Tuesday, July 19, 2011

“Being Committed”; literally and figuratively

Note:(lap top was smashed into a gazillion pieces (well maybe not a gazillion pieces ) during our trip, Big feelings, you betcha…so pics will be uploaded in the next decade…this was written on my cell phone.)

“Being Committed”; literally and figuratively

Forgive the play on words. But seriously at this point, it is what it is. The mind numbing, heart aching, nightmare that has taken over our world, mostly hers, but trust me the aftershocks hit here daily. Since last Monday night I feel like an already ran over deer, just getting on her feet, trapped in head lights once again, isn’t secondary PTSD grand?

Papillions trial date was “supposed “ to be at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. We packed Monday night, planning that the Tuesday, before we left that evening quite possibly might be sabotaged by the littles. Monday had been a rough day, phone calls of more self harming, more meds, more sleep inducing medication…and at 10:30 p.m. when my child woke, she called me. I had already been in bed for a half hour, crying at the ceiling silently. We chatted like she was away at summer camp…and she mentioned that her “Dr. had come in and prepared her for her trial.”

“ Wha?”…”um no, sweetie, it must be the meds, your Designated Examiner said the trial is Wednesday, not tomorrow, we will be there tomorrow night to make it the next morning.”

“Well the Dr. said it was supposed to be tomorrow.”

“Please let me talk to your nurse.”

….and the nurse confirmed that “whoops”…there must have been a miscommunication, yes, the trial in fact is tomorrow morning. (I may, or may have not, gone ballistic on this woman, I may have called the hospital irresponsible, asked how many law suits they have had against them recently, my claws and fangs may have popped out, jus’ a lil’…my husband may or may have not said “THAT. WAS. AWESOME…I have never heard you talk to someone like that.”

…and then we did what any parents would do, we packed up 8 children 11:30 at night, woke our neighbor to ask to take care of the dogs, filled up the car, downed a rock-star, and a 5 hour energy thinger each (can I just say EWWWW…and Oie’ we are NOT as young as we used to be)….and drove the 4 ½ hours to Boise in the middle of the night.

We bedded the kids down at the hotel, crawled in bed at 4:30…slept 3 hours and were showered, dressed, and not so bright eyed and bushy tailed by 8 a.m.
My sweet Mama showed up to babysit our half comatose zombies while we drove to the Juvenile court.
We walked through the metal detectors, got wanded down, checked in and were sent to wait in these pew-like benches..and all I could like was…’this sure isn’t Kansas any more”.

About ten minutes later, a very nicely dressed young adult approached us wearing suit, I thought, “well he may not have parents with him, but this kid is ready to represent himself.”
He asked if we might be Mr. and Mrs. Pappillions parents, “um yes, we are”….and then this absolutely darling kid, introduced himself as her ATTORNEY. Sweet Nectar.
He led us back to his office, walls scotched taped with unframed photo’s and I’ll never forget his killer pez collection, this was my daughters court appointed lawyer. I silently wondered, if he would need a ride after court, or if his mom would come pick him up…Holy CRAP…this is her LAWYER…

Kidding aside, my gut was doing flip flops while he informed us that he had already spoken with her, she was not going to protest the committal, she knows she needs help. I asked if we had any hope getting her into another facility besides the State Hospital, he said no, a committal, because it is ran through the State Health and Welfare Department, this was her only option, but once she is released and pronounced stable, we have the option for another RTC that we as parents would see fit. The difficulty is that because she is 18, anywhere she goes, unless she is committed by a judge, she can walk out of.
Bleak options, very bleak…but honestly, since last week, my daughter has self harmed almost every other day, some requiring stitches. At this point, no RTC will take her, she is not safe enough, as she has continued to be on1:1.

One of the D.E.’s (District Examiners) appointed by the court, assigned to her case showed up. A mean spirited crotchety know-it all psychiatrist, that had me in tears more than once with his future recommendations for my child, finally my husband called him an “unprofessional ass, and informed him that he was a Clinician, and the lack of his advocating and professionalism was inappropriate”…O.K. so he didn’t call him an ass…but I wished he had.
Our other D.E. was MIA, this man is a Social Worker that works directly with the state and gives his recommendations, he has respected what we have tried to do for Papillion, and we were anxious for him to show up…and apparently he too missed the memo and thought court was a good 24 hours from now. He showed up in sandals, and shorts. This. Was. Going. To. Be. Awesome.

At this point, we convened, all understood that for safety reasons, and due to consistent self harm and attempts on her life, she needed to be hospitalized until she could stabilize and be transferred to another more therapeutic facility, everyone’s fears lying in the fact that if she is not stabilized, she will burn out of the RTC, and be back hospitalized yet again, or worse.
Papillion was brought in by an officer, both hands and feet shackled. My heart started screaming “NO”, and aching, I was in physical pain for her, maybe it was a little anxiety attack, because I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest.

They had drugged her a little to keep her compulsivity down, and she seemed oddly calm. Everything went quickly, the Prosecuting attorney was brief, Papillions attorney admitted that there was not contestation, and the judge spoke plainly asking her “ Seems to me young lady you have a team of parents and professionals that are supporting you, wanting you to get the help you need. At this time I doubt you understand the great blessing that is, I don’t see that in this court often. Go, be well, receive the hep you need…and then he said some other “judgey” stuff and stomped the the gavel, and we were all dismissed….as we stood and Papillion was ushered out of the court room, she wouldn’t look at us, I called softly to her, We love you and dad will come see you this afternoon…she nodded.

We numbly met with the Attorney and the D.E.’s, we requested documentation for recommendations for a Young Adult RTC,So that we may work on Individual contracts between Medicaid and Health and welfare. Other options we are seeking are that of our church as well as I have spoken to a number of parents that have succeeded in having the school district, due to a child’s special needs and incapability for regular schooling, pay for the RTC.

We are trying every option known to man. We also are working on getting her qualified for Disability, this will open other options in the future, as well as maintain her having State Insurance past the age of 19. We have chosen not to fight for Guardianship, it was a long hard, face smashed in the carpet, sobbing and praying process…but the thing is…we have to give Papillion everything that we can give her, but not everything. She has practically bankrupted us already…if we give her what we have left, the small part that is reserved for the other eight children, we would be irresponsible….and that hurts, but is the truth.

Some of this feels very personal to share…on the other hand, I know that as I LOOKED EVERY WHERE for what was to come, what court, a committal, the odds of really getting help looked like…there is NOTHING out there…and some desperate Mom, somewhere is going to need this heads up, be able to network and have it all right here….
We went back to the hotel, I let Trev lay down with the babes, and I took the other six swimming. I felt like the Zombie-bride….trying to smile, trying to interact with the little kids when all I wanted to do was get in the shower and cry.

Here are bullet points for the rest of the week/weekend:

• We did a lil’ retail therapy at some killer thrift stores and scored Simples, my fav shoes from ten years ago in Perfect condition.
• My Mama showed up at the hotel with Thai Food and then we hit the Treadmills.Love.
• I didn’t sleep a wink the next night…but did get the cry/shower in.
• Next Day I went to the hospital to wash, condition and re-braid Papillion’s hair.
• It did not go well, repeat, did not go well, a Social Worker triggered her, and I had to leave, hair half way done.
• That totally sucked…
• I was losing an inner battle, had to reclaim my center, we decided to not stay and have another visit. I was not strong enough for another melt down/blow-up.
• Then I felt guilty, and so we went to Dairy Queen….because what fixes anxiety and heart ache better than a Chocolate Ice-cream, chocolate covered cherry blizzard. Nice job fatty.
• Yes diet has been off since exactly one month ago today…it is what it is…and I eat my feelings, I am working on that.
• Self Harming has gotten worse and required medical interventions.
• I have had to be healthy enough to distance myself and not let her dysfunction be mine, and that is easier said than done, because this is hurting ALL of us so very much.
• The little’s are spinnin’.
• Had to gut Chatter and Diva’s bedroom Saturday night…found the Root of all Pee.
• Spent all day Sunday 10:a.m. to midnight regulating, therapizing…and generally keeping kids from climbing the walls… (thanks Diana for the break on Saturday and the bonus help of getting my Sand Tray up and going!)
• I am tired….maybe more than I have ever been, don’t think I have slept more than 3 hours a night .
• She will be Professionally “relocated” to the State Hospital next week.

I have another blog entry in my head…the part about being committed to my children, to what their NEEDS truly are, and succumbing to my own selfishness. Relinquishing the vain parts of you that you don’t want to let go,saying peace out to the worldly things that I loved so much, the clean organized home with adorable décor, the fact that instead of sports , we do therapy, instead of Disneyland we look at parenting retreats for Trauma….letting go of everything else except what is healing, and necessary and letting go of all else. Clutter, Stuff, Fancy, Impressive, Perfection, has no room here, so we are cleaning house…we are choosing to be committed to healing, committed to kicking Trauma in the face, healing wounds, regulating the dizziness of pain, loss and fear…and the days we can’t do anything but breathe…well that is what we will do, We. Will. Breathe.


  1. Your all doing the best that you can. One day at a time. Sending all my love to all of you. Be strong and hold your head up high xo

  2. Lindsay, though I am here, I am sitting with you. I know the court thing, and though the reasons were not the same as yours I know how sitting in that place and seeing someone you love come out that door sucks, so. much.
    love and prayers, Eileen

  3. Love you Linds. My heart hurts for all you (your family) and Papillion are going through. I pray for you often.

  4. Lindsay - thanks for being honest and sharing what you are going through. And we continue to pray for you and your family.

  5. Bawling my heart out...for you, for her, for all of you.

    ... and trying to keep breathing.

  6. You dear girl. I had a sudden memory, reading - of a Peanut Buster Bar, and a moment when I didn't know whether the salty flavor was the nuts or my tears.

    I was trying to talk Craig into going along to the Dan Hughes training I'm attending, and just "enjoying" the hotel with Anastasia - "It will be a nice vacation!" Yep. I know what you mean.

    But I can't imagine your pain.

    I am grateful (and totally amazed) that you did this post via phone.

  7. The shower is when I have *my* crying time too. We send our love and prayers for your entire family. I have often found many "ah-ha" parenting techniques (the trigger vs. reaction "matching" discussion worked SO well with my son!), felt a kinship, and found the strength to move forward from reading your blog. Thank you for having the courage and wisdom to share.

  8. Oh Lindsay...so, so sorry. I admire your strength and fortitude. Your determination to "kick trauma in the face" just awes me. You will win the war although maybe not all the battles. You have your faith on your side. Thank you for sharing your journey,

  9. Love you tons, my sweet, dear friend. You are always in my prayers!

  10. Lindsay,
    I thought of this song as I caught up on your blog today... may she heal

    There's a light at each end of this tunnel,
    You shout 'cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
    And these mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again
    If you only try turning around.

    2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
    If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
    Threatening the life it belongs to
    And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
    Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
    And I know that you'll use them, however you want to

    But you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
    And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
    No one can find the rewind button now
    Sing it if you understand.
    and breathe, just breathe
    woah breathe, just breathe,
    Oh breathe, just breathe,
    Oh breathe, just breathe.

  11. love, love LOVE this song...I forgot about it..it. is. PERFECT! Thank you!

  12. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I too, have been amazed at the lack of information that is available for parents trying to work within multiple systems to keep their entire family safe. You're an awesome mom. Keep breathing.

  13. Breathing can be very tiring. If you need another lap top we get discounts.