Monday, September 1, 2008

Annie Called

Annie called last night. Hadn't spoken to her in at least a week when she hung up on me because I refused to take responsibility for all her problems. Had a pleasant enough talk, although there is little or nothing to talk about, her life is at a standstill until she gets her act together to earn a higher level so that she can get community access fora job, school, etc. She is in a residential program for folks with Acquired Brain Injury and she keeps doing really dangerous stuff like AWOLing to party, etc.

It is hard to stay connected to her. I love her, she is my daughter, but I can't do anything for her or help her, cheer leading on my part only seems to sabotage any progress. She is 19 and needs to figure some of this out for herself. She still doesn't accept that she cannot come home but due to the dangers to others in the home we will not allow it.

We just go around in circles, have been doing it for years. I wish there was a magic pill, therapy, anything that could help my darling. For a number of years Annie was my favorite child to hang out with doing errands, cleaning the house etc. We had some fun times, even with all of her severe mental health issues, but the teen years brought a different and more dangerous Annie, an Annie who was a danger to herself and to the others in the house. She went from rages to focused aggression, to sneaky plots to destroy the family with false allegations, with inviting her friends over to steal our computers, etc. when we weren't home, to threatening and attempting to severely injure her younger sister. She developed a revolving door association with our local psychiatric hospital and eventually it just got too dangerous for all of us to have her at home. So for the past 2 years she has been in this treatment program for folks with ABI, not sure how much good it has done her, but it sure has done the remnant a lot of good.

So here we are two years later, Annie is not significantly healthier, and she doesn't have a plan. Actually that is not true, we helped her devise a plan to get to a lower level of supervised living closer to our city and her friends. But, she has done nothing to achieve the plan. Nonetheless it is all our fault that she is still there and has not moved to a less restrictive setting. No amount of going over the plan, (no AWOL, no aggression, compliance with therapy), has helped her see that she has the responsibility to make the plan happen. Nope, I am the bad person, I am the one who put her into treatment and I am the one who is standing in the way of her getting to live a normal life. I wish I truly had that much power over her life, cause than maybe i could change things!

Oh well, at least she still wants to talk to us occasionally. But my new stance is that I will not mince my words. When she tries to throw the responsibility ball back into my court, I will smash it back into hers with no holds barred. She doesn't like to hear her past behaviors but when they are relevant to the arguments, threats, screaming fits she is having I will go there.

Tough times with Annie, an ongoing theme for about 5 years now.

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