It’s amazing how we can take blanket statements and turn them in the mind into a distortion so far away from the truth. I think it’s hard to make lasting change as a result because you aren’t willing to focus on the truth. Right now we are facing this barrier when it comes to therapy and our youngest daughter. She believes at this point in her life, it’s never going to work for her- so why bother trying. And since she doesn’t like it, I’m going to attempt to feign interest and do everything in my power to act like nothing works- because that’s what I’ve done my entire life.
My wife and I have tenacity when it comes to therapy. We have our children going to one of the best specialized service providers for adoption and children needs. They’ve been with their individual therapists a long time and have made breakthroughs as a result. I know some of the issues my youngest has relate entirely to her disposition and personality- but I do think there is a way for her to learn how to control her outbursts and get her needs met without always attempting to control the situation.
Without going into specifics, my daughter believes that she should be able to have the right to do things similar to her peers- age appropriate activities that involve more freedom outside the home and the ability to do things with her friends. I asked her if one of her friends her age engaged in similar abusive behavior with her parents as she does- and immediately her conversation went off into a tangent about us liking the friend more, that this was an unfair comparison, and a number of other interpretations that never were said.
It’s interesting as well that even when I’m conveying something positive she’s done in the house, I’m immediately cut off in conversation. Fear overrides her emotional content. When given the choice between running away, fighting or freezing, she starts with the last and works her way backward in protective mode. But how can you get a child away from saving herself? You would think the time and energy would be exhausting when you could just breathe deep, relax and let someone else care for you.
When we left therapy today, she immediately felt the need to express affection, as if to say, “I know I didn’t do what I should do, but now that I’m out I’m so happy.” I don’t want her to feel like therapy is a death sentence. I remind her that the more work we do, the less therapy we will have in the long run. We can’t sweep these problems under the rug, they exist and will continue to magnify without an intense look at the how, why and the ability to make better choices.
I’d like her to focus on the good she has. I’d like her to start taking responsibility, which she finally did from a previous weekend when she broke my wife’s camera. I’d like her to be nicer to me. I want her to be involved in her own life and her own choices and not remain stuck in victimhood. But she has to handle facts and not let her mind twirl into thinking everyone and everything is conspiring against her.
The work in progress continues. I hope you are having a wonderful day.