I honestly have no idea at what point the saga was when last I posted about my poor friends, Dick & Jane. In that time, things have gone from bad to worse. And when we all thought it could not bet any worse, it did. Big time.
The girls, Mary (17) and Sue (15) have been living full-time with their mother, Medusa, for 15 months. This arrangement, which was to be temporary to allow the girls a “break” from the stress of the vastly different rules between the household, did not play out as planned. The “plan” had been while they would not spend every other week at Dick and Jane’s home, they would spend time with their father on the weekends and a dinner mid-week as schedules allowed. Immediately the younger, Sue, refused to spend any time with Dick, in addition to refusing his calls or reply to his text messages. Initially Mary did spend time with her father and for the first time in many months seemed to be relaxed and opening up more. Dick, while missing his daughters, felt that his personal sacrifice was worth it if they were happy and thriving. That feeling was short-lived.
It became apparent that Sue was not attending school, the claims had been her “health issues”. In first 100 days of schools she had missed over 40 days and had not gone to the doctor for any of the medical issues Medusa claimed she was suffering with. It had gotten so bad that the school called in Dick and Medusa to discuss the situation, which had been done the year prior as it had been an on going issue. Sue somehow managed to get caught up and attend class enough to be promoted to 9th grade, which would mean a new school, the same that Mary had been attending for the past two years. Mary, who has issues with depression and anxiety, had thrived her freshman and sophomore years. I think getting into her own environment actually helped Mary quite a bit. Not only was she doing well in school, she was responding more to her therapy, even joining and participating in group therapy with other teens with similar issues. All in addition to bonding more with her father. As is often the case, that progress was short-lived, for both girls.
Over the summer, Sue battled with Medusa and claimed she had taken some pills, resulting in a trip to the ER and being committed on suicide watch. Medusa didn’t feel the need to inform Dick until it was all said and done, as it always the case with this woman. By this time Mary had stopped communicating with Dick as well, for reasons that were not explained, but the guess is mom was feeling hurt that Mary was bonding with her father, the man Medusa has claimed abandoned his children and “dumped” all the parenting responsibilities on her. Not a week after this “suicide” attempt, Medusa was calling Dick asking for money for a camp trip for Sue. He said he didn’t feel a minimally supervised camp with no mental health professionals was a good plan for a girl who had recently been committed to a psychiatric facility on suicide watch and was unable to attend school for nearly half the school year due to extreme and untreated medical issues.
At one point over the summer Sue had reached out to Dick and wanted to see him. He was happy to hear from her and quick to make plans. They met for coffee, it was very casual with discussion of making additional plans in the near future. But as had happened with Mary, Sue stopped replying to her father’s texts with no explanation and weeks went by with no communication at all. When her therapist at the time asked about the meeting and plans to spend more time with Dick, she simply said she was planning to see him “for this birthday”, which was over a month away. And of course, his birthday came and went, with no word from either daughter, just one more heartbreak to add to the list.
Once school started, the second year living with their mother full-time, things seemed to race downhill at a frenzied pace. Almost immediately Sue was missing school, sometimes full days, other time just missing classes due to her anxiety. Mary was also struggling, she was missing school and her grades were slipping. It was almost as if having her younger sister at the same school, not attending class or having to worry about her grades was making Mary not care to do those things either. Dick was more in the loop at this school and it was quickly apparent Sue was not going to succeed. Meetings with teachers and the administration followed. Medusa made excuses that Sue’s medical issues and anxiety were the cause and for all their efforts nothing seemed to help, yet she had missed many therapy appoints, wanted to yet again change therapists (for the 3rd time in less than two years) and had not had Sue into see her family doctor specialists for her physical issues. It was determined the school could not help her get caught up on her missing assignments, especially given that her mother was not confident that she would be able to attend school with any more regularity than she had been to date. Both Sue and Medusa suggested online schooling for the remainder of the term, which would be about two months, including the winter break.
As if that weren’t bad enough, within a week of Sue being released from the obligation of attending classes, Mary’s struggles became worse, to the point that in a meeting about Sue, Medusa mentioned, almost in passing, that she felt Mary was suicidal and she was worried about her. Once again, a flurry of worry, then wait, as once the discussion turned to committing Mary for a suicide watch came up, things were not “so bad”. At the end of the day, Mary was committed. Once her medications were adjusted and she showed signs she was responsive and no danger to herself, she was sent home.
So, in 15 months, being with their mother as all claimed would be “best” for both girls, both have been committed to facilities due to suicide attempts or thoughts. One has all but been kicked out of school and has done very little of the online work, so the odds of her catching up are slim to done. It’s obvious to Dick, Jane and the professionals that things can not continue as they are, so come the first of the year, there are going to be changes….changes that are going to make things MUCH worse before they get better, but with luck, they will get better….eventually.