Jane called tonight. She had been on vacation when Fiona came for Christmas Eve and though I had emailed how well things went, ostensibly that was the reason she called. However there was a deeper reason. Yesterday Fiona had a serious incident at school. It involved Fi and another student using a video game. I don't quite know if it was the new Playstation she got for Christmas, or if it was the system the school has. The other student was not using the system the way Fiona wanted and tensions escalated. Fiona bit the other student and then bolted out of the room and ran to another general meeting room. At that point when staff came in she was confrontational.
Because when she rages she is amazingly strong, the protocol is to avoid restraints when possible. Frankly I think that is a good thing. I think restraints rarely accomplish anything good. However, in this case, maybe it would have been better. Staff had left the room and they heard the crashing of things breaking. They ignored that. Then there was the sound of breaking glass. They rushed in and found that Fiona had put her fist and arm through a window. It is unclear if she was trying to climb out the window or this was a random punching out at anything sort of situation. The end result was an ER visit for 4 stitches and a hospitalization for at least a week and possibly two while they try to stabilize her behavior.
I think Jane knew how scared and devastated that description was to me. It is the type of problem that we have dealt with since Fiona became ours at 9. I keep hoping that we have gotten to that point in healing where she can be angry and yell but that we won't have to worry about self harm and/or accidental harm to others. KC's wish last night for the new year was for more visits with Fiona. He does not know about this incident and I have always told the littles only that her meds are being adjusted when she is hospitalized. They know she has trouble with feelings and with understanding some things but I have never been really specific. It seems unfair to Fiona to be otherwise. Rob knows details, but he is the only one of my kids I share any details at all with.
I told Jane that this type of incident was my biggest fear for Fi. I worry that when she moves to a group home when she ages out of the Great School that it will literally be only a matter of time before there is an incident the home will not tolerate. Group homes are less forgiving than the Great School. Frankly most schools are not a elastic as the Great School. We face that cliff that all parents of children with mental illness face. She is legally an adult. She is not competent all the time. She is marginally competent though a good portion of the time. Yet the times that she is not are so intense. I told Jane I worry that she will wind up homeless and a threat to herself or to others. The woman recently arrested in a subway death springs to mind. My daughter is most times the kindest, most compassionate person I know. But her demons can and do still overwhelm her.
Jane said that it is not likely that Fiona would wind up homeless. She agrees she will crash and burn in a group home. She sees a life where Fiona will unfortunately have had the most amount of freedom and choice in her life during her years at the Great School. The most likely outcome is group home to long term hospitalization to a "severely restricted environment." (Jane's words not mine and right then, I could not bring myself to inquire further.) It is all far from the dreams that any parent has for their child. The legacy of trauma, and substance abuse is a cruel one.