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"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Another Single Mom's Story
Posted by:Sally--Sunday, March 07, 2010

Emily has earned many off-campus visits with me, has had 2 successful day passes at home, and may have an overnight visit this weekend or next. She is up to level C now and doing fairly well in RTF. She still involves herself in others' business and is still overly concerned with the "fairness" of how she is treated compared to the other residents and often gets in trouble for voicing her feelings or acting out inappropriately in response.

She has been put on Lithium by the psychiatrist at the RTF, which I initially was originally very apprehensive about. I mean, that was a drug they used in Mental Hospitals! How could they put her on that? But, I have noticed a remarkable change in her since being on it, so who am I to interfere? I also hate the idea of "substituting" one drug for another which is how I view it, personally. However, I am not a doctor nor a Behavioral Health professional, nor an addiction professional, so I am letting them take charge here, and stepping out of their way, which can be difficult for me to do as a single mom who always calls the shots.

Emily is in school at the RTF and continues to struggle. But she is putting forth the effort towards her classes. She is still overly social with the boys and gets up and leaves class whenever she gets bored or overwhelmed, to pass notes to the boys or just to walk around the halls. They are working on ways to combat that. One way is to have her earn free-time on the school's computer where she can do her photography and other things except go on-line. Another thing we all agreed on was that if her behavior for the week was really bad, then I would cut my visit short that weekend. We did that 2 weeks ago and I only stayed for a couple hours. That seemed to hit home.

Emily has her Consent Decree hearing on May 3rd. That is when it expires. They are only good for a year. On May 11th, Emily will have been gone for a whole year. It is hard for me to comprehend that. A year! I still miss her. I do. And it has taken a long time, but the pain of not being with her has been replaced with a sense of relief that she is NOT home doing drugs, having boys over the house while I am at work, trashing the house, or breaking the law. I really didn't expect to feel this way. The first few months, I cried myself to sleep every night and wrote to her a couple times a week. There was such a hole in my heart. I was lonely for my daughter. I missed her smell, her pretty face, her singing in her room, us snuggling together, or watching movies on Friday nights. But I came to realize that those were the few good times we had, and the bad times were more prevalent. When your child is away, you tend to glorify the good times because you miss them, while forgetting the bad times. I have found it necessary to remind myself of the bad times, to keep myself in check, as well as to keep HER in check.

She still tries to play the victim. I do not accept that at ALL anymore. I did at the beginning because Emily was a victim of sexual abuse as a small child. But, I cannot keep doing that because it doesn't help her. It gives her an excuse to not succeed. I can't let her do that anymore. She will never make any real progress if she keeps believing she is a victim. Until she stops playing the victim and takes her recovery into her own hands, and allows the professionals to show her how, she won't get better or heal.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Thank you, "another single mom" may I call you Anna Mommynous for short?
Your story was interesting to me as one who knows how a teenager often feels like the victim and how we must try and counteract this. Which leads me to a saying by Wayne Muller: "If we think we are fragile and broken, we will live a fragile, broken life. If we believe we are strong and wise, we will live with enthusiasm and courage. The way we name ourselves colors the way we live. Who we are is in our OWN eyes. We must be careful how we name ourselves."
quote by: Wayne Muller


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