When did the money-drain begin? When Troll broke his first window? Smashed the front bumper. Kicked holes in the walls. Knocked down my glass cabinet. Bashed a hole in the bathroom door large enough to climb thru?
Or is it when he first stole from me. My debit card missing. Cash from my wallet. Guitars hawked at pawn shops. The mountain bike ‘missing’. Then the other mountain bike ‘stolen’. Then the more dangerous ‘borrowing’ of my car without a license or insurance.
Or is it the time-suck? Hours of clinical appointments? Visits to emergency rooms at Children’s Hospital. Social worker appointments. Mediator appointments. Support workers. Pier support workers. Teachers and teacher’s assistants, vice principals, principals, school counselors. Sick days, bullied days, anxiety days. Runaway days. Counseling. Counseling. Counseling.
I was stressed. Added to the stress were counseling appointments for me. Counseling for my inability to cope. Time away jeopardized my job. My career. Plus the time lost to all the blurred-out moments when I felt incapable and numb. And what about the lack of time and attention given to his sibling? It’s a wonder his brother didn’t go off the tracks. He had more reason to.
Add to that our society isn’t very understanding nor is it accommodating. The irony is that you need more money to manage the fallout but you earn less when you’re away from the job cuz you are with your suicidal child.
So I put my blinders on to forge ahead. Do the best I can. Put food on the table. Hope that it will all work out in the end. But it rarely does. Mental illness is devastating. My son turned to heroin. His brother dropped out of school. I quit my job.
How do I put a monetary value on the loss? Our everyday lives turned upside down. Is it simply what you do for your kid?