OMG! I have just had my first encounter with a truly crazy person. Yes, I have seen them, smiled a greeting at them, maybe even chatted with them, but I have just witnessed a serious mental breakdown. So finally, here’s the great story I said I’d have for you!
This girl showed up late to our second forum, seeming a little frazzled and tired. Her mom was completely overbearing, so I thought maybe it was a little bit of intimidation too. I let her settle in, telling her she could meet everyone the next day.
Then, we noticed day by day that her actions were getting weirder and weirder. A couple days into the forum, we discovered a note from her mother about her medical issues and what medications she was on. She hadn’t let anyone know beforehand – because of HIPAA law and confidentiality, she said – and didn’t include it on her emergency information sheet because she wanted the problems to be on the DL. But her plan also meant that we had no knowledge of any medical issues – we couldn’t plan to have her taken care of, to have her watched so she wouldn’t wander off, to make sure she was in a bed instead of the cot because of her “lumbar” problems…the list goes on.
This poor girl is on 16 different medications, diagnosed with at least 4 problems that her mother was willing to admit, and who knows what else. She's a pediatrician that medicates her own daughter with medications that should only be taken under monitored situations, and NOT taken with some of the other drugs she's on. She could barely focus on us when we would talk to her and she could barely walk down the hall without bumping into something. Not only was she over-drugged, but we knew she wasn’t taking her medication correctly because she would leave pills all over when she left her seat on the bus, in her MED session…anywhere.
Her mother refused to believe the things we said about her daughter, and refused to stay out of things. Next thing we know, we have her in her own room, just to make her mother happy. One morning, I get called to go to her room because she’s not with her group and they can’t get her to answer the phone. I go in her room, and it’s already a mess. She moved in after 11 the night before, and it’s already wrecked! Clothes everywhere, each of the three beds had been slept in, pills on the floor…it goes on. And she had obviously been up earlier that morning, because there was a full plate of breakfast food in the top drawer of her nightstand!
I call to her from the foot of her bed, and she wakes up a little startled, of course. Only she immediately closes her eyes again and goes back to sleep. I call again, and she says “yes?” She can’t even focus on my face! Again, I say her name and make her sit up in bed before I’ll leave the room to let her get dressed. I walk back outside to where some guys from our operations team are waiting for me, and we leave the door cracked so we can get back in, if needed. I see her get out of bed, hear some rustling…5 minutes later, I walk in the room, calling for her, thinking she’s in the bathroom. No, she’s now in a different bed, completely covered by a blanket and not responding! We called her mom, who told us that her daughter was just exhausted and she had given her permission to stay in bed and order room service that day (which, by the way, is NOT NYLF policy!).
The mom came later that day to take her home. When they're finally packed up and ready to leave, the family comes up to the office, and the daughter goes to my boss and says, “I just have to tell you, my time here has been just retched. It’s the worst experience of my life.” And it went downhill from there. We're trying to get them out of the office when the daughter starts freaking out – she’s screaming, hiding in the corner, running out in the hall and throwing her stuff around – just generally acting crazy. And the mom thinks this is normal! And if it’s not, then we're to blame for her distress! I call for our director of operations (he’s big and faster than hotel security) and I’m worried that she’s going to either destroy the office or injure someone before we can get her out. By this time, my boss is telling them to get out, that they are not welcome in the hotel and that she doesn’t need to stand there listening to them. I’m not sure how she finally got them to leave, but the next thing I know they’re storming down the hall to the elevators.
I don’t think the drama’s over, but it’s mostly out of our hands. We’re working on incident reports from everyone who dealt with her and shipping her the stuff she left behind. (and why would they leave behind some of the stuff in her room? It was all hers! Not that hard!)
That happened on Sunday (I’ve been trying to find the time to post this since then) and we’re still shaking our heads of the whole thing. This girl was certifiable. We’re not too sure why she even came here, but we are also glad that she’s gone and not our problem anymore. I feel sorry for her, and I wish that we could get her the help she needs. It’s obvious to all of us that her mother doesn’t admit that she has problems – it could be OCD, schizophrenia, manic depression, or a mix of all of these – but her mom just says she has ADHD (but has her on some pretty scary drugs!). This is definitely someone who is falling through the cracks of our protective services and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
That's all for now - one full day left before the kiddos go home and I can too!