Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Atwork by Franz Miklis
I have been a bit frozen the last couple of days – I guess that’s a good way to put it. I have been so deeply touched by the honesty I have found from other moms struggling with children with problems on these blogs. I guess today it’s my turn to step up to the plate and share my struggles with my lovely Hanna (17).
I received an email yesterday informing me that the couple who have been working with my daughter (she has been staying with them) have suddenly & very prematurely decided she must leave their home by this Sunday. I cannot say enough about the grace this couple offered us and how huge it has been that they did this for all of us. It offered me a chance to clear my head and see things honestly. I know a few of you are aware of the details, of my struggles with my daughter’s mental state. I write this for a couple purposes today I guess… I need to vent, I need support and I hope maybe in some little way this post may touch someone going through the same thing and help in some small way.
After having lived with her Dad during the main part of the year and me for summers for a long time, Hanna came to me two years ago to stay here full time. Her Dad could no longer manage her and we all thought she would function better with us as they do not get on well. We were wrong. The longer she was here the more serious, abusive and destructive her behaviors have become. I have suspected for several months now that she is suffering from bipolar disorder. Suffice it to say, I have lots of experience dealing with this, not with in my self but with others around me. I am not offering up a diagnosis – just a strong suspicion. Let me assure you I know what a difficult teen is like – my oldest daughter Julia will tell you herself – she was a teen challenge. Please understand, this is not the same thing. This is the unspoken craziness that surrounds those living with someone who is mentally unstable.
Five weeks ago after an extremely horrid melt down she left my home and refused to come home. We managed through the grace of another family secure a place for her to be and begin counseling. Something she has been unwilling to do before. She has begun counseling with a savvy gal who has Hanna pegged and I think she can really help her move toward diagnosis and a better life as an adult. I had hoped that she could remain with this family at least until summer so we could get several sessions in before she returned here or to a more intense program. I am unsure what has happened in their home – communication has been sketchy, they will meet with me this week. I am clear on one thing, Hanna has not bent or made any efforts to make amends and is walking back into my home with the same attitudes she left with.
The last six weeks for me have been a huge time of renewal – in so very many ways. I truly did not realize in the middle of all the literally craziness how stressful dealing with Hanna had been. Not only for me but the rest of the household. So today I am gulping down my panic and stress and trying to buck myself up for another round in the ring with my daughter, whom I love,but who sends me into panic attacks. I know as I go into this next round of “dealing with” I will loose some of myself trying to give her what she needs to move on in her life – hopefully as a functional adult. When Hanna is functional she is a stunning, sweet, lovely girl and I adore her. When she is not and that is at least half of the time, I love her anyway, I just don’t like her behavior much. So…. today I am desperately searching for ways to integrate her back into the household with the least impact to everyone else & keep the pieces of myself intact at the same time! Thanks for listening. Namaste, Sarah