My wife and Mark Victor Hansen have something in common. They’ve both been able to help me handle the fact that even when things seem impossible, there’s always a way to solve a problem. It may not be a quick solution, it may not be an easy solution, you may have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to make things better- but the bottom line is, any challenge put in front of you can be put on a better path through conscious decision making and the actions following it.
Today my oldest daughter had enough of dealing with her ELA teacher. She decided that she needed to raise the bar in terms of getting action on what she desires, because the mannerisms and personality of this teacher reminder her of a time in her life where she had to deal with a less then ideal foster mother. This has been going on for three weeks- and even though there’s a meeting coming up at the end of the month to see what sort of changes can be made to better their relationship, my daughter decided she’d had enough for the day. Making a scene and cursing her out equals a trip to the main office to accompany her home for the next few days with a suspension.
We spent three hours at the ER for a psych evaluation, where she continued to act all big and bad, being rude and disrespectful to all of the nurses, doctors, counselors and us. While we wavered back and forth about committing her to a treatment facility or bring her home, she escalated in terms of ripping magazines and intimidation to the security officer. She finally decided to accept the fact that she needs some help. That we are working on the situation, between her therapist, the school psychologist and all of her teachers along with the parents, to come to some sort of plan that would make her academics go smoother without this emotional overload episodes in the classroom.
We wish should would tell us her feelings once again- but I believe as she gets older she believes asking for help when feeling overwhelmed is a sign of weakness. So how best do you change a situation? In her eyes, you puff yourself up, you turn from a reasonable mind to a seeing red mind and you charge through everything in your path as a protective mechanism. You can’t get hurt if you are pushing everyone else down to the ground, right?
That’s why it may not happen in the next minute, the next hour, or the next day- but if you can think about the next step in the moment that you want to take to get yourself closer to the path you desire, why not take it? What have you got to lose if you step out of balance? Acknowledge the fact that you are having a tough time, seek out the right sources that can help you and take a little worry off of your mind.
At least all of the staff at the hospital gave us kudos for taking care of this child and how she’s making smart decisions in terms of not using illegal drugs or drinking alcohol like many teenagers would if they feel like there’s no hope to get out of a continuous struggle. That makes the hours spent with tantrums and verbal attacks questioning our parenting abilities go down a little bit easier.
I also played a few hands of cards with her when we got back to the house to let her know she’s still loved and still appreciated as she struggles with past flashbacks. And maybe tomorrow will be a better day, because there’s always a way.