I got the call from my ex at about midnight. A police officer had called him and said he found my daughter behind a convenience store, drinking with a bum. No, not a bum as in "Lose him, he's a bum," but an actual homeless man bum. (Is that politically incorrect to call homeless men bums? Maybe. But any guy who would hide behind a convenience store and offer alcohol to a young girl in the middle of the night is a bum - and worse.)
The officer said that since she's 18 he was arresting her for underage drinking and wanted to let us know because she looked so young and he could see she didn't belong there.
So our daughter went to jail that night.
I got a call from her at 4 in the morning. She didn't sound terribly sad or sorry. Just tired. I asked her if jail was where she really wanted to be right then and reminded her that this was the consequences of her choices and it didn't have to be like this. I feel like what she hears is "Blah, blah, blah, blah..."
It was a short call.
The next morning I called the jail to see when her hearing was because I thought that maybe her dad and I could show up at the hearing and ask the judge to order her to rehab. Then she would have to go and it would be mandated for 30 days. If it was the only way to get her off the streets and clear her head of the drugs and keep her safe, then so be it.
While I sat on hold, for some reason I expected hold music. Something like "Bad Boys", or "I shot the Sheriff," or maybe "Smuggler's Blues." But I suppose they don't have a sense of humor like that. Or a budget for hold music. Or to pay a person to decide what hold music to have.
My idea of court mandated rehab was not to be. They had already ordered her release on OR. This is "Own Recognizance" for those of you unfamiliar with jail terms. I'm not sure what it means really. She said she was sorry I suppose. Honestly, I was hoping for a longer stay. I was hoping a few days of having no freedoms at all and having to poop in front of strangers might make her think about the direction her life is going and maybe it's time for a change.
After they order the release, it's anywhere from 12 to 24 hours before they actually let her go, so she still had a short stay in a cell. She called me that afternoon and there was a very different tone to the call. I guess she didn't know how short her stay was going to be. They had given her an orange jumper and soap and toothbrush and it was beginning to sink in that she was in jail.
She was crying and she said she didn't like it there and didn't want to be there. She said she knew she needed to get clean. I told her we could pick her up when she was released and we could take her straight to rehab when she got out. She said no, she could get clean on her own and didn't need rehab. She said she needed to find her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend and make sure he was okay. Always a reason or an excuse not to get help.
She was released not long after that call. I don't know how she got from downtown where the jail is to back up to her old stomping grounds where her and her boyfriend hung out, but she did somehow.
Two days went by and I didn't hear from her. I knew her situation was worse than ever. I knew her boyfriend was trouble, but if she was with him, it was less likely other guys would bother her. The thought of her alone out on the streets just fending for herself amongst junkies and thugs was terrifying.
After two days, I couldn't stand it anymore and my brother and I went looking for her. Stay tuned for my next post to see what happened. If you want to catch up on this story read part 1 and part 2.
I continue to pray for every addicted child and their family.