to mediation about it.  The kids live with me 80% of the time… not Barry.  So I’m banking on that to help me win my case.

Lenore thinks that it will.

Why is it when I’m on top of the world, loving everything about my life; having every part of it lined up so beautifully… I topple the whole thing over. 😦

I don’t mean too. I follow the rules, as they are given to me. I try hard not to break any of them. I try even harder not to hurt the ones that I love, by messing up.

Even though I see others breaking them. I watch as they break simple ones even without meaning too. I let them slide. They are human. Its bound to happen. Its not like it effects me all that greatly. I can let things go, and brush past their faults.

But man, there seems to be a double standard about when I break the rules. I get royally fucked over, even if I’m following them, to the letter, as they are laid out in front of me.

Somehow this has happened. Yet. Again.

I don’t understand why. Or how.

All I know is that I followed the rules – and I still ended up doing it wrong.

Only this time, I took all that hurt – that I should have been pouring out on myself, for having hurt someone – got all defensive, and laid out all of the times when they broke the rules, but I let it slide.

Neither of us wins. We both end up hurting. I don’t know how to get it right.

Follow the rules – Don’t follow the rules. Doesn’t seem to matter. I screw up.