On December 3, I will mark the two year anniversary of living abuse free. I think I might have a private little party for myself to mark the occasion.
On December 16, Sissy would have made a two year anniversary herself - discharged from long term care. Sadly, she just finished a week-long acute care stabilization. Regardless, that is the longest stretch between hospitalization since I began this blog in November 2009.
Being in the EBD classroom has helped her immensely. She is now focusing more on her behaviors: cause and effect, following directives and obedience. It goes without saying, she is a very bright young lady but her challenges will always nip any academic successes in the butt. My new goal for her is that she spend the rest of her middle school years sorting out these behaviors with the hope that by high school she can pick up the slack on her academics. I accept that academic pursuits will likely never be a priority for her but as mom, I have to set some goals for her.
She has a long, hard road of puberty and changes ahead of her and I know that will mean lots of stabilization time too. I hope to finally get us out of this area and to a region of the U.S. that will have more resources and appropriate support for her. I have many short and long term therapy and medication goals for her. In the meantime, I have changed up my parenting strategy. I am providing all nurturing and care giving for her as though she were a toddler. It seems counter intuitive but I was never going to win those battles with her and actually, after so many years of her fighting me about every little thing and refusing to let me nurture her, it is a nice change of pace. Tough? Yes. No one WANTS to be dressing and bathing their nearly 14 yo daughter but it's what she NEEDS right now. So I do it.
WG is sowing her oats, back in public school this year. She is learning that she can have a bad day too and still be loved. She is learning how to navigate her own bad days and how to recover from her mistakes. She is understanding more and more each day what her older siblings struggle with and how to steer clear. Of course, that means she has also gotten good at provoking so I am putting out fires a lot. As a whole, a typical fourth grader! I keep reminding her that I was a handful at that age too - smart as smart could be but testing the limits all.the.time.
AB is on a new medication. The Resperida.l was causing mild tachycardia, tardive dyskinesia and weight gain. The Abilif.y has given me my happy, smiley son back. And he's creating again! He has always been such a good artist but in the effort to suppress his other issues, the medication inadvertently suppressed his creativity too. He smiles, hugs, laughs, talks, swings, and is actually very social comparatively. He will be 13 in January. I can't believe it! And to be honest, knowing I will have TWO teenagers after this holiday season, I am tickled pink. I really do love teenagers with all of their P.I.T.A. ishness.
For me? Well... I'm happy. Happier than I've ever been. Just so happy.
Thanksgiving - so many things to be thankful for. Heart to overflowing with joy and happiness and hope.