At the forefront, the trigger for many of my issues is an event that happened I 2005. On a Wednesday evening in the first week of school of my daughter’s junior year of high school, she and I sat on my bed and had a wonderful, intimate heart to heart that left me going to bed contented, hopeful and proud. Less than 24 hours later, those moments were forgotten and sheer terror invaded my life. I called home as I ended my school day. As a middle school teacher, my day ended later than hers, so by the time I was done, she was usually home off the bus and doing school work. No answer. And then I remembered! She said she was joining debate team and would need to be picked up at some time in the evening – I think 5. I headed over to her school, eagerly waiting to hear of her excitement over debate team – she is an awesomely smart girl with a ton of debate skills which she honed in years earlier.
I arrived at the school and got in the line for pick up for after school activities. I listened to NPR, and called her cell to tell her I was there – left a message as I knew they couldn’t always have their cell phones on. When every parent had received their child and left, and I was still waiting, I got a bit concerned but not much. I imagined she was still debating the coach, holding her ground on some topic she held in passion.
I entered the building. In my new slim figure (recently losing massive weight due to gastric bypass) and high heels, feeling pretty, I strutted through the entire building. I finally found some kids and asked where debate club was…. their response was chilling. “There is no debate today, it’s on Tuesday.” My heart sunk. I thought immediately that she was with her new boyfriend hiding out somewhere goofing off. I felt my anger rise.
Headed off toward home, I called his mother. She answered with a moan/cry/wail sound and moaned out words that didn’t compute: They ran away! Oh my god, I found a note……….Mark left a note…. they’re gone….
Heart racing, racing around the corner I squealed the tires and raced furiously into my driveway…. I ran into the house and on the counter waiting for me a
Four page note written in red………. I barely read it…. I called 911.
I ran to the neighbor…… I stood in their front yard screaming asking if they saw anything……all the neighbors came out….the sirens came… I called a fem trusted friends……… that evening we tried all we knew……. I called Scott, he got on the next train. I may have thrown myself on the ground in the front yard. The pain increased because the county police didn’t understand. They didn’t know that my girl wrote she was long gone and had a big plan. They thought she was typical and was in the neighborhood. They didn’t believe me that she was under influence of another student (not the boyfriend) who IS a sociopath, and they thought I was crazy -even questioning my sanity in private to my friends. “Is she always this crazy and dramatic?” friend: “No. Only when her only child is missing and in danger.”
That first night was only the beginning of the next several nights and days of pure and utter hell. And the years since have been good and bad and never free of that night. That experience has changed me for good and bad, but I find that I am stuck in some sort of cycle.
The next few weeks were pure torture. Two a.m. Walking Du Pont Circle. 8 a.m. Posting flyers on Metro station walls.
4 a.m. Calling Covenant House’s nine line leaving heart felt messages for her.
Hours in between scouring MySpace, stalking and messaging all her friends.
Hounding detectives who ignored me. The one guy called me back to yell at me and tell me “How dare I ruin his kid’s birthday party.” I replied, “I may never see my kid again birthday or not.” He was uncaring, unfeeling, cold, and mean.
Walking every street in downtown with flyers. Crazy street woman telling me she saw her that day! Hours wasted looking.
Not eating for days. Mom feeding me a sandwich, forcing down. Emergency room visit. Sitting on the floor rocking. Family searching state parks. Tears. Fears. Watching, waiting. Panicking. Mourning.
Call from NYC to her “friend.” SCSO ignoring the info, saying NYPD won’t help YOU. Calling Port Authority and the guys all took patrol around the pay phone she used, had no problem helping, called in NYPD, they helped – no problem! They took the flyers I faxed them and handed them out in the city. New York City!!!!!! More help than SC.
Resolution. She is gone. Must go back to work. Must go to bed, take meds, go to bed.
Phone call. I can’t answer. Scott answers…..several minutes of him listening. I hear, “You have her there?”
She was found. Farther away than she said in the letter.
After consulting professionals (I was unable to make any decisions on my own) I followed exactly what they said. Verbatim.
We got her. Time to heal….
Back then, I liked wine. I had it a little bit – maybe twice a month. I could actually keep a wine collection.
Back then, I could go to sleep easily since my job tires me so much.
Back then, I could look in the mirror and find a good person.
Back then, I wasn’t afraid to feel happy.
Now, if I feel happy or contented, I stop myself. I must not be happy, for if I am, tomorrow will bring great sorrow. I must not deserve happiness.
I’ve gained back a lot of the weight, and wine is no longer a special treat, but a medication.
My healing is not happening. Despite her success. I am still damaged and hurting. How do I get over it. How do I heal. When will the pain end?