Surviving Ophelia: Mothers Share Their Wisdom in Navigating the Tumultuous Teenage Years

By Cheryl Dellasega | Go to book overview

16
Where We Are Now

January 2001.

Shortly after Ellen left Utah and returned to the boarding school for "at-risk" children where she'd been admitted the previous fall, I received a call at work.

"Your daughter has a bad case of B-R-A-T," the voice on the other end of the phone concluded. "We want her out of here now."

Once again, crisis struck. When I phoned my husband to tell him the news, he voiced the same fear that was making my gut clench.

"If she comes home, she'll destroy our family."

A series of temporary arrangements were strung together until another catastrophe occurred and I decided it was time to get her.

"I'm bringing her home," I informed Paul, my maternal instincts overriding his commonsense argument that her presence would fling our house back into a state of chaos. He was probably right, but she was my daughter and she needed me, so I left to get her before we could argue about it.

"I'll take her away somewhere," I promised Paul and Joe when I returned a few hours later, remembering how that strategy had worked for Kim Hess author of "All She Needs Is You" in Chapter 13. As it turned out, we were only able to spend two days in a hotel in Lancaster, but during that time I began to believe Ellen had

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