The Fear of the Unknown

I’m home after being gone for days. Not because I want to be, but because I need to be. That said, I have hated every minute since I stepped through my door tonight. It’s horribly quiet in here, even with everything going on around me right now.

It’s been a week since we had Ash hospitalized. Unfortunately, she is still there, and we don’t know for sure when she will be discharged. There was talk of possibly letting her out tomorrow, but her doctor let that cat out of the bag, against my wishes, which got in the way of the progress she was making. However, I have a feeling that the hospital is going to play the insurance card here sometime soon and she will come home.

A lot has happened this past week: I managed to piss Ash off during my first visit with her; I have spoken with her doctor and therapist quite a few different times; we have had two family therapy sessions; Ash, on her own, asked Tim to visit her up at the hospital; and Tim and The Ex physically met for the first time. So far, no one has died.

We all, the three “parents” in her life and her treatment team at the hospital, seem to be in agreement that the “voices” Ash claims to be hearing are not actually psychotic events, but more of the internal dialogue of thoughts in her head. We are all on the same page about not prescribing her any meds. We also all agree that she needs to focus on her coping skills, including getting better at identifying when she actually needs to use them.

I have been going through a number of emotions this week, as you can imagine. The most dominant ones right now are anger and fear. I am angry that she is still in the hospital. I am angry because I sometimes think she doesn’t really want to come home and gets in the way of her own progress. And I am afraid of what will happen once she actually does come home.

I am not sleeping well, no matter where I am. Tim mentioned this morning that the tension is practically radiating off me at night. He has been worried about me, while also dealing with his own feelings for Ash. I hate that I have added more stress to him when he is already dealing with so much. For that reason, along with others, I left him a few hours ago to come home, even though I really didn’t want to.

Things still need to be done, though. So I keep going, keep moving. I keep doing those inane things I must do: go to work, do laundry, keep my car running.

And one moment I’m fine, but the next I’m not. It’s a shitty way to be, let me tell you. I don’t wish it on anyone.

My daughter isn’t with me.

24 hours ago, those words meant something totally different than they do right now.

Ash was with The Ex this weekend; it was his normal weekend. But they were planning to leave for a week-long California trip on Tuesday, so she wasn’t going to come home tonight like she normally would. I wasn’t looking forward to her being gone. At the same time, though, I hoped she would have a good time.

The trip is now off.

Tim burst into the bedroom this morning to wake me because The Ex called him. Ash had apparently called a suicide hotline during the night, and two crisis counselors were at his house. Still not quite awake, I understandably started freaking out. And I couldn’t get out the door fast enough. I don’t even know exactly how long it took me to get to my child, but it wasn’t very long, I can promise you that.

After talking with Ash, The Ex, and the crisis counselors, we chose to make a decision on what to do next until after speaking with Ash’s therapist. My first thought, though, was to put her back inpatient. After all, my job is to protect my child, even if it means protecting her from herself. When the therapist called, she agreed that we needed to err on the side of caution, and at least get Ash assessed. So, we took her in.

And she was admitted.

I can’t tell you just how much I hated writing those words.

I also think there is more to this than meets the eye. Ash says that she has been hearing voices for the past few months, and they have been telling her to hurt herself. Funny, how she hasn’t mentioned any of this to me, or her father, or her therapist. In fact, she has been telling us the exact opposite. Plus, the timing seems too coincidental to rule out completely. I think that, again, there is something she doesn’t want to face, or talk about, and this is how she is handling it. Not the best way to go about it IMHO.

So now we wait. We wait to find out about her treatment team. We wait to find out just how much she is willing to work to get better. I wait to find a time when I can try to get the truth out of her. And I wait for The Ex to explode because he gets his little feelings hurt, which I’m sure will happen.

In some ways, dealing with Ash’s hospitalization last year without The Ex was a lot easier.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I told someone that I was going to write this, so I guess it’s time I actually got to writing.

I am proud of the work I did on Z-boy’s senior pictures. I didn’t know what to expect for my first senior session. My only hope was to end up with something good for Z-boy, because he deserved to have a keepsake of his senior year.

Mission accomplished. Apparently.

The photo book I made as a graduation gift for Z-boy was a BIG hit with his mom and her family. To be honest, that kind of caught me off guard. Hearing that his mom and grandmother were showing everyone his photo book just sounded so weird to me. But this was what I wanted to happen eventually with my business, right? I guess I just didn’t expect it to happen this soon.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

It didn’t stop there, though. Sunday was Z-boy’s graduation party, and the accolades kept coming. It was one thing to hear the compliments from a third-party, but to hear them straight from the horses’ mouths… was both flattering and awkward at the same time. Oh, I sincerely said “Thank you!” to each and every compliment, but it still felt so surreal doing it. Is that normal?

I don’t know, but it does lead me to real point of this post.

During the party, Tim walked back in after talking to some people outside, and told me that I might be asked to shoot a wedding.

Wait. Did he just say wedding?

Apparently, the topic of conversation outside was the upcoming wedding for a couple of the party guests. Z-boy’s grandmother threw MY name in as a potential photographer for their wedding. Tim told the group that if I was chosen as the photographer, it wouldn’t be for free.

There is just onnnnne problem, though. The thought of shooting a wedding terrifies me. I’m hoping that they decide to go with another photographer. Actually, I’m praying for that very thing.

I’ve mentioned on one social media outlet or another that I do not yet know what my niche is. I have pretty much figured out, though, that weddings are not it. And there is a very good reason for that. Being a wedding photographer has one major downside.

There is no do-over.

You cannot reshoot. Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime events and I couldn’t bear the thought of, at best, not getting enough good images. And what if I fuck it all up? Yeah, let’s not even go there, ok?

So, I bet you’re wondering where we left it. Kind of in limbo, actually, since it was just a recommendation. I’ll just have to wait and see if they decide to hire me, and try to keep my anxiety on its leash until then. Oh, and maybe figure out what I might charge to do it.

It’s true what they say. Be careful what you wish for.

Hold me.