| "Look at this! Why do you people think you got to protect me?" Autumn shoved the computer at the first person to enter her room.
"Well, I, um..." Jamison stood there stuttering, which was a new experience for him. Obviously she had seen something upsetting.
"Is this what I saw from the window?"
"What do you mean?"
"I saw Jacob, Lance and my dad out there with Jenni and some other lady. But that one looked like she was drunk or stoned or something." Yes, Autumn would be able to etermine something like that. After all, she had seen it in her mother enough times.
"...was actually sort of amusing. Obviously she got hers when Jenni--" Jamison realized he had missed something, but he desperately tried to piece it all together. She was quite agitated, and it wouldn't help if he told her he missed what she said. Something in his expression must have given it away.
:I said," she paused to carefully study his expression, "when Jenni shoved that gun into the woman's face, things changed drastically. When she crawled to a safe distance and curled up into a ball...well, that was sort of amusing. I imagine she was pleading for her life." Jamison was relieved that she didn't seem to be angry with him. But the next words quickly scattered this impression.
"In a way, I'm glad. How many times have I had to plead for my life?? How many times have they shoved tubes and catheters into me, shot electricity through me, taken me out of here for their pleasure? And what in blazes did I do to deserve that last? The medical crap doesn't bother me nearly as much as Lynn and her friends. I refuse to address her as my mother, because she wasn't one. And then you all felt the need to orchestrate something in my life without telling me. This is still my life, and you people can't control all of it!" Jamison knew she didn't mean anything by that statement, but it hurt anyway. How could she say those things? Didn't she know they were all just trying to help her? Well, no matter what she thought, he couldn't just stand there bashing her caregivers. But perhaps this angry torrent was aimed at her abusers rather than Autumn's friends, families and nurses.
"We just wanted to help. I mean, your mom's friends have given you enough trouble, so we wanted to try to intercept her. Jenni got wind of it, and she told Lance, who explained it to the rest of us. We just figured it would be easier for you not to have to worry about extra danger."
At this point, the psychologist entered with medication.
Autumn was distracted when Jaycee entered, and Jamison had a moment to think about what she had said. As Autumn and Jaycee talked, Jamison tried to enter into her "lens." She was right. The fact that they didn't tell her anything probably wasn't the best thing to do. They should have told her about the increased danger and then continued with the plan. Upon this realization, Jamison determined to be her advocate.
"...some Ativan during this--" Jaycee was saying. Jamison had to make sure they were giving Autumn this choice and not just taking over her body.
"What?" he asked, a little more sharply than he had intended. Autumn seemed to understand his new revelation and his true purpose. He was relieved to see her reassuring smile.
"I said," Jaycee began again, "you told me about the anxiety and intense sadness you are having trouble controlling. A lot of stuff has taken place, so your emotions are completely understandable. You also said you would be willing to try some medication to see if it would help. I have some Ativan, which can begin to help right away. We're also going to try Cymbalta, which could take a little time to work. Cymbalta is often given to treat depression and anxiety. Remember that this doesn't mean you'll be on these meds for life. They can just help to stabalize everything as you work through the considerable obstacles."
Jamison was shocked! As Jaycee had said, these things were quite understandable, and Jamison had to admit that he had expected them. What surprised him was that Autumn had made no mention of this. He smiled as he realized she, too, was trying to protect him. She didn't want to burden him. I guess that's what this sacrificial love thing is all about, he thought as he prepared to speak.
"I want to help you through all aspects of this thing. However, I need you to tell me when things like this happen," Jamison hoped his words didn't come out sounding like recrimination.
"But you already have so much going on. This is stuff I can handle without bothering you with it. You don't need any more stress, and you already do so much to help me." Autumn sighed with frustration. She wanted to continue to comfort her friend, but she knew she'd soon fall asleep. She had been missing a great deal of that of late, and it was finally catching up with her. Maybe her friends knew her better than she knew herself. For certainly knowing about the most recent danger would have robbed her of sleep and some peace. She knew that God was ultimately in control. Still, God would not condemn her for worrying and for battling this constant anxiety. She closed her eyes, even knowing her unfinished statement hung in the air between the two friends.
Jamison heard Autumn's words, and they were the very reasons for his own justification. He hadn't mentioned anything about Virginia because Autumn already had enough to deal with. He was glad they had completely opened their hearts to each other. As he watched her lose the battle to sleep, he did not wonder about her unfinished thought or struggle with any negativity regarding her actions and words. Nothing could break their bond, not even death. Jamison wouldn't think about Autumn's death. After all, she was to begin a new treatment, and the oncologist and surgeon were optimistic. This could give her a better quality of life, and Jamison, along with all of Autumn's caregivers, friends and family would do everything possible to give her the best quality of life.
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