- Since the last gratitude, we got over a foot of snow which meant more skiing and snowshoeing.
- Unfortunately with all of the exercise I ended up hurting myself and ended up going to urgent care finding out I pulled an abdominal muscle. I am finally feeling pain free.
- Volunteer time.
- One of my counselors started a women’s group and we had our first session this past Friday.
- Friday night we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with our Irish friends by drinking Jameson and Guinness, eating corned beef and cabbage, and playing cards at our house. It was a fun evening.
- Saturday we went to a couple casinos with some other friends. They picked us up in their Tesla which was kind of cool. At one of the casinos they had green beer. We all lost but had fun together.
- Today Paul and I went to a community theater show with Angel and Dan.
- It felt good to do things with other people and get my mind off of problems for awhile.
- Our friend James is involved in a lot of charity organizations and was given at least 10 big boxes of books to donate which we were able to go through and pick out books we were interested in reading.
- Through our friend James I will most likely be starting some new volunteer opportunities such as restoring old lighthouses and being a film screener for film festivals.
- I reached out to an organization that provides a support group for families dealing with mental illness. We are planning on attending the next session. I feel like my husband and I are really reaching out for help with our daughter’s mental health struggles. We realize we need the help more than ever before if our daughter is coming back home. We have done this through reaching out to our own separate counselors, our couples counselor, a support group, trusted friends and family, the women’s group, our pastor, and taking time for self-care and strengthening our relationships. I really don’t think there is much more we can do to be prepared.
When we got home
The last person I was expecting to see was the first person I saw when I got home. Will came over early in the morning to throw in some laundry for Arabella. He was too late as I already had a load going from our trip after leaving the luggage outside the night before to freeze any bug that may have come back with us on our trip.
I was worried about Will while on our trip. He with a broken hand and her with a bruised up face that didn’t come from his hand. It looked bad for him and I heard talk of some of the guys wanting to beat him up for what they thought he did. I blame my daughter for a lot of what happened, although Will was not completely innocent either. She treated him like garbage but was treated like the victim and him the aggressor. Almost everyone I talked to called him an asshole, piece of shit, and/or wanted to beat him up. But more violence wasn’t going to solve anything. I feel a lot of grief things worked out as poorly as they did. Now my daughter wants to move back home after their lease is up and I don’t know if I can go through that again but feel like I don’t have a choice.
Wednesday was a rough day having a lot to do when we got home and feeling an unexpected amount of jet lag. My brother and his family were coming over for the weekend for his daughter’s swim meet nearby. My brother called me that night. He already knew Arabella and Will went to jail. My mom called him to talk about it right away but she never called me. What a fool I am to think and hope my mom, my parents, would offer me support.
We had a nice Saturday at my niece’s swim meet. It was my dad’s birthday that Saturday. I didn’t call him or send him a card. I was planning on talking to him with my brother Luke but it didn’t work out that way. I didn’t know when Luke was talking to him and I fell asleep on the couch. Sunday we had plans to go out to eat with Paul’s step-dad Darryl who turned 70. His fiancé said to invite our kids. I didn’t want to invite Arabella. Was her face still bruised? Did she still have a black eye? Would she bring Will? Would she cause a scene? But everything went fine and her face was healed.
On Sunday afternoon I called my parents, and wished my dad a happy birthday. My mom told me how she made my dad all his favorite foods. His friends stopped by and gave him a funny card and how other family remembered his birthday. I was the only one who acknowledged his birthday from my household and I got the guilt trip. I felt traitorous for getting everyone together for Darryl’s birthday while ignoring my own dad. It was an awful feeling but I have to remember he caused his family to be estranged from him by his own actions. I am not responsible for the messes everyone gets into but yet sometimes I feel like I am.
Later that afternoon, Paul and I were trying to relax after the long weekend by having a few drinks and playing cards when the doorbell rang. Hardly anyone rings the doorbell and we weren’t expecting anyone. The police were at the door. I almost had a heart attack, or a panic attack, or whatever. Seeing a cop at your door is never a good thing when you have a suicidal daughter. For a brief moment fear coursed through my veins and I thought I was going to pass out.
The officer was looking for my son’s roommate. Someone called the police on him because they said he was driving erratically, not stopping fully at stop signs, and was possibly drunk. They followed him home and sent the police to our house. The officer asked if I noticed anything unusual. I said I noticed he went for a walk which seemed kind of strange. Paul went looking for our son’s roommate next door and couldn’t find him which lead the officer to think he was avoiding him because he was drunk. I said I would find him and he was in the apartment kitchen putting something in the microwave. He was totally sober and said there was a lady riding his ass all the way home. The officer talked to him a few minutes and was on his way.
I was pretty upset for the rest of the evening. We live in a hoity-toity neighborhood. There is a Facebook page dedicated to moms who have nothing better to do besides posting pictures of young guys driving through with loud mufflers. We are the Beverly Hillbillies. My husband drives a 10 year old truck and I drive a Kia, not a Lexus or BMW. My son’s roommate drives a junker that is probably older than he is. Some Karen probably got her panties in a bunch and called the police. It’s ridiculous. And here I thought somebody died. I am afraid of that though. I don’t know if my husband and I are going to be able to handle our daughter moving back home again. Just the thought of it is overwhelmingly stressful.
Gratitude week 167
- My mom and I were able to go snowshoeing this past week. We are having another snowstorm, so I see more snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the near future. It’s been a very snowy late winter.
- My daughter and her husband got a new kitten this past week. I’m grateful she is adding joy to their lives.
- Volunteer time; it was good to go back after taking a couple weeks off.
- I had an eye exam this past week and will be getting new glasses. I’ve been having some minor problems with my eyes, mainly sensitive, irritated eyes with blurry vision caused by a blocked tear gland. I can’t even cry right anymore. Seriously, at this point I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry. I’m grateful to find out what is going on and that it will be a long time before I have to go back again.
- I signed up for a motorcycle class at the local Harley Davidson. I’ve been thinking about it for years but have been nervous about signing up, so now I did.
- I saw my first robin this past week. Even though there is tons of snow on the ground and more coming…spring will be here soon…right??
- We had a volunteer night at the sailing club to put our summer sailing brochures in envelopes. Previously our friends Harv and Kate were doing it themselves and it took them 6 hours. With a large group, we got the job done in a half an hour.
- It was nice to see Harv and Kate again. They are somewhere around 90 years old and Harv has been in poor health. I’m grateful to have some wonderful older friends to look up to. They have been married for 62 years and are a great example of what marriage can be.
- As a Christmas gift, we had our pastor and his family over to grill out and swim. It was a lot of fun to see the little kids having fun in the pool.
- We also had our friends over for trip planning last night. Next month we are taking a road trip to Traverse City, Michigan. We had a good visit.
- While our friends were here last night, we saw a red fox walk right by the window. That’s not something we see very often.
Heading back home again
We had to wake up at 2 AM our time at home to get ready to leave. We went to bed late and didn’t sleep much the night before. I wish I could say I slept well on vacation but I didn’t. I struggled with insomnia and nightmares. The sleeping pills didn’t help much. It seems like after 5 hours it totally wears off except the grogginess. There were moments I felt an overwhelming sense of dread and sadness. I felt at times utterly and totally alone like I was at the end of my rope with how much stress I can bear. I know that is not totally true since I have a small but amazing support team including my husband who was with me. But I struggle at times with wanting to drift away instead of reaching out and connecting. At the best, this vacation was a distraction from the pain I was feeling inside. Beach therapy does wonders. I would recommend it.
It was still dark when we loaded up the bus and headed for the airport. While there, we bought our first souvenirs since the market was closed when we visited. A bottle of hot sauce for our son, tea for Angel, chocolates for Dan, Arabella, and Lexi, and a bottle of Blue Curacao for Paul’s step-dad Darryl who just turned 70. I was able to sit with Paul on the flight from Curacao to Miami which took about 3 hours. I slept most of the way without being medicated because I was so exhausted.
The line for customs wasn’t horribly long. Then we had to pick up our luggage and go through security again. Our luggage had a tag that said status unknown. I asked the security guard by the luggage carousal what it meant but he didn’t seem to know. I think it was because they pushed back the time of our flight. We really didn’t know what was happening. At the last minute, I opened up my suitcase and threw all of the souvenirs inside while in line to hand over our luggage. Otherwise the liquor and hot sauce would be confiscated since it was over 3 ounces. We waited at least another hour to go through security.
Paul and I weren’t able to sit together on the flight from Miami to Chicago which was another 3 hours. This flight I was medicated and tried to relax listening to music on Paul’s headphones. I was much calmer than I was on the way there and didn’t freak out about the turbulence. It was strange because as I was listening to music I could hear the pilot talking through the Bluetooth headphones. I could hear him saying, ‘I didn’t sign up for this’. I took my headphones off to see if he was saying it through the airplane speakers but didn’t hear anything. What the hell? I recognized the pilot’s voice from his earlier announcement. I turned down my music so I could hear more. Then he said, “Can you believe it? She ratted him out!” Interesting, but that is all I heard. I really liked the sang I didn’t sign up for this. I really need to use it more.
Once we got into Chicago we needed to find a shuttle to get us back to our vehicle at the hotel. Paul and I jumped into the shuttle for Chicago Marriott O’Hare. I really thought I had the right shuttle but then saw the shuttle for Chicago Marriott Suites O’Hare which is where we stayed. We were on the wrong shuttle but the driver said he would take us to our hotel anyway. We made a couple more stops along the airport. We picked up an elderly lady in a wheelchair. She kept telling the guy to call her son and she seemed really worried or had dementia or something. She refused to get out of the wheelchair. Another shuttle driver started honking his horn and yelling at her to get out of the way since it took so long. Our driver was finally able to convince her to get into the shuttle. Then we made another stop and picked up a guy who fell flat on his face trying to get into the shuttle.
The shuttle driver dropped Paul and I off first. I was the last one off the shuttle and the falling guy and wheelchair lady both tried to follow me out. I tried to stop them from following me off the bus. I told them to stay, it wasn’t their stop, I made a mistake, and shut the door on them. Then we were off for the long drive back home. We got home close to 10 PM that night. It was hard to believe that we were in South America in the morning. We came back home to two feet of new snow that fell after we left for our trip. It was nice to finally be home and I slept pretty good that night.
Just getting there
Just getting there was a huge undertaking. We even considered cancelling our trip. Over the weekend, our daughter Arabella got arrested. I was working a trade show the whole weekend. I found out my daughter called 911 ten minutes before the trade show began. I didn’t really know what was happening and she wouldn’t answer her phone. I had to do a whole lot of acting, put on a happy face. I didn’t have time to process my feelings.
Meanwhile, my husband was on an ice fishing trip up north. He took my mom with him to visit my brother Mark who lives up there. Even my best friend was heading up north to spend the weekend with her grandchildren. I didn’t really want to bother anyone until they were on the way home. Paul told my mom on the way home and my best friend’s husband told her. My husband returned home Sunday evening just after I returned home from the trade show. Our daughter was still in jail and we really didn’t know what to do. Should we bail her out? Our flight was scheduled for Thursday morning and we were heading out Wednesday afternoon to drive down to Chicago.
Monday morning Paul and I had an appointment with our couples counselor. We spent most of the appointment trying to figure out where to go and what to do next as far as our daughter is concerned. Afterwards, we had plans to go to Angel’s house for lunch. By the time we got there, Arabella called to say they released her from jail and she needed a ride home. Angel came with to pick her up. At that time, Angel’s husband was out of state for a couple weeks for work. She said she would take Arabella in and also her cat. Angel was going to be the go to person when we were gone. But she changed her mind about having her sister over shortly after we picked up Arabella because Arabella snapped at her and was treating her poorly.
Paul took Arabella into her apartment while I stayed in the car with Angel who was having a panic attack. We dropped Angel off at her house because she needed to get back to work and came back to talk to Arabella and Will. We talked to them both separately and together and figured out what all happened. Will was crying and felt great shame for his actions. Arabella was playing the victim. She wasn’t upset with Will as much as she was upset with the police. They bruised her arms while they restrained her. She says she has PTSD from the way they treated her. She is hellbent on suing the police and county jail. They did not give her her medication and she needed to contact her doctor before taking everything again. We talked about a safety plan going forward.
Tuesday morning it was on to the next problem. A major winter storm was heading our way. The airlines emailed me saying I could change our flight for no extra fee. I wanted to get out of here as soon as I could to avoid the storm which was starting Tuesday evening. It took several hours to change our plans. I had to call the resort to change our flights. It took a long time. Then I had to contact the hotel we were staying at in Chicago to see if we could move up our non-refundable room. The new plan was to fly out Wednesday evening and spend the night in Miami. After I made the new arrangements, I scrambled to pack and get everything done to leave a day early. It was very rushed and stressful.
It was iffy if we were even going to be able to get out on Wednesday. The whole state of Wisconsin was going to be a mess. We were expecting the biggest snowstorm in 4 years while Milwaukee was expecting the biggest ice storm in 50 years. Chicago was expecting a lot of rain and was very close to the border of an ice storm with temps slightly above freezing.
Our hotel room in Chicago was very nice. I was glad they did not give me a hard time for switching nights last minute. We headed to the airport and checked into our flight 3 hours early. We weren’t sure if we had to check in for our international flight because we were going to spend the night in Miami. At first the customer service rep said we couldn’t get our luggage in Miami and it would have to go to our final destination. So we opened up our luggage right there and pulled out whatever we would need for our night in Miami mindful of the ounces of toiletries. Then she said it was okay and we put it all back in again. Then the lady said we couldn’t check in until we filled out some extra forms to go to Curacao. The website wasn’t working and we didn’t know what to do. By that time our CSR was working with someone else so we asked another rep who was rude and told us to keep trying. Our CSR was able to give us another website that was working. We requested to sit by each other and the lady said the airlines always tries to have travel partners sit together.
We flew out on Ash Wednesday. It felt strange to see people at the airport with ashes on their foreheads. Everything seemed surreal. People were coming in from Milwaukee saying their flight was cancelled. It seemed like all flights out of Wisconsin, Minneapolis, and Detroit were cancelled due to the storm. There was a lady with a baby crying to the rude CSR saying she had to fly out right away because her mother was on her death bed. They turned her away. The line for security was incredibly long. It probably took us an hour and a half just to check in and go through security.
Paul and I were not seated next to each other on any flight despite what the CSR said. I was panicking from everything that happened leading up to the flight. I was anxiously watching the weather. There were strong severe storms almost all the way down to where we were going. I am terrified to fly as it is, but am utterly terrified of travelling through storms. Our flight ended up being delayed because crew was late coming to our flight from other flights.
I was hoping to find someone who was willing to change seats with Paul so we could sit by each other. I felt hopeful when I saw a crew member sitting in an aisle seat next to me. If anyone would be compassionate of a fear of flying, it would be a crew member. I already took a Xanax but I was still quite nervous. The crew member refused to trade seats with Paul because he didn’t want to be uncomfortable in a middle seat. He said since he knows everything about flying he could answer any questions I might have. At this point, I was really freaking out. I was so afraid my whole body started to shake. As the flight started, I was also in flight or fight mode. Then I had a panic attack. It seemed like in that moment I had started to process everything that happened over the past couple days. Then I started crying. It was awful and humiliating. I reached for my bottle of Xanax and popped another pill. In the process the cap of my water bottle went flying off somewhere and I just said screw it.
The lady next to me on the flight was really nice. She was stressed out as well because she had 20 minutes to make it to her next flight. She asked the crew member next to me if he would let her out to get her carry on. But he was being a real dick about it and would not move out of the way for her.
By the time we got to the hotel in Miami, it was close to midnight. We had to take the 7 AM shuttle back to the airport. This time we stayed at a run down roach hotel. But it had a free breakfast and shuttle to the airport. The flight to Curacao was uneventful. Paul was able to trade seats with someone. The only thing that was annoying were some kids who were running around whipping a water bottle and hitting people in the head while the parent did nothing. I thought of the parent the night before who was singing math songs with her kids who were the same age. It’s hard to be upset by the kids for the negligence of the parent. But what do I know, my own daughter just got out of jail.
It took a lot but we arrived in paradise. I was dismayed to find out I still received calls and texts with just wifi without a sim card. I did text Angel but no one else. Arabella texted that she wanted to move back home. My mom texted worried about who was going to plow out our driveway. Hello, my son and some of his friends do snow removal. It was the one thing I really wasn’t all that worried about. I was upset because my mom never bothered to talk to me about what was happening with Arabella. I knew everything was in good hands at home with Alex and Lexi taking care of snow removal and the cat. My daughter Angel can be relied on for anything even though it would be hard with her husband out of town. My best friend Cindy offered to help in any way she was needed and I appreciated the few supportive people I have in my life. My hope was that no one died. I was sure my problems would be waiting for me at home.
But as for now, I was in paradise and I was going to try to enjoy it.
Gratitude week 166
- I’m grateful to catch a break with a trip to the Caribbean.
- While we were gone, it snowed two feet. We were able to get out and go cross-country skiing for the first time this season.
- My brother Luke and his family spent the weekend at our house. We watched his daughter compete in a swim meet.
- Yesterday we went out to eat for Paul’s step-dad’s 70th birthday. It went a lot better than I expected it would.
- Arabella’s face is healed and she went in for her court assessment today.
- Paul and I had a good meeting with our couples therapist this morning.
- We were able to see Angel and her husband every day over the weekend.
Gratitude week 165
- We made it out before the big storm came.
- I checked the continent of South America off my bucket list.
- Nobody died while we were gone.
- It was refreshing to visit the Caribbean and sit on the beach for a few days.
- I’m grateful that February is gone and winter is almost over.
- It’s good to be back home and sleep in my own bed.
Gratitude week 164
- My husband and I had a nice Valentine’s Day at home eating crab legs and playing cards.
- The following night my husband and I went to a Valentine’s party at a restaurant through our church where we met some new people and went out afterwards with new friends we do volunteer work with.
- I took some time this week to get my hair cut and nails done. It’s been over a year since I’ve had my hair cut.
- I went over to Angel’s house and she made me supper a chicken artichoke dish that was excellent.
- Since my husband couldn’t be at the trade show, I went with our employee James. I don’t think I could’ve done it alone. Plus every night we went out after the show for food and/or drinks. I ran in to some friends which was nice.
- My daughter and her boyfriend, well ex-boyfriend now, got the charges against them dropped. I feel like they will be safe for now and if they are not they have other people they can call while we are gone. We talked about a safety plan going forward.
- Tonight starts a major snow storm in our area. The meteorologist said this will be the biggest storm in the last 4 years. The storm spans the whole state of Wisconsin all the way down to Chicago where we are flying out from. The airline allowed us to move up our flights. Even with moving up our flights, it’s really iffy if we are going to be able to fly out on schedule.
- I’m grateful to be able to leave earlier and not be constrained by work and kid schedules.
- By next week’s gratitude I will (hopefully) have another country and continent checked off my bucket list.
- I have been downright physically and emotionally exhausted. I feel really tired, stressed, and run down. I’m hoping this trip will allow us to recharge our batteries.
- I’m grateful for the great team we have around us. My husband and I each have our own separate counselors and our couples counselor. We have a wonderful small group of friends and family who have our back so even though things might not go smoothly while we are gone everything should be okay. We have done everything we can do. Now it’s time for us to take a break.
It’s been a very long and stressful weekend. My daughter ended up getting arrested. It was bad timing because I had to work a trade show all weekend. But when is it ever a good time to have a child arrested??
My husband was supposed to work the trade show with me but had a conflict. He had an ice fishing trip planned before we knew the dates of the trade show. My husband has been going with the same group of guys for the past 10 to 15 years. I told him to go ahead, that I could handle the trade show with the help of James our previous employee who still works for the business we sold. He does some very part-time work for us with our new business.
Paul left early Thursday morning. The day started out fine. I ended up getting my nails done and visiting my daughter Angel for supper. After lunch it started snowing and we ended up getting more snow than was predicted. The roads were very slippery. My son ended up getting called in to work. He wasn’t home when I went to bed that night, nor was he back home at 4 in the morning when I got up to go to the bathroom. I checked my phone just in case my son texted since at that time he would’ve been working 12 hours and I thought he would be home. When I checked my phone, I noticed a missed call and multiple texts from Arabella. She said that her and Will got in a fight and she wanted to move back home. It was hard to go back to sleep after that.
I tried calling my daughter in the morning but she was sleeping and didn’t answer. I decided to go outside and start shoveling. We have a huge driveway and my husband took the 4-wheeler we use to plow the driveway. I was pretty annoyed at this point. I didn’t sleep well. I wasn’t expecting to have to worry about the driveway and my daughter. And I didn’t want to go to the trade show. Trade shows aren’t really my thing. I’m not a people person. Talking to people and selling a product to me is a form of torture.
Ten minutes before the trade show started I got a text from my daughter saying that her boyfriend and her were fighting again and she called 911. After an hour, they both were carted off to jail. Meanwhile, I was at the trade show having to smile and pretend everything was okay. Clients asked how my kids were doing. Great, just great! Smile, smile, smile. It was miserable.
The next morning my daughter called from jail. She had about 3 minutes on a recorded line. She basically told me that her and Will got into a fight. She left for awhile. When she came back, he had another girl with him at the apartment. She flipped out and beat him up. She weighs around 100 lbs. more than he does. In the process she got a black eye and bruised face. They both got arrested. She was charged with 3 misdemeanors, one being battery. He was charged with a misdemeanor and a felony. I was really worried because she admitted to what she did wrong on a recorded call. I didn’t have much time to think about it because I was off to a 10 hour day at the trade show.
The night before I talked to Paul and my other kids until 2 AM about what happened. I didn’t sleep well and was really exhausted. Paul was really upset and was going to cancel the rest of his trip. We were debating about bailing our daughter out. I convinced Paul we should continue on with our plans. The main feelings we felt were sadness and anger. Anger at Will and our daughter for getting physical in their fight. Sadness that the relationship they had was now over. Most people were angry with Will. But we didn’t think he deserved a felony. My daughter was at least 50% of the problem. It was very hard to see her mug shot.
Saturday was an exhausting day. Sunday was not much better. I was having insomnia and nightmares. At least it was going to be a shorter day at the trade show and Paul was coming home. Thankfully this morning we had an appointment with our couples counselor. I was worried about a lot of things. I was worried about my daughter’s pets in her apartment. They didn’t give her any of her medications at jail. She was off her meds for 5 days. We are leaving on vacation on Wednesday. Should we still go? The make matters worse, we are expecting a blizzard on Wednesday. My daughter had her hearing today. Would we bail her out or leave her in jail while we are gone? Did we need to get a lawyer? What was going to happen next? Could I get her key to check on her pets? Could I get her meds to her? One medication she wasn’t supposed to stop abruptly.
I felt like I had to put all my feelings on a shelf over the weekend. But maybe that was a good thing. The trade show was very distracting. Every evening James and I went out afterwards for drinks. I ran into some friends of mine which was nice. I didn’t have time to worry as much as I would’ve sitting home alone.
Right after we got out of our appointment with the counselor, we got a call from Arabella that both her and Will were out of jail. If they do certain things, their charges will be dismissed. They went back to their apartment. We sat down and talked to them for an hour to see if they would be safe. We came up with a safety plan. There was relief in knowing we didn’t have to make some hard choices such as if we needed to bail her out or keep her in jail while we were gone.
I was worried my daughter would be suicidal. She was on suicide watch at jail. Apparently they stripped her down and strapped her to a chair. In doing so they bruised up her arms. Her body was a big massive bruise. She was also self-harming in this whole process. Will said Arabella was banging her head against the wall and burning herself. He was trying to stop her. I was worried they might be suicidal or harm each other again. If they do, they will both be in jail for awhile.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the way my life is going to be. There will always be problems it will be hard to catch a break from. We are still planning on going on our trip. We might have to leave a day early because of the blizzard to make the drive down to Chicago to catch our flight. There is not much I can do right now. My daughter is an adult and my hands are tied. I don’t have much control over what happens or winter storms. But as of right now I think everything is okay and that is all I can ask for.
We got past the first hurdle. We were supposed to get a snowstorm, somewhere between 4 and 6 inches. But beyond a foreboding sky, nothing happened besides a few snowflakes. That’s why living here we never cancel for what might be. Our girls night went on as planned.
I picked up my daughters, Angel and Arabella, and my son’s girlfriend Lexi. We went to a couple thrift stores. I didn’t find much. A couple days before I did some pre-shopping and found more. I was so convinced I was going to have to cancel, I decided to hit up a thrift store a couple days before to stave off total disappointment if I had to cancel.
Everything went well, at first. After we went to a couple thrift stores, we decided to go out to eat then call it a night. We were at the end of our meal when the trouble started. Arabella started talking about how the residential treatment facility we sent her to was a cult. She started to talk about this a couple weeks ago to me. She talked about how we should sue them because they stole our money. I told her that the DBT therapy program in essence was to reprogram disordered thinking. She told us the psychiatrist was the cult leader. The food there sucked. They were out to get her and she said the other girls in the program felt the same way. They used psychological torture and now she has PTSD from it.
The conversation was getting uncomfortable and Arabella wouldn’t let it go. Angel tried to change the conversation by thanking me for the meal and saying how she really liked her food. It’s a tactic I often use myself. Hey, how about that snowstorm we didn’t get? Except this time it didn’t work out too well. Arabella got angry and called her sister a bitch. She was sitting next to her sister and was loud and in her face. My heart started beating faster as the anxiety rushed in. Angel tried to diffuse the situation by not fighting back. Where was that waitress with the boxes for our food??? Arabella was still ranting as Angel hunted down the waitress for the boxes. We got out of there as quickly as we could. Things were going downhill fast.
I dropped Angel off at her house first. I was afraid she was going to be upset, and she was afraid I was upset. I talked to her a few brief minutes as I helped her carry her things into her house. I told her she handled her sister very well. She didn’t engage when her sister called her a bitch multiple times. I told her I was sorry it had to be like that with her sister. When Arabella is delusional, nothing can convince her otherwise. I try to validate her, but I don’t agree with her and I think she knows this. On the ride home, Arabella kept repeating how much Angel is a bitch and how she has PTSD from residential and her bad childhood.
After dropping Arabella off, I spoke to Lexi the rest of the ride home about Arabella since she has never seen her like that. I told her Arabella does not have PTSD but she thinks she does. We had a good conversation. The strange thing is that both Lexi and I do have PTSD from our childhoods. We can relate to each other with similar stories of trauma and triggers that no one else seems to understand. I want to help her with my own experiences, but I think she really needs professional help.
I feel upset that Arabella does not appreciate the sacrifice we made financially to get her residential treatment. I still think it helped her and probably saved her life. I will not agree they were out to get her.
But, in all honesty, I do feel some sense of relief in her accusations. She accused me of abusing, torturing, and starving her before. She even made those accusations against me while she was in residential, which being a mandatory reporter, the therapist shared she had to contact child protective services. It was devastating and anxiety provoking.
I know some people believed her by the way they treated me. If I didn’t know her, I would probably believe her too. Good thing she is obese because it gave less credibility to her starvation accusations. Being accused of doing things I never did…I can’t even describe to you the pain that caused me as a parent who tried everything in my power to help her. She caused me a lot more trauma than I ever caused her.
When she started the accusations against the residential treatment facility, she sounded paranoid and delusional. I saw the parallel between that and her accusations against me. No one in their right mind would believe a word she says. But she believes it and is adamant about it.
I think it will be awhile before we have another girl’s night.