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Here I am, my head in my hands, wondering…  How is it possible to feel so many different things at once…numbness descending from the top of my head to the tips of my toes…a towering inferno of rage rising in my chest…and icy fingers of fear dancing along my spine?  

I’ve got to go, must find out, what’s happened now?!?  Deep breaths, TG, deep breaths…whatever it is, it has already happened.  Don’t let your overactive imagination run away…but how in the world will we handle this?  What if she…Stop it!  You don’t even know what you are dealing with!  It cannot be good if she’s this upset…  

I calmly (calm, HA!) speak to Robert and several tournament volunteers, explaining why I must leave immediately, for an unknown length of time.  I sit alone in my car for a couple of minutes, attempting to wrap my mind around this brand-new, enormous challenge to be faced down.  The four minute drive home takes way too long and yet I arrive too soon…   

Grace is waiting for me on the deck when I pull in the driveway.  She paces the length of our sunroom, swollen-eyed and frazzled, jumping right into her story, skipping around, carefully confusing me with haphazard details.  I cannot keep up with the random, disordered story lines…  In my exasperation, I throw my hands up, and yell ‘Stop!  Enough!  I’m going to ask YOU questions, and YOU WILL answer me honestly; I want it straight-up, no hedging, no squirming around, no sanitizing your answers!!!  I must know EXACTLY what happened, moment by moment, from the time you got home yesterday.’  The line is slashed in the sand, I’ve thrown down the gauntlet…I WILL prevail in this battle of willfulness…  My intense, blistering interrogation starts, gradually prying the real story out of her, not some half-baked fairy tale…  

I fail to maintain my composure when the truth finally emerges; my pretense at poise and self-control evaporate completely.  Last night, the evening concluded when one of the kids Grace went to the game with was transported by ambulance to the emergency room for treatment due to alcohol poisoning.  I am so incredibly angry…sick to my stomach…hurting in my heart…and grieving anew…  I finally reach the stricken teenager and her family at their home…  I lose it…I have no command of this runaway emotional rollercoaster.  Her parents are gracious, openly acknowledging their child’s responsibility for the wrong choices made last night as well; they are not assigning blame elsewhere.  I am relieved she is okay…  I’m thankful on many, many levels…    

I decide to return to the tournament; I want to stay busy and be distracted from dwelling on this latest turn of events, if only for a little while.  I also need some time away from Grace, room to regroup and figure out a plan of action…  Obviously what I’ve been doing isn’t working…  Grace is on indefinite (how long is forever) lockdown; she has gone back to bed, as she slept very little last night.  She will be under the watchful eyes of her daddy for the rest of the day...  But I have to ask myself the seemingly simple question: what does watching her really mean for us anymore?  What should we do differently?  Can we really save her from herself?  The answer is not so easy to discern…  

Original blog posts have been re-posted under the month of March, identified as Archive-Part 1, etc.  Wishing you hope… TG  

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator 

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