Girl, Interrupted

February 7, 2008 at 11:51 PM | Posted in Personal | 1 Comment
Tell me why–
"–I don’t like Mondays–"

  Monday at lunchtime, I got a call from The Storm.  She was upset–which may be redundant–and blaming me.  She got a call from my daughter’s school.  She said they told her Miranda tried to cut herself.  She tried to commit suicide.  Miranda is eleven.  She managed to talk to Miranda and what came out was all the things that I had done to her. 
  So.
  I left work immediately, and drove to her school.  A reminder:  it is almost an hour away.  I get there, and she isn’t even in the counselor’s office anymore; she went back to class.  Miranda came in, and we hugged and cried. 
  She said she was sorry, she didn’t want me to be upset or crying.  I said it was okay.  I said I was sorry.
  We talked.  With a little prodding from the counselor, Miranda talked about the things that she said upset her.  We talked about ways to make it better.  We also talked about some things that The Storm said Miranda was upset about, but she actually wasn’t.  It was things that The Storm was upset about and trying to transfer to Miranda.  For instance:
  Me:  Well, I don’t really know what to do about this.  I have to live somewhere.  This is the only house I have.  I can’t afford to live somewhere else.
  Miranda:  That doesn’t bother me.
  Me:  Your mommy said it did.
  Miranda:  She’s putting words in my mouth (Yes, an 11 year old said this.)  I never said that.
  I believe her because she did talk about things that actually did bother her.  My conclusion is that it bothers The Storm.
  Miranda has also had some trouble in school:  getting behind, not understanding, not getting her work done.  Some organization problems as well.  I told her I would help her with that, and how I would do it.  Having things . . .not necessarily "worked out," but on their way to being so, I took her home.  School was out.  We went to Walmart to buy some school supplies, things she needed.  But she was also going to have an appointment that night to see someone.
  And they admitted her to the hospital.
  Psych ward, or whatever you want to call it.  Jesus Christ, you know?  She just recently missed a week of school because of the flu.  Now this.  This is not goig to help her school work.  She doesn’t need to be held back because of this.
  Also, I am really against her being drugged up and put on meds.  All she needs–all she really needs–is to talk to someone.  Some counseling.  She’s upset.  It’s okay to be fucking upset.
  The Storm called me late last night as I’m almost home and tells me this.  She made it sound like she didn’t have a choice.  The more I think about it, the more I think it was her idea, partly to just be the classic over-reactor that she is, and partly to punish me and blame me without thinking through the consequences of what this will do to our child.
  Last night, I beat myself up, I blamed myself.  For not being there, for letting all of this happen.  Today I feel a little differently.  It may still be entirely my fault. … But I’m going to get a second opinion.

TUESDAY

  I took Bunny to work today, because Scott’s car is down.  We talked about it.  She gave me some clarity and so forth.  I waited to hear from The Storm.  And waited.
  And waited.  Finally I called her.  I didn’t get much out of her.  I tried to tell her that I am generally untrusting of psychiatry–I believe I said "most of them are quacks"–and she said, "I think YOU need one!"  Then she hung up.
  Several hours later, she called back, calmer.  Between that conversation and one I had later with her, I did learn some things.  First, it was Miranda’s idea to go in (she says, anyway) because she said she wanted help.  She may need some meds–and it may only be short term. They are only going to keep her for three to five days, and then she’ll be back home, hopefully getting some continued counseling.
  Linda said Miranda has alot of stress going on, stress with school and so forth–she didn’t blame me this time. . .
  Although Bunny did, albeit inadvertently.  When I talked to Bunny that morning, she said all Miranda had as an example now is Linda, and I’m not there to be a stabilizing influence for her.
  I don’t know–did I jump a sinking ship?  Should I have taken the kids with?  I know they wouldn’t have gone, I didn’t want to make them have to make a decision like that, and of course, The Storm would never have stood for it.
  About the meds:  The Storm said she is on Effexor.  So is Melissa, her older daughter.  Mike, her older son should be but won’t take it. Mitchell is on something too.  Probably for anxiety, but she wasn’t specific.  Maybe I should know this stuff.
  On the one paw, I feel that American society in general is over-medicated.  If the American psychiatry association feels that 1 in 4 Americans has a mental illness–that’s too much.  Too, too much.  Not everything qualifies you as dysfunctional.
  On the other paw, I hate to agree with Tom Cruise about anything.  I can see where meds do help.  There is a marked difference in The Storm, so much so that I thought I might need to change her nickname.  However, she still has her moments.  So all of these people:  my ex and her four children. . ..all have some mental illness.
  I suppose I’m not too surprised; they have a genetic predisposition for it.  The Storm’s mother was bat-shit crazy.  Seriously–she was nuttier than my ballsac, for Christ’s sake.  And as much as Linda is like her, Melissa is like her even more, like "scary genetic cloning experiment" like her.
  I didn’t think Mike was. . . but he does have some odd ways about him.  But my kids–my progeny–the younger two seem to have problems with anxiety and coping with stress.  These don’t seem as drastic necessarily as being a bipolar psychotic bitch like their mom is.
  And here I am. …the normal one, the one NOT on any meds. . ..and I escaped.  It was right after I left that Mitchell needed medication.  Not a coincidence, I don’t think.  And it took longer for it to boil up in Miranda…..
  What am I, a human antidepressant?  Things rolled along fine when I was there, but without me they need meds?  It seems that way.  I never felt that the kids did this too me, they were a source of joy for me.  But The Storm?  She sucked the joy completely out of me.  And not in a good way.
  She used me like a battery.  I tried and tried and tried to make her happy, and no matter what I gave her or did for her, she remained empty.  I was spinning my wheels, draining myself dry, and not seeing her get any better, any happier. . .or any easier to deal with.
  And she would never get help while I was there.  She had me, what did she need meds for?
  This is supposed to be about Miranda, but at the root of it is The Storm.  Of course, from her perspective, it’s me.  However, I can be a little more rational, and I can accept my part of the blame.  Maybe even too much.
  But The Storm never could.
 
WEDNESDAY

  Last night I went to visit Miranda, and we talked.  First I let her run down all of her happy stuff:  she likes it there, it’s fun, she’s made friends–
  It was hard to steer her towards the counseling, but I wanted information.  I’m starting to piece together clues that I’ve picked up on.  Her problem is not specifically ME, but I have done some things to upset her.  Her problem is actually anger and how to control it, vent it properly, and deal with it.
  Her current biggest problem is stress over doing poorly in 5th grade, and being bullied.
  This same girl that she’s had a problem with for the last 2 or 3 years continues to bully her.  I think she’s the reason Miranda stopped going to Girl Scouts; there’s only one troop in town, and they were in it together.
  I was bullied in school, and this pisses me off so much I want to scream.  I envisioned a little scenario where I meet the girl’s parents and beat the living shit out of the dad, right in front of the little girl.  Then I get in her face, and she’s crying.  "See?  This is what’s going to happen!  Every time you hurt Miranda, I’m going to make your daddy cry!  Not so funny any more, is it?  IS IT?"  Then, for good measure, I punch the mom right in her ovaries.
  Would I go to jail?  Yeah, but–you know, that’s like second or third degree assault, so I wouldn’t get much.  I might even get off, considering all the stress I’VE been under.  I think it’d be worth it, just to protect my baby.
  There is obviously something going on in her home, but that’s not my problem.  What is my problem is this little prepubescent cunt is making my already-fragile daughter’s life miserable, and I want it to stop.  I want to know why this has continued.  I want to talk to the school’s counselor about it.  Or the principal.  Maybe I do want to talk to her parents.  Somebody better be there to hold me back.

  When I did talk to Miranda about it, I said she needs to stick up for herself.  The psychology of bullying is, the minute you stand up and assert yourself, they generally back down.  I told her that if she hit the girl, I would back her up.  I would go to the school, and talk to the principal and the counselor.  I would rather her get in trouble once for fighting, than to endure this.  And that’s all it would take, is once.
  As an alternative, I told her to pick on the girl back.  Make fun of her.  Tell her she’s stupid, or ugly, or smelly, or whatever.  Give it back to her.
  I also said the counselors she is talking to right now might disagree, or have a different idea about what to do and how to deal with it.  Maybe their ideas will work, maybe they won’t.  You can try them.  But I know my ideas will work.  I can hardly wait until word of my advice reaches the counselors, or The Storm.  I’m sure to hear about it–but I stand behind it.  Pacifism is not a winning policy.
  I think when I have her I’m going to start teaching her tae kwon do.  It’ll be good for her in a couple different ways.  Self-confidence, self-control, self-defense.  It doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to get into fights.  I paraphrase from The Karate Kid:  "You learn karate so you don’t have to fight."
  It’s a good idea.

THURSDAY

  The Storm just called, and said Miranda is coming home today.  Sigh of relief.  Also, they aren’t going to put her on meds just yet–counseling and therapy instead.  So that’s good.
  And she burst my bubble completely about the girl, Shelby.  That’s the one picking on her.  They know it’s a problem.  At school, the counselors, even her mother.  Shelby is bipolar.  One day she’ll be sweet as can be, the next day she’ll be vicious.  And she can be that way to adults and teachers as well.  They’ve tried alot of different meds on her, nothing has worked.  It’s the reason Miranda quit Girl Scouts.  They keep them from being in the same classes together, too.  So they just see each other at lunch and common breaks.
  Miranda has tried in the past to be friends with her….and sometimes it has worked.  Miranda is so sweet.  And kind, and generous, and caring.  She is very socially adept, and knows how "people" work.  But being sensitive, she takes everything in, and internalizes all her pain.
  Detroit says I do that as well.  I blamed myself for Miranda’s problems, because I’m not there.  I said, "Well, as a true follower of Jesus Christ, I try to be like HIM, including the martyr thing.  So shut up.
  I did tell The Storm what I told Miranda.  I said, "I may have given her some bad advice…."  So hopefully she will talk to Miranda.  And I will too, before she tries to kick the crap out of a crazy person.

  Not withstanding all of this, I think the final breakdown is this: 
I think me and Miranda will have better communication from now on….or at least for a while, because she is a pre-teen.
Hopefully counseling will give her some tools to use to help her cope–not just with Shelby, but other problems as they arise.
I think I will still teach her TKD, because it is good for the brain, not just the body.  Focus, concentration, all these things become more clear.
And finally:
I still want to punch the girl’s mother in the ovaries for creating this demon spawn.

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1 Comment »

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  1. lol…life isn\’t always what we would liek it to be…crazy how we expect more or less that what we get…but it\’s always the opposite…
    *~* :o) always remember to be happy… :o) because you never know who is falling in love with your smile… :o) *~*


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