The detox centre.
Bella needed medication, needed guidance to come off the alcohol before she entered rehab. She was booked into the detox centre for a two-week stay. After one week, I received a phone call, ‘Can you and Dad come and visit, and meet my care worker?’
Christmas eve was the day we went to visit Bella. We dreaded going to such a place, to see our daughter there.
It was a huge Victorian house on a tree-lined street. Men, in hooded jackets milled outside, dragging on cigarettes. Husband took a deep breath, and inhaled unwanted nicotine, when he read the plaque on the wall: Mental Health services, this hit him hard.
The smell of institutionalised food smacked our sense of smell. The lights were bright, interrogating. We walked past the day room where hardened men sat. The colour disappeared from our face. Husband and I were led down a corridor to a private room here sat our daughter and her care worker.
The care worker was younger than our daughter, what experience could she have? She gave advice on how to forgive our daughter. This young girl advised us on forgiveness. We the loving parents who supported our daughter. Who forgave her time and again, when the daughter treated us badly were lectured on forgiveness? She said in her experience, not many years of, Bella would be one of the ones to make it–to recover--and become clean. We listened; we wanted to believe. Bella looked fresh and happy, and we were glad to see that.
Then, the care worker recommended that Bella should confess.