Monday, March 05, 2007

There for the grace go I.........

It's a beautiful night up here in Walnut Grove. It's raining. It has been showering intermittently all day. It eased off this afternoon, but the showers started again tonight. It's wonderful.....

I've heard three rather un-nerving stories over the last few weeks, and I'm going to share them with you. All of them involve people that I know, so I'll change the names, and their 16year old children. All families are loving, stable families, so it's hard to comprehend why and what has gone on in each situation.

In the first one, Nicole and Peter have three children; 16yr old Tonia, 14yr old Shaun, and 12yr old Cameron. Last month, in the 1st week of Yr11, Tonia had a sudden fit of temper, and unexpectedly moved in with her 20yr old boyfriend, Tony, moving out with only the clothes on her back, and her schoolbag. Tony and Tonia have been going out for over a year. Nic and Pete allowed the relationship because there really wasn't an option. Unfortunately, as time moved on, it became apparent that Tony was very controlling of Tonia, and some issues arose between Tony and Nic. In a series of text messages, Tony even admitted to Nic that he didn't really love Tonia, but he wasn't going to let Nic and Peter win. Of course, Tonia didn't believe her parents, and sided with Tony. As we all know, parents are usually never chosen if push comes to shove. Her whole attitude towards her parents had become aggressive and hostile, even to the point of telling her mother that she had involved the police, who would call around to Nic and Pete's house to pick up Tonia's things. Nic contacted the police, who related that they were unable to help, as Tonia is 16, but that Tonia was lying in regard to their involvement. They did however, believe the messages that Nic said that Tony had sent her. So far, things are at a stalemate. Tonia has a part-time job as well as attending school. I have known Tonia since she was 6; this is very unlike her, and I have to wonder what other influences Tony has had on her. It is all particularly worrying as Tony has had a rather unstable family life; his father has been gaoled on a number of occassions for drug-related offences. Is is offensive to me that he uses the feelings of another individual to shore up his own ego and to maintain control. It is especially hard on Nic; she and Tonia have always been very close. Nic and Pete have decided that, in an attempt to keep the peace, they will just allow Tonia to make her own decisions, and hopefully , the consequences of her actions won't be too dire. Difficult times are ahead for them for sure.

Sue and John have been living in their own private hell over the last year. Evan, their 16yr old son, has been running away, living wherever he can and has become involved in drug taking. They have been riding a roller coaster, as they never know when Evan will leave again, or where he will end up. Luckily John has a very understanding employer when John phones to say he's going out to find Evan, or has to leave work in a hurry. Another victim in this is Evan's 13 yr old sister, Erin. John and Sue now believe that Evan has developed mental illness due to his drug habits, or it may be the other way around. It is really difficult to cope with, as they saw Beloved's nephew behave in the same way, and our James died not long after his 18th birthday. James had been very erratic in his behaviour from about age 14, graduating to stealing cars and living in shelters in between stints in Mount Penang and drying out at home. I had suggested to the family that James may have been schizophrenic, drug taking or both. I was told not to be ridiculous; they had asked him whether he was taking drugs and he said "No, of course he wasn't".........We thought that he was finally sorting himself out, but was facing charges related to stealing, this time as an adult. James had disappeared ten days prior to his body being found, and it's never really been clear whether he committed suicide, died accidently, or was a victim of foul play. This is one of the futures that John and Sue can see for Evan, and are desperate to find another........ Evan is extremely resistant to intervention. John and Sue are good people, and this is taking a huge toll on their family. John was a bit of a teararse as a teenager, and everyone always jokingly wished him to have a son that was was just like him. Poor John sadly admits that they've got their wish and more. It's so hard to hold onto this tiger by the tail......

The last story I heard two weeks ago was the most incomprehensible. Eileen and David are parents to 2 extremely intelligent and very pleasant children, 18yr old Will and 16yr old Elisha. I don't really know these people on a personal level, but have been involved with them through school. Both the kids were involved in the school band, fund-raising activities, and generally well-known members of the school community. Eileen and David were supportive and indulgent parents, but it was fairly common knowledge that in their family, Elisha was regarded as the golden child. Will seemed to succeed regardless, receiving many awards, including a special government award last year. He left home to attend uni in February. Trouble seemed to have developed between Elisha and Eileen towards the end of last year, as Elisha decided to assert her independence, partying without her parent's knowledge, drinking and knocking about with an older group of teenagers, who probably weren't too good an influence on Elisha. Elisha had earlier had a few issues with other kids, who had labelled her a "try hard', but my kids had said that she was settling down, and was generally well liked. There was an incident in January when Elisha attended a party that she had told Eileen about, but the parent supervising the party, Julie, didn't realise that Elisha and 2 of her friends had arrived as they had entered through a side gate, and hadn't entered the house to say hello as was the custom. At midnight, when Eileen arrived to pick up the rather drunk Elisha, a screaming match ensued, which resulted in Eileen hurling abuse at Julie, saying that she would call the police and report Julie for supplying alcohol to minors. Gobsmacked, Julie just let her rant, and Eileen left in tears, Elisha stayed, and we began to realise that there were problems. Julie was extremely upset about this. Elisha had not been invited, and it was only a small gathering. We suspect that Elisha was drunk before she arrived. Nothing much else was heard of until a couple of weeks ago when Eileen confided to another friend, Gail, that Elisha had left home. OK, you say, it was probably on the cards. Hmm, but it's the circumstances that are really odd. Elisha had been keeping in contact with a boy who lives at Bega, over the Internet. One afternoon at the end of January, Eileen answered a knock at the door to find a boy and his parents at the door, who had driven up from Bega to take Elisha home with them to live....... Elisha went with them that afternoon. The only contact that Eileen and David have had with her that I know of was a text message that Elisha had sent to Eileen requesting "the recipe for that chocolate cake" followed by an impatient voice message left on the home phone by Elisha for "that recipe for the chocolate cake!", with no please, thank you, or "I'm ok Mum and Dad". Elisha had a part-time job, as well as attending school. Hopefully, she's been on contact with them or Will by now. Hopefully, she's well and happy, maybe working and/or attending school. But...Who are these people? Are they really a family? What gives them the right to take away someone else's daughter? We have to hope that their motives are good and honest, or else the alternatives are too awful to consider.......

So you see, even though my kids can be difficult and a pain sometimes, I am extremely grateful that they are settled and happy... for now, anyway. I haven't been able to stop hugging them over the last few weeks. Maybe it's because GG left as well. Luckily, both the boys are indulgent of my need. They have all been told about these kids; they know them too. They're not sure why Tonia, Evan and Elisha have made the choices that they have. Hopefully they are happy with their lot in life so far, and that they are secure in the fact that we love them, and will deal with problems when they arise, together, rather than making poor decisions that may change the rest of their lives.

Yes, definitely, there for the grace go I....... Please give the ones you care about a hug.

Love, The Blogmuggle xo

10 comments:

Anchell said...

Yes, but we only see the surface do we not, who knows what goes on behind closed doors.
My little brother did develop schizophrenia from drug taking and was diagnosed at 15....his was a hell of a life for many years. Luckily he is okay now (aged 37) and doing well thanks to a miracle medication that works for him, many are not so lucky.
It is hard to be a parent at times but yes, there but for the grace of god.....me too.

Cyndy said...

Absolutely. Agree with you that we don't know what goes on behind closed doors, 'Chell. That's why I said that we don't know what has gone on in each family.
It's great that your brother came out the other side; so many don't. And life still has some curly ones for him too, no doubt. But it's like that for all of us, really. It's how we deal with the curley ones that makes the difference.
But who are those people that had the ..nerve...gall....courage...what-ever .. I don't knowwhat to call it.... to take Elisha with them?
Thanks for your interest.

rainbowspirit said...

oh dear..... me too, the grace thing... well i am just coming up to it, my daughter will be 15 this year - i am less worried about her then the 12yo, who is very independent and strong minded, rebellious too....
I felt sick reading those stories...

cant wait til they come home so i can hug them.

thanks for sharing

luv jen

poody said...

Good Gawd Maude! Just another reason to be glad I am not a breeder because I would for sure have a terror child! In the states 16 is a minor and ''jail bait'' for a 20 yr old as well should be. I cannot imagine kids being able to up and run off like that. Here in Texas that 20 yr old would so be in jail right now!! The legal age of consent in Texas is 17 with the parent's consent. Otherwise it is stauatory rape -no ifs, ands, or buts!My sister's kid is schizophrenic from drug use but he was a "huffer" of gas and paint and hell, sharpies for all I know. He lived with me for a while but my Mom would send him money and cigarettes so I had little authority over him. I found drugs in his room and kicked him out tootsweet!No tolerance for that stuff here honey! I ain't losing my job and house over something I don't even do!I see where you work with old folks. Do you work in a skilled nursing facility? I work with the old folks too in home health. I love them so much!

poody said...

hey Cyndy yep they are also called nursing homes here. But the hgh dollar word is snf or skilled nursing facility. They love those terms! I love home health nursing. it is so very satisfying the best part is you see 1 person at a time and can concentrate on that 1 person without being interrupted. It has it's days too though nothing is perfect. You need to be good at assessment and decision making as you are the eyes and mind out there. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I have been trying for some time to get a work visa for Australia to come over but only hospitals wil sponser me and I so do not want to work in another hospital!!I will look for the Riley ladies blog it does sound interesting!

JustCallMeJo said...

...by the way, like the new format, Cyndy.
/jo, who is cognizant of the fact that if she never has babies, she'll never have teenagers. yeeech.

Romy said...

Those stories are filled with mother's tears and father's heartache. I know it well. My older daughter caused me such grief beween the ages of 14 and 18. I told friends I woke up one morning and my child had been taken by aliens and replaced with someone else cause I did not recognise her anymore. I it such a hard place to be - to feel the teror and fear of something happening to your child and that you are powerless to prevent it. I pray for them.

Jacqui said...

Sending love and light to those families involved....

Cyndy said...

I know what you mean, Romy. Last year, I asked the person that was inhabiting GG's skin to hurry up and finish water ever thay were up to and give my daughter back......

I think we have to hope that these people are given the time they need for things to heal. Sometimes, time can be a bit of a luxury, though. Thanks again for all your kind thoughts.

Cyndy ox

Lisa said...

gosh- are any of these families mine?