We never know from moment to moment how our minds will react. Out of the blue, an event or person can trigger a back story in our heads that the outer world can only imagine. As parents, we have to use our collective mind power to become an emergency team, fire department and detective agency all rolled into one, heading off the ensuing anger, frustration and/or temper tantrum.
Our oldest daughter for the most part has had a wonderful vacation. Lots to laugh about, learn about, and enjoy with her parents, her friends and family members. She’s started a new form of animal therapy and learned to handle horses, dogs and cats with the greatest of ease.
This past evening, she averted a mental health crisis when a woman we often see in front of our building triggered some past memories from her life, and somehow she tied it in with another recent memory. The bottom line: she thought my wife and I were horrible people, she didn’t feel her life was very worthwhile and she wanted to be anywhere but in our house for those few hours. She was using her energy to find out about local homeless shelters, hoping to talk to people at city hall, and arranging an hour by hour schedule for tomorrow.
Through it all my wife and I can learn how her mind works, and just hope that she continues to make the right decisions in handling her manic episodes. We praise her for apologizing and recognizing that how she handled things was wrong, and we can process with her how to better handle when she misunderstands our concerns.
My youngest daughter finally came to some conclusions in family therapy today about her own self-esteem. She admitted at this point in time, she feels like she can’t make a safe transition home. She doesn’t feel worthy of being in a family and feels safer in a treatment center or group home setting. It’s as if she’s given up on herself, which is such a shame. The therapist there will be conducting more one on one sessions to help her process her feelings and hopefully get her to understand that she is a worthwhile person, and worthy of love in a home setting.
I’m thankful for having a good life. I work hard everyday to be a steady, positive influence on my family and my friends. I want everyone to feel comfortable around me and I know that my family will come back together stronger in the long run. It takes time- and we have all the time in the world. Trust builds over time- and I hope that my children know how much love and support we have for them no matter what bumps in the road they may hit.
So have a great day, be kind to your friends, family and neighbors. Lend a hand where you can. Hold a door open for a stranger, flash a friendly smile. Visit a retirement home and bring one of your talents to their attention. Have a board game night in the neighborhood. Read to the blind, volunteer at a homeless shelter. Just prepare to give.