I have been an Aunt for twenty five years and during that time I have been referred to as a Fabulous Aunt, Sainted Aunt, Tattle Tale Aunt and even Bitch of an Aunt when my nieces got in trouble because I tattled. But yesterday, when my niece Mallory gave birth to baby Jack, I became the best adjective of all, a Great Aunt. Malllory lived with us for a while when she was fifteen and at the time I didn’t think she would make it to sixteen. Now she has become a 24- year- old nursing student married to a man defending our country and has a beautiful newborn. Good job Mal.
You may have noticed this blog has been rather quiet as of late. That is because I was too busy with my depression to write and I had to sit on the couch everyday eating junk food and watching Bravo reality television with my new kitten.
Last October, after a whirlwind two months having a delinquent teenage girl, we sent said teenage girl to “boarding school in Utah”. “Boarding school in Utah, Arizona, Idaho or Montana” is almost always and in this case is code for “residential treatment program”. These schools are located exclusively in Red States because the law in those states says you can admit a minor over fourteen into a facility against their will. Sometimes those Republicans know what they are doing. We sent Sofie to a school with thirty- six girls dealing with such issues as self harm, suicidal ideation, adoption attachment, anxiety, depression, addiction, substance abuse and trauma. It’s a fun place. Pick a couple of those issues at random and you will have Sofie’s diagnosis. The school is great and the staff is incredible. I am so happy we found a place for her to get better, but it feels like I cut off my arm and sent it to Utah for a while. Even as I write this the grief and sadness of the past few months covers me like a wet blanket and I can only cry. I have cried more in the last few months than in my entire life. The computer screen looks blurry right now and it was already blurry because I am getting really old and my eyes are bad. Things can really suck. Sofie has never been an easy kid, but if she can learn to use her power for good and not evil she will be amazing. My job was supposed to be to teach her how to do that and I failed. It may not have been my fault, but I couldn’t do it. She is only fourteen and she is not supposed to be away from me. I am relieved she is in a safe place where she can’t hurt herself, but I hurt everyday she’s gone. I know it’s the right thing, but as I so eloquently just said, things can really suck.
Not surprisingly my depression wasn’t going over very well with the rest of the family and I finally had to get off the couch because Don pointed out that I did have another child and she needed a bath and to go to school. Oh yeah. I thought it might be time when my couch buddy kitten decided there was a world beyond the blankets and left to go see it. However, the main reason I rose like Lazarus from the couch is that the season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills ended. That show is not even a guilty pleasure. It’s horrible and any one who watches it should feel genuinely guilty. I watched it because those housewives were the only people in the world acting worse than I felt. Finally, I was able to decided I must stop all this nonsense and get up because if I was still on the couch when the Real Housewives of Orange County started I would have to shoot myself in the head.
That is not such a funny joke if you know that my Grandfather and my Great Grandfather both shot themselves in the head. It appears that depression and alcoholism run in the family. Sorry Sofie, that’s why we sent you to live with the Mormons so quickly into your rebellion.
Speaking of Mormons, and who isn’t these days, one silver lining has been the school is fifteen minutes away from my Mormon Aunt and Uncle. They have been quite literally a Godsend and have been amazingly supportive. My Uncle Jack (named after Mallory’s baby) decided to join the Marine Corps and the Mormon Church when he was sixteen. This is a man who likes structure. It has been so wonderful to connect with my Aunt and Uncle and their many children and their even many more grandchildren. Mormon’s have some wacky ideas and some Mormon’s even have some pretty hateful ideas (prop 8), but I have never met better people than My Mormon’s and there is not a better man alive than my Uncle Jack. I wish he was running for president instead of Mitt Romney.
To be continued : Part II Coping
Told with Sofie’s permission.
Thanks for bringing me on your journey, DeAnne. It's true that things can suck hard, sometimes. Hang in, and I'm thinking and praying for you and your family. ❤
Dear DeAnne: I'm sorry you are going through this!! (At least you have your humor). I am trusting Sofie will get through this..my thoughts are with you all.