There are two definitions for Black Friday. One being the day after Thanksgiving when Americans trample each other to get the best deal, marking the first official shopping day of the holiday season. The second is September 24, 1869 when President Ulysses S. Grant released government gold for sale, causing gold prices to plummet and creating panic in the stock market. In our family, there is a third definition. The day we spent all day in the Lynn District Court trying section our drug addicted daughter only to be told there is nothing they can do if we can’t find her. To me Black Friday is the day I found out how exactly fucked our legal system is especially and specifically when dealing with addiction.
Everyone knew she had been on the run. I had made public pleas for her to come home. And she did. She listen to the one and only person she trusts wholly and completely, which is not me, and allowed him to bring home. Something I will always be grateful for. She walked in the door at 8am and was gone by 6. A lot of things happened in the middle, including fighting with her brother and hearing things she probably didn’t want to hear. I am told that we shouldn’t yell at her, that we are part of the problem because we remind her that she is a burden and make her feel unloved. To a certain degree I understand that except that our behavior is out of frustration because of how much we love her. It’s because of our deep and unconditional love that we are so angry. Not because she is a burden but because she is a burden to herself. Unfortunately out of anger things were said that can’t be taken back, and instead of defending her, I yelled too. It wasn’t long before she hit pavement. Bag in hand, no money and her phone, which no longer had service because I suspended it. I don’t know where she went. How don’t know how she got where she wanted to go but I know she was gone fast. We got in the car and tried looking for her but she was nowhere.
What do you do when you kid is on the street? Nothing. There is nothing I can do. I thought she would come around eventually. She never goes very long without checking in, even if we aren’t speaking or are not on great terms. I didn’t sleep much that night. I knew that this was a critical point. It was time to try sectioning her again. I woke up AC and we headed out early. First to Salem District Court. The woman there told us what we had been told before, you can’t section someone unless you have an address. She wasn’t willing to go in front of the judge unless we had an address. Well how the hell are we supposed to know where she is? Isn’t that the point? She is out there in the great big world, on her own, high and sick and doing god knows what to get what she needs. That’s why we are here. I say I think she is in Lynn. Oh, well, a section 35 Warrant out of Salem is only good for cities within Salem’s county seat. We have to go to Lynn District Court. Fan-fucking-tastic. Just to make sure we weren’t missing something, we stopped at her old apartment which is supposed to be vacant, she wasn’t there. We think we know where she is, at someone else’s house in Lynn. I drove around until I found the house that looked familiar.
At court we go through the whole process again. The physician at the Lynn Court was very helpful and supportive. But he educated us on some things we didn’t know. And here they are:
- A section 35 warrant is only good in the district it was issued. If a warrant is issued in Lynn but JoDee is stopped by a cop in Beverly, he/she has no authority to detain her.
- The warrant is only a day light warrant which means it is only good for that day and expires when the court closes. If she isn’t brought into custody, we would have to go back to court on the next business day to do the process all over again.
- If I give an address that I believe she is at, such as the old man low-life dealer, he doesn’t even have to answer the door. If he does the police can only ask if she is there and if he says no, they can’t search the premises or enter the home unless the guy allows them too. And I’m going out on a limb to say that a dealer isn’t about to open his home to the po-po.
Needless to say, they didn’t find her, the warrant expired and we still have no idea where she is. The first 24 hours went by with no word from her and I thought she is just holding out because she is mad. But now, at the time of my writing this post, we have hit the 48 hour mark and I’m worried. No, I’m terrified. She is out there somewhere, doing reckless things and risking her life. She might die with a needle in her arm believing she was unloved and unwanted. I can’t even think about it. I can’t really think about anything. I basically can’t do anything. I feel as though I am missing something. Like I have my legs, and my body and my head and my neck but my arms are gone. I want to do a lot of things and nothing at the same time. I can barely manage to get up. It’s depressing and disgusting and frustrating. Laundry needs to be done, groceries need to be bought, house needs to be cleaned and the only thing I want to do is drive around to see if I can find her on the street somewhere. Who does that? Whose life is this?