Back to jail

I was half expecting Arabella to be at our house when I woke up Saturday morning. It was a blustery morning, the expected two inches of snow turned into over a foot of snowfall. Paul got up a few minutes before me and I asked him a question as I started making my coffee. He told me he needed to talk to me and I had better sit down. Not the best thing to hear right away in the morning. Paul said Will texted him to tell us our daughter got arrested again.

Friday night, Will and Arabella went to a show. I was worried about Arabella because she was extremely delusional for the past few days. I knew she was looking forward to going to the show she got tickets to for months. On Saturday, my plan was to talk to her about admitting herself into the hospital. I also thought it would fall on deaf ears just like us telling her she needed to take the diversion offered to her to dismiss her criminal charges. I had to try even if she got upset with me. But it was too late.

This is what I was able to piece together. Something that was said at the show set off Arabella and she got very upset. At the show, she was overwhelmed because she was collectively able to go into the minds of everyone there and feel all their pain. She began to talk very loudly during the show and Will told her to shut up. They left the show early. Arabella drove home and Will walked a couple miles home.

When Will got home he was very upset because they left the show early and he did not want to listen to Arabella preach to him about how she decoded the Bible. He tried to get Arabella to take her medicine but she refused. She grabbed him by the neck and started choking him. Then she held him face down on the floor and told him she was doing God’s will. He managed to get away and called 911.

Now my daughter is sitting in jail facing 3 felonies and 2 misdemeanor counts. At the time of her arrest, she was completely out of touch with reality for over 3 days. We tried to get her help but no one would do anything unless she hurt herself or someone else because she is an adult. Paul, Will, and I tried to file a petition for involuntary commitment but it was denied. Apparently when she was suicidal two week ago and the police were called that didn’t count because they had a safety plan in place for 24 hours. We detailed her week of delusions, didn’t count. We recounted her violence against Will which didn’t count because the police report didn’t say it was mental health related. Apparently being totally out of touch with reality, being suicidal, and choking someone isn’t enough to get someone committed. I have at least 5 people who would testify she needed help the week she was arrested.

I don’t know what it would take to prove my daughter has mental health issues. She is only 19 and was hospitalized 4 or 5 times in the psychiatric hospital, was in an outpatient program several months, went to a residential program for two months, went to the ER several times for delusions, burned through a dozen counselors, tried a dozen different medications, has self-harm scars on most of her body. We are not trying to say she is mentally ill to get her out of going to prison. She is mentally ill and needs help. At this point I don’t care if she goes to prison as long as she gets the treatment she needs.

I went back on my phone to find proof via text of her delusions. Her first suicide attempt was February 15, 2020. Two weeks before that her texts indicated her mental condition was starting to decline. I didn’t know that yet at the time but going back it was clear. Before then everything was good, everything was normal. I sat and cried for about 10 minutes going through all the old normal texts of friends and dances and pictures before the cutting. I wondered to myself what the kids are like in other families before they became schizophrenic. Like the day before tragedy happens, we never remembered the last normal meal when we were all together and everything was normal and fine.

We wonder how things went so terribly wrong. The mental health system is failing miserably. My daughter has had one steady psychiatrist for 4 months in the last 3 years. He was the doctor that said my daughter most likely has borderline with schizoaffective disorder with bipolar 2. Then he said he was retiring and there wasn’t anyone to take his place. Borderline! Bipolar! Schizophrenia! Alone those are hefty diagnoses. But combined and facing 3 felonies no one has to tell me her prognosis is poor. I live with the fear that someday I might outlive my daughter.

Right now we are hoping for a psych eval in jail and inpatient treatment. We could bail her out but I’m afraid she will kill herself. I am afraid she is going to go to her apartment and hurt Will. I’m afraid she might hurt me. I’m afraid she might run away. I’m afraid she might do something stupid and get herself into more trouble. There has been a lot to think about. It’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride. It’s been a very difficult process full of uncertainty. At least we were able to hire a lawyer and we’ll see how everything goes.

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