Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Winter 2005

Katie was in school, but wasn't going to class. Every day she would spend time in the nurses office, or in the counselors office. I was getting called at work about her every week.

In April, she grabbed her pills and took a double dose. Not knowing how dangerous this was or not, we called 911. They took her to the hospital again, and this time admitted her to another treatment center on the north side of town - a forty-five minute drive to visit her every day, sometimes twice for therapy. They did not have any halfway program - she left there and went straight back to school.

The calls kept coming. Every day was getting worse. Then the school called one last time. If she can't stay in class, she can't be in school - she is just too disruptive. She had done enough work to be promoted, but she wasn't allowed back that year.

Her mom said she would take her. I wasn't at all sure about this, but I had no other alternative at the time. So she flew out to Albuquerque, with a return ticket in August.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fall 2004

"Dad, I need a ride home".
"Ok, where are you?"
"At the hospital"
"Why are you at the hospital?"
"Christie is here - she won't wake up"

And with that we discovered she had been huffing lysol. Her friend did wake up a bit later, and they laughed about it. I wasn't laughing. We had been on waiting lists to get her in some therapy, but we couldn't wait any more. We called a local youth treatment center, took her in for evaluation, and they admitted her. She admitted to drinking a lot, and being around pot (getting contact highs but never smoking). She admitted to stealing money from Diane's purse and from her brothers. She got out of the treatment, and moved into the half day program for a few weeks. We got her in to see a psychiatrist and therapist, and he started monitoring her depression medicine.

We thought things were working, but a few weeks later she had a complete meltdown, threatening suicide. She was so out of control that we ended up calling 911 - they took her back to the hospital and admitted her again. Modifying her meds, they rushed her back out because my insurance was about up (only allowing 30 days lifetime for mental health inpatient treatment).

We kept her going to therapy, but things are home were not getting better. Eventually Diane had to completely break off any contact with her - they existed in the same house but did not speak, to avoid them only yelling. We thought it might help to have her visit her mother for Christmas, so we sent her for a couple of weeks. It didn't change much - and she came back and things were the same.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Spring - Summer 2004

Diane gets a job as a secretary, but tries to spend as much time as she can with the kids. They are getting old enough, and finances are tight enough, that I finally take the youngest ones completely out of day care before and after school. Katie is in girl scouts, and seems to have some friends, one of whom is in her younger brother's gifted program. But tensions are starting to rise at home. Their mother suddenly calls out of the blue but that call disconnects quickly. Katie does a *69 and gets the number and her mother claims that her cell phone dropped the call. She starts talking to the kids, sometimes every day.

When school gets out, we realize that Katie is too old for any program to go to, and too young to get a job. She ends up spending most of the time with her friends. I don't care for the 'Goth' look to several of them, but they do seem polite and nice. Katie is getting more volatile with everyone else, but her relationship with me is still pretty good. Then I get that fateful phone call.

Monday, August 01, 2005

In the beginning . . .

There was void and the earth was without form. Oh, not that far back. Something relevant. I was first married on July 25th, 1987. My first son was born in February of the next year, and we moved to Ohio. Katie was born in July of 1990, followed by two brothers in 1992 and 1994. It was in 1994 that the next door neighbor went to jail for eight counts of Gross Sexual Imposition involving her and three other girls (including his own granddaughter).

Thanksgiving of 1997, and my marriage was breaking up. I stayed in a hotel for a couple of weeks, then came home and the soon to be ex took the too younger boys the Florida for Christmas. Superbowl weekend came, and a big blowup.

On January 27th, 1998 the sherriff showed up at work to get my keys, telling me I couldn't go home. I had been accused of domestic violence. Five months later I finally saw my kids again. Two months later my ex gives me custody of Katie and her older brother, and she moves to Albuquerque with the two younger boys and her boyfriend. I see the younger boys for two hours at Christmas. June 8 1999 the divorce is final, I am given custody of all four kids - I fly to Albuquerque to pick up the younger two as soon as their school is out.

May of 2002 I buy my first house, and June 7 2003 I marry Diane. She moves down from Minneapolis to Dayton a month later. There are (understandably) some rocky times, but things seem to go well. The kids haven't heard from their mother in over a year - she claimed to have moved. Life goes on.