Wednesday 17 February 2021

Your Mid-Week Update for 02/17/21

Casey is a lot of things, but subtlety has never been her strong suit. From her first kill – even before I knew it was hers – I knew she was made to be loud and strong. I love that. I love that she has that adventurous spirit, a need to be independent. She’ll need that later in life but right now, it means she frequently gets written up in school for talking back or ditching school (which, seems less rebellious when it’s all performed online).

At least there are no trips to the principal’s office. Just Zoom meetings were the wi-fi “conveniently” cuts out after twenty minutes. I don’t have time for people who feel the need to micromanage children. So long as they aren’t being arrested and they’re learning something, what should it matter if their homework is late, or if they want to work with their camera off, or they (in my opinion, rightfully) call out their teacher for making them write a paper on family history – a rather insensitive topic in this and other houses.

I know who Casey’s mother is. Not sure if I talked about it last year, when I found out who she was – not James’ daughter but a girl escaped from a juvenile detention on a charge of attempted murder. Faking her death and changing her name was easy. Taking her across the country to be with us and create a new life was easy. Knowing who she was and keeping that secret from both of them, has been incredibly difficult.

Casey’s family history is a little unclear. The reason she was imprisoned in the first place is because she was convicted of stabbing her foster father “for the fun of it” (as per the court transcript). Unfortunately, he recovered and named her as his assailant and she was given no opportunity to learn, only punished for her crime.

Apparently, this was her fourth foster home in six years, consistently cited as “difficult to manage”. I don’t know what child they were “managing” but that little girl has been a dream. Although, I suppose I shouldn’t call her a little girl any more, she’s sixteen now. It’s hard to believe the girl we brought into our home all those years ago is growing up.

I can’t lose another one.

Anyways, her mother was apparently murdered by her father when she was eight and then he killed himself in front of her, but the notes from the lead detective on the case suggest that he wasn’t 100% certain that was the case. He believed that Casey had slit her father’s throat while he slept and when her mother woke up, she killed her as well. It’s a reasonable theory (and one I may be inclined to believe) but she was an eight-year-old girl, and it was a lot easier to imagine the alternative. But I know the truth: my girl has always been a killer.

It took some digging, but I found something that was left out of the local papers at the time. Her mother survived. She had lost so much blood and was in a near-vegetative at the time of the investigation, so the police declared it a murder-suicide, instead of waiting for her to potentially recover, and they took Casey away.

According to the hospital records, she woke up a few months later and checked herself out of the hospital – and by that, I mean she snuck out during a nurse rotation – and no one has heard from her since.

I found all of this with a few months of research and seducing an administrative assistant for access to patient records (I was very bored on my road trip with Heather, and the hospital was on the way). I can’t help but wonder what Casey’s mother might be able to find with a few years and a lot more free time.

But if that’s the case: why hasn’t she contacted anyone? Not the police, not her daughter; as far as I know, no one has heard from this woman in nearly nine years. Why?

This girl – this sixteen-year-old living in my house – has my name and my trust and my love. But I am not her mother, and a part of me is wondering if I should tell her the truth.

You didn’t see the look on her face when she asked me about her family history project. The sadness in her eyes, thinking that she had nothing and no one. I told her to use us (James and me) as the branches of her tree, but should I have told her what I know about her real history? Would it hurt her or help her? Is it even my decision to make? Her mother disappeared and never came back for her, why should we feel obligated to give her anything?

Keeping secrets in this family has always been disastrous and I can’t imagine this will be any different.

Part of me is hoping that she won’t care. That she’ll tell me that we are her family and she wants nothing to do with the life she had before. Another part of me is terrified she’ll go off in search of her mother and I’ll never see her again. The truth is: I don’t know what will happen.

She has always been her own person – defiant and curious and loud – and I have to face the fact that nothing I say or do will stop her from doing exactly what she wants to do.

Is it wrong to admit that I’m scared?

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe                    

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