I know I said I was going to password protect my post today, but it just isn’t going to happen. Not because I have decided to make my letter to Hannah public, and certainly not because I have decided not to write one at all. No, what has happened is that I have ten thousand words in my head, and none of them are enough. I keep reading things other people have written to me and it reminds me that there is so much more I want to tell her, and again and again and again I have to start over. So it sits in my draft folder, and I add to it and take away, and soon it will be just the way I want it to be. So-I am no longer going to announce when I am doing a PW protected post, because then I feel pressured; when you see one, there it is.
I made a comment yesterday in my post that I knew I shouldn’t have made, about Oprah not helping because we live in this country AND we are white (and to clarify, I am not EXPECTING Oprah to help; she was just the name that popped into my head at that moment). For that, I truly want to apologize. I wrote that out of frustration and anger, and by that simple comment alone made this an issue of race, of me feeling entitled somehow to more simply because we are white. I have since gone in and deleted that part of the post, because not only do I not believe that, but because those kinds of comments are simply not who I am, nor who I strive to be. In one fell swoop, because I was angry and frustrated, I created division that should not EVER exist.
The thing is, I am frustrated and angry in a very national sense, because if this kind of stuff is happening in this little community of Podunk Idaho, it is happening on a much larger scale everywhere else. There are kids hurting and parents who actually CARE who are unable to get the support and help that they need, regardless of race. And I was going to say “regardless of race and economic status” but THAT I can say with certainty is not true. I don’t begrudge anyone their money (most of the time); what I begrudge are the opportunities available to thosewith large amounts of money. And I am not talking about the opportunity to go on vacations to Greece or spend $3000 on a purse; I am talking about opportunities to not even succeed, per se, but to survive.
The general frustration isn’t what is driving me, though. It is a very personal frustration with regards to this situation, with my daughter, right now. You all know what has happened, as you have been privy almost from the very beginning, so I don’t need to go through it all again (and if any of you ARE new readers, please feel free to email me and I will direct you to the beginning of it all). The incidents happened, and there is nothing I can do to change any of that; what I can and am trying to change is what Hannah’s life is like as a result of it all. What I am learning, though, is that without a disposable income of any kind, it is a lot more difficult than I anticipated, and also much more difficult than it should be.
It all boils down to money. Remember when Hannah was suicidal and it was decided that the best place for her would be the Behaviour Health Center? When I took her in, I was told that she would probably be there for at least a week, if not longer. However, before I had even gotten home from dropping her off, I was getting calls from the billing department asking how I was planning on paying for her stay. Even though the Victims Assistance Program had already stepped up and said, “Yes, we will pay for this.” Even though I was already in the process of applying for Medicaid for her. Even though. And how long did she stay? Three days. Just long enough to get some drugs on board to get her home on. No treatment plan in place for when I GOT her home, no leads to follow as to how to treat her long term, just, “She is totally fine now, she can come home.” I do not for one second believe she would have been sent home had we had private insurance or a big wad of cash to throw down.
Then I found out yesterday that her counselor told her she no longer needs therapy and cut her loose. The fact that clearly Hannah hasn’t been entirely honest with her is part of that, I have no doubt; that is HER part in this. But what I suspect is truly going on is, again, money. This was supposed to be an intensive 12 week program, and due to the fact that she couldn’t address specifics with Hannah until the trial was over extended that; understandably. However, it was my understanding based on talking with the counselor that they were just now beginning to examine the abuse itself; apparently they got that all fixed in two sessions becausethe counselor is a miracle worker (insert scathing sarcasm here). Because Hannah is on Medicaid, the counseling place had to get a referral from her Primary Physician in order to have it paid for; this was supposed to be followed by a consult with a psychiatrist to go over different treatment plans, whether or not she was on the right drugs, etc…none of this happened. This program was also supposed to address family issues brought about by the abuse and subsequent legal matters, including several family sessions with us individually AND as a unit. This did not happen either. I find it very interesting and upsetting that none of this happened, and even more upsetting is the fact that the counselor is now on vacation AND the director isn’t returning phone calls. Would this be an issue if we have private insurance or lots of money? No; they would be falling all over themselves to get her some help in the hopes that they would have a much bigger payoff than if they had to rely on Medicaid. I admit this is assumption on my part, but then again, why is it that no one wants to TALK to me about it?
So. I look at these programs like Outward Bound vs Job Corps and we are stuck in the middle. I don’t have EVEN the money to get her into the Outward Bound Program, which I have already talked about extensively. This would be the ideal place for her to gain some much needed self-respect, to give her a chance to learn how to make better choices in her life and how to become a much more responsible person; it could help build up a firm foundation for her. Job Corps would give her the ability to graduate from high school, either with a diploma or a GED, as well as train her for a career and help her to find a job. However (and again, this could change based on getting in touch with the right person; still waiting on that), Job Corps has only a certain amount of money allotted, and preferences go toward kids who have been in trouble AND have received Public Assistance AND whose parents fall below the poverty level. We qualify for only one of the three-so you see, we either have not enough money or too much money (which isn’t the case, just a matter of preferences being targeted toward those with even less, and I get that).
So what do we do with someone who does fall in the middle of the spectrum? We slap some JB Weld on the cracks in her life and hope like hell the wound underneath doesn’t get infected. As a parent, I hear these people saying, “Oh, she is fine, she will be fine, it just takes time.” Yes, well, we hope so. But why in god’s name should I settle for her being “fine?” I want her to thrive. I want her to be happy, to learn how to live and love and hope despite trauma and pain. I don’t want her to fall prey to those quick and easy solutions like sex and alcohol and drugs, I don’t want her to live her life working at McDonald’s and thinking this is all there is, or worse, that it is all she deserves.
Sigh…The government spends billions of dollars on a justice system that doesn’t work in order to try to rehabilitate criminals who are already so far down their personal paths to destruction that in many (not ALL) cases, it is too late; we all suffer for that. We as a nation collectively gripe and moan about the increasing numbers of violent crimes perpetrated by younger and younger people, but we don’t stop to think that maybe the time to intervene is before they end up in the justice system; perhaps after they have been victims themselves? I am not asking for those programs available for youth in trouble to be halted; I am simply asking for additional programs to be implemented to help parents and kids receive early intervention-regardless of race, economic or marital status. That’s it.
Sigh again….I don’t know what the solution is. Not for us, and not for anyone else. Not for us as a nation-white, black, Hispanic alike. I have no answers at all, and just have to keep following leads and seeing where they end up. I am not asking for money or help from you guys, either, I am simply venting about a situation that I feel powerless to change at the moment.