Life isn't always easy.
Life isn't always fun.
Regardless, it keeps on happening and we have to decide what to do with it.
Those of you that have been around awhile are aware that my daughter has special needs. I wrote about our struggles at The Scoop on Poop, and I have touched on the issues from time to time here. I don't go into a lot of detail because ultimately it is her story. I don't feel it is my place to put it out there, irreversibly, without her permission or the ability to share her side.
I am writing right now because I am hurting.
My relationship with my daughter is tenuous at best. Seemingly effortless tasks take a toll on us daily. Whether it is showering, daily hygiene, homework, or contributing around the house - it is a battle. I am at my wits end and am grasping at straws to get through each and every moment with her.
Over winter break, I tweeted frequently about The Girl. On January 2, the last day of break, I wrote: "I so desperately need to get away from this child. This winter break has been a nightmare on all accounts when it comes to her." To which someone responded, "You're horrible."
Having these feelings about my child fills me with guilt. Every. Single. Day. Not being able to get through a moment - not a day, a moment with her breaks my heart. On Twitter, I have friends with special needs children. And generally, a tweet like mine is answered by (and this one was, too) these parents who can relate to our struggles. But for some reason, "You're horrible." keeps running through my head.
On Thursday, after another awful week, I had had enough. I was tired of fighting. She was tired of fighting. She packed a bag and The Girl went to stay the weekend at a temporary group home. This home is for troubled youth from 10 - 17. At 10, The Girl was the youngest child there by several years.
The Girl's therapist joined us for intake. Having been with us for almost two years, her therapist is intimately aware of just how difficult it is to parent my child. On more than one occasion she has had to remind me that my daughter's issues are not my fault. She has told me countless times that regardless of who her parents were, The Girl would be the way she is. Sadly, those reassurances don't reassure. Over and over in my head I hear "You're horrible."
It breaks my heart to see my daughter struggle with everyday tasks. It cuts me to the core each time she lashes out, her words stinging like the lashes of a whip. The blatant disregard for rules, structure, and family rituals. It's like she is clawing her way through life, intentionally causing as much damage as she can.
I am hurting. My son is hurting. Her lack of concern for anyone but herself is tearing my small family apart.
This week, I hope to complete an intake process to a nearby day treatment facility. The facility specializes in children with behavior management issues. Children like my daughter.
I pray that this helps her. I have been trying for years to get her the help she needs. Sadly, most programs don't include people of her young age. I keep praying for the miracle cure, the solution that clicks, a consequence or a reward that motivates her to change her course. I pray that she figures it out before the consequences are permanent. Before someone is hurt. Before she winds up in jail.
I pray that I am making the right choices for her. I pray that I am not letting her down. I pray that I am not horrible.