“Mother, I’m just going to turn the baby into the Firehouse and jump into the river!” Jennifer shouted at her Mother as she was trying to make her way out the door.
Jennifer had been living with her Mother off and on for over two years now, and was battling both addiction and mental illness. A wicked combination. Her Mother, Jane, carried her own demons as well, but tried to maintain them for the sake of her family.
Jane had sought advice from friends in support groups about Jennifer, and Tough Love was suggested. It was time to make Jennifer grow or go, to stand on her own two feet. Her sickness was spreading to other members of the family, and unwilling to get any real help, Jane told her that she had to move out. She believed that Jennifer was saying these things out of manipulation, to get her to change her mind, as she had done so many times in the past. She told Jennifer that she had no control over what she did and left the house.
Jane heard a pounding on the front glass, she turned around and could see Jennifer brandishing a butcher knife, waving it around hysterically. She was screaming something inaudible. She placed the knife to her neck then to her wrists. Terror rose up in Jane’s heart. The baby was still in the house. Fumbling through her purse, she found her cellphone and called the emergency hotline.
“Help Me! My daughter is in the house with a baby and butcher knife threatening to kill herself!” Jane exclaimed frantically to the dispatcher.
Within minutes police and an ambulance were on the scene. Jane told them everything that had transpired that morning, and they went in the house to find Jennifer sitting calmy at the kitchen table.
The Patrolman informed her that she had to go for an evaluation at the hospital. She became indifferent telling him she did nothing wrong, and that they had no proof except the hearsay of a woman who wants her out of her home. A woman whom she made sure it was noted for the record had a scar on her left wrist from a botched suicide attempt . A woman who is on Bipolar Medication. Who should they believe, the one on medication with a twenty year old scar or someone without a smoking gun, so to speak?
Jennifer spoke with the officer’s supervisor and he tried to get her to go for an evaluation as well, but she insisted that she knew her rights, and that as long as she had no visible signs of trying to harm herself there was no possible way they could force her to go to the psychiatric center. He did escort her to her room to get some of her belongings and escort her from the house.
Later that day Jennifer called Jane Up after seeing that she had posted a Three Day Notice of Eviction and told her that she would sign a notarized document stating that she agreed to move out for the best interest of all parties involved, in lieu of filing a formal eviction with the court, so long as Jane paid her one hundred dollars. Jane realized she was being strong armed by Jennifer, but agreed.
Standing on the front porch, Jane and Jennifer were sharing a cigarette and trying to say goodbye. Jane still loved her daughter, she was, after all, her daughter. Jennifer went off into conversation with Jane that made the hair on neck stand up.
“Mother, I put on quite the show today. Deny, Deny, Deny, and push it off on the other guy. You should have seen your face when I came to the door with that knife, “Jennifer chortled, ” You looked like I imagine one of your readers look when they read one of yours or Alex’s stories. I had them thinking you were the nutbag seeing things, I could almost hear Hitchcock music playing in the background. I even made a hundred bucks out of the deal. Oh , by the way, that butcher knife, it’s behind the sink in the kitchen. “