Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Brooke's home visit

Brooke (in her prom dress and hairstyle) was home for several days this week. We had a good visit, we went grocery shopping, to the zoo and then picked up a few outfits for her. She learned how to use the Wii to bowl and got a huge kick out of me playing Guitar Hero. We had a good time all in all.

During the two days she also had several anxiety attacks, followed me around the house, even stood outside the door to my bathroom while I was using it, asked the same questions over and over and persevarated over food. That is life with Brooke.

Suffering from prenatal alcohol exposure, mental retardation, and a host of mental health issues ranging from anxiety to psychosis, Brooke has had a rough time of it. But with the support of many fine professionals and our constant presence in her life she really seems to be coming out the other side. She is calmer, more accepting of her life and far more willing to accept direction, love and care from those around her. There were many times that we thought her best result would be a locked psych facility if it wasn't jail. She was so violent in a crazy, crazed way, violent to herself and to others, indiscriminate in her violence and really quite scary that we were not sure she would survive. But she has and she is now blossoming.

Brooke is in a group home for young adults with mental handicaps, she is still in public school until next year when she turns 21 (hence the prom). And she is doing great. She has the structure she needs, the expectations she can live with and the wonderful care of some truly loving staff. Do I wish she could live with us? Yes. Is it possible right now? NO. Despite her major improvements she is still very volatile and we still have younger, smaller ones who need to be protected from her potential violence. Do I see a time when she might be able to live with us? Yes, but I also see a time when she will want to live independently in the community with minimal helps, and that is such a positive, wonderful goal that it makes me cry each time I think if how far we have come as a family with her.


Brooke said...

I read your last couple posts about Annie, I really feel bad about all the struggles that you must go through with her. But know that she is better off because she has you in her life.

quilted family said...

Thank you Brooke, Annie does struggle a lot and we struggle to help her. Some times I know we are doing good for her, other times I despair. But no matter what, I will never stop being her mother and loving her as my daughter and that means unconditionally.