It started with a stressful evening.
Yet it changed, over time, so much for us, Princess, Stella and I, and I feel grateful having been a part of this story. I’ve learned to be patient and understanding but most of all I experienced the satisfaction of opening my heart and mind to others and I got two treasures of real gold back in return.
Boy it was one heck of a ride!
This is how I experienced it and I know for Princess it was only a sad continuation of loved ones in psychiatric care.
For Stella it was and is, I think, more about growing, transcending her selves and she did one hell of a fine job.
On January 3th (2013) Princess and I fetched Stella and Star at the maternity, drove to the city so Stella could officially register her daughter and then I drove them to the Mother/Baby psychiatric care unit that I soon started to call simply “4”.
What I remember of that evening is that I had to stop on numerous occasions so Stella could run out of the car and vomit. Stress.
At the care unit I told Princess to take care of her daughter and the baby, I would unload the car.
The brick I had put against the door to prevent it to close slipped away and the doorbell didn’t work. So I rang Princess and felt her iPhone vibrate in my back pocket. I finally found myself yelling “Hey my love open the door” on the street and it took a fucking long time before it occurred to Princess I was missing. Ah, love… 🙂
A few weeks later, during our first Salsa dance lesson, Stella texted everyone in her phonebook telling them she was infected with some deadly disease and prayed Star would be in good hands. That evening Princess and I spend our time doing damage control, texting and phoning, assuring friends and family nothing was wrong.
Psychosis is so nasty, so mind fucking, an evil SOB, I know, I have been there too, not that bad or deep but I know what it is. What it feels like.
During her pregnancy Stella was not able to take her medication and finally psychosis kicked in again.
It took some time for Stella to get a grip and the drugs to work. I saw a distressed and lost girl, a young mother, clawing to survive in those first weeks of then year 2013.
During the first few months I kept a low profile as Stella has an issue with trust but then she started to accept me. It was a very slow process though, but I could relate to that. Some things take time as long as there is the intention of making progress.
The Boy, Ar and Bo for example, Princesses other kids, never ever, in the two years Princess and I are together, made an effort to get to know me, they simple banned me from the start, the “foreign = bad” mentality.
When Princess could not free herself from work I drove Stella and Star to “4” and during the trip there was small talk, mostly questions from Stella, curious to find out who I am.
Princess and I took Stella and Star twice on a daytrip and both times it was fabulous and fun.
Past Wednesday, the penultimate trip to “4”, I drove Stella and Star as Princess had to work. We talked and Stella confided to me, told me about her feelings towards her father and when I briefed Princess she simply told me it was so great to see how Stella trusts me and tells me things she does not want to tell her therapist.
I must admit, I consider Stella almost as my daughter and Star as my granddaughter although I officially never will be. Neither Stella nor her siblings will ever accept that thought and I understand as doing so they would betray their late father.
Stella’s time at “4” was limited yet she stayed longer than most residents. I remember how many times we visited apartments so she could start a life on her own. Stella was turned down each time.
Single mom, no income (she has a replacement income), all the fucking blabla and more than once the not so nice thought occurred to me, hell, owner, I would like to see you on the streets to be spit on because you are, momentarily, out of luck.
Finally Star got an apartment through the social housing company. Her brother and sisters repainted the place, I did some things too and tomorrow, August 30th, Star and Stella are moving out of “4” and moving into a new life. For the first time Stella will be on her own yet closely followed up by different social support organizations.
Princess and I are going to fetch Stella and Star tomorrow.
I’m sure Stella will make it. She has her mother, and her brother and sisters to look after her and her little baby Star. And me.
It will be difficult though. For example I made a label with her name for the doorbell and asked for her permission to stick it on the doorbell. Not even half an hour later she asked me to take it away because it made her feel uncomfortable. Maybe her abusive ex-boyfriend and father of Star could track her down. Fears, trust, Stella has to coop with it.
But Stella and Star are surrounded by love and she will never be alone.
I wish Stella and Star all the best and I will do everything in my power to help them. They are a part of my family and I love them both very much.
Princess and I don’t live together so I am finally an outsider and I have some concerns.
Driving to “4” mostly took some 2 hours back and forth and half of that we were alone, Princess and I, stuck in the privacy of the car and being able to discuss everything. That will be gone.
Stella has subscribed to several evening courses and I’ve promised her that, when the weather is bad, I’ll drive her back and forth as she has to do everything with the bicycle.
So in the future I’ll be seeing her now and then.
But when Stella is on such an evening course it is Princess who will be babysitting and for convenience this will be at her place, her home where I am not welcome.
I’m barely tolerated at Princesses house, just accepted for the time it took to pick up Stella and Star when I drove them to “4”.
The Boy, Ar and Bo resent my presence in their mother’s home so I won’t see baby Star that much anymore and that idea makes me incredibly sad.
I will miss Star’s laughter and babbling, holding her, telling her stories so much.
The most important though is that Stella and Star are starting a new future. Stella has come a long way and I am so very proud of her.
I’ve seen just one year’s difference and it is remarkable.
Yes, I am so proud of Stella as if she is my own daughter.
She really is something!
I will miss the time with them so much…
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