All is well but yesterday Xie scared me and herself something fierce.
She decided to go for a walk, by herself, in the woods and she got lost. Then she lost her phone and got panicked. Then she ran through brier patches and got hurt with multiple leg scratches. She found her way to the road and got home and called me at work. She was in such a state by then that she went into the little voice alternating with tears state. So on my end all I hear is "mom?" and crying, then "i got lost in the woods" and "i went for a walk by myself" manages to squeak through between tears. All I can think of at that moment is that she's been assaulted. She wasn't, let me be clear. She is fine. But at that moment, oh my god. I asked her to speak up and used direct questions to try to figure out if she was OK. She calmed down and was able to talk clearly and swore this was just as she was telling me, not a cover for more. She said she was going to take a shower and promised to stay home until I got home from work because I still felt she was too upset to be driving.
That worked for about 10 minutes and then MY panic set in. I had to leave work and go home and put my eyes on her to believe she was OK. Luckily I could do this. I came home. She was fine...on the couch, resting and fed with leftovers from the frig. What a relief. I felt immediately better but still checked the dirty clothes later to see if her clothing showed any signs of trouble beyond what she'd told me. They didn't. So tons of talking, about my fear that she would be afraid to tell me if something bad did happen, about her thinking processes that led to this, about strategies for the future to try to protect but still allow a life. And a successful hike together, to the woods to find the phone. We backtracked with google earth at home and then triangulated with my cell phone.