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white pickett fence southern lagniappe 2I hopped off the plane at LAX with my dream and my cardigan…just kidding. That’s not how it went at all.  I’ll start from the beginning. 

During home visits, a staff is in charge of walking the girl to the gate and waiting until she boards the plane. The airline called my zone so I stood up to board. The staff looked at me and said “see you next week.” and I said “If I come back.” Then I played it off like I was joking…I clearly wasn’t. I had no intention of getting on my scheduled flight five days later. I was staying at home and that was final. 

It had only been a month since I had seen my parents, but it had been nine months since I had been home. It was so overwhelming. The first night of the visit was all about showing my parents that I was perfect and that I was a new person. I was sickeningly sweet and way over the top about everything. I thought I knew everything and I was better than everyone else. It was disgusting. 

The first three days were alright. Nothing major happened. Then, it was the second to last night of my visit. This is what I had been waiting for. I knew that if I put my plan into action right away, it would be too obvious and it would seem like I was still “damaged,” or whatever. I couldn’t be seen as the problem child. That would ruin everything. 

But, if I enacted my plan on my last night, then I didn’t have enough time to convince them that I was right and needed to come home. My dad had always been the strict one, the lay down the law type. My mom was the opposite, she wanted to avoid conflict anyway possible; she was a pushover. My dad left the house for a little while. 

My plan was all ready. I started out sweet and innocent. I told my mom that I was so sad to go back. I told her that this all felt so real and it shouldn’t have to end. I began to beg. Saying things like, “Mom, they don’t understand me there. I can’t be myself… Everything I do is wrong. I have to act like a robot.” Of course, her motherly instincts kicked in. She began to worry and the anxiety level grew. I thought I had it.  I got in her head. Just as I had planned.

And I’m sure you’re thinking I was some evil kid, and I’m not denying it. I was in a bad place in my life and I didn’t know how else to handle myself. Not saying that is an excuse. It was stupid. But I thought it was working. I kept playing the “poor me” card (the victim role). I was not responsible for anything. The program hated me, and I was being singled out and treated unfairly. I started to cry, my mom started to cry. Then she said that maybe we should wait for my dad to get home. This was becoming all too familiar for my family. Even if something is destructive and miserable, when it’s all you’ve ever known, you fall right back into the old patterns. It was like quicksand, once my mom dipped her toes in, she was doomed.

I wasn’t giving up. I had to have my way. I always got my way, and I deserved it. I was the worst of the worst, and I prided myself on it. My dad came home, he saw right through me. He knew exactly what was going on. I had to turn it up a notch. The screaming started. The hysterics were full-blown now. Yelling, crying, hyperventilating, and cursing. It was awful. We were all miserable, but this was how we had spent the past several years. This kind of fight was so normal for my family. 

They started to cave, or so I thought. They said I had to go back this time, but we would look into other options and other programs. Well, after about an hour of the drama. I thought I had won this battle. 

I went back to my program convinced I was leaving soon. So, who cares how I act now? Well that attitude did not help me out. Going back was terrible. For everyone involved.

Check out the next post, with the continuation of my story. Next week, I will talk about the beginning of the change, the moment I finally decided to do my work. Tuesdays 10:00 AM (MST) 

Sincerely, 

Emily 

 

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2 Responses to Home

  1. This story is hitting very close to home, where as the mother, I am having to figure out aftercare for my daughter who is currently in a wilderness program in Utah. Everything seems the same. You have done exactly what you are trying to do, if that is to show that at least much of what the child in treatment says is just words to be able to go back to the old, destructive ways. I hear you and it is helping my resolve in getting good help for my daughter. I hope she can look back in a year and be able to have the same level of insights into where she is at now. Thank you.

    • Kate,
      I hope you know that every child and every family is different. Here at SavingTeens we’re glad that you are planning quality aftercare for your daughter. We wish you all the luck in the world as you heal your family.
      -SavingTeens

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