Friday at the Ranch

Friday is my day off. Yelena came home carrying a new bag today. It is a black and blue small duffle bag with a Nike insignia on it. She may have had it for awhile - but I am not usually home when she gets home so I am not sure how long she has had it. When, I saw it I said "Oh, you have a new bag." She said "Yes" and I asked "Where did you get it from?" and she said "I forgot." She also has a gold chain necklace hanging out of her pocket which does not belong to her either. 
To Be Continued...


The Mourning After...

Well, this is the thing: my sweet adorable baby girl who I love beyond reason, stole an axe.  This was not a small little hatchet but a large regular sized axe that could cut down a tree (or whatever else which I shudder to think about it.) Axe as in "Lizzie Borden took an axe..." She stole it out of our neighbor's shed (which I thought was locked but my dear baby girl has a way with locks.) My husband spoke to our neighbor about this today and confirmed that it was his axe. He said that our neighbor was "concerned" about safety issues. Yeah, so am I. She has a way with locks and also a way of knowing then to strike if something is left unlocked and unattended for two minutes or less. And she can find whatever she wants in two seconds flat and be out before you know she was ever gone.

When she was a toddler, we would go to the beach and I would turn my head for a split second and she was gone. I would find her later half way down the beach sitting on a stranger's blanket eating potato chips. You know the expression: "May you be in heaven a full half-hour before the devil knows you're dead. Kind of like that.

The thing is that this happened in October - probably a good six months ago and we never knew. So our anger seems a little misplaced right now. Anger? That's not it exactly. There is really a sense of sheer terror about this situation. That axe was sitting under the snow for months. I am sure that she probably totally forgot about it and if we spoke to her about it, I'm sure she would say something like "that was months ago and you are not allowed to talk to me about this now."

Yelena is not self destructive. Her idea of a suicidal act is breaking a pencil in half and making scratch marks on her arm. I don't really think she would intentionally hurt my husband or me but I am also not sure how well she knows her own strength. The only time she actually did hurt me (she threw a paper weight at my head and I had three stitches) she was totally remorseful and very sorry. She is, however, destructive. Everything she touches breaks. I used to call her "my little destructo-matic."

How Long??

My husband and I had built a wood "sculpture" in our back yard a few years ago to disguise our compost pile of leaves and dead branches. Sometime in the fall, I realized that the sculpture had been destroyed. We had a Workaway (http://www.workaway.info) guest from Germany who was wonderful and spent a lot of time working on our garden - I asked her about it and she said that it had been intact the last time she saw it. We were puzzled about who had destroyed it. My husband had suggested an angry neighbor. We didn't think that Yelena had the strength, resources or reason to destroy it.

I do have to say in her defense that when we asked her, she did remove the stone fire circle and pile of kindling with a wooden "teepee" over it that she had built in the back yard. She told us she was just "practicing her survival skills that she had learned at camp." Note: She spent a year in residential treatment for firesetting.

Today was a beautiful sunny day and one of the first days that I really felt that it was time to go out into the garden. Serendipitously, husband and I both wanted to work on rebuilding the sculpture so I went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of 4" nails and dug the hammers out.  I went to look in the woods in back of our house for any additional wood I might use and on my way back, I saw an axe strategically placed behind a tree where you wouldn't notice it from the garden. I knew the moment I saw the axe that Yelena had in fact destroyed the sculpture. My heart sunk. Where did she get an axe from? My husband went and hid it in our neighbors garage thinking that it might belong to him. I had also found a mat knife(mine) and my garden shears (that had been missing for awhile) while I was in the woods.

Yelena came outside and asked if I would buy the soundtrack from Frozen for her - her new favorite obsession. I said what I had been told to say at the Attachment Institute: "I have to talk to Daddy about it and as soon as we both feel close to you." We had been talking a few days ago with her therapist about restitution (the restoration of something lost or stolen to its proper owner, recompense for injury or loss) for an incident that had occurred a few months ago that had landed her at a hospital CBAT for two weeks.

What had happened was that Yelena had broken into the room of one of the students that we host from foreign countries that come here to learn English. Yelena had taken her iPad, removed the cover and threw it away and then erased everything that had been on the computer. The student was enraged (as she had every right to be) and started to yell at Yelena who immediately went upstairs and put on her karate outfit and came back downstairs ready to fight. When my husband tried to intervene, she told him that it was none of his business, shoved him and knocked him down and then hit him. He took her to the ER when she had calmed down a bit. I was at work at the time but met them at the ER where she stayed for 24 hours before they found a bed for her about an hour away from us (it was a holiday weekend, naturally). Our three students were gone the next morning.

So, today, when she asked me to buy her music I reminded her that she still needed to provide restitution for that incident. I know, I should not have brought the subject up but I felt that we were all forgetting about it. Not that everything else has been wonderful. She took a shower and changed her clothes two out of five days that she went to school this week. She drew on a lampshade. She left the kitchen a mess several mornings and evenings, etc. We had discussed this before and I had suggested she write her student a letter apologizing. She asked me what she had to do and I told her that she should think about it and I was sure that she could do this. She asked another couple of times and I mentioned the letter. She said she couldn't write a letter because she didn't know the woman's address and then because she couldn't write in Turkish and I said she could write it in English. She stormed off.

When we came back into the house, she shoved a folded piece of line notebook paper at me. I read it. The letter said: "Dear F. This is a letter of apology. I am sorry about what happened. Best wishes, Y.
ps The turkish coffee was great. LOL" I said that I would have to talk to Daddy about it. She screamed for my husband to come "right now" and shoved the letter at him. He put the letter on the table and walked away. She screamed for him again. I said something about attitude and tone of voice. She went after my husband and he reappeared in the kitchen saying he was going to the Y to work out and left. I didn't get to the part where I was going to compare a $600. iPad and the loss of about $400. week in income from the students to a short slightly sarcastic note.

Yelena and I were standing in the kitchen. She crumpled up the letter into a ball and there it across the room. She reached for a jar full of pencils and pens and started breaking them all in half. I said nothing and left the room to go upstairs. I went in my bedroom and sat down at my desk. She followed me upstairs and came over to me and opened up all the bottles of her medications which were sitting on my desk and dumped them onto the floor. I went towards my bed to get my purse, put my phone, my kindle and my keys in it and tried to get to the door but she closed the door and was blocking the exit with her body. I lay down on my bed and started to read. She came over and unscrewed the lightbulb in my reading light then picked up a book I had been reading and started to rip it to shreds. I said nothing. I didn't react, I kept on reading. I have a shelf where I keep a bunch of photos of all of the kids - she started taking them out of the frames and ripping them up one by one. I said nothing. I didn't react. I kept on reading. She came over to me and grabbed my kindle from me. I stood up and wrestled her for it. I didn't get it but I made sure it was turned off and went to leave and she blocked the door again. I asked to be let out. She said "I have you trapped and there is nothing you can do. You are powerless." So I said, "No, not really" and went and picked up the phone and said "I can call 911". I dialed three numbers at random and acted like I was waiting for them to pick up. She said OK and gave me back my kindle. She was still blocking the door so I went back to the phone to dial 911 again and she said "OK" and moved away from the door. I had my purse so I walked down stairs and put my shoes on and walked out the door into my car. I drove for a few blocks and then called a friend and asked if I could come over.

I probably got to my friends house about 6 or 7 pm. We talked had dinner, watched a movie. I came home about 11 pm. All the lights were on in the house. The kitchen was a mess - she had made french toast for her dinner and didn't clean anything up. She had been in the bedroom that our sons used to share - lights were on, books on the floor, trombone lying on the bed, ouija board on the floor. I went upstairs. No further damage to our bedroom but nothing was cleaned up. I went into her room to check on her and she was fast asleep. I leaned over to give her a kiss and she stirred, looked at me and asked where I had gone. I told her and then said "Good night sweetheart, sleep tight."