Thursday, June 25, 2009

Never a Dull Moment in Trueself's World

I started writing this yesterday but didn’t get it finished. There are a lot of references to “today”, “yesterday” and the like. As you read shift in your mind one day back. I suppose I could post this with yesterday’s date on it, but I’m not going to do so. Instead, you just have to shift everything by one day. On the other hand, you probably don’t really care what day it happened so you can just read it as is. Whatever. . .

There are a lot of things that I never expected to do in my lifetime. For example, I don’t expect I’ll ever fly to the moon. I don’t expect, even though it has been a longtime dream of mine, that I’ll ever run for president of the United States. I don’t expect I’ll ever be famous for anything.

I did something today I never expected to do. I went and picked somebody up when they were released from jail and took them to the bus station giving them a little money for food and drink at a sandwich shop before the bus left.

Nope, if you told me yesterday afternoon that’s what I’d be doing this afternoon I would’ve said that my flying to the moon or running for president or being famous were just as likely. As it turns out though you’d have been right, and I’d have been wondering today how you knew that in advance.

The somebody was BJ’s daughter. He’s explained on his blog how she ended up in jail so I won’t rehash that here. When he emailed me to let me know she’d been released I offered to help him in any way he might need. He emailed back that I could pick her up and take her to the bus station so she could catch the bus later this afternoon to take her back home. It just happens that I work not terribly far from the county jail so it would take me far less time than it would take him, some 30 to 45 minutes once he left his place, to get there. Also, due to last evening’s happenings he thought it was better if he and she only saw each other in a public place with lots of people around, and the bus station would certainly fit the bill.

On my way to the jail all sorts of thoughts flitted through my head:
What if she became violent with me on the way to the bus station?
What if she was so embarrassed over the situation that she didn’t speak to me for the entire drive?
Why did N leave that baseball bat in the car? What if she used it as a weapon against me? Would I have the heart to use it if I needed to defend myself?
What should I say to her? Somehow “How’s it going?” wasn’t going to cut it.
How do you pick someone up at the jail? Is there a front desk where the receptionist/deputy/clerk is waiting to ask who you are there to pick up?

Of course things went more smoothly than I anticipated. It turns out there’s a set of glass doors that are unlocked at the front entrance to the building. Then you get to the set of glass doors that are locked. You can see a couple of rows of chairs in the room beyond the doors, a waiting room of sorts (turns out it is the area where people released from jail wait for whoever is coming to get them and where visitors wait when it is visiting hours only hence the locked door when it is not visiting hours) but without the magazines from what I could see. In a couple of chairs are sitting a couple of very big and mean looking guys, the kind of guys you wouldn’t want walking up to you if you were on a deserted street. On the other side of the room, standing along the wall near the doors is a very nervous looking young woman, BJ’s daughter. She saw me and came out. I asked her in a concerned way how she was feeling. She answered, “Okay, I guess.”

On the way to the bus station she was a very humble and reserved young woman. A night in jail had some effect apparently. She shared with me that the food was not good there (no surprise) and that she would have to return to court late next month. I don’t know, but I’m guessing she was released on her own recognizance. Hopefully, she is responsible enough to show up for her court date. We talked, just light chit chat, for the ten or so minutes it took for me to get her to the station.

As I dropped her off at the bus station, she turned to me before she got out, looked me in the eye and said, “Thank you.” I told her it was no problem and that I was happy to help out. She smiled (first smile I’d seen since I picked her up), and said, “No. Really. Thank you.” I smiled back and told her to take care of herself.

I teared up a little as I drove away. I can just imagine, that like me, she probably wondered all sorts of things about how it would go when I picked her up. She was probably a little afraid I would scold her, or perhaps ask too many questions, or lecture her, or who knows what. As it was, I tried to keep the tone light, but not too light, and let her lead our discussion. I figured there was no sense adding more pressure to the situation. I think that’s why she was thanking me, for making the ride across town as easy as possible.

If you’re the praying kind and happen to think of her I’m sure she could use a few prayers on her behalf. I know I’ll be praying for her. Schizophrenia is a devil of an illness, not one easily managed or controlled even with medications. In my book she’s a brave girl battling to overcome it and struggling with the lapses that occur. It’s hard enough being 19 without the additional problems that come from having schizophrenia.


Val said...

Curiouser & curiouser... Never say "Never" I guess!
You done good, babe.

channeal said...

My sister-in-law has a kind of schizophrenia. She is in hospital at the moment, pretty bad. I'll certainly pray for BJ's daughter - and I'd appreciate some prayers for my S-I-L too, if you get you get the chance. Thanks.