Has My Daughter Lost Her Mind?

Wait for the Lord

…continued from yesterday.

Pedro’s brother had to use a little subterfuge to get Sarah to see the counselor the next day. First, he offered to get her more contacts from Costco. After they purchased the contacts, he somehow talked her into seeing a therapist. I don’t know how the appointment went, or how she diagnosed Sarah. I only prayed fervently that someone, somewhere would figure out how to help.

During her second full day at her aunt and uncle’s house, Sarah had a bad day that just kept getting worse. In the morning she railed against her Internet restrictions. By early afternoon, when she had Internet for an hour, things had spiraled downward.

Sarah Ojeda:
Anywhere with no three g nor wifi to talk to people is hell
I definitely don’t feel any love
Only from you
Not even freakinf Douglas
He keeps making me feel like a little kid
Anita Ojeda:
I love you!
Sarah Ojeda:
🙁
I love you too marmie
Anita Ojeda:
Laura and Dad do, too!
I’m praying that things work out with your friendship with Douglas.
I remember several (ok, FOUR) times when I was positive I was in love with a guy and (today I probably would have been turned in for stalking). Don’t laugh. I was pretty intense (desperate). Each time I finally realized that those guys weren’t for me, they were more my imagination than anything else, well, it hurt a lot. I wrote a lot of sad poetry. I cried a lot. I spent hours writing in my journal.
Sarah Ojeda:
Haha interesting and cute
I have not lost anybody

Sarah’s uncle had to leave for a business trip, and he had called Pedro to report that Sarah continued to exhibit bizarre behavior. They had asked her to perform a few simple tasks and Sarah had gotten extremely angry with them before finally sulking around the house and doing a half-hearted job. Part of the agreement involved her helping out around the house in exchange for room and board—but she didn’t seem capable of doing even the smallest tasks.

After he left, Sarah decided to walk two miles to the nearby campus of a college where some of her friends and former classmates from Montana went to school. After a few hours, my sister-in-law started to worry about Sarah because she hadn’t called. My brother-in-law phoned me and asked if I could restore her cellular service so that his wife could make contact with Sarah.

I frantically scrambled to reestablish phone service, and this time, to activate child controls on her data usage. In order for the controls to kick in, she had to restart her phone. I texted and asked her to do this, and then called her to make sure that she had.

She sounded giddy and just a little loopy, gushing about her ‘friend’ that she had just met and how nice he was and that she really wanted to go to school there. I worried that she had found alcohol or drugs and was high.

I questioned her about her behavior at her aunt and uncle’s, and she glibly explained it all away. But I knew differently. Two adults would not lie. Based on all the evidence that we had seen over the past few weeks, I knew Sarah no longer lived in reality—whether due to drugs or a mental condition, I had no idea. I feared she had lost her mind. Finally, I texted her:

Anita Ojeda:
You need help. You need to check yourself in to a drug and alcohol rehab place. You have a mental illness. I love you.
Sarah Ojeda:
Bahah
Ok… No way
I don’t drink any more
Please stop it mom
I don’t need s**t from you
You are worrying me
What the hell made you say that?
I have drunk a little every once in a while since I was 14… But not for any specific reason
And not to get drunk
So give me a break
I’m just living life
Don’t ever tell me what to do
Please
I really don’t want to hear it from you or anybody

My sister-in-law called Pedro and asked for guidance. By this time, Sarah’s behavior had him steaming mad, and he told her if she wanted to take Sarah to town, put her on a bus to Reno to pick up her car, and let her go, he would back her up. I suggested that she call the police and report that Sarah was having a psychotic episode or acting suicidal or drinking under the age of 21—anything to force the issue and get Sarah the help that she needed before she self-destructed.

Sarah’s aunt and uncle and I played text and phone tag as her aunt tried to locate her on or around the college campus. It took about 45 minutes to find Sarah.

Since Sarah had complained of having a really bad headache, my sister-in-law used a question to get her into the car. “Do you still have your headache?” she said. When Sarah affirmed that she did, my sister-in-law offered to take her to the hospital. Sarah got in the car and promptly fell asleep while my sister-in-law drove to the emergency room of the closest hospital.

***

I was at the hospital with my aunt because I had a headache. Well, that’s what she told me we were there for. As I was signing papers in the waiting room, a nurse said that since I was suicidal I would need to be placed on a 72-hour hold.

“Suicidal?” I almost yelled. “I didn’t say anything about that. I just want some medicine for my headache!”

The nurse ignored me and took us to a room in the back and I didn’t understand what was going on. The room had one glass wall with a door, a rolling bed and a chair. A doctor with a British accent came in and gave me a pill, and later someone came in and gave me a shot. I assumed they were for my headache but it didn’t seem to get any better afterwards. My aunt sat patiently in the chair and I sat on the uncomfortable bed and we waited.

Hours went by. I stood up and paced around the room, crying, and knocked over a metal table in anger then flopped onto the bed and screamed into the pillow. Two guards were summoned to stand by my door. As the hours passed, I didn’t know why was I still in this hospital.

Eventually a guy came in and interviewed me. I did my best to convince him that this was a huge mistake and that I was not suicidal. My head was feeling much better. Could they let me go now? When he left I couldn’t tell if he was satisfied with my explanations. I hoped my aunt and I would be able to leave soon.

I continued to get more agitated. I got up and tried to leave the room but a guard told me to sit down. When he grabbed my shoulder I swore and screamed, “Don’t touch me!”

Suddenly another person came in to give me a shot.

“This one will help you to calm down,” they said. I went back to the bed and when they gave me the injection I screamed and began crying again. The lab tech left and I stood up again but the guard yelled at me to lie down.

The next thing I knew I was at a psych ward in a different hospital and I didn’t remember getting there.

***

…to be continued.
(Note to readers:  This series is co-written by Sarah and me. She sees each post before it goes live and approves of the content).

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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