We had signed her up for Awanas at a local church when she was about seven. Awanas is a Bible verse memorization club for kids with lots of fun included. We hoped it would be a nice time for her socially and spiritually. The very first night she went I left her with the leader and her group with a little fear and trepidation. She had been acting kind of "wild" for a few weeks, a lot of energy combined with very little fear. I think I stuck around for a while in the lobby. When it was time to pick her up, no one could find her. Apparently she had been doing flips on the carpet during the Bible story time and was firmly asked to stop, as she was flipping into other children. She became so mortified at being reprimanded at the first meeting, that she hid in the bathroom. In the ceiling in the bathroom. Yes, she had climbed up onto the sink and hoisted herself up into the ceiling by removing one of the tiles. We found her when we heard a big crash coming from the bathroom and discovered her on the floor covered in white dust after falling through one of the tiles.
When I heard what had happened and saw my little girl standing there amidst broken pieces of tiles, I was incredulous, embarrassed and frankly freaked out that my child would have even thought of such a thing. The Awanas leaders were quite concerned about her, and were very sweet to me, calling me the next day inviting her back, but I was so horrified by Caroline's behavior that I didn't want her to go back and neither did Caroline. In our minds, we were becoming increasingly alarmed by Caroline's antics, which would lead in a few short weeks to her first hospitalization.
Looking back on all of this we can laugh now, but at the time, we were completely bewildered. Once she was diagnosed everything made sense, but the damage was done, literally and relationally. I never have felt comfortable at that church since. Too many bad memories of public embarrassment.