Yesterday we had a phone call that got us in full panic mode. It was a phone call from the school saying they couldn’t find my Anxious Teenager. We had a missing teenager.
One of my children suffers from anxiety and depression and has asked to be identified by Anon on posts discussing it. Just before Christmas Anon tried to commit suicide and is currently going through a phased re-introduction to school to help with their anxiety.
So far, my missing teenager is only managing about 2 hours a day before their anxiety flairs up with panic attacks. Yesterday Anon was supposed to be doing 4 hours and was told by dad that he would be back to pick Anon up at lunchtime.
At about 10.20am, we received a phone call from the school saying that Anon hadn’t arrived at their 2nd lesson or counselling session and they didn’t know where Anon was. We had a missing teenager.
Hubby and I jumped into the car and quickly sped over to the town which holds their high school. Whilst hubby drove I was constantly trying to phone and text my missing teenager. We even took the dog knowing that she helps calm Anon down.
I called my parents and tried to contact hubby’s family to tell them we had a missing teenager and had they heard from Anon.
All the while my imagination was going to deep dark places. I kept seeing my missing teenager lying face down in the river or hanging from a tree.
Breathing deeply I tried to stay calm.
We drove around and around town, trying everywhere we thought our missing teenager could be. The bus stop, the park, the local county hospital, even the cemetery where his grandparents are buried. The longer we searched, the more our fears grew.
Where was our missing teenager?
We looked at each other. Was it time to get the police involved? “Let’s check the school one more time” I suggested. “They might have found Anon”
So we went back to school and spoke to the teacher who had told us Anon was missing. He had searched the whole school and he hadn’t found our missing teenager. All he knew was that Anon’s teacher had sent him a message saying Anon hadn’t arrived for class and did he know where Anon was.
Suddenly hubby shouted “There’s Anon!” and to our relief, we all saw our missing teenager walking towards us with the rest of their class.
Anon looked puzzled, we weren’t due to pick Anon up yet and why did we look so relieved. Even Gwen in the back of the car started barking for joy.
“Why did you keep phoning me in class?” Our Anon asked. “I almost got into trouble for having my phone cos it was constantly vibrating!”
“Have you been in class all this time?” asked Anon’s teacher.
Anon nodded “Umm, yea why?”
“You weren’t there at the start of the class were you?”
“Yes, I was. Ask my friends.” Anon answered, looking hurt. Suddenly, comprehension dawned on Anon’s face. “Sir,” Anon said, still looking nervous. “I changed English set remember”
Comprehension dawned on the teachers face as well. In all the worry he hadn’t thought to check the other English set and he had completely forgotten that Anon had moved class.
We were all very relieved and told Anon that we were proud of Anon for going to class. Of course, since we were already there Anon climbed into the car. “I can’t go back now,” Anon said. “My anxiety has kicked off big style cos I thought I was in trouble!”
Later that evening I saw Anon’s head of year and she apologised for the confusion. She said it was her fault as she hadn’t changed the register over. My missing teenager had been found safe and well so I didn’t care. In fact, I could laugh about it by then and I reassured the teacher that I didn’t hold a grudge.