Let me begin by telling you a little bit about Ashley. Ashley is my 14 year old daughter. She is a special needs child with many issues including mild mental retardation and Aspergers Syndrome. Ashley lives in a group home and has for some time. I felt that she was better off there,in a place where she would receive all of the services and support she would need to get her life on track. I thought they could give her things that my husband and I could not. Wrong,so wrong!
Thursday night I got a telephone call that absolutely cut me to the core. “we are very sorry to have to tell you this but Ashley went AWOL this evening. The police found her. I really don’t know how to tell you this but she tried to commit suicide. She’s in the hospital being treated right now.” I can’t even begin to describe how I felt at that moment. Ashley was supposedly well enough to be released back to the group home on Friday. I was prepared for intensely emotional phone calls from her and so forth but I was in no way prepared for what happened next.
Saturday night I received another phone call. “We are really sorry to have to tell you this but Ashley went AWOL this evening. We are actually filing the missing persons report now.” At this point I’m not only upset and scared,I’m seriously pissed!
About ten minutes later I get another phone call. This time it’s Ashley calling me from someones freaking cell phone! She voluntarily tells me that she went to WalMart and Quick Stop with her new best friends. I knew that I had to keep her on the phone with me and get as much information as I possibly could. This is no easy task as she functions at the level of a 7-8 year old,she’s really angry and upset,and to make matters even more difficult;she has a very difficult time reading. I know that I have to be careful not to let on how freaked out I’m feeling so,I’m saying things to her like,”hey Ash is it a cool car? What color is it?” “Yeah mommy it’s a cool car,it’s small and it’s black.” Argggg!!! Little by little I’m getting tid bits of information that may or may not be helpful in finding her.
My husband grabs my cell and ends up calling a total of 3 different police departments before we are able to figure out what city/county she’s in. Ashley eventually gets mad at me because I’m asking too many questions and decides to hang up. By some miracle there it is,the guys full name and number on my caller ID. The police tell us that they know who the guy is and where he lives. I don’t know whether I should be jumping for joy or going into a total panic.
I decide to call the number back and this guy Zyggy actually starts talking to me. He tells me that he wants to help her but he doesn’t want any trouble with the cops blah blah blah but he lets me talk to Ashley again. My husband and I switch phones and he talks to her for awhile so I can speak with the police dispatcher. I honestly don’t even remember how many times my husband and I switched phones etc before the cop says “I’m pulling into the Quick Stop now. I will call you as soon as I have any information for you.”
After waiting for a half an hour I called the police department back to see if they could tell me anything. The dispatcher assures me that the moment “he clears” he will call me and tell me everything he knows. Talk about frustrating!
Finally the phone rings and it’s the police. They found my daughter at Zyggy’s house! Thank the powers that be that she’s ok! Still the fact that she was in the company of two full grown men really bothers me. It also bothers me that Ashley threw a rock at the cop. That however worked in our favor. The police were able to use the rock throwing incident to detain her.
Ashley will go to court today. Unfortunately I won’t have any information on how that went until tomorrow. They will most likely end up releasing her back to the group though.
You might think that this would mark the end of the story at least for now,but it doesn’t.
Something or someone had to have upset her enough to set off this chain of events right? Given what I already know combined with what I learned from one of the supervisors at the group home,I know damn well who and what caused this nightmare.