Monday, September 8, 2008

If I'm Scared, You Must Be the Enemy

Daughter followed up Friday’s success by calling Therapist this morning to reschedule her appointment (it will be at the workshop now so I don’t have to make a trip to Town—she’ll ride the bus home) and going in to talk to her Case Manager to see what was happening with jobs. A week from Wednesday, she’ll go observe the cleaning crew, and then she’ll be able to sub, and possibly get on the crew permanently when there is an opening. After each event she called me all excited to tell me about it.

She’s excited, but she’s also scared. After moving back to her own bed, she was back in my recliner last night. When she’s scared, I become a target. If she’s scared, she must be in danger. Since I’m the only one around, I must be the danger. Therefore, she needs to defend herself against me.

So, she objects and doesn’t want to eat the supper I fixed.

She complains that she should be able to control her SSI.

She needs to get away from me and into her own place.

She can’t work because I haven’t given her a list.

She can’t work because I’ve piled too much on her and she can‘t handle it.

She hates taking pills and we should hire a nurse to fill the month’s pill boxes.

I’ve learned not to argue. It isn’t about me, and most of the time I remember that. I just fixed a plate of food and sat it in front of her. Eventually she checked her blood sugar, took insulin, and ate.

I showed her the spread sheet and explained that her SSI covers less than half of her expenses. I also made it very clear that I love her and I’m not complaining, I don’t mind spending money on her. She was indignant that I have to spend so much money on her each month—it’s not fair.

I reminded her that I want her to be able to live independently, too, and that we’re working on that goal together. I reminded her that when she started school, she couldn’t immediately read. She had to work up to it gradually, just like she has to work up to living independently gradually.

I assured her that while the steps she’s taken are scary, they are good steps and she will be able to handle a new job when it comes her way.

But mostly, I’m silent. I’m just here and present, going about the daily tasks. She has grown in her ability to identify her stressors and talk about them. I have learned more about what her triggers are and how not to react when she gets in one of her moods.

The dishwasher is unloaded. The litter boxes are clean. The trash is out on the curb. Pill boxes are ready for the next four weeks. She’s upstairs watching TV, and agreed to turn it off at 8:00 and get in the shower. All in all, it was a successful evening. So why am I so tired?

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