When donald was 4, his dad went missing for 9 months. he still remembers the first time seeing an Ingles store a few towns over we didn't have them in my town while they were out searching for him. he thought they must have traveled very far since he was seeing such a big, unfamiliar store out of the car window.
The reason he left was because he had been working outside at his job, and his bipolar meds basically became ineffective due to how much sun exposure he was getting. In the days before he left, he kept saying weird things that I didn't know what to make of at my age. Things like "Stop watching Lassie. That show is of the devil" and "You can't use your Beauty and the Beast blanket because it hints at the number of the antichrist." Little me was baffled but obeyed. I now know that excessive religiosity is a warning sign to get his meds checked.
His truck was found abandoned and partially wrecked 2 states away about 4 months into his time missing. That was rough for his mom. there outside cat had recently had kittens so he used to pick them up and take them to her inside to try to help. She thought he was dead for sure. Eventually, he was found wondering around an interstate several more states away with his jacket, wallet, and a bible piled neatly in the left lane.
He was able to sort out his medication levels and has only had a few issues with needed med adjustments since then.donald, however, was traumatized for many years after, and I'd latch onto his leg for the first little bit after he got home, fearing he'd leave again...
Worst part? He feels guilty to this day. donalds always trying to tell him, "dude, not your fault! So not your fault!" This is why his dad has been a model provider, father, husband, and granddad all these years, but he still carries guilt for circumstances that he didn't set out to enact.
Donald 15 now grew up from that a afraid scared not wanting to talk or be part of anything but one day his high school was offering a trip to somewhere new ,and so he worked all year to save up for it so he could go and with the money in hand he made it, and during the summer he packed his bags and headed to the airport with his class after that would change his life forever they were no longer in the air for 5 hours and the someone comes on the air saying we need to make a detour at some other airport they land and so his journey begins.