Home life

I don’t know where my daughter is right now. The last I heard she was planning on living in her car and getting a puppy. She left my parent’s house a couple of days ago.

While Arabella was in inpatient, we received an unusual fee on our bank account. Paul called the bank and they told him Arabella over drafted her custodial account by $150 so they charged us $100 and closed her account. So not only does she not have a job but she also doesn’t have any money. Previous to that, she spent hundreds of dollars a month on gambling and the arcade.

When she moved in with my mom, she begged my mom for a puppy. My mom said no. My mom said it was strange because one day while she was there the neighbors dog ran away and jumped into Arabella’s car. She probably saw that as a sign of some sort.

Arabella wanted my mom to spend $1300 for her to live in a hotel for a week. My mom said no to that too. Arabella called around to the local homeless shelters. They said they had a waiting list and the ones who have been on the streets the longest were going to get help first. It made me angry she would call the shelters. She has several places she can live at, our house and my parents house included. She is wasting resources that other people need.

It also bothers me she is wasting resources by her false accusations against us. Every time when she tells someone she has been neglected or abused they are mandated to report it even if it didn’t happen. I was told while she was in residential that they were mandated to file a report against us. Yeah, that makes sense. Someone who is willing to pay the cost of their first starter house for residential treatment isn’t willing to buy food for their kid?? It’s another waste of resources because someone has to take the time to look into the claim when there are abused and neglected children out there waiting for services.

My mom has been very upset Arabella left her house. She was visiting my brother Luke and his family when Arabella left. My mom left my brother’s early because she was having problems sleeping probably from the stress. Arabella told my mom she was going to live in her car. She was going to get a dog to live in her car with her. She was going to find people who would give her free food for this dog. My mom told her to get a job first to save up for an apartment and later a dog, but Arabella told her she didn’t want her advice.

It’s hard to think of my daughter living in her car with winter coming. But I am glad that once she came back from residential I had her go in to the doctor to get an IUD. So even if she ends up coming back home someday with a puppy it’s better than a baby. She can barely take care of herself right now.

When Paul’s mom was Arabella’s age she got pregnant with Paul. She had similar mental health issues, had dropped out of high school, and Paul didn’t have a dad. Paul’s grandma stepped up to help raise him. At least we don’t have to worry about that right now. It’s hard enough to have a daughter living on the streets not knowing where she is or if she is okay.

Since the first edition of this post this morning, my mom told me that Arabella spent the night in her car and is now living at the homeless shelter. She will be stopping by shortly to pick up more of her items. Paul wants to talk to her but I really don’t. This whole thing has been upsetting for me and I am afraid of losing my temper with her. Typically I am the calm and collected one. But I can only handle so much. I feel really anxious and trapped right now. I just want to leave. I just can’t see myself living the rest of my life feeling this way. But what can I do? I don’t have any control and can’t change things so I guess I’ll have to find a way to live through this somehow. I can’t let this ruin me but it’s hard right now.

Stopping by

Monday night after 10 I was dozing off on the couch when Arabella came home briefly proclaiming she was just going to get some of her things. She didn’t seem to want to talk which was fine with me as I was feeling rather depressed about the whole situation. I decided to finish getting ready for bed. Paul came in and asked me if I wanted to talk to her. I said I didn’t. After her accusations of starvation, torture, and abuse by my hand specifically I didn’t think that talking was going to do any good.

I heard snippets of Paul’s conversation with her…you need to knock off the accusation bullshit…destroying you mother, she might never recover…can’t come waltzing in here after 10 PM and upset everyone…you need to let us know before you stop by…not welcome here if you can’t apologize to your mother for how you have been treating her…

No one at our house slept well that night. The next morning my mom called. She said she wanted to let me know Arabella has been recording our conversations. I felt sick about it as I thought of our last few conversations in person. She seemed calm as she pushed our buttons. That is why I didn’t want to talk with her because it wasn’t going to go anywhere besides me being upset. I had to protect myself from her abuse and got to the point where enough is enough. She was delusional like this before but this is the first time after she turned 18. I did everything I thought I could do.

She tried to get my mom to listen to the recordings but my mom wanted nothing to do with it. My mom also told me Arabella was planning on checking into an inpatient mental health facility. She did end up checking into the hospital for a couple days. I felt so much better knowing she did that. Finally she was getting some help.

Arabella does not want to talk to me. I haven’t talked to her since she hung up on me twice. Every time I try she pushes me away. I decided if she wanted to talk to me she can call me and I would talk to her. Paul still has been trying to reach out. He tried calling her at the hospital on Saturday and they told him she was discharged. I had a sinking feeling in my gut. I decided to go to the Halloween party on Saturday after all. I couldn’t isolate and let this ruin me. My mom texted that Arabella showed up again at her house while we were on our way to the party. I had a couple of days feeling okay because she was safe but I don’t feel that way anymore.

A break

Compared to the rest of the week, Saturday was all puppies, unicorns, and cute cuddly kitties.

Just a quick recap of the week:

  • My daughter Arabella left home and I wasn’t sure where she was staying.
  • I tripped over my elderly dog and he could barely walk.
  • I got a call saying my brother Luke was on the way to the ER with a possible stroke.
  • At the same time as I got the call about my brother, a neighbor threatened to call the police on my son who was smoking across the street in the woods with his buddies.
  • My brother Matt’s cell phone was stolen by a caregiver in his group home. Not only one, but two caregivers stole money from him and his roommate. The police needed to get involved.
  • Arabella called in the middle of the night from the ER but wouldn’t tell me what was going on.
  • My husband left for a business trip.
  • My microwave started on fire.
  • The power went out.
  • Arabella was delusional and told people that I starved and tortured her. She threatened to dox me.

The week sucked so bad I came up with the idea of having an anti-gratitude list for everything that went wrong during the week. I still might do it. I mean it could be funny. People call me a pessimist anyway. But really, I think it could be a good idea. I could start a list of the good and the bad. On Saturday I could share the bad and on Sunday I could share the good. I will overthink on it some more but I like the idea.

But back to the story…On Saturday I went up north to celebrate my niece’s birthday with Angel, Alex, and his new girlfriend. I felt like I adequately warned Alex’s girlfriend about what she was getting into. I told her she still had time to change her mind about being a part of our family. Alex said his girlfriend has a crazy family too. I highly doubt she would win that contest.

But anyway, we spent the day up north at the family cabin. We went for a walk enjoying the fall colors. I took the scooter out for a ride. I felt so free and happy riding the scooter that I still think I might get a motorcycle license next summer. We played a board game inside with a fire in the fireplace to keep warm. We laughed a lot and for a little while I didn’t worry.

The best part of the day is that everyone got along. Angel and Alex were joking around and laughing together. It meant a lot to me because they don’t always get along. Everything went well with Alex’s girlfriend who also got along with Angel. For a short blip of time there was peace and harmony.

We did talk about Arabella a little. My other kids said I was a wonderful mom and they always loved me. I told them it was hard to understand Arabella’s hatred of me since I never did anything mean to anyone in my whole entire life. Of course, we laughed about the comment I made too. Maybe I was trying to take the wonderful mom thing too far…

I had a great day on Saturday with family. That night I had a great night’s sleep, the best sleep in years. I almost felt happy for awhile. But I couldn’t sustain it for too long. Why can’t it always be like that? Then I started to think about other families with envy. They have what I want all the time, a happy healthy family. It was just a taste of what it could be like.

It was in that moment I realized I left behind the rage I felt burning fiercely for most of the week and replaced it with a deeper darker melancholy.

Lost in this

Friday was a really long day. I’d been up since 3 AM when I saw the text my daughter was in the ER. After she hung up on me when I asked her what was going on, I wasn’t able to go back to sleep. I was tired, I’d been tired for a long time.

Later that afternoon, Arabella called me. She asked if I would co-sign on the apartment that Will and her were planning on moving into. When I was hesitant, Arabella said if I didn’t she would cut me out of her life. She wasn’t going to come home for Thanksgiving.

I told her I wouldn’t even think about co-signing until she did a couple things. I figured with a year’s lease I would be out about $10,000 if she couldn’t pay. She said she was planning on borrowing money for the down payment and the first month’s rent. I told her I wouldn’t feel comfortable signing anything unless she could assure me she had a job. She missed three shifts and they didn’t want her to come back without a doctor’s note. I wasn’t sure she would be able to get one. Get a job or your job back and I will think about it.

Another thing I wanted was for her to put Will’s name on the lease. I don’t know this guy. She said he was 21 and she met him when she was in high school. I have no idea the status of their relationship beyond mutual commiserating about previous suicide attempts. She said Will did not want to be put on a lease because he is poor which probably means he has bad credit.

When I told Arabella the conditions I had for co-signing, she became very angry. She started screaming at me and told me to shut up. Then she said fuck you and hung up on me. I got hung up on twice in one day by her. But what really stung is the last words I heard from my daughter were fuck you.

Then Arabella started texting me she was going expose me and ruin my reputation. She was going to tell everyone I tortured and starved her. She was going to tell everyone who I am and where I live. She said I was a heartless monster and now she would have to live on the streets. She said she was going to totally cut me out of her life.

The whole situation was upsetting to say the least. My husband was out of the state for work. I told him to turn off his location. I didn’t want Arabella to know he wasn’t home. My daughter Angel was very upset. She wanted us to lock the doors because she was afraid her sister would dox us and we might not be safe. We didn’t know anything about this Will guy. Who knows if he would come over?

Later I asked my son if he knew Will from school since they are the same age. Alex said that Will is bad news. He said he got kicked out of his parents house when he was 13 because he was getting into trouble. Sounds like the guy is a real sleaze ball. Wonderful, just wonderful.

Arabella showed up at my parent’s house on Friday. She told my mom that I abused her. This really upset my mom. My mom argued with Arabella and told her she was delusional, but that didn’t change her mind. At least for a couple of days I knew she wasn’t out on the streets.

The whole situation made me very angry. But I also felt fear. I was afraid of what would happen to my daughter. I also felt afraid she could somehow hurt me and the rest of my family. This is going to sound strange, but there is this nagging fear that maybe I am the crazy one. Maybe she does have something she could use against me even though I know I’ve never done anything to deliberately hurt any of my children. Paul said she reminded him of his mother, all bark and no bite. But who knows what someone who is mentally unstable is capable of? Not to mention that she surrounds herself with similar companions.

In my experience with my brother Matt, I always had to be ready. When he heard voices, he could attack at any moment. There’s no doubt I’m bringing my own trauma into the current situation. One of the hardest things is that my daughter’s last words to me were fuck you. I can’t reach her and now I’m starting to lose myself in all of this.

Gratitude week 95

  1. Paul and I went to a Halloween party last night and were able to reconnect with some friends we haven’t seen since before COVID.
  2. Paul and I had a nice evening going out to eat with Angel and Dan at an Indian restaurant.
  3. My best friend was forced to get vaccinated or lose her job of 30+ years. She has some health problems and is afraid to get the shot at this time. Thankfully her exemption was approved.
  4. I got new glasses and I can see the fine print again.
  5. We took our last sail of the season taking our boat from the marina to her winter home.
  6. The weather was warm enough to do some winterizing projects.
  7. Angel has been working really hard on running. I just signed us up for a 5 mile race on Thanksgiving day. I’m grateful to share one of my favorite hobbies with my daughter.
  8. I finally feel like I have some direction for my book. I want to write about being a sibling, daughter, and mother of people who have mental health struggles. I want to write one book, not several books. For the longest time I wasn’t sure what to do.
  9. I’m grateful for all of the kind comments and support over this last week of writing. It’s been a really hard month with everything going on with Arabella.

Walking again

That brings us to last Thursday. I dropped Paul off at the airport before first light. He was travelling for work and wouldn’t be home until Sunday. When I got back home Angel was heating some water in a glass bowl in the microwave. The microwave starting sparking and flames shot out from the side inside. So far things were off to a bad start. Maybe the microwave starting on fire would be the worst thing that happened while Paul was gone. Ha ha, funny. It wasn’t the worst, but it was the first.

My mom had spent the night but was leaving soon to head to the police department to sign some papers because a caregiver from my brother’s group home stole his phone. She called Arabella and told her she needed to check out of the hotel she put her up in a few nights. I didn’t know where she was going to go from there. She applied for an apartment with this guy Will whom I never met and didn’t know anything about besides him trying to kill himself a couple times.

The rest of the day went by in a blur. I went to bed when I normally do. I turned my ringer off. I slept until 3 AM when I awoke to go to the bathroom. At that time I checked my phone. I received a call around midnight from a No Caller ID caller. My heart started to race. That didn’t seem good to receive a call like that in the middle of the night. I’ve gotten calls from the police as a No Caller ID caller before. What was going on?

I also got a text from Arabella saying she was in the ER. I texted her back asking her what was going on and if she was alright but didn’t receive a response. I was wide awake now. Next I called the hospital ER department and asked to be connected to Arabella’s room. Arabella answered sounding very weak and tired. I asked her if I could talk to someone, anyone if she couldn’t talk. A nurse, her friend that took her in. Arabella said she thought I didn’t care and hung up on me.

What the hell was going on? Was it an overdose, a suicide attempt? I tried to reassure myself she was okay. She is in the hospital. They are taking care of her. She is alive. But it was little comfort as I laid in my bed alone trying to fall back to sleep. I may have dozed off a few minutes here and there. After a couple hours sleep was futile so I decided to get up and get on with my day. Right after I got up, the power went out. Because sure, why not? It didn’t stay off very long, just long enough to have to reset things.

The minute the psychiatrist’s office was open I called. I had to leave a message and decided to get on with my day. I planned on going for a run. Not sleeping was not a good enough excuse not to. Otherwise I would get nothing done if I was waiting for a stress free moment to live my life. Although I didn’t feel up for it, running is a healthy way to deal with my stress. After I left, my mom called and said Arabella came over to her house to sleep. She said Arabella told her she thought she was having a seizure and went to the ER. My mom wondered if it was a side effect from her new medicine. She just started Lithium and I remember a doctor once saying that it could be a problem with her thyroid disorder.

The psychiatrist’s office called me back a couple hours later. The nurse said that Arabella did not have a seizure. The ER diagnosed her with hyperventilation. That was a relief. She did tell me that Arabella threw me under the bus. She told them right after we got back from our vacation with her that Paul and I took another vacation. We left her home alone to starve as she was too weak to get out of bed. She also told them we gave her $200 when she turned 18 and wanted nothing to do with her. The nurse said the day after her initial psych evaluation appointment, she had an appointment with the psychiatric nurse where she was acting erratic and couldn’t hold a thought.

The nurse also said that Arabella tested positive for cannabis. She said that teenagers who already have a history of mental illness are more likely to have a negative reaction to pot. She thought maybe Arabella’s delusions were marijuana induced even more so with the high THC cannabis that is available today. She said that there was nothing I could do unless Arabella wants to quit and she didn’t know if it would even be reversible. She said she would discuss everything with the psychiatric nurse and call me back, but she never did.

After thinking about the situation, I wanted to tell the nurse that Arabella has a family history of the exact mental health struggles she is dealing with but not as extreme as her. She was experiencing paranoia and delusions before she even started smoking pot. Maybe smoking made it worse? Honestly, I think genetics is a bigger factor than smoking is. This is from what I know of our family history. Paul never knew his dad so there could be so much more effecting this than we even realize.

Right now I am kind of kicking myself though. Arabella was in inpatient 3 times within 4 months. After that she spent 2 months in outpatient, another 2 months in residential. Outside all of these programs, she has seen 5 different counselors within a year and a half. I thought she would come out of residential fixed. Part of this is my fault for thinking that. She was gradually getting worse and worse but I couldn’t accept that. I was setting her up for failure. She couldn’t go from residential care to seeing a counselor once in awhile. She fell through the cracks. She became an adult and no longer qualified for the adolescent outpatient program.

Basically she couldn’t go from wheelchair bound to walking like normal again. I thought residential was the miracle cure. I still believe it saved her life, but it wasn’t the end of her mental illness as I thought it would be. I realize that now.

Borderpolar with SAD

Last week my daughter said she accidently sent me a text which contained a screenshot of a conversation she had with her friend. As her parent, I found it to be very disturbing. I was debating on whether or not to post this and decided that I needed to talk about it. I want to warn you in advance that it might be triggering because I will be discussing drug use and suicide.

Arabella: I tripped too too hard on cough medicine that I was seeing hallucinations. Cause I took around 13 at night. And then the next morning I took 13 more. And I was planning to call the police because of them. As I was so miserable. That when I wanted to take a relaxing shower I saw the bath turn into like intestines. Something you would see only in really fucked up entertainment like movies or like books. But then there was screaming and the devil talked to me. And luckily V picked up the phone and talked with me and told me not to call the police. And just had me sit and talk with her until I went to bed or she did, one of those. And she told everyone at school that…

V: And that’s a pretty weird call to get from someone you don’t talk to regularly that you didn’t think did drugs. And she was calling to say she took too many pills and was crying saying she had to call the police because she saw the devil talking to her in a bathtub.

Arabella: That was me. That is more than 4 times the safe amount to get fucked up within 24 hours. That fucks up your liver. That’s why I don’t think I’m going to live long.

Will: I’ve tried to OD with a variety of OTC and a couple prescription pills.

On the bottom of the screenshot of the conversation between Arabella and Will there was a selfie of Arabella looking awfully messed up with the caption good-bye. Underneath it read, I took too many pills.

The first thing I did when I got the message was make sure it wasn’t recent. I believe the attempt to OD originated before residential. It wasn’t a current call 911 threat. I literally felt sick I was so heartbroken. I didn’t know or maybe I’ve been in denial. She wasn’t like this before. Her mental health issues all started with an out of the blue suicide attempt. Before that she didn’t do drugs or even drink. That all changed after her third inpatient hospitalization. She met a girl there who was into stealing and drugs. That’s when it all began. She didn’t have many friends left at that point. I thought it couldn’t be that bad to have a few friends from the hospital. It’s not as if anyone healthy or well adjusted wanted to hang out with her. Now I know why they discourage those types of friendships post hospitalization.

Arabella told me a couple of months ago that she didn’t like being sober. She said she liked pot but when she couldn’t get that there was alcohol. She also told me when she didn’t have money she would shoplift cough medicine. I had no idea it could be so bad. I mean it wasn’t heroin, right? But that was before residential, right? Because she was supposed to go to residential and go into remission and lead a happy healthy productive life. That’s what I was telling myself anyway.

Sometimes teenagers experiment with drugs and alcohol. Alex did. He wasn’t an easy teen. There was that one kid in the neighborhood. When we found out, he wasn’t allowed over there anymore. But he lived a few houses down. It was hard to stop once it started.

But this was different. She wasn’t with a group of friends experimenting. She was alone. Was she trying to kill herself?

When we were on vacation, Arabella wanted us to buy her alcohol and weed. We didn’t. She was already on a smorgasbord of pharmaceutical medications. I honestly didn’t know she had a problem. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe I’m in denial. All I know is that since the trip she went into a downward spiral. She lost her job. I knew she would be okay if she was able to hold down a job. Now that is even gone.

The initial diagnosis also includes substance abuse. I haven’t wanted to face it. I’m certain that the dual diagnosis of borderline and bipolar has the highest suicide rates. If you add substance abuse to that, the prognosis is very poor. My daughter already has had multiple suicide attempts. I have to live with the fact that my daughter is seriously mentally ill. I could get a call any day.

It’s been especially hard because she has been more delusional than I’ve ever seen her. She sincerely believes that I’ve been starving and torturing her. It’s been making it nearly impossible for me to help her. I feel so helpless. There is nothing I can do. She hates me and has been abusive towards me. Should I tolerate that because she is mentally ill? When do I let go and take care of me? I feel so much anger and despair. I’ve lost a lot of hope and don’t see this ending well. I want a miracle. I want her to be the one that beats the odds. But what if she doesn’t? I’m so afraid of what might happen next. I’m worried sick.