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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Rest of the Story

This is a Facebook post from December 21, 2013;

One of the longest days ever... Teale had one of the worst rages ever in the garage when Mark & I should have been on our way to his Mom's service. It was so horrid, he & I were actually screaming at each other b/c he wanted me to just go to the service & I wanted him to. So not us, but we've already laughed about it all. In the end we got there & Teale was great, no one would have believed what we had just survived...

But here is the rest of the story...My memory of "why" it started is gone, but I can still picture the scene. Mark's Mom had died from complications of Parkinson's & Parkinsons dementia a week before. I know we were in the garage when it started, our safety in danger. Teale was in full fledged rage, going after Mark and myself. When she rages, she has no filter, getting her to her safe place is our only saving grace. Generally, as she matured, if you could get her to the couch, she would stay there. Our house is a raised ranch, seven steps to her safe place and at about 200 pounds, we weren't going to be able to carry her. Our garage was a mess, dangerous stuff within reach everywhere. Teale grabs whatever she can to chuck at you, when in a rage. Many things have been broken over the years. We both have been the target of her near perfect aim. At one point, being bruised was my norm, she hurt me often & it just was, what it was. That day, we tried to reason with her, we even tried to wrangle her, but her adrenaline was out of control. She's stronger & extremely feisty in a rage. At one point, we called in Beau, our 18 year old. Usually I would not ask Beau for help, I've always had a thing for not involving my typical kids in rages with Teale. But this day was different, the clock was ticking and we were late for Mark's Mom's funeral. As our anxiety and frustration escalated, Teale probably got worse. I'm sure she could feel our emotions as we were not our usual very calm selves. All I kept praying was not now, please let my husband have peace. The whole situation was bizarre, we were overwhelmed, sad, angry and confused. Why, why now? As we decided to try and get her to the couch, the three of us surrounded Teale, who was on the filthy garage floor in her good clothes. Trying to figure out how to hold her, without any of us getting hurt, was discussed. She'd pull hair, gouge eyes, bite, the person near her arms and head. The person near her feet could get kicked in the face, we needed a strategy to carry her inside and upstairs, but then we just tried. We went in and she managed to out trick us, slipping and stripping out of her coat and her dress. Poor Beau didn't need to see his sister naked, the plan a failure, we gave in & let her down, somehow redressing her in the freezing cold garage. Her screams were probably heard by many neighbors, it was all so unbelievable. I kept imaging the people wondering where the hell we were. Why would anyone be late to their own Mom's memorial service? Teale was still full of adrenaline, going after us, threatening to throw stuff, screaming, biting herself, etc. I was scared for myself but more scared Mark would miss his Mom's service, so I started pushing him to just go, I'd be fine. Her behavior so irrational and dangerous, he refused. We got louder, tempers rising, not at each other but at the situation. I was screaming at him to take the other kids and go. Mark was screaming at me to do the same. We were out of hand, yelling over Teale, anger over not being able to just grieve normally, having to deal with this situation on an already horrid day. Mark wanted to protect me and I wanted to protect him. As I told him again to go, I'd deal, he again told me to go. It was ridiculous to me that he thought I could go to HIS Mom's funeral without him. Mark doesn't swear, so in turn, out of respect for Mark, I rarely do either, but at this point, I've lost my mind! I'm screaming at him, "Sure Mark, that would be fucking great, I show up at YOUR Mom's funeral and no one will hate me for leaving you with Teale! I'll look like an asshole! That's a fucking great idea!" My sarcasm flowing. "Mark, Just go!" I plead, "You can't miss your Mom's service, you'll regret it forever!" "I'm a grownass man, I'll do what I want!" He screams at me....
At this point I realize we are not moving forward and need a different plan. So we calm, regroup and start actually talking again. Mark admitting to Beau and I that I am right, I can't go alone, everyone will hate me. So I finally tell Beau, get Gwenn, take the van and go. Tell the family what's going on, try to stall. Send us help, if you can think of someone who can help us. Beau pulled out of the driveway and that was the trigger. Teale realized he and Gwenn were going to see family and she was missing it. She started to calm, people were texting me, asking where we were? Friends were worried and rallying. Teale was finally showing signs of decency again, I was hopeful. Then suddenly we were cleaning her up and in the car on our way. Many frantic texts being responded to on the ride. We got to the church and the first face I saw was my sister in law, Val, I fell into her arms, a puddle. Sobbing, but not for the reason everyone who saw me thought. I had just been through a war. I was completely worn, a bundle of emotions. So strange, the reality of what we had just gone through and then to see Teale now, happy and content with her cousins. No one could understand the hell of only moments before. Teale stayed with her cousins as Mark and I walked into the sanctuary, hand in hand. We were going to be able to pay our respects to his Mom. The entire service went off without a hitch, Teale was perfect, hanging with her brother, sister and cousins, just a few rows behind us.
Did she need to rage.? Was that how she was mourning? Was she feeding off of our emotions? Did that have to happen, to bring us back to the here and now? Was it a reminder to us that Mark's Mom would want us to take care of ourselves and our family? And to not worry or mourn her passing?

We walked out of the service at the end and greeted friends and family. Few of them knowing the scene in our garage, even fewer of them knowing Mark and I had had a rare moment of insanity toward each other. My girlfriends, who had been texting me during all of it, kinda knew. As they approached me in the line they handed me a Starbucks coffee, but it wasn't just coffee...

The moral of this story;  Mark is a grownass man, girlfriends rock, we are a resilient family, we are surrounded by love and laughter really is the best medicine. 

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