I know, it’s been months since I posted. I really am going to get back to it. I have some ideas that will hopefully get me back in the habit; it is therapeutic for me and I need it. I just have been pretty closed-off to it for a while. Part of that is Facebook’s fault – FB gives me the immediacy and spontaneity that comes so easily to me anyway. But I need a slightly more anonymous outlet where I can speak in a longer format, and I have been avoiding that because things have been so hard and so unrelenting.
The eldest hasn’t changed. Not that I expected her to, or anything. But I don’t write about it because I know it has to be tiring and discouraging to read somebody yammering on and on about the same crap. Once we get to next May, however, things could change significantly, because we will no longer be legally bound to keep her here and provide for her.
We have done our best – I promise – and we have forgiven and punished and loved and excused and applied disciplinary measures meant to hem in her compulsiveness. I’m sure there’s someone out there who could have done a better job… perhaps if she had been raised on an Amish farm, she might have been forced to be more responsible… but she wasn’t. She was raised by us. There wasn’t an Amish family in line to adopt her, there was only us. So we did it.
I read every book I could get my hands on. I went to classes. I researched things on the internet. I joined support groups. I enrolled her in gymnastics, dance, violin, swimming, Space Camp, tutoring, testing, Montessori, playgroups, Sunday Schools, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. We have used charts, graphs, reward systems, corporal punishment, time-outs, exercises, and privileges. I took her to psychiatrists and counselors. I went to psychiatrists and counselors myself. I even checked myself into a psych unit for a few days in 2006 and realized pretty quickly that I needed to take better care of myself in order to be a better mom.
I have fielded irate phone calls from principals and teachers and counselors and other parents. I have been called in for investigation due to accusations of child abuse. I have had Child Protective Services show up at my door and I have cheerfully invited them in because I not only have nothing to hid, I have privately prayed that someone would install cameras in my home to videotape our interactions, because I just wish someone could watch us and help us know what we’re doing wrong.
And now I’m just tired.
But on May 12, she turns eighteen. After that point, we are no longer obliged to put up with it.
I’m not certain we’ll immediately change the locks, although there are days when I’m on the verge of calling the locksmith to schedule a visit for that day. But I will have the Final Weapon at my disposal after that day has passed. If she loses her temper and becomes vicious and abusive and does something completely dumbass like haul off and hit her sister after that, she gets to go away and I don’t have to let her back in.
Yeah, I feel like a horrible mother for saying that.
We’re also on the verge of having to file bankruptcy. Isn’t that cheerful and tasty?
I have taken on more piano students, and am praying for more, but there’s no way that a few more dollars a week will put a dent in this $40K debt that keeps accruing. Medical bills will begin to get better once Eldest is gone, and the medical expenses have improved significantly since we now get our insurance through the Chickasaws and their wondrous CashCowCasino (God bless them – they’re taking care of my family and I will be forever grateful to them for that). But the damage is done. I tried to get my master’s through the University of Fawkes a few years back… never was able to finish, and the loans were crushing. Add to that a few ill-timed employment (or non-employment) choices by the other dues-paying member of this dubious team, and you’ve got serious trouble.
So here we sit.
No idea where it’s going to end, but something will give. I’m not going to endanger the mental or physical health of my other two charges, but things WILL happen to change this situation. Maybe things that not everyone will approve of. But again, I’m tired now and I don’t think I really care what people think anymore.
More to come.