Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Boy Friend and a Good Week

I told Daughter her new Boy Friend needed to call me.  He did, and I told him that Daughter had a history of sexual abuse, and didn't like men touching her.  I went on to say she'd actually made false accusations in the past.  He decided they'd stick with phone calls for now.  Daughter is disappointed, I'm relieved.

I saw the orthopedic surgeon today.  While my arm hasn't healed, there is definite improvement.  I go back in February for "one last x-ray."  I'm relieved. 

I've been busy as we gear  up for fall.  I'm excited about  the plans we are making.  God is doing exciting things at the church, and it's amazing.  This past week I had a board meeting, scheduled interviews for a new childcare provider, wrote interpretive material for out fall theme, visited a woman who has had a recurrence of her cancer, and is quite frustrated with her doctor, worked on our website, helped plan a Taize worship service, picked music through the first Sunday in October, walked the prayer path one of our members is building through the woods on our property, dealt with property issues, visited  with people dropping  in, and laughed.  We laugh  a lot in the office.  We love what we are doing, and have a genuine joy about it.  I love it when I get to do a bit of everything.  It is a huge stress reliever when Daughter is more relaxed and happier.  Knowing that my bones are finally healing is wonderful. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Good Day

Daughter is back in a good mood.  She's asking for more furniture in her room, so I guess she's decided not to go to the homeless shelter. 

We are gearing up for fall at the church.  We've been working ahead, but it still feels like it is coming too fast. We've been working on the website and Treasurer is pondering a move to another state.  Administrative Assistant and I don't like that idea, but we will find someone to take his place if he does move. 

Friday I go get another x-ray on my arm.  Six weeks ago it still hadn't healed.  It's now been over 6 months since the second surgery with the bone graft.  I have now had a broken arm for 15 months.  I found a study online.  I am getting appropriate treatment.  It will eventually heal, but according to the study, it could take as long as 18 months.  Obviously I'm hoping it will take less time.  I am lining up people to clear the snow from my driveway this winter.  Even if it has healed, that may put  too much stress on it. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Here We Go Again-- with a twist

Daughter has a new boyfriend.  This time, though, her boyfriend is not developmentally handicapped.  He is a young man who recently joined the church.  He lives with his parents, but he has a car and a job.  They have been talking after church, and yesterday he gave her his phone number.  He wants to know why they can "hang out."

Here comes the twist:  he is a registered sex offender (children).  His neighbor warned me when he got out of prison and started attending worship.  He has acknowledged being an ex-con, but has not talked about  his offenses.  Right now, I'm delaying Daughter.  I think, though, I'm going to have to have a conversation with him.  If Daughter feels threatened, she may accuse him of sexual abuse and he might find himself back in jail.  I'm also concerned about Daughter, of course.  He could see her as an easy target. 

The good news is that she is in a much better mood this week. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Rough Weeks

I apologize for my long absence.  The last few weeks have been rough.  Daughter has been in full drama queen mode.  I have been doing a lot of writing at the church, and after dealing with Daughter, I just don't have the energy to do any more writing when I get home.

She wants out of the house and her program. I have hung up on her numerous times over the last few weeks, as I didn't need the verbal abuse.  Some highlights from the last few weeks: 

  •  One of the other residents hit her. She had a little bit of bruising, and within a day, it was gone.  She stayed home from program one day, and then when she went back she told them her left ear and eye hadn't worked properly since she was hit. They were convinced she had a serious head injury.  I "cured" her by telling her that I wanted to rest her eye and ear by not watching TV or listening to her music.  I had to stop them from taking her to the ER. 
  • She insisted she wasn't safe in the house, that all the residents were violent, that staff was messing up her medications, and she needed to move immediately.  When I wouldn't come get her out of their immediately, she told me she was going to pack what she needed and move to a homeless shelter.
  • She was hysterical at program one day, insisting I needed to come talk to her.  Staff called me, unsure of what to do.  I talked to her on the phone  and told her to cut it out, calm down, and ride the bus home. 
  • Her house was going on an outing.  She didn't want to go.  It was on a Sunday, and informed me that if I didn't let her come to church, she was done with the church and God. Being a mean mom, I made her go.  That evening she called and was telling me about how much fun she'd had.  She told me they were already talking about  doing it again next year.  Then she paused, "If they do it next year, please don't make me go."  
  • She claims she isn't safe at program, because she is constantly harassed and kicked.  
  • She did a bunch of extra blood sugar testing, using up all her test strips.  When I confronted her on it, she said she didn't remember doing it.  I guess she thought that was a way of getting around a direct lie.  I informed her the fact that she didn't remember now didn't mean she didn't know it was wrong when she did it.  
  • She complained that people were getting in her room.  Someone had stolen her dress and put popsicle wrappers under her bed.  I told her that explained the high blood sugars she'd been having.  Once again, she didn't remember eating them.  Once again I told her even if she didn't remember now, she knew it was wrong at the time.  Her dress had fallen off the hanger and was on the floor or her closet.
  • We went to a baseball game with the church.  She insisted she was sick and dying, trying to convince me to leave early.  I refused.  It was amazing how she had a brief recovery to watch and enjoy the fireworks before going back to being sick and dying.
There are were other incidents as well, but once they are over I try to forget.  It's a survival skill with her I learned a long time ago. 

Thursday evening I had a sudden insight into what might be behind all of this.  Over a month ago she had expressed a longing to see the younger of her two birth brothers.  I gave her two times in August when I would take her to meet him halfway.  She contacted him.  He never responded to or even acknowledged her contact.   As were pulling in a restaurant parking lot, I asked her if this was about her brother.  She wondered what made me say that.  I said I'd just been thinking.  She asked me to keep driving around so we could talk, as she didn't want to cry in the restaurant.  We sat in the parking lot for quite a while, talking about her brother.  She sobbed.  I reminded her that he had been damaged, just as she had been.  She recently received a ring from birth mom.  She refused to wear it, as she didn't want to see a constant reminder of her birth family.  She asked me to hide it, because she knew she would  be tempted to wear it, and that wouldn't be good.  I suggested that might be the way Brother felt about seeing her.  Later that evening she sent me a text thanking me for the talk.

Are we through this round of crises?  I hope so.  I've been wondering, though, if discontinuing her lithium (she was developing thyroid issues that could be connected to it) might be behind some of this. 

Hopefully I will find the time and energy to blog more frequently in the future.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Daughter and New Staff

Daughter does not like change, so she's never thrilled when there is new staff at her house.  She always tells me she doesn't know their name.  She resents having to take orders from them.  She worries that they will mess up her meds and diet.  She called to complain yesterday, and informed me she didn't have to do anything until she was told by Home Owner.  I told her she needed to listen to and respect all the staff.

As I was taking her home this evening, she told me what hard it is for her to train new staff and make sure  they are doing everything right.  I reminded her that she is not the boss, and that she needs to listen to and respect staff, even when they are new. She always responds, "Yes, Mom," or "I know, Mom" in  very submissive way.  Somehow I doubt she is that submissive at the house. 

I'm picking her up after supper tomorrow to spend the weekend.  She will help me get some things done around the house. 

The first week back went well. It's good to be back to work.  I'm enjoying the last few slow weeks before things get really busy again, and trying to get as much done ahead of time as possible. Administrative Assistant and I are back in sync, so that's good. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to Work

Administrative Assistant's prediction of a constant stream of visitors for today was not accurate, and I'm grateful.  There have only been a couple.  Treasurer and I chatted for a while.  He has some interesting things going on in his family, and we have some interesting dilemmas with the church finances.  We are dealing with some major building issues, and need to determine where we will find the money to address them.  I think we have a plan.  He also reported about a potential conflict I will need to address, and I have a plan for addressing it.  It really is good to be back to work. 

The committee responsible for worship and education is meeting tonight, and as I worked on the agenda, I realized that this could be a very long meeting.  We continue to have more opportunities, and I hope we will embrace those opportunities.  I read an article today that talks about how being the pastor of a growing church can be exhausting.  It described our situation beautifully.  I'm going to share it with the board, as we will have a discussion of their priorities for my work.  I can't do it all, much as I'd like to.  It will be interesting to see where they think I can cut back. 

Daughter called me at 7:30 this morning, and I haven't heard from her since.  She is becoming so much more independent.  It's great to see her maturing and becoming more responsible. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

One Hundred Fourteen Years of Experience

I had a wedding this evening.  The couple live across the street from each other, and their spouses died within days of each other several years ago.  Between them they had 114 years of experience in marriage.  They are a neat couple, and I enjoyed working with them.  By the time they came to talk to me, they had planned out a prenuptial agreement and agreed on the fact that their children would be responsible for medical decisions.  They sat through most of the ceremony, as standing was hard for the man.  They had a reception at the church following the service. 

They had arranged for the pianist to play a special song for the recessional.  It was supposed to be small and simple, but weddings always grow. Always.  They went from 50-60 max to over 70.  Their families were meeting each other for the first time today. 

Today we worshiped at the church.  I told them that after 3 Sundays away, I was ready to come home.  People were glad to see us back.  I told Administrative Assistant that I anticipate that I will have a steady stream of visitors tomorrow.  She agreed, and suggested I not plan on getting any other work done.  I think she's right.  I'm grateful I went in Thursday to get a head start on some things.  I'm pretty much ready for tomorrow evening's meeting, which will have a long agenda.

Daughter had a good weekend with me, and I'm grateful.