Trust Held

I almost lost my seventeen year old daughter at the weekend. I let her go to a music festival, trusting in her judgement and in others. Part of that trust was misplaced. She made a huge error of judgement, did something incredibly stupid and ended up in intensive care on a ventilator. No drugs were involved. Except alcohol is very much a drug.

Behaving irresponsibly with it is something probably many of us have done. I know I have. We experiment, we find our limits.

I let a girl – a really good and sensible girl – a really inexperienced girl – go off for a long weekend, out of my reach, out of my jurisdiction, out of my hands.

She failed her own test. Tested her own limits. Stopped breathing.

Her friends, others there – young people – young people who so often get a bad rap – seventeen and eighteen year olds – saved her life with their quick actions. They, the medics there, the staff in the hospital she was taken to – all of them – in the hands of god – returned my girl to me.

She’s fine now, home. She’s shaken, she’s weepy, she’s in some disbelief.

Chris Nelson put life in context for me today. My trust is very much shaken. But also, weirdly, very much reinforced in others.

My daughter, my whole family, owe a huge debt of gratitude to every single hand that reached out and put love and care into action. I can’t ever begin to repay them. I can hardly bear to think of the consequences had they not. But I can’t stop thinking of them.

At least one person lost their life at that festival. How many more ended up in hospital I don’t know. From speaking to the nursing staff and others there I know that two hospitals admitted people – both young and old – with various injuries and complications arising from drugs, weather, conditions at the site, violence.

Eighty thousand people with access to almost unlimited freedoms gives license to act stupidly, irresponsibly, dangerously.

One mother, allowing her seventeen year old to participate in what I never felt quite right about, going against my own judgement, facilitated what occurred.

I’ve made some dumb decisions in my life – like mother like daughter? I’ve been incredibly lucky that none of those decisions have resulted in near death. This was not one of them.

How do I ever trust myself again to…. just how do I ever trust myself again?

One of the reasons I think I have always trusted, despite it sometimes being misplaced, is the belief in inherent goodness in people. Yes, sometimes, I’ll be wrong. But a lot of times, most of times, I won’t.

Rachel fucked up big time. She knows that. She’s learned something it can take a lifetime to learn – that life is precious and we can’t afford to play roulette with it.

I’ve learned that my faith in people is not misplaced. That there will always be people who rise to occasions, go above and beyond, because they’re good people. There are far more of those about I believe than the, admittedly, many who don’t.

I hope Chris won’t mind me quoting part of his poem here, the first post I read today, something I needed badly to hear, the post that prompted this post of mine. I didn’t want to share my stupidity, my daughter’s, our pain, our naivete, but maybe sharing it will help us and others. Chris’s words certainly helped me.

‘With head high

Stepping out into day’s silent arms

Trusting that the wire will hold…

…As you raise your head once more

And look towards the skies.’

Life is trust. To live is to trust. We hope, we pray, we fail, we fall, we rise. We go on. Trusting, because what else can we do?

My trust, overall, was not misplaced.

My belief in others, in love and goodness, in the hand of god in my life was, in fact, reinforced. Mercifully and with thankfulness that will last my lifetime.

I asked my daughter’s permission before posting this because it is not my wish to humiliate her or to cause her more pain. But, what happened at the weekend, how many people were involved in saving my girl, how much I appreciate the NHS, how grateful we all are for the final result and the care shown, is a testament to love and trust in action. My thanks to Rachel for allowing this. Our whole family’s eternal thanks to each and every one. My trust is held.

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38 thoughts on “Trust Held”

  1. dear God, Anne-Marie – I am so deeply sorry for Rachel’s terrifying experience – I have no advice, no wisdom, no observations – simply compassion for all of you – and from afar, a shared affirmation of my faith in the benevolent impulse of our fellow men and women when faced with a crisis

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    1. Thank you, Paul. We’re all still a bit shell-shocked. All of it so surreal. We, each of us in the family, are counting our blessings and praising every hand here and beyond that returned her to us, wiser and chastened and grateful. People never cease to amaze me.x

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  2. For a moment my blood ran cold when I began reading this, Anne-Marie, but thank (whatever you might believe in) she is safe and well. She clearly has a network of caring and sensible friends, and the medical profession always come up trumps.
    As you say, each one of us has made mistakes – hopefully Rachel will be able to learn from this and emerge a wiser and more mature person.
    My thoughts remain with you, and I hope that you will be able to take a little comfort from them.
    Take care. Chris x

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    1. Your words of this morning have already given me so much comfort, Chris. How could we go on in life without trusting everyday, even in the simplest of things? We’ll all recover from this, I know, and trust there are lessons for all concerned that will colour future decisions. Many thanks for your thoughts here and your words of this morning which were timely and taken to heart.xo

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  3. Anne-Marie, these were shaking words. I am so sorry this even occurred and so grateful its outcome was positive. My niece had a similar incident on her wedding day and was rushed to the emergency room where they literally cut her out of her dress to save her life. Her brother had given her a string of beverages that she was not used to having. It all happened in literally fifteen minutes. Rachel and my niece were lucky. That other poor child at the festival was not — how terrible. I didn’t expect this, but you are strong and I am sure Rachel will never be reckless after this. Hugs to you both.

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    1. It’s already beginning to feel like a lifetime ago, Beth, as she is up and about and so nearly back to normal. The resilience of youth is no myth. I think the full implication of her actions is only penetrating. It’s an awful thing to happen at any time let alone at your niece’s own wedding. The sooner things are back to normal the better although no one will forget the lessons learned.x

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  4. Anne-Marie, I am so very sorry that happened. I know from reality what it’s like to be on a ventilator. It’s a harsh, harsh lesson. I’m learning this same lesson still even after everything I have been through. Trust is so very hard to get right. You all have my love and prayers. I’m so very sorry.

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    1. Many thanks, Lisa. I know the circumstances were very different but, as you say, a harsh lesson nonetheless, one we have all learned from and will continue to.xo

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  5. There are no words to say that haven’t already been said. Trust, hope and reality sometimes get all messed up. Hope is the one we hold on to when everything else is too frightening. Today is the beginning of the rest of her life. One step at a time.

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  6. I’ve cried a few times since Rachel was in hospital, a few since she has come home to you, to us, and like you I have thought much of those who acted to save our beautiful girl. God bless those who acted so quickly and selflessly. xxxx

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    1. I know. We think, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’, never for a moment thinking of such a thing. She can hardly believe it, neither can the rest of us. But it’s sinking in and giving a new respect for the dangers of even the legal if abused.x

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  7. How frightening – more so that we have so little control, even when we think we do. I remember when my daughter had her first traffic accident and walked away. She grew up that day and hasn’t had one in the fifteen years since. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Rachel will remember how precious her life is. As much as I get gloomy about the human race, there are amazing people everywhere. That too is a wonderful lesson.

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    1. It’s so true what you say. We control so very little except perhaps recognising the need to control ourselves the best we can – something that’s a lifelong lesson. She’s back to normal after a few weepy days but with a new consciousness of life and people that I hope she never loses. Thank you for your thoughts and wishes, D.xo

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  8. So glad she is safe and back home with you. My daughter is 15 and I fear letting her go that first time. I am sure your daughter has learned a lifetime of lessons in the blink of an eye.

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    1. She’s good, she’s home and safe and has learned something I could never have taught by words alone but it has disturbed my equilibrium to such a degree that I don’t feel myself anymore. I can’t shake the pictures nor the possibilities. I know it will settle with time but she scared me beyond what I had ever envisioned. Many thanks for your wishes. It’s not an easy road being a mum or dad,that’s for sure.x

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  9. I am late to respond but so glad you still have your precious daughter! ♡
    The world is a mess, full of pitfalls and scary things but I must urge you that sometimes we have to let our “chicks” try things and fail. We all learn from our experiences in the world. I had my purse stolen in my small town library overy Mothers Day weekend. I was facing a tall man, on a computer whule he wss on one too. Only surveillance tapes revealed how the thief took it. I am not able to “see” him. He slunk down in his chair, used his feet to take it while I was blogging on a computer never suspecting. He put it into his backpack and took off. Sad, I will have to try and trust the people at library but hold purse on lap mot by feet. Staff told me there are 4 known felons or petty larceny convicts among the “public” visitors daily. I went 10 days without a phone, lost my really nice transition glasses and all photos from grandchildren moments for past 2 years.
    Could have been worse. Your Rachel’s scary situation is also a lesson learned; but 98 % of people are really good. 🙂 Thank you for liking a comment I made. Hugs to Rachel. xo

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  10. Many thanks. I’m sorry about what happened to you. It’s awful when your trust is abused or shaken. Thankfully, there are many more who do not. Hugs to you and thank you for your wishes.x

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  11. How terrifying, especially for you. I hope and suspect an important lesson was learned here. So grateful she is okay. So sorry you both went through this. Did you take some photos of her on the ventilator? This can be a rude and effective awakening about the incredible power of etoh. This exact situation happened to me with a young female relative, who is now a most well adjusted adult., so take heart. The photos and a couple of sessions with a therapist helped to drive home the life and death seriousness of this behavior. You both have my most sincere empathy and best wishes.

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    1. We didn’t, Cindy, although my eldest daughter who’s a nurse and was with us did suggest it for exactly the reasons you outline. I felt, at the time, that it would be intrusive. I did take one when she came to, looking like an orphan from the storm, but with her permission. On hindsight, I probably would recommend it as she didn’t see what we saw and was unaware. Having said that, through talking with us and the medical staff and later with her friends, she was left in no doubt about how serious it was.
      It’s a lesson in life I don’t think she’ll ever repeat. It gave her friends food for thought too as well as her siblings who perhaps view stupid risks somewhat differently now.
      Thank you for your thoughts and wishes, Cindy. I’m glad your relative learned her lesson too. Life is too precious.x

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  12. Any note I can leave seems inadequate, but I don’t feel right just clicking Like and moving on. I’m relieved. I’m horrified. I’m in awe of the people who brought her back to you, and to herself.

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    1. Thank you, Ellen. It’s difficult to read posts like this let alone comment. It’s difficult to write them too. I’m pretty private when it comes to my family except for humorous tales and those are usually very tongue-in-cheek. I had no intention of sharing this till I read Chris’s words and also had the chance to speak to the three young people who came immediately to Rachel’s aid. Two of them she knew from school but not very well and the other is a very good friend. Although they must have been shaken at what they had to do they did it, no question of not doing so. I get jaded, we all do, at stories and news we are bombarded with that tell the worst of people and their motives. Although we all wish it had never happened, trust and faith have been reaffirmed for all of us in the most basic goodness of people. That renews hope and I hope that, by sharing this, many more have cause to celebrate that inherent goodness.

      Many thanks again for your comment, Ellen. Rachel is very much back to the joys of life as is her nature, perhaps moreso, by virtue of the gift she received.x

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      1. I can’t help imagining the connection she’ll have with those three people–that even if they don’t become, or stay, close, they’ll have a deep connection. Maybe I’m romanticizing this, I don’t know, but I’m moved by what you wrote, both in the comment and the post itself.

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      2. I don’t think you’re romanticising it at all, Ellen. I had Rachel find out the numbers of the two lads so that I could speak to them, felt utterly compelled to let them know the difference they had made in my world and to tell them that their own parents must have done something very right in their raising. From what I can gather from Rachel, at least one of the boys is not without his troubles in life direction and I hope and believe that his actions that night, and speaking to him, may give him pause to think anew on his own importance in the world. All three were so self-effacing about what they had done and, apparently, only fully realised the significance after they knew what followed. Only one, who is younger than Rachel, is returning to school so they probably won’t see much of each other apart from Rachel and her friend. But, like you, I think there will be a connection there that goes beyond familiarity. I even told Rachel I was going to arrange a marriage with either one of the boys! – what’s not to love? They will, all three, forever hold a place in my heart.

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  13. I am so grateful that your daughter is ok…and that she has had a huge lesson. All’s well….that ends well…? I can remember learning lessons the really hard way…we have to have faith that it was necessary. My thoughts of healing go out to both of you…and try not to beat yourself up. ❤

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    1. Thank you kindly, Lorrie. I think Rachel has skipped three years worth of trial and error and grown up overnight. An awful way to learn a lesson but one she will never forget I believe. There are already some positive repercussions spinning off from the event and among those involved. What’s the saying? ‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good’ or something of the sort. Hard, at the time, to imagine that that might be the case but life certainly is weirdly wonderful.x

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