My daughter, Emily, has been struggling with depression, anxiety, and mental illness since she was 11. Some of her issues stem from the sudden and violent death of someone very dear to our family, especially Emily, at the end of 2012. Emily saw this person as a “step-mother.” We saw her on Christmas Day, 2012 and the day after she was killed in a car accident going home from our house. I had to tell Emily and my son what had happened and it was their first close, sudden experience with the loss of a loved one.
The death affected Emily in a number of ways. She began to self-injure and made several attempts at suicide over the next year. This led to many hospitalizations and a residential stay for over a year at multiple treatment facilities. She came home in the summer of 2014, went to school, got good grades, participated in her therapy and stayed on her medication.
In October of 2017, Emily attempted suicide again and was hospitalized. We discovered she had been in contact with some people, many of them adults, who she thought at the time were her “friends.” These people were giving her drugs and facilitating her running away from home and taking part in very inappropriate behaviors.
We have been living for the last few years in an area that is pretty infamous for drugs, violence, and crime. One of our next-door neighbors is a drug dealer. Our other neighbor shot his wife and tried to kill his two kids and is currently in prison. There have been two homicides and several drug-related deaths within walking distance of our home in the past two years. Our mail gets stolen and opened. I find empty alcohol and NyQuil bottles on our front porch on a regular basis. I hated moving here, but it was the only house we could find to accommodate my family and our two roommates, who all needed a place to live. Many of these individuals that exacerbated Emily's self-destructive behaviors and introduced her to very serious and dangerous substance abuse issues live in our neighborhood.
In November of 2017, Emily went into a residential program for trauma and substance abuse. We've been doing family therapy session weekly and she has also been doing intensive personal and group therapy, and I'm happy to report Emily is making great progress in addressing old trauma and the behaviors that arose from it. She is taking responsibility for her actions and planning for a future without social media and with friends that respect and support her, not abuse and use her. She wants to graduate high school or get her GED and then plans on going on to community college and then a four-year college to pursue teaching as a career. Once she is discharged from the residential program she will be going to a group home program and continuing her treatment, getting stronger and healthier.
Here's the point where we need your help if you can spare it.
For Emily to be able to come home to me, I need to move us out of our current residence and move to a place geographically distanced from the city we are currently in. There are a lot of people here that she's trying to stay clear of until she is strong enough in her recovery to be able to handle that pressure. I also need to provide a residence that has no roommates, or non-family members in the home. What this all means is we have to find a place I can afford to move into alone and some distance away from where we are now. Emily still has healthy supports locally, like her grandmother and sister and I have friends and family here too so I'm looking about 20-30 miles outside the city, but will go further if need be.
I work for myself and get paid per assignment. I don't make a ton of money but I make a living, and I'm always trying to pick up extra work. I want to pay our way and cover our bills. I am looking at housing that we can afford and sustain. Right now, I have a limited amount of time to secure housing and meet the requirements to allow her to come home. At present, it looks like Emily will be ready to come home by the end of summer. That's roughly 4 months.
What would help is if you have any ideas for rentals I could look into. You can privately contact me to get more detail about our location, or anything else. I'm trying to keep a lot of personal information off of the internet, but am happy to talk privately.
If you know any community programs or private organizations like churches that might be able to help, I'd really appreciate you passing that information along.
And, finally, if you can contribute any funds to helping us get in the front door, it is greatly appreciated, more than I can say.
I'm looking at rents around $600-$650, utilities around $500-$550 a month. I figure deposits for the first month will be first and last month's rent, and utility deposits of $400-$500 for gas, water, and power.
I truly appreciate your time and thank you for any assistance or ideas that could help us.
I would ask you please be very selective about sharing this information. I want to get the word out to as many people as I can but I'm trying to also keep information about Emily away from the people who were hurting her. At least one of them has made inquiries through friends of friends to get detail on where she is and when she is home. She desperately wants these people out of her life forever and so do I. I am pursuing legal means to keep them away from her with law enforcement.
I never thought I'd be doing this, but Emily is a wonderful person. She's been through so much awful stuff to be as young as she is. I see her now fighting so hard to make her life better, to start over fresh. I'm so proud of her and I will do whatever I can to help her.
Thank you, so much, and take care,
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