Radical Adventures

Ever feel like your life could be made into one of those lower budget reality shows that seem to flood every channel across the world? You wonder if cameras are following your every move, and if the public is casting their penetrating thoughts on what they see?

I feel like we have radical adventures week to week in our home. We met with our in house therapist this afternoon and her supervisor, who could possibly become her new official therapist as we will be seeking one in May. We spent 15 minutes filling them in on her current treatment plan at the facility she’s at, their views of the situation and where we seem to need to go for a therapy model. As my daughter creeps up on her teenage years, we know we need to hold her accountable for her actions.

Thus we will begin the process of D.B.T. It’s a therapy model that treats people with reactive attachment disorder and borderline personality disorder. You teach them the skills and hold them accountable for using them. You no longer take on their problems- if they want to do the work, that’s great- but if not, using reverse psychology you help them understand that what they are doing will only get them more of what they don’t want.

Will my youngest resist this therapy? Certainly. I wouldn’t expect anything else from her at this point. But now is a critical time in her life. She needs to know that she will be held accountable for her actions, and that the more she pushes people away, the lonelier and harder her life will be. You can’t play the victim for the rest of your life. The more you keep people at a distance, the less willing they are to be understanding when you have a problem that needs help solving.

We will be reading up more on this model, and we know there are a series of books and workbooks we can use to all gain comfort with this therapy. We are committed to getting her the best help that we can. We don’t give up on people. We know that she wants to communicate to us in a better way- but struggles with the appropriateness in terms of how she reaches out to us. In a weird way, her being aggressive only mirrors her earliest memories of love with her birth family.

We need to teach her that love means hugging, positive words, positive touches, and warmth. We can’t accept violence in our lives anymore. Compliance will hopefully lead to trust which can then lead to attachment- but we know we need to take baby steps to get there. Acknowledge when she makes good choices. Review the tougher days but not put her down. Build back some sense of self-esteem and understanding that she can live a capable, full life.

The human journey continues, and we know that she still has many years to figure out how to lead an awesome, successful life. I welcome the day that the light bulb turns on and she just lets go of fear, shame and anger. I want her to have fun, to experience joy with others in the family. Until then, I have to accept what she’s capable of now and work from there.

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