About a year ago I was leaving one family to start working for another one. There was a full week "free" before I started working for my new family. I was contacted by a family on Sittercity asking if I was by chance available to do a week of overnights (Sunday-Friday night) for their daughter. I thought it would be nice to pick up a weeks pay when I thought I wouldn't have one and agreed to a phone interview to see where things went. I had a perfectly normal conversation with the father who filled me in on his situation. He was a newly divorced man with a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. His son lived with his ex wife and therefore wouldn't be around. He went on to rave about his daughter and all of the things she was involved in. Typical dad stuff. He said he would need me from 5PM until I dropped the girl off at her school the next morning at 7:15AM. He asked me my rate and I told him it was $150 per night for the hours he had listed. He negotiated down to $125, which I was totally okay with considering that the girl was 15 and probably wouldn't be much effort, he didn't want me to do any major cleaning and I would only be awake for 5ish hours once I got there at night.
The father had me come over to meet his daughter and so that he could meet me the night before I was to start working for them. The daughter seemed nice enough, the father seemed fine as well. No red flags. And as I look back on this experience a year later I am stunned that I still notice no red flags. I went through all of the usual questions making notes as I went along. "Any medications? Any allergies? Contact information of emergency contacts, doctors numbers," etc, etc. Nothing notable or important comes up. Sunday at 4:55 I show up at their front door. The father is just finishing up packing for his business trip and makes pleasant small talk with me as he runs around gathering last minute things. The daughter is out with some friends and due to be back any moment. He places an envelope with $200 in spare cash on the counter for take out and whatnot. As dad is walking out the front door he answers his cell, hangs up quickly, then turns around to tell me that his ex wife will be bringing his daughter home in an hour and that she is not allowed in his home under any circumstances. Okay, people get weird after divorces. Especially when they are so new. It's odd but okay.
Mom comes and drops the daughter off. She greets me with a big hug and a warm smile. From the porch of course. Apparently she knows not to step any closer to the front door than right there. I'm amused at this but of course say nothing. The evening goes pretty smoothly for a while. Dad sends me a text message at 9:05 telling me to make sure his daughter goes to bed RIGHT away. She heads off to bed and I sit down on the couch to watch the news for a few minutes before going to bed myself. As soon as I sit down my phone rings. It's the Father and he made it all the way to Georgia in record time and realized he forgot to mention a few things to me about his family. Eyebrow is definitely raised at this point. He tells me that his daughter is on 2-3 (I can't remember exactly how many) pills every morning and evening (after he had specifically told me when I was going through my "check list" that she was on none). He explains and has me write down what meds she gets when and stresses over and over again how important it is that she get them around the same time every day. He goes on to say that daughter is bipolar. I'm super pissed that the father lied to me about this information earlier when I was still making my decisions about whether or not to accept this job but I can't help but think about how even tempered and pleasant the daughter has been the past 4ish hours she's been around. I let Dad know that I asked the questions I did in the interview for a reason and I feel like he misrepresented his situation to me. He seems understanding but doesn't say much. I ask if there is anything he forgot to mention to me and he says no. He briefly says his daughter hasn't had a manic day in months and months and all should be fine as long I check behind her in the morning/evenings to make sure she has taken her meds as directed. Whatever.
The next day I ask her if she had her meds, double check, walk out the door right on time for school. Monday goes smoothly. Tuesday it's harder to get daughter to wake up in the morning, but I remember being 15. So I don't think much about it. Same routine as the day before, double check her meds, head out early enough to pick up a coffee for her with the cash her dad left for these things. Around 2PM I get a call from her mother. The one who seemed so happy a couple of days before. She is sobbing about her divorce and how hard it is on her and the kids. Then mentions that she is having a very hard time letting go. She continues to sob and I have no idea what to do as I have NEVER heard a stranger, much less an MB, behave this way. She goes on to talk about her extreme depression and her battle with her bipolar disorder. Yep, she is bipolar. Not "I'm okay and I'm coping with it" bipolar, but the kind of emotional trainwreck lifetime movies thrive off of. This call had ZERO point/rhyme/reason. She just wanted to vent I guess.
Later that night I notice what I think is Mom's car parked in the top of the driveway. It's pitch black outside and all I see are the headlights in the pouring rain. After about 10 minutes it turns and pulls away. I have no idea if it was her or not but I have every reason to think it was. The next day Daughter wakes up before my alarm has even gone off and bursts into my room screaming about her make up. She thinks I stole it and is very loudly accusing me. I calm her down and offer to help her search. We find the make up exactly where it had been the entire time I've been there, right on the bathroom counter in her room. We are running behind now and I rush to give her the meds she needs to take. It's Wednesday and she is pissed when I tell her we are running too far behind to stop for the B1G1 coffee special the place she likes to go has each week. She has to be at school at 7:15 and it's already 7:05 we'll be lucky to get there on time as it is. Daughter cries in the car the entire way to school. I call her Dad after she gets out of the car and explain the mornings events to him just so he knows what is going on if his kid calls him and says differently later on. On the drive back to my house I think to myself, "this is no worse than when a toddler has a meltdown and I've dealt with that thousands of times before. Just two more days and I'm free". I get a call that day from Daughter at 1:15. She is in school and wants me to call her schools office and give them permission to let her out of school immediately. Her reasoning has something to do with wanting to catch the public bus and venture to a mall on the other side of her town. Seriously?!?! I tell her I don't think that's appropriate, but that I will call her Dad and let him know what his daughter wants. Dad laughs. He finds this humorous? He agrees with me that she shouldn't leave school. Daughter calls me back from the office crying. Too bad princess (I think in my head).
I head up to her house at 4:45. Daughter is literally on the floor sobbing. I never did figure out what for. Eventually I coax her into taking her meds and maybe going to bed early that night. Her Mom calls me again. This time she has some bizarre idea that her daughter needs to drop out of High School ASAP and go to community college. Something about her daughter getting sleepy while in school and the flexibility of community college instead. I politely tell her I really have no opinion on the matter and she should wait until her ex husband comes back into town to talk to him about it. I quickly get off of the phone. She calls back at 1AM and leaves a long rambling message with frequent crying breaks talking about how when her daughter was a toddler she used to shove her hand down her throat to make her throw up. I have no idea if she meant the adults hand down the childs throat or the childs hand down the childs throat. Not that it makes much of a difference. Shit was weird.
Thursday morning. I can't get the daughter to wake up. I pound on the door. Nothing. She finally gets up without saying anything and walks to the center of the living room sobbing. We have less than 10 minutes now to leave to get to school on time. I'm dreading telling her that we once again do not have time for coffee because I remember the temper tantrum thrown previously. She rips off her shirt and bra. I kid you not. And sits there rocking back and forth screaming/crying. I don't even try to talk to her at this point. I grab the knife block when she isn't looking and put it in the hall closet. Just to be safe. I call her dad as soon as I have the knives hidden. He talks to her on the phone. She throws the phone across the room (my phone) and it breaks. Great. Dad immediately calls the home phone and I pick up (keep in mind it's been less than 5 minutes since the girl woke up) and the girl stands up topless and runs into her fathers room. I hear the bathroom door SLAM shut. Daughter is cursing as loud as she can. I can't really hear what Dad is saying but I tell him that I do not feel safe any longer in his home and I am canceling all services immediately. I will email him my bill for the week and be by to pick it up the following day. The daughter runs out of the bathroom after I hear an extremely loud sound. She punched through her fathers vanity mirror and her fist is cut open and bleeding everywhere. It looked horrendous. I step on the front porch with my bag and the phone. I call 911 for the girl and I leave as soon as the call is done. I realize I probably should have stayed. Even if it was while locked inside of my car with the ignition on. But the kid just punched a mirror and 2 holes in the wall. Hell no I wasn't going to stick around after that.
Saturday evening I was going to stop by and pick up my check for 4 nights pay. My Husband insisted I stay in the car and he would go talk to the father and collect my fee. Thank God he did because my nerves were completely shot when we pulled up to the house. This time I was the one sobbing for no apparent reason. My husband got back in the car and handed me my check. He was gone for over 5 minutes and I almost called the cops because I couldn't see him in the window anymore. It turns out that that envelope of $200 cash the dad left for us was taken by the daughter and hidden somewhere and now dad believed I had stolen the extra money from him and was trying to subtract it from my check. My Hubs threatened to bring the police into the matter and the dad quickly wrote a check for the correct amount. Lesson learned. But it was a terrifying one.
at 3:13 AM