I’m usually a strong willed, determined person. Two weeks ago however, I was a gibbering, tearful wreck who was questioning all that I do and all that have done. How could everything have come to this?
How incredibly grateful I was for someone kind at the end of the phone, trying hard to say something supportive and just being there. A few minutes later another kind hand placed on my shoulder.
You see, my eldest, at that point, was missing. She had run away.
She has done this before although we have (with only one exception) always managed to find her because she always went to the same place! She has always, in the past, run after shouting / hitting / fighting.
This time it was different. She had come home from school, tearful and upset but not in the usual rage. We talked it through – for an hour – and she seemed calm and relatively ok. So at 5pm I went for littley from school club and that’s when biggey ran.
I searched and searched all the usual routes and places and after nearly an hour I knew I had not choice but to phone the Police. It was awful.
I’ve had to report her missing once before – 18 months ago, but as I said it was after a rage and in the middle of the day. This time I was devastated. It was dark, she as scared, I was scared, littley was scared and my darling hubby was travelling back from a work meeting over 2 hours away.
The police lady on the phone who took the details was truly wonderful, empathic, kind and supportive. The police lady who arrived at my home within 20 minutes was also kind and supportive when I just kept crying. I flitted between being composed to give clear details and going weak at the knees and almost crumpling.
She turned up safe, albeit incredibly grumpy and stubborn. She told police it was because of school and climaxed by yet another bout of bullying. This time, she says, she managed to tell someone at school. They simply said “don’t worry”. Well, she’s only 11 (often emotionally younger) so of course she did worry, even the most level headed person would struggle to just “not worry” and for my traumatised girl this was the result. She also told police she’s “never going back there”.
When they brought her home she wouldn’t come near me and I got “just leave me alone”. The fear, worry and shame manifested just as text books tell you, in that she feels she has no choice but to attempt to look after herself. I am the very person who sends her to school. So I am the person who sends her to this unsafe, scary place, where she gets hurt (from a broken ankle), gets bullied and laughed at (just like early life), is dismissed and not listened to (just like birth mum did) and so on.
I can’t blame her really, but even so it is incredibly difficult to live with. Not to mention the effect it has on the family unit and the way is also scares the littley. The police were marvellous, caring, understanding. None of the judgement or pitying looks either!
I have blogged previously about the difficulty we have had just to get a meeting with school. I shared my concerns with the police and they alerted social services.
Most of Christmas was spent licking wounds, trying to keep things calm and attempting to repair the wounds that school have created so we can rebuild the attachment we did have. That lasted 4 days once she got back to school!
We haven’t been able to get her back to school.
Social services are coming tomorrow to see how we are. I will be back to my strong determined self when she knocks on my door.