Well, we’ve got a number of services lined up now that will be helping us with the transition of our youngest daughter. One component will be in house therapy, which could be a mix of the therapist seeing a combination of different family members depending on the night of the week. We will also be getting mentors for the children, who probably will meet with the children once a week. All of this is in the hope of stabilization and settling in to better family routines.
My wife and I are aware of the fact that some of this issues fall into the category of personality and others fall into the category of attitude and choice. A person does have free will to do what they desire and make a choice not to react to a less than favorable situation or outcome. Today I didn’t get a full day of sleep, because my youngest felt it was imperative to get her opinion across about having a lunch she didn’t desire with my wife… for 15 solid minutes before more of the meeting people would be coming to our home.
What’s interesting is during the meeting in the late afternoon at the treatment center, she spoke with us about the overnight people who stay up and chat very loud outside of her room. She wishes she could tell them to cut it out, because she gets awoken in the middle of the night. I figured it would be a learning moment- because that’s how I feel when she wakes me up with her yelling, screaming, stomping and temper tantrums.
Instead, she didn’t see beyond herself. This will be the challenge through everything going on. The goal will be for her to live in a functioning family without displaying her aggressive past behaviors. I’m probably going to feel like I’m coming and going in different directions as the foot traffic picks up around the house. We have to be real regarding our situation. I’m glad I have the support and comfort of good friends, a great loving family, and the resources to make progress, even if it’s at a slow, steady clip.
While all of the change takes place, my oldest feels like she’s fighting for her needs and independence all in one. I think she wants whatever form of “normal” we have to come back into the household. She fears rejection and pain once again from her younger sister. We’ve reassured her that she’s still and always will be our oldest daughter, she’s a wonderful woman and with her engaging personality there’s no way she would ever get lost in any crowd within the world.
And how am I doing with this all? I have so many mixed emotions going through my head. Today my youngest may have argued with my wife, but she didn’t lose her cool to the extent that she has in the past. We need to encourage the open communication and expression of feelings without condemning her. We have all of our walls naturally up, especially when we’ve spent years taking all of the porcupine quills she’s thrown at us.
I’m willing to give it another shot- when I put my whole heart and body into someone, the commitment lasts for a lifetime.