Has someone ever tried to kill you?

“I’m having the feeling that I want to kill you, Mom,” she said to me as I measured out grain for our sheep in the feed room.

“But there aren’t any knives down here,” I said.

She glanced around, her eyes landing upon the heavy tools she could bludgeon me with. We were alone on eight acres of land, twenty-five minutes from police support. I don’t have a fight or flight response. I have a freeze response which looks very much like calm. But it’s not. The storm and panic swirl within.

By now I was used to that look, the look people describe of the lights going out in someone’s eyes, the look that means big trouble.

“Okay, well, why don’t you just sit here and think about that for a moment. I forgot something back in the garage.” I had to risk that she would hurt one of the lambs but there was nothing else I could do. I walked and then ran up to the house, my heart racing. I grabbed the spare set of keys and locked the house so that she could not get inside to kill our dogs. By then she had come up to see what was taking me so long. With a deep breath I joined her in the yard. She said she was going to run, and I let her.

She always waited for everyone else to leave before coming for me.

Once after a nice morning out to pick up a fiddle for her lessons she started circling me around the table as I checked my email. She was bored. She started pounding the walls and shooting me menacing looks. “I will kill you and I will find the knives.”

Once she hid in the woods waiting to ambush me, but my son came home first. Another time she attacked me from the back seat of the car as vehicles swerved out of the way of my erratic driving. At the mental facility she broke my hand and attacked strong male staffers with her crazed superhuman strength. I had to get a restraining order against her so that she could get her law guardian involved to have her removed from the house.

The law guardian came to the next meeting I had arranged with all of the social service and mental health agencies in the state (for the tenth time).

“M shows absolutely no remorse for breaking her mother’s hand or for any of her violence toward the family and their animals,” the law guardian said. “I wake up each morning to check the news to see if Adrienne and her family have been killed or if their house has been burnt down.”

One of the mental health agency supervisors jumped in. “I will fill out more forms for the next meeting.”

 The law guardian cut her off. “Ten months of meetings and what have you all done for this family? Or the child? I’m sickened. Someone will be held accountable. You’re not taking this seriously.”

A bed was found at a residential school after the lawyer threatened the agencies and the school system.

Two weeks ago M threatened to shoot up her school. Multiple times. The police were informed (they already know M because only a month ago she groomed a boy with a 55 IQ and had sex with him in her room. Then she accused him of rape. The nurses and rape hotline people were eager to lynch the boy because he’s 18 (M is 17). They were happy to send him to jail. I spoke with the detective that day.

“We have to take rape seriously, but … her story has lots of holes.”

“She’s lying,” I said. “She’ll call me tonight and tell me all about what really happened.”

That night she said that she had planned the whole thing. She showed him what sex was. The next morning, she did what she had to do to get out of trouble—which was to blame the boy.

So, the cops interview her about wanting to shoot up the school, but since it’s just threats there’s not anything they can do but send her for a psych evaluation and then back to the school. One of the few mental facilities in the region for teens just closed due to a staffing shortage. Part of shortage statewide.

M needs a more secure facility, but they don’t exist.

Gun control will not fix problems like these. M can sign herself out of schools and hospitals when she turns eighteen.

Last week she ran away and managed to find two men who would sleep with her and three women who offered to pass her around Troy for the weekend. She thought those people were nice. They gave her her first beer. One person told her to get lost for her own safety. M thought that person was mean.

M has already talked about bringing boyfriends to our house and leaving us with her babies. If she signs herself out, finds a drug-addicted boyfriend (she plans on doing drugs) and they come at me for drug money, I will be happy to have a weapon.

This isn’t the PC answer.

It’s so much easier to debate and pretend that another law will change anything. I live in a state with stringent gun laws and still people are attacked and killed all the time in Troy, Albany and NYC.

It may make people feel better to post some easy sentiment on social media. As if that’s doing your part, but it’s a distraction. It’s foolishness. It’s not reality.

M’s biological parents are off having more kids. Doctors are experimenting on troubled kids with hardcore meds that make (in many cases) their problems worse. Fathers are devalued and kids find sorry replacements for them. Gun control is the fantasy. Screwed up minds and hearts—that’s the reality.

6 responses to “Has someone ever tried to kill you?”

  1. Reality is hard to take for many people. Whether real or fiction., your writing is good. Your topic one of the hardest. I worked in Psychiatry as a nurse practitioner and have a good idea what twisted minds are capable of. A brain gone off track. Sad, the mental health system has a hard time keeping up. I just published a historical fiction book, Three Years of Her Life. Noticed you also choose the same genre. Intense research & discoveries are exciting, aren’t they? 📚🎶 Christine


    • This piece is the latest update in our adopted daughter’s mental health journey (and ours). There are a lot of people who want to help but there are no easy answers, as you know.

      Yes, I love writing historical fiction. The digging for discoveries gets me up in the morning!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My heart goes out to you, Adrienne. Saving /adopting/ raising a child is not easy under the best circumstances. Add obvious mental health issues and it must seem overbearing at times.

        I like that, “digging for discoveries.” And getting lost in them to read more. 📚🎶 Christine


    • There are people who really want to help, but sometimes the trauma people undergo breaks them. I guess there’s a bunch of reasons why people lose it, but they always find ways to do harm, guns or no guns. Also mental fitness tests can be used for political reasons and my daughter for instance has fooled a lot of people. There always comes a time when her true rage rises above the pretty smile. Its terribly sad but we have to deal in truth. There is a huge mental health problem in this country.

      Liked by 1 person

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