Before I go on, I just want to make sure to let it be known that I have already discussed this blog with my daughter, Lizz, and she agreed to my writing about this topic.
With bipolar episodes, things can get hairy and frightening. It can be hard, so hard. I wish I was better at asking for help. Help is out there.
What happens when authorities are called into play? How do we handle Child Protective Services (CPS), police, or other parents or teachers coming into our lives? Obviously, honesty is the number one way to face these things. We all know that, but what about our fear, our anxiety, our self-doubt, our sadness for others involved, our embarrassment...there are so many offshoots. We can feel alone.
It took about two seconds for me to understand what had happened when the pretty young lady at the door introduced herself. "CPS". Nothing to hide, when she asked to speak with Lizz alone, I simply said “Lizz, say whatever; just be honest.” I then walked out of the room, dragging the dog, and sat in my bedroom, stunned. The situation was decided after investigation to not be a case, which, of course, was a tremendous relief. There is no resentment on my part towards the school or CPS. If I was concerned about a child's welfare, you can be darned sure I would have taken the same steps. You just never think it will happen to YOU.
So how about dealing with other parents or authority figures?
Lizz had a job when she was twelve, feeding and playing with an acquaintance's dogs while she was at work. Something occurred which left a difference of opinion between the woman and Lizz. The woman questioned whether she was being truthful. After talking with Lizz, I had to go with believing her. My Spidey sense wasn't tingling which it usually does when something is questionable. I felt in my heart and in my head that she was telling the truth. Her now ex-employer felt otherwise.
The conversation at her kitchen table went on with Lizz denying any wrongdoing firmly, but not impolitely, and the woman becoming more and more tense as she tried to get a “confession” - until finally, she used the word “liar”. My hand pushed my chair back from the table and standing up, I interrupted with “OK! Time to go. Get your things Lizz.” and we walked out.
Did I do the right thing? Did I make a mistake? I can't look back on that now, because the most important thing was that I took what I know of my kid as a person and used it to make a decision. I believed her, and still believe her today. She needed me behind her, regardless. Even if she had been untruthful, she needed me behind her to help become honest.
Right? Am I right? Crap. I'm wrong, aren't I?
See what we do to ourselves here? This is why we ask for help, read books, join the forums, get therapy or simply read what others go through. I read. I don't comment, but I read. I need you other parents, whether you write here, in forums, in other forums or in blogs. I need you. You help me. I hope I can help you some day in return.
Solidarity! *fist held high*
I'm the mother of three children. Two are adults, Shawn and Sammie, and one, Ellie, who likes to think she is, but isn't yet. I am a mostly self taught artist, psuedo-writer of two blogs, Losing it...(in SO many ways) and Excitable Gurelle- The Queen of Bipolar. Both Elizabeth and myself are diagnosed with Bipolar and PTSD. She was diagnosed at 10 during a crisis but has always...and I do mean always...marched to her own drummer.. She is my contrast kid, all emotions can be present in a day, or in a moment. My parental skills have been stretched and made to be creative living with her and I am grateful for it.