Ghost of a Chance

One of my favorite Rush songs, I’m hoping that a recent turn of events gives our family a chance to live and breathe with renewed hope and faith. Our youngest daughter will be receiving services in the community to work on her struggles with anger and violent outbursts within our home. I realize life has been very difficult for her within our safe walls, as she feels very overwhelmed with having to follow a school day and then come home to another set of rules with her parents.

Among the many questions or comments that come about, the struggle I have is people who judge what I’ve done and thinking that they have a better solution- without living my life 24/7/365. This wasn’t a rash decision- it’s been months and months of day in, day out turmoil. We took into account viewpoints from her therapist, her psychiatrist, family members, the school system as well as what she’s stated she wants at this time. I wish those naysayers would see that when you’ve had severe abuse and trauma with parents in your early years, strangers become friendly to you as you prefer to maintain a distance from everyone.

Getting close to people scares you. So let me throw every behavior I can to overpower the situation, keep myself safe and know that I will live to see another day. I’ll laugh at inappropriate times because I don’t know really how to express my feelings in the right way. I’ll magnify a paper cut into the biggest pain I’ve experienced in my entire life- but when I fall down a flight of stairs and twist my ankle I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off and act like nothing ever happened.

It’s our third go around with this type of residential treatment model- and we’ll see if it’s the charm or if she just uses the time as a break away from us. She’ll get the chance to learn from peers and staff how to handle her emotions- and it’s up to her whether she’s willing to use the tools they offer or if she dismisses them and believes her way is still best.

We reminded her that we still love her and her place within the home is not gone. Now we get the chance to give my oldest daughter the one to one (or two to one) attention she craves. She’s been able to make such large changes over the past seven years. She’s developing great strengths of care, concern, and empathy for all types of people around her. She works hard to achieve the best grades in school she can, and I think she’s attempting to better control when a bevy of emotions flood her head space.

I won’t give up on any family member. I believe change can happen even in the depths of despair. There’s always a way to solve any problem- I know it’s a concept I return to again and again thanks to Mark Victor Hansen. Children are supposed to make mistakes and learn from their failures- let’s see if this challenge helps my younger daughter realize that she’s not unlike others in her age group struggling to make sense of her developing mind, body and emotions.

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