My house seemed to be engulfed in a big dark cloud. It was like we couldn’t get out of our own way. Fist the emergency surgery, then their father leaving again and now great grandma. It was more than my daughters could bear. We went through your typical teenage angst as most parents and daughters did, but this was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. We had your occasional coming home drunk, or getting caught lying about where you were. We did the punishments and groundings and I imposed stricter rules and more boundaries, but the more I tried to gain control, the more I realized I had very little. Everyone in my house was in therapy. From depression to anxiety to down right defiance, things were getting freaky and I really felt very alone. One day I received a call from the school. I never got calls from the school unless the girls were sick or faking illness to get out of a class, but this was on a more serious note. They thought that it may be a good idea for my daughter to see someone more regularly. They offered their help and gave me a name of a place and I was highly insulted. I went straight into denial. My kid does not need this place. Yes we were going through a few harder times than normal, but we were going to be fine. right? All I could think of was how the heck am I going to get through this? I called gingham for support. Why I do that I am not sure. I have had full custodial and residential rights of both my children from the day gingham left. He never showed up for our divorce hearing and he sure as hell never showed up for the custody agreement. So what happens in that type of case is I get it all. All the parenting, all the decisions all the yes or no’s to everything falls on me. And being I knew them better than anyone, better than they knew themselves I was really looking in all the wrong places for help. I just thought at times, that he would be of comfort, of support to me. To make me feel like I was not alone and that there was someone else out there that wanted, hoped, wished, and was trying for the very best for both of these humans that were completely dependent on me and yet were pulling away with such force it hurt my heart. I went to work every day and prayed there were no issues when I got home. There always was. I looked at them wrong, I said the wrong thing, I asked the wrong question and the eruption of emotions that came flooding from them was out of a horror movie. I had failed them and that was all I could think about. In an effort to get my mind off things I engaged in a nighttime meet up at a local school with dreads. We sat on the bleachers of the school field and talked. I told him of my goings on at home and how I was feeling helpless and hopeless and that therapy for everyone both together and individually didn’t seem to be helping anyone. It was helping me feel at least not so misunderstood, but in the big picture things were getting worse and I couldn’t stop this train wreck no matter how hard I tried. We sat on the bench that night and he grabbed my hand. He said words of encouragement and support, words I had hoped to hear from gingham. Words that flowed so freely from his mouth, effortlessly and although they were beautiful and helped again they weren’t coming from the right person. He kissed me that night. And I let him. And I liked it. It was more the story of the wounded woman looking for comfort in the arms of a man and all of a sudden a love affair began not on solid ground, but on the belief that possibly this would save me from my own demise. When I arrived home that night something seemed very off. I could feel it as I pulled into the driveway. I took a deep breath and walked inside and was bracing myself for the onslaught of insults and complaints, but it was quiet. It was eerily quiet and I went upstairs to check on everyone. One daughter in her room asleep or on her phone pretending to be asleep as most teenager do to avoid any type of conversation, but then on to look in on the second and she wasn’t there. She was just gone.