Friday, May 27, 2011

Figuring out the Source

Daughter had a very good period of over a week. She was happy, dry at night, being responsible, and then she regressed. I've been pondering the source of the new problems,and have identified several:

Since she was feeling better, she got a new boyfriend. He began making emotional demands upon her, and she got scared. That was the first trigger for her PTSD.

A staff member in her program came in and talked about how her mother and various other family members had been in a bad accident. Daughter has been paranoid about car wrecks and injuries since we were rear-ended 12 years ago at high speed on the interstate. My six month old car was totaled, and we were very fortunate to walk away from it. We were hit in the left rear corner by a speeding car, spinning us completely around. I remember looking at my side of the car hitting the guard rail that had been on the passenger side and seeing the headlights coming toward us and wondering how badly we'd be hurt. When the car stopped, Daughter was wrapped around my arm, sobbing. She has been paranoid about auto accidents ever since. That was the second trigger.

The same day, another staff member was getting calls about her mother, who was in the hospital. Daughter remembers all the phone calls about my parents when they were in and out of the hospital in the last few years of their lives, and is terrified that I'm going to get sick and die. Trigger number 3.

The same staff member, on the same day, received a phone call from her daughter, who had been abused by her boyfriend. Daughter overheard part of the conversation, and filled in the blanks with pieces from her own past. It was at this point that she sent me a text saying she was hearing voices (severe flashbacks). I responded with something about her being safe. Unable to communicate directly with me, she shut down and went to sleep for the rest of the day.

Of course staff are not supposed to talk about their personal lives in front of the clients. As Program Coordinator has pointed out, Daughter may well be smarter than one of them. Program Coordinator sat the staff down today and shared in graphic detail the impact it had on Daughter when they shared personal information with her. She also shared my threat: the next time one of them shares personal information with Daughter that triggers her PTSD, that individual gets to take her home!

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