Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What do you do?

Last night was heart breaking for me as an event occurred with my neighbor and dear friend from across the street. She is a wonderful mother and wife. I have always admired her for how well she handles her husband and children of a blended family.

One of the daughters, all five of the kids are grown, was exposed to drugs in the womb by the biological mother. My friend is the stepmom. As a result of this exposure, this particular daughter will always have emotional difficulties from time to time i.e. irrational, anger issues, explosive, tell untruths, etc. For the most part, she remains stable until she feels threatened.

Recently, the daughter lost her boyfriend, somewhat due to her mental irrationalities. Her greatgrand mother passed away last week and her father, who is her strong hold, had to go to New York for the services. So, basically, she has had some major losses very recently.

Well, last night every thing came to a head and she had a major melt down and tried to cut her wrists. I don't think she was trying to "kill" herself because she did not cut horizontally, rather she cut vertically, as if she was trying to create a release valve for all the anxieties she was feeling.

During the ordeal, her stepmom ordered her sister to come get me to assist in calming things down. I ran over to help. The police had already been called, which they responded very well and in a caring fashion. They send 6 police units, a fire engine and an ambulance! They handled her very well as they took her in for a 5150. After it all had calmed down, I sat with my friend for a few hours and we talked. I very, very, very difficult situation to live with. At any given time, the daughter can have a melt down. In tha past, she has attacked the family with knives and fighting. Quite naturally, they will see about medicating her, however, the pattern is typcially that when they start to feel better, they stop taking the medication, then they start all over again.

I worked in juvenile hall for about a year (before being terminated due to the economy), in the high security unit. It was hard to watch these teenagers who had similar issues and had resorted to the streets for guidance and, thus, ended up locked up. Often, these kids would have melt downs, even become suicidal. It was my job to evaluate and cousel with them. Many of them were broken as very young children. Many days, I drove home worried or in tears behind these young men who had become so hardened by street life due to circumstances that were not their own. Sometimes, once the damage is done, there is no turning back.

Again, I ask, what do you do?....very sad