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.
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))
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.