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Not Quite Nellie

Part 2

By Guenneth SpeldrongPublished 3 years ago 15 min read

I am currently writing this from a mental health facility (with observations made after sprinkled in, in case I mess up my tenses). After I got out of prison, my only thought was to kill myself. I wanted to die so very badly. I could not, however, do that to my husband. So, I did the responsible thing and contacted my counselor. She told me of the different mental health facility options. There was now a greater variety than just checking into a proper hospital where they would most likely drug you and could keep you indefinitely.

I think Nellie Bly would be proud of this place I chose. While law, both social and legal, has not really changed much in the past 100+ years, mental health institutions certainly have. 100 years ago I would have been locked up, without hope of release, in an horrific den of torture until it literally kills me.

Now, I am sitting comfortably in a place of my choosing, knowing I could leave any time I choose to. Plus, it is free! It's not perfect, but it is a place where I can collect my thoughts and avoid my daughter as she moves out of both my and my father's house. There are nice people who care, and are willing to both listen AND understand.

It is amazing how well unstable people do when they feel safe, secure, cared for, and in control of their own lives. This is a place where people can actually heal.

Every aspect of society can learn from this place.

As I said earlier, my daughter has chosen to leave our house. My husband and I both agreed it was time, but she beat us to it and decided to leave on her own.

She still blames us, though, and claims we kicked her out. What can you do?

I am trying to come to grips with the knowledge that the sweet, wonderful child I raised is toxic.

Most likely a narcissist as well.

Also, quite possibly has borderline personality disorder.

She has yet to contact me, even through a third party, to see how I am or make sure I am ok.

It has been 4 days since the incident.

Not a word.

I have sent word to her, and have apologized for scaring her and for hurting her (if she was even actually hurt).

I refuse to apologize for something I didn't do, and I refuse to beg and grovel.

I need to focus on myself.

I just don't...know how to do that...

I suppose I am here to learn, though.

I arrive, and they make me change into their clothes. This, time, the room is clean, I have total privacy, and the clothes fit. Things are already better than the previous day! I was only out of jail for 24 hours before I came here to recuperate. I know I made the right decision...Jack was NOT prepared to deal with a suicidal, unresponsive wife. I'm sure he would have given it his best shot, but I just couldn't be a burden to my husband who has his own healing to do.

All of the items I brought were taken from me to be sanitized, so I sat on my bed for a while, then eventually went to go watch whatever movie was on. It was a superhero movie...maybe Spiderman? I'm not sure. I wasn't really watching anyways, so it didn't matter.

I just tried to rest. I ordered food, ate a little, and went to bed early. I had a roommate who had been asleep when I arrived at 6, and she was still sleeping when I went to bed at 8. She slept all night, too. She knows how to rest, clever girl.

I was given my pills, so I was finally able to fall into a light sleep. The attendants would check on us from time to time, which always woke me up. They felt bad about that, even though I would continue to reassure them it was inevitable.

I woke up early, and went to grab my things that were kept behind the counter so I could shower. Problem one: there was just no hot water. Every shower I took there was cold; which is strange, since I was the first one up almost every day, and always the first to shower. Go figure.

The food was hit or miss. The other residents were more than happy to tell me what was good and what to avoid. They were mostly right. The burgers were the best thing they served!

The guy serving food was a real sweetheart, and I tried to help him out as much as I could. He was trapped by some of the "talkers" a few times, and I distracted them. I saved the janitor too, poor guy.

I wasn't really interested in talking, but was only given 24 hours to myself before the talkers honed in on me. They were sweet, and I was glad to help them...but I was there for me. I excused myself whenever they left an opening.

Someone came to check on me every day, but it was the second day that I was pulled into a room and given the opportunity to talk. I talked out a lot of my pain and frustration, but in my normal humorous way. I just HAVE to make a joke out of everything. Defense mechanism much? I felt a little better after.

I would call Jack a couple of times a day, and make sure he was doing ok. HE was only concerned with ME though. What a guy. He tried hard not to tell me what was going on, but slipped a few times. Once, he forgot to care about me and started talking about all the stuff I had to do once I got out. Usually I would just take it, but I am trying to stand up for myself...so I told him it was not ok that he was stressing me out with things I have to do when I am out, and making me feel like all I am good for is chores and caretaking.

He was much better after that.

The lady who was in the room with me told me it was a great job.

I was pretty proud of myself, actually.

I mostly watched movies and read. Then I wrote some thoughts and feelings down, most of them can be found in part 1. I tried to sleep at night, stay clean, and to eat.

I had the feeling they would be upset if you didn't eat. For good reason too.

My medication was a big mess. What I took and what was on the bottles were two different things! We all did our best though while following the rules as close as possible.

I really missed my water bottle. I am used to drinking water 24/7, cold with ice. Instead, I had to get small dixie cups of water from the nurses station.

I made many white trash mochas (coffee with hot chocolate packets).

Everything kinda flowed in a wibbly-wobbily blur. I was starting to feel stronger, though.

It was kind of like a vacation from your brain.

Having no cell phone was very, very nice too.

On the third day, I was given no real time to myself. Everyone wanted to tell me their stories. I have that kind of aura, I guess...one where people want to tell me things.

A transgendered girl with brain damage from abuse told me all about her life. A girl with what seemed like severe ADHD told me about her life. Those two ladies seemed to make some kind of love connection, which was sweet.

One young girl was there because her boyfriend was mean. When she left, she was determined to break up with him and start her life.

Another young girl had been abused by her family, and wasn't sure where to go from there.

Sadly, I did not internalize their stories enough to remember. Wait, no, not sadly. I did what I could to protect myself, and internalizing the pain of others was not something I could do at the time.

This is growth. This is growth. This is growth.

Remember that, brain!

I had planned to stay 4 days, but towards the end of the third I was starting to get a little stressed from the problems of others. I was also showing no signs of infections of illness...so I told the staff I wanted to go home.

I was actually surprised they made that happen so fast.

I called Jack, ate some dinner (one more tasty hamburger), packed up my stuff, and left.

I almost stole the underwear they had given me. It was super comfy! But I decided that was weird.

Exactly 3 days to the minute, I was in a Lyft to go back to Jack. He was not feeling well, as I recall, and the Lyft was free. So I gave him a break.

I slowly eased back in to life. Lynn had moved out of our house, but had left an enormous mess behind. My best friend had shown up to help her move, but even with the help there was still a huge mess.

We had insisted she leave dad's car behind, even though she was on the lease. of course, we got his permission to do this first. The brand new, 2020 car was just trashed. The windshield had been cracked for months with no signs of her fixing it. There was drywall paint and garbage everywhere. The car was a lease, and not even ours. We had to take care of it.

So we confiscated it for a week so we could do just that. We offered her my grandfather's old truck (still a VERY nice truck) in the meantime...but THAT broke down too. So we had to take it in to the shop as well.

Lynn complained, but we told her that she could find some alternate transportation to work for one single week while we figured out the car situation.

Instead of being patient...she bought a car.


Then complained that I MADE her do it. That she had NO CHOICE.

We were trying to give her a free car, fresh from repairs...but she couldn't wait a week.

She told people that I stole her car from her. She talked my best friend into helping her buy a car.

Which my best friend lied to me about. Ouch.

She borrowed $1,000 from my best friend to do it too.

I knew Lynn wouldn't pay it back, so I emptied our savings to do it. I said that, if Lynn was serious about paying it back, she could pay us. (guess what she never did)

I had called in to work and gotten two weeks off before I went to the facility. I wasn't sure I had covid, and I needed the time off. Thankfully, they understood. However, with an arrest on my record, I may not be able to work for a bank anymore. It was scary.

I had all this time, and I had to stay away from Jack until my covid test came back, so I busied myself with cleaning Lynn's room. To be fair, she did say she was coming to clean it...but she also did not give a time frame. I waited two days (a total of 4 since she moved out, I believe), then I cleaned it. I wasn't being petty or a martyr...I was just tired of hearing that she was going out and spending time with friends and then telling Jack she just "didn't have time" to come clean.

It needed to be cleaned.

So, I packed up a bunch of her stuff, and planned to bring it to her.

She said ok...but wanted a chaperone.

So...a week after the incident, and as soon as the first car was fixed, I contact Jack's best friend's kid and his wife, since they were closest, and gave them $20 for food. They go to buy food and say they will meet us there.

We sit in a parking lot, Jack and I, waiting for the call that our kid is ready for us. It finally comes...and she tells us she has her own chaperone. After telling us WE had to find one. We tell the kids they can just keep there food and go home. They never responded, so I guess they did just that.

With the boxes I packed and loaded in the car, I pulled into the parking lot. My best friend was there with her. It hurt, but I was still glad my daughter had someone.

My daughter instantly became angry at what I brought her, even though some of it was food I bought for her. She was getting ruder and angrier with every load she had to take in. Apparently, she didn't WANT any of this stuff. She left it for me to clean up BECAUSE she didn't want it. I stayed firm, though, since this is HER stuff after all, and if she doesn't want it, SHE can get rid of it.

My best friends daughter, all of 11, had to tell my 20-year-old to stop being so rude.

My best friend ended up taking half of the Costco food I bought because Lynn didn't want it. It was mostly staples and her favorites, but go figure. Kids don't make sense.

I would end up bringing her a couple more loads from both her bedrooms, and she was pissed EVERY TIME. She continued to insist she was planning on cleaning, but in the whole two weeks I cleaned up her large messes at both apartments she did not show up one single time.

Still, it was pretty cathartic to clean these rooms. It gave me a purpose, and allowed me to finally, for once, make my space my own. Well, and Jack's. Lynn's bedroom was turned into an office (where I am typing this currently), and my dad's second bedroom, which was already supposed to be his office, was made clean, organized, and USABLE.

I didn't stop with the office, either. I cleaned up the whole house, throwing away things we didn't use by the boxful. Broken furniture, old food...nothing was safe.

While I was doing this, I was also taking some advice and cutting my daughter off financially. We stopped paying her car insurance, her phone, her cable, and so on. Well, my dad paid my daughter's phone, but he agreed she needed to stand on her own two feet. She had made it clear that she doesn't need us, so we should let her have what she wants.

Boy, was she upset. She truly felt entitled to these things we paid for. Especially the phone and the car. She simply didn't understand why it was taken away from her.

After I went back to work, I soon realized just how much money I was saving by not having to pay for my daughter's everything. Plus, my husband talked my daughter into paying back some of what she owed us. She owed us for her work clothes and supplies, her dog's care, her car, her insurance (which she had agreed to pay when she first got her job), and rent for the month she had agreed previously to pay. I think the total was $2,100. She paid $1,100.

Then she was PISSED again. She was starving, and poor, and WE were making HER life difficult. I checked her bank account, as I am still on it, to make sure she wasn't lying. She was. Her finances were fine. So I felt no pity.

Plus, I had tried to give her food when she first moved in and she yelled at me. I won't be doing THAT again.

So, with this influx of new money I...paid bills. Nothing exciting.

But after a couple of paychecks, I noticed a surplus. So I bought NEW FURNITURE. From Ross. But NEW. And a couple of other things to brighten our place. I even got jack a used futon so he could sleep in the office some nights. Then, in a fit of splurging, I bought a new computer.

Lynn had taken ours with her, so we didn't have one. I mean, it was technically her Christmas gift from Gpa...but we all used it.

Jack needed one. It's boring sitting around the house, convalescing, with just a TV and a phone. He NEEDS 3 screen, people. ok! (Just kidding hun, I love you.)

Seriously though, a computer was Jack's best and only means of communication with his friends, so it was vital he have one. My husband is a strange yet social animal.

Finally, we had some great new things, and a useable apartment. We were no longer tripping on kidlet shoes, or cleaning up explosive kitchen messes. We could walk around our apartment without hurting ourselves, and usually find what we were looking for.

It finally felt like home.

We missed Lynn...but we didn't miss the screaming demands and cruel temper.

With Jack feeling better, and Lynn no longer needing me, I applied for a proper 2nd job (I had been delivering groceries on the side when I was well enough). The other job was at my same bank, just a different role. I would be a teller by day, and a "check sorter" at night. After a month of them considering, I got the job!

I was now double employed by the same wonderful employer.

I bought new clothes for the occasion. It was pretty nice.

I showed up the first day, and was shown to my desk. MY OWN DESK. It was L-shaped, with one half that lifts or lowers depending on whether I need to stand or sit. It was decorated with a welcome sign, and I was greeted by my 22 and 25 year old trainers. They turned out to be fun, interesting boys!

I tried to talk to Lynn, but it was just always a disaster. She would usually do or say something cruel or mean. She was simply convinced I had abused her for her whole life...but would have no examples to give me as to how I did this. She believes that her mental health issues are the only thing that is important, and is only concerned with how other peoples struggles may affect HER. I am glad she is now getting help...but she seems to have no interest in having me around unless it gets her something.

I had lost three children, it seemed, in three different ways. One died, one I had to give away, and hated me.

I was no longer a mother. I had no right to call myself one. I have failed my children at every turn.

No amount of clothes, furniture, or distractions could change that.

Every morning, I open my chest of drawers and am reminded of how much my daughter hates me. Why? Well, before this huge fight, I bought myself my first new chest of drawers EVER. It came in a box to be assembled. My daughter offered to put it together, since she loves doing it. I agreed, and thanked her. Then, I waited a week for her to do it. She didn't. She I opened it up and began the process one day during one of her 2-3 hour naps. When she woke up, she was angry with me for doing it, and took over. She refused any help. Then, she finally announced she was finished.

I was so exited! New furniture! Drawers big enough to fit my clothes!

Then I saw it.

She had not put on all of the drawer handles. I tried pulling out a couple of drawers, but they stuck on loose screws. Half of the drawers had huge gaps where clothes would fall out, and the other half had bottoms that were falling out all together. Al lot of the wood had been broken or scratched. I was so very disappointed. I tried to explain to Lynn that it didn't look finished, and there were a lot of problems. She started in on a defensive string of excuses that I KNEW would lead to a fight if I showed any further signs that she did not do a good job.

So...I told her it was probably the manufacturer. It was just a bad purchase. I had bought it from Wal-Mart after all, so it was probably flawed from the start.

I protected her feelings while sacrificing my own, as I usually do.

So now, every time I reach for my clothes, I am reminded of not only how little my daughter thinks of me, but of how little I value myself.

I taught my daughter that I was nothing, so she treats me like I am nothing.

This dresser remains a monument to my failures as a mother and as a human being.

I feel as though I deserve it.

Maybe one day I will get rid of this symbol of indifference. I hope I will.

And that hope is a great start.


About the Creator

Guenneth Speldrong

Hello there. I write things. Sometimes good things. Mostly, I write to find myself. If I can entertain you in the process, then that's just the derivative icing on the proverbial cake!

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