I had a wonderful post in my head about all of the things we did this week. However, Friday took a shocking turn. We went to a school performance in the morning, out to lunch, and then had an art class with Grandma. Daddy came home and we went out to dinner and grocery shopping. It was a nice and peaceful day. We started putting the kids to bed. Goldilocks (13) went to bed first which is the norm. She makes bedtime very chaotic so we settle her in first. About an hour after she had been put to bed, her brother asked her a question through her closed door. Her light was still on, but there was no answer. My husband opened the door and found her window open, screen popped out and she was gone! Her window is about 1 1/2 stories off the ground. She has threatened to run away for years and last night she carried through on her threats. We quickly searched the yard, cars and outbuildings. We discovered that the back door was unlocked and searched the house to make sure that she hadn't doubled back into the house to hide. When all our searches failed, we called the police and placed a missing person report. We explained that she had a low IQ and that she also suffered with severe emotional problems. The police response was fast.
Goldilocks was found safe at around 10:30 pm about 3 miles from our home. She had crossed several large roads and traveled through some heavily populated areas to reach her destination, about a half mile of which has a homeless men's shelter and a strip joint. Apparently, she decided to go see a friend of mine. She intended to visit with my friend, have a sleepover, learn about how to runaway (with a further destination in mind) and have a nice breakfast there. She thought my friend would then bring her home so she could go to her big cheer leading event in another state this afternoon. Of course, this is not at all what would have happened if she had found my friend.
In reality, she found my friend was not at home and began knocking on neighbors doors to ask where this person was and did they know her number. Luckily, one of those neighbors called the police and was able to keep a discrete eye on which direction she headed until the police arrived. It took five police officers to surround her in a semi-circle and finally corner her. Once caught, they returned her by police car to our home. She was transferred to my husband's car from the police car and transported directly to her respite care provider. She will stay there for nine or more days. Hopefully, after that she will be placed in a longer term therapeutic setting to get some real help. At this point, we cannot imagine her coming home after the nine days because she has NO regrets. She isn't sorry or scared about how much danger could have come her way out on the street. She is filled with ANGER...anger at us for being her family, angry that (in her eyes) we don't love her, angry that we are not providing all that she wants (a phone, horse, more candy, more freedom), angry that a "better" family didn't adopt her years ago, and especially ANGRY that the police caught her. Since she shows no remorse or fear, it seems obvious that she will run again as soon as the chance arises.
She has revealed to the respite worker that she has planned this for a few months. She even put it on her calendar that yesterday was the day she planned to run away. What is the most crazy making part to me is that she acted so content all day. Her behavior really made me realize how much she is faking her emotions. I am also surprised that she managed to pack a few belongings and remembered to take her jacket and shoes to her room in preparation for leaving. Goldilocks doesn't understand why her family is exhausted and frustrated with her behavior. She doesn't see that she has done anything wrong by running away or, for that matter, by verbally abusing her siblings. She only thinks we are terrible and don't love her.
Please pray that Goldilocks can get into a program that will provide some real help. She is really in a terrible emotional crisis and needs some intensive help.