No matter the many attempts we can instill into our very own minds to gain once again control, often fear will consume you and just eat you alive.
Each day that came and went I wondered if I would get that phone call telling me that Savi had decided to end her life. I was both mentally exhausted and physically drained my ached and sleep was not the cure. My home had become a rotating door for both Department of Family & Social Services, Child Protective Services and with each knock on the door it was an emotional roller coaster with perfect strangers challenging me on the ability of being a good mother. One month I had a total of 32 workers that came pounding down my door. Often many of them found me at fault or blamed me for Savi's mental ability to think straight.
Sela who is a mixed color, her dad from Peru who carried the dark gene almost black in color and me just a plain white chick, was born with Mongolian spots which give to the untrained eye a bruising type appearance. She was diagnosed with it at three months old. Dr. Mall her pediatrician was the one person that educated me in such symptoms.
On one of the multiple visits from bitchy perfect strangers one lady was actually training someone on how to conduct home inspections. The newest lady had asked for me to disrobe Sela so that she can have a clear view on the allegations of abuse by me given by Savi. I remember planting her on the coffee table feeling so violated not only for me but for Sela. Sure, she was not even two yet but the fact that I had to succumb to such a horrible thing pissed me off so much.
The newest bitch in my house turned Sela around and noticed immediately the spots on her back. She actually took pictures of them as her form of evidence. As this was going on the person who was training walked into the living room after talking with Sara. Quickly she saw the spots and told the newest person to delete those pictures and to not accuse me of something she had no clue to what she was talking about. She even educated her on Mongolian Spots. My ass was saved!
The Call Finally Came Through
My life was seeming to get back on track. The visits from the many workers and case workers had actually slowed down. I remember I could actually feel like I could breath for very first time. Sara was back at school and the daunting teasing given to her by other students had taken a back seat. Sara was actually beginning to play with other kids in the neighborhood once again. Of course there were the many questions that did flow from her mind to her mouth asking when Savi would return and I always told Sara, "that my dear sweet daughter, is up to your sister, not me."
As I sit here today and shuffle through the mounds of paperwork on Savi, the phone call from her new facility came in Tuesday morning at 8:05 am. September 22, 2001. I was instructed to show up in the afternoon when visiting hours were to begin and to bring family and friends with me if I choose too. I remember my heart skipping a few beats and I couldn't tell if I was nervous to see her or excited to see her. As I took down the address that was when I noticed it was so far into Los Angeles. It was actually ten minutes from downtown LA. So, I decided to bring Raiza with me, Sela, and then pull Sara out of school early to hopefully beat traffic.
The drive over was super easy because traffic was going in the opposite direction. When we pulled up to the building it was just stark white with many windows both large and small. The parking lot was full of course and as I turned off the car I just sat trying to gather my thoughts. I still couldn't decide if I was pissed to be there or happy to see her. I have to admit, with her gone my life was so much easier. There was no drama or blood stained sheets, there was no fighting or screaming matches. It was actually peaceful and simple. Was it wrong for me to feel that way, possibly but I enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Walking up to the door there was a red button that said to call the nurses station to be let in. I had to identify who I was and who I wanted to see. Once the buzzer went off and I opened the door there was another set of doors. Before I even opened the second set of doors I along with everyone with me could hear the sound of a man screaming, "LET ME OUT I NEED TO MASTERBATE ON YOU, LET ME OUT I NEED TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU"
Fear just quickly set in, my heart began to race and I wondered what I was walking into with both my daughters. Once we entered the second set of doors there was the nurses station. There were multiple kids just walking around some holding dolls some holding blankets, some drooling, some staring at me. One even walked up and began stroking me telling me I was a pretty dolly. Her eyes were just glazed over and empty. She was what seemed to be maybe nine years old. She actually frightened the crap out of me. Sara quickly clung to my back grabbing my clothes cinching them telling me in fear that she wanted to leave she wanted to go home. Raiza grabbed Sela from Sara clinging to her in a protection like way warding off anyone that came up to her wanting to touch my youngest daughter.
My entire insides were just shaking. The nurse at the front station that greeted me with a friendly smile bolted from her seat quickly moving to the absent minded young patient telling her that touching me was not allowed and to go back to her room for a time out. The man that was screaming obscenities suddenly plastered himself on the four glass pain window completely naked screaming once again the repeated words we all heard before entering the second set of doors.
"Who did you say your here to see?" asked the nurse that came to my rescue once she was seated once again. I couldn't help but stare at the naked man through the glass windows. I just wanted to turn around and leave. This was the last place I ever wanted to be in.
"Ignore him, he does that at least fifty times a day. He wants you to stare at him, that's why he does that." I couldn't help but stare in fright. My attention was then drawn to another girl that was on the floor with a doll trying to shove her angrily into the floor dryer screaming over and over, "your a very bad doll, you need to get into the dryer for your time out, your a very, very bad doll, you did something wrong, shame on you."
The nurse at the station began snapping her fingers, "hey, who are you here to see?"
I swallowed what seemed to be the biggest gag of drool which tasted like vomit. I just wanted to puke up my guts. Sara continued to cling to me and Sela was just freaking out now.
"Were here to see Savi her daughter, her name is Dee and we have her sisters with us." said Raiza. I was just unable to speak, think from the commotion going on all around me. I didn't actually know what to expect but it certainly wasn't this.
"Oh so your Savi's mom, well its nice to finally meet you. Girl, that daughter of yours hates you so much but we all know its her mental disease." Just those words "mental disease" which rang over and over in my head just put me in a zombie like state of mind. I could feel the blood leaving my body and once again I asked myself the most familiar question I had now always asked myself, "what am I doing here, how did my life get here?"
"The doctor wants to talk to you before you have your visiting time with her." the nurse said with such a nonchalant tone to her voice. She stood up and took us to the office which was plastered in diploma's along with wood panel walls. His chairs were beaten and tore up. His desk unorganized and just a mess. I remember cupping my face and just beginning to cry. I felt a small hand on my back then hearing the small faint words from Sara, "it's okay mommy, its not your fault, I wanna go home mom, lets go home now please."
The door swung open and quickly an overweight doctor came in and introduced himself as Jeffrey Wilson the doctor that runs the facility. He closed the door behind him and then pulled the shades shut. He sat himself down then opened the folder for Savi.
"So, we need to talk about Savi and her reason for doing what she does. Does mental disability run in your family, I mean, has anyone ever been diagnosed with bi-polar episodes, depression, anxiety, any of the above?"
I just sat there stunned at his questions, I felt like I could just look right through him and see the many achievements on his wall.
"Well," I began, "it's nice to meet you too and no, no one has ever been diagnosed with all the above and to be honest I'm kind of bewildered at the questions."
"Mrs. Ayala," the doctor began and then I quickly stopped him, "that's not my last name, I was never married to her dad thank God!"
"Well," began the doctor then clearing his throat, "the evaluation of your daughter which was done at the Riverside Mental Institution and here, both of the evaluations shows heavy signs of bi-polar episodes, depression, and anxiety. We have placed her on medication to control the episodes of depression along with being bi-polar and we are working on a plan Savi and myself, to work through the anxiety."
I remember becoming very annoyed with the doctor, "so then you provided medication for my minor daughter without my consent, is that what your telling me?"
The doctor closed his file then once again he cleared his throat taking a long look at me with what seemed like a concerned state of mind...
"I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, I guess your not aware of it, but your daughter has been awarded to the state, so we are the one's responsible for her health and well-being now."