Thursday, August 28, 2008


Yesterday evening Daughter wanted to watch TV. I suggested she talk to me after she unloaded the dishwasher, cleaned out the litter boxes, and cleaned her room. “My room is clean.”

“I looked in it as I walked by today, and it isn’t clean.”

“It’s my room. I wish people would stay out of my business.”

I had the good sense to remain silent. Too quickly she was back downstairs, telling me everything was done. “How about your closet?”

“It’s fine.”

“Can I go check?”

“You need to trust me.”

“Why don’t I trust you?”

She quickly became very angry and stormed upstairs, telling me I was the worse mother in the whole world. I heard her bedroom door slam.

I tuned it out. She was back down a little later, informing me I should take everything away from her because she doesn’t deserve anything. I told her I wouldn’t be doing that, but she’d lost TV for the day. Again she tried to pull me into an argument. Again I declined the honor.

She stormed off again. It wasn’t long before she was back trying something new. “Mom, I’m sorry. Is there anything I can do to earn TV back?”

“Not today. You can get a head start on earning TV tomorrow by cleaning the living room and downstairs hall.”

“Forget it.” Again she stormed upstairs.

Some time passed, and I headed upstairs. When I was almost to the top, I heard a door quickly open. She was coming out of the TV room. Now she really was angry. I got called names and all sorts of colorful language was used in telling me her thoughts about me. I tuned most of it out. I’ve developed a talent for tuning out her rages. I know it’s not about me, and so I don’t react and I work very hard at not hearing or remembering specifics. It hurts less that way. I did confiscate the remote control, and will keep possession of it for a few days.

I do know that she is demanding to move. She says she deserves her own place without me around destroying her life. Of course that’s not really what she wants. What she wants is to get rid of the guilt she is feeling. Her therapist and I realized a couple of years ago that her rages now are usually motivated by guilt. With her history of Reactive Attachment Disorder, for her to feel guilt is a wonderful thing, and shows how much she has healed. It is also overwhelming to her, and so she rages. She says terrible things and that increases her guilt. She finds herself caught in a downward spiral and can’t figure out how to get out of it.

It probably doesn’t help when I remind her I still love her. She insists I shouldn’t love her and she doesn’t deserve to be loved and she doesn’t deserve a family. When she’s in these moods, she wants to live on the street.

When she’s calm, we’ve talked about her guilt. I’ve explained that it’s good that she is experiencing guilt, and that God gives us guilt to motivate us to do better. This morning she still isn’t calm. I’m still the enemy. I’ll wait her out. Eventually she’ll calm down enough that we can talk.

The irony is that Therapist and I decided Tuesday that she was doing so well she could go 4 weeks between appointments. While I work hard on not hearing and reacting to her rages, they do wear me out. She has a softball tournament on Saturday (she informed me she doesn’t deserve to attend it) and the Big Event is Sunday. I really could have done without all the drama this week. At least she’s out of the hospital.


Munchkin Mom said...

My doctor told me his daughter used to insist that, if she could cross her room without needing a tetanus shot, it was clean enough.

I took some comfort in that.

Reverend Mom said...

I think Daughter would like that standard!