I know I haven't posted much in recent months. Sometimes there just aren't any words I can adequately employ to describe the gradual but inexorable descent into the vortex. Martha will be seventeen in another week. We have managed to keep her here at home -- although it isn't because we wanted to. It's just because it is nigh impossible to negotiate the process of committing one's child to residential treatment without either an enormous amount of money or a long and storied history of run-ins with law enforcement. Thanks to our stringently vigilant parenting, we have managed to prevent her from gaining a rap sheet -- and yet this is also our downfall. Precisely BECAUSE we have taken such drastic measures at home, she managed to make it all the way to being "old enough to be tried as an adult in criminal court." If we had allowed her to get herself into more trouble, we might have been able to confine her to a residential facility.
Living with her is becoming daily more bitter and impossible. She is significantly larger than I am, so I can no longer physically prevent her from coming and going as she pleases. We do not provide any of the "nice things" that parents often allow their children, such as a cell phone. She receives the minimum that we are legally bound to provide. We have had to put external locks on all our bedroom doors to prevent her from ransacking our things to find money and valuables. We have to let her live here until she either commits a crime and is sent to jail or until she turns 18. She's been kicked out of the church youth group; the youth minister has had to tell her she is not invited to join them for summer youth camp. We are daily assaulted with foul language and even fouler body odor (she still doesn't like to shower or bathe). We're long past any remote possibility of counseling help; she will not speak to an adult that she can't manipulate.
I don't know how much longer it will last. Will the house be ransacked the next time we go to church? We pretty much never leave the house completely unattended; either Rick or I are at home all the time. It's just safer that way. I don't think she's up to the task of stealing everything here, but I know the people she spends time with, and I can't say the same for them.
I love my job and I love where I live, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want to pack up Alice and Isaac and just disappear. I can also say that there are some days when it's just the Lexapro and amitriptyline that are keeping me here and smiling. Hey, I gotta be real. That's what The Pioneer Woman says, right? I used to hate Ree Drummond, but it takes too much energy to hate someone who will never know what living my life is like. I still read her blog and I enter her random giveaways when she gives away a nice camera because I live in hope of owning my own someday, but I also know that she cannot and likely will never know what "being real" means here in this house. I dare her to try to homeschool with a kid like this one... I tried it. I wanted to. I'm pretty sure an Amish family couldn't have done it, either.
Can I just take this opportunity to apologize to the world and to the people she's going to cause trouble for in the future? And can I beg their forgiveness? Because I promise, I didn't make her like this, and I tried really, really hard to help her NOT be this way. And I have tried hard to protect the world from her until we got her past whatever this is -- but she only seems to get worse, not better.
I do still have hope that she will be okay someday. I just don't know if I want to be involved enough in her life to witness it if it does happen. I think that, for her, I'm pretty much used-up.