I was at an evening meeting last week. With 20 minutes left, I started getting texts from my daughter asking me to come home. One of the reasons I've had to cut back on volunteering this past year is just exactly that: My daughter's negative behaviors skyrocketed while I was gone. From getting on her brother to badgering me to not leave or to come home to running away from home while I was gone, my volunteering just didn't seem worth it to me.
So here I was at a meeting (one of the few I still attend), and the texts started. I finished out the meeting and drove home. When I pulled up, before I could even dump my purse and bag, my daughter rushed me at the door. What happened next was mind-blowing: She hugged me tight and said she loved me. This rarely happens. Typically, my daughter rejects all hugs and loving touches and seemingly never initiates them. And about the only time she tells me she loves me is when she's sick. Really, really sick.
I was thrilled. This could mark a turning point for us.
I just don't believe it. This past year has left a really ugly scar right across my belief center. So many attempts to help my daughter started off promising enough but ultimately failed and resulted in escalated negative behaviors -- way worse than they had been. To top it off, our last two service providers -- the ones that had the most potential and the wisest treatment plans -- left us; they couldn't engage my daughter, so they ended working with us.
When my son was younger, I had to say that just because he did it today doesn't mean he'll do it tomorrow; one success is not mastery. It feels very similar now with my daughter. Just because she was loving and appropriate and appreciative today doesn't mean she will be tomorrow. (Certainly not with puberty holding a party at my house.)
So what will it be? One of our doctors said that my daughter has an equal chance at any of these outcomes by the time she's ~18:
- She'll get worse.
- She'll stay where she is.
- She'll get better.
She started all this very young. The hopeful part of me thinks that she'll pull through this and pull through it earlier -- she's just on the fast track. But mostly I find it very hard to be happy about the positives because I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. And explode.