This is what is going on in the ‘family’ sector of my life right now. There are other sectors that are also largely onerous and emma-crushing, but ‘family’ is what this post is about, so that’s what you’ll find out about.
Feel free to skip over the parts you don’t find interesting or already know. I put an arrow (–>) by most recent developments so you can find it.
First and foremost, let me just mention once that my dad, throughout this little timeline of events, is going nuts, tearing his hair, cursing everyone, and generally being insane, as per his normal reaction to… well… anything. Then I don’t have to say it over and over.
I also must add a preface for those of you who haven’t known me too long or never heard my family’s intricate history or just forgot (I understand my family’s history probably does not take a high position in your overworked mind). Second semester of my senior year (spring 2004), probably around March, my sister tried to kill herself. She’d been struggling with anorexia, bulimia, and depression for a while, and for some reason on that day, decided that taking a whole bottle of Tylenol would be a good idea. It was the day before our 3D AP calculus projects were due, if anyone wants to take that and extrapolate a date.
So she went to hospital and they made her take charcoal drinks and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which stops the liver from converting the acetaminophen (paracetamol – UK) into a toxin which kills the liver. (Smart liver, eh?) Then she spent a week or two in that mental place across the road from Arlington Memorial. Then of course, therapy and psychologists and psychiatrists and psych-whatever-ists, and drugs for depression.
From then to now it’s been up and down, back and forth. She got over anorexia and bulimia, and switched to more exciting things, like smoking, drugs, drinking, sneaking out, and stealing (from stores and family members). (Note: See bottom of post) This summer and fall semester, she seemed to be on the up, though our house was still sealed like Fort Knox every night, my mom still slept with her purse, and I was prohibited from bringing anything valuable or any medications home with me. (Yea, that’s ‘on the up’.)
However, a few weeks ago something happened and she started going downhill. My mom knows what it was, but my family finds it amusing to keep things like this from me, so I don’t. Anyway, the 20th of October, Elizabeth swallowed another bottle of Tylenol. Now, for anyone who’s contemplating suicide, holy fuck, don’t use Tylenol if you really want to die. Tylenol overdose doesn’t kill you directly. Tylenol overdose kills your liver. Then, you hang around for a few weeks in hospital feeling crappier and crappier, probably reaching the famous decision of suicidal people – ‘Hey, I don’t really want to die!’, and then you die. Good times.
So this time she didn’t tell anyone for about 8 hours after taking the pills, finally calling Josh (on-again-off-again boyfriend I don’t like) to take her to hospital. Docs were very worried she would suffer serious damage due to the amount of time, but later tests revealed that amazingly she’d gotten away practically unscathed.
On advice from her therapist they didn’t put her in the mental place again, which is the automatic thing they do, since my parents decided she needed to get into severe treatment. So she got taken out of school and was put under complete lockdown (except from work …?) while my parents tried to figure out what to do, and various people ran extensive psycho-exams on her.
My mom, LA, and Elizabeth were slowly all going insane, since Elizabeth couldn’t be left unattended and couldn’t be trusted. My mom even took to sleeping with her in bed so that she couldn’t sneak out. So the plan was to send her to the UK this last Monday (the 6th) so my dad could overwatch her for a while, and have her see some specialists in the UK.
–> Well, Saturday night my sister decided she didn’t want to go to the UK, so she tricked my mom into turning off the alarm early in the morning (by saying she was hungry and wanting to eat and feed Lady (dog)) (the motion detector in the living room stops you from going to the kitchen). And packed her stuff and left, leaving a note behind saying she was filing for emancipation and moving to live with a friend. (Though she said she’d ‘researched emancipation a lot’, I guess she missed the part where you have to be both financially stable and mentally stable, and, unless other circumstances call for a special review (ex: parental abuse), have your parent’s permission).
So everything went crazy, and everyone was on the phone with each other. Finally my dad called her and said if she wasn’t going to come to the UK, she’d at least have to go home. She agreed to this. However, she never showed up. Monday night my mom eventually had to go to her and… well, it wasn’t pretty. Again, nobody’ll give me any details, but apparently the whole ordeal was a huge mess of Elizabeth being crazy. Apparently she got her nose pierced sometime in her time away from home, but I know that didn’t last.
So yesterday morning she and my mom flew to Utah and my sister got put into Logan River Academy. It’s a place where they fix messed-up kids. My mom wouldn’t tell me how long she’ll be there when I asked. They seem to forget that I can read, and I have no qualms about quietly finding out as much as I can about what I want to know. So if you read their contracts you find out that termination of the contract before 180 days (roughly 6 months) means paying the rest of the 180 days anyway. So, she’ll be there about 6 months. I don’t know if they let people go home for Christmas. Don’t know when I’ll next see her. I’d have to go up to Utah, since she has to ‘earn’ overnight home visits, and the only visit home she’s going to be making is an overnight one with airfare these days.
So my mom went to Utah with her, and now she’s in Louisiana witnessing the pressure testing of some valves for oil. She’ll be back Friday or Saturday. She’ll probably be gone for two-three weeks at the beginning of December to Yemen for work. LA, sick of anyone who shares the an X-chromosome with my sister and I*, is going to go on a vacation in that same time period to Alaska. Elizabeth will be in Utah, of course.
But I’ll be here.
Note: I don’t care what your opinion is on high school drug/alcohol/tobacco use/abuse or sneaking out or stealing. Don’t even bother to tell me how you did it all and you’re fine, and all your friends did it and they’re fine. You are not Elizabeth, and you are not her family. DIAF.
* That would be my father, and his mother (and, technically, my two younger half-sisters), and my mother, (and, technically, either her mother or her father (and none, one or both of my two aunts, depending)).