Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Schemer

Daughter’s best friend is another adopted child Daughter met at the workshop. Unfortunately, Best Friend has not healed as well as Daughter has. I’m sure she has Reactive Attachment Disorder. She moved into an efficiency apartment in subsidized housing this year, and it has not gone well. I dropped Daughter off their once while I went grocery shopping. Daughter described an apartment with open containers of spoiled food all over the place. Best Friend asked Daughter to clean her apartment while she talked on the phone. When Best Friend got a call from her parents saying they were on their way, she wanted Daughter to ignore my call that I was on my way to get her and finish cleaning the apartment.

Needless to say, I don’t care much for Best Friend. Daughter finally (with the help of their case manager) told Best Friend she was abusive and needed to stop hitting and kicking Daughter. That doesn’t mean Best Friend has stopped trying to organize her life. Friday was payday at the workshop. Daughter had her largest paycheck of the year: $25. Best Friend (who is doing a terrible job of managing her money and at one point was begging Daughter for quarters so she could do her laundry) wanted me to take the two girls to Big City so they could go shopping. I said no.

As the week progressed, she had various other ideas for how Daughter should spend her weekend. I was noncommittal on all of them. Best Friend’s last scheme had me hosting a picnic for all of their friends before a concert in the park. Best Friend didn’t show because her boy friend’s parents were out of town so she was spending the weekend with at her boy friend’s house (the boy friend has been forbidden to see her). Thursday Daughter refused to do her chores to earn her night out, so I was looking forward to a quiet weekend (or as quiet as it can be when I have a graveside service and some meetings that I need to prepare for.)

Yesterday Daughter came home all excited. Best Friend had made plans for 4 of them to go to City shopping. Daughter wanted to go. As I’ve already mentioned, I don’t trust Best Friend. There were two other participants: Friend, who Case Manager has warned me doesn’t make good choices (her ex-husband is in prison for murdering their child), and Friend’s Boy Friend. All I know about FBF is that he is on the softball team with Daughter and Is an out of control diabetic. The coaches make him test before games and practices, and if his blood sugar is too out of range, he isn’t allowed to participate. None of these are people I would choose as Daughter’s friends.

I struggled with whether to let Daughter go. I finally figured out that knowing Best Friend, she had made these plans without consulting with Friend or BFB. I suggested Daughter call Best Friend and find out what the plans were. Sure enough, when Best Friend had tried to call the other two to tell them their plans for the evening, she hadn’t been able to reach them. I was relieved.

Best Friend then decided Daughter needed to come to the concert in the park. I had discussed going to the concert earlier in the week with Daughter, and she wasn’t interested. I had had a hard day, and didn’t want to go anyplace. Daughter was trying to do lots of work to make up for being so uncooperative on Thursday. I was tired, and had planned on a quiet evening at home. I declined to take her to the concert. A small rage with some yelling and door slamming resulted. I ignored it. In her calm moments, I offered Daughter alternatives to the concert. Of course they weren’t satisfactory.

To further complicate matters, Daughter and Boy Friend are having some difficulties. Boy Friend has told Daughter he can’t go to the concerts because he can’t handle heat. He told her he was busy all weekend and wouldn’t be able to see her. When Daughter called him yesterday, he was at the concert.

I think the workshop is one huge soap opera most of the time. I’m torn between wanting to keep Daughter away from all of them and knowing that she needs to socialize. I look forward to the day when we will live closer to her friends and it will. I hope that when that day comes, she will have more (and better) options in friends.

This morning Daughter was apologetic. She knows I have the graveside this morning. If I can get the sermon tamed for tomorrow, I think I’ll take her to the City for some shopping. There are some things I need to get, and it would be nice to get away for a while.

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