Butterfly grew up with food intolerances and was diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger's
Syndrome, and learning difficulties. Now she struggles with OCDs.
This is the story of how we have faced these challenges.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Police Are Called

One morning Butterfly slept in a little later than usual and got up on the grumpy side of bed, to put it mildly. We figured we were dealing with an instance of low blood sugar, so I wanted to get some protein into her quickly. She demanded fried potatoes. Now, that's mostly carbs and it just didn't seem like a good idea to give her only potatoes under the circumstances. I thought a couple of eggs would be a good idea, with potatoes was fine. But there was no reasonable discussion about it. All I got out of my mouth was, "no, you can't have just...." when she flew into a rage and, to put it simply, she trashed the house.

Now quite truthfully, our house is never neat and tidy anyhow. The second time I brought Butterfly's dad into my apartment when we were dating, he said, "everything is in the same place." Well, yeah. Of course it was. A place for everything, and everything in its place. I realize in hindsight that this observation of his had significance, but I chose to overlook it at the time because I thought he was cute. Eventually we got married and I had his child. Outnumbered. A place for everything, and everything in its place? Yeah. Right. The very concept is a faint memory.

Nevertheless, Butterfly trashed our home. As messy as it already was, she found ways of tossing, knocking over, kicking and throwing things to make it much, much worse. Then she barricaded herself into our room by throwing my ironing board in front of the folding door. (This type of door is not slamable.) This would not do. Regardless of what was at work on her brain, this was simply not acceptable, and messy house or no, I was not going to let it go by. I called the police.

Two officers arrived, one male, one female. Hubby and I stayed on the deck and chatted with the man, while the woman went into the house to talk to Butterfly. This was at my request, because I figured a 6' 4" man in a uniform approaching Butterfly would scare her beyond communication. I told the woman where to find Butterfly and she went in. She got the bedroom door open and moved the ironing board. After about 20 minutes she came out and told me that she had talked to Butterfly about doing property damage and told her she could take her away for what she did. Then she said that Butterfly "withdrew."

She seemed a little flustered, but I had no way of knowing what all was said. She checked with us that we didn't actually want them to take her away, and I shook my head. I told her we just wanted very firm boundaries drawn that Butterfly would remember, even if she was in reaction. The officer nodded and said they didn't mind doing that. She thought she'd made an impression on our daughter. All Butterfly told me later was that the police woman threatened to take her away from her cat, and she didn't like that.

After the police left, I took full advantage of the moment and told Butterfly she had to come and eat or we'd call the police back. She glowered as she ate, but once she was fed, eggs and potato, she was much calmer. I spent the remainder of the day putting things back where they belonged. The house wound up tidier than it had been for awhile. Even more important, memorable boundaries had been drawn and were indelibly etched in Butterfly's mind. While Butterfly's reactions and blow ups continued at regular intervals, she never again tried to trash the house. Occasionally when her anger seemed to be getting out of hand, she was reminded that the police were only a phone call away, and I would not hesitate to call them again if her actions warranted it.

We never had to call them again.


  1. WOW!! Good for you! I have often been worried that the police would be called on ME for the screams coming out of our house, but I never thought to call them myself! Kudos!

  2. I know just what you mean. I was always a little surprised the neighbours didn't have the police here long before this happened. I was partly relieved by this, and partly alarmed that apparently anything could be happening to us, and no one would call for help. All we got was one complaining neighbour. He said if we had trouble with our daughter again, to call him. I don't know why we would though. He's not a doctor or a social worker, etc. Great. Screaming child; nutty neighbour. ;o/

    The police actually did come once when Bud was much younger, but apparently she called them when we were having an argument about school work. She didn't mean to. She was trying to call her Nanna to "tell" on me, but hit the wrong speed dial button. We were both very surprised when a big, ol' cop strode through the door. But we got it sorted out quickly. Imagine the look on Hubby's face though, when he came home to a gaggle of cops in his driveway. ;o. Interesting times.