Saturday, September 27, 2014

"I Want Boxes and Bags"

Daughter was confronted regarding some high blood sugars yesterday.  Of course she lied and insisted she hadn't gotten into anything.  Then she became angry and offended that she was being questioned.  Then she called me and took her anger out on me.  I finally hung up on her.  I wasn't very sympathetic. 

She sent me a text demanding I bring her boxes and bags today.  She said she was done with the family and was going to return everything we'd ever given her.  I'm glad she no longer lives with me.  Very glad.  I didn't take her the boxes and bags.  At this point the plan is for her to spend the day with me tomorrow so she can provide childcare at the church tomorrow evening.  I may have to rethink that. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Psychiatrist and Self-Sabotage

Daughter had an early appointment with Psychiatrist this week.  Of course, she was doing well at that point.  Very well.  We decided not to adjust meds at this point, but if she has another extended period of rapid cycling, a phone call is all it will take to add a small dose of her anti psychotic in the morning.  Daughter commented several times that it was scary to be doing so well.

That was Wednesday.  Thursday she was at the church.  She seemed to be having a good day, and in addition to her usual work folded 400 pages for the bulletin.  She again raised the possibility of getting her own apartment.  She has picked out a roommate.  I reminded her that she needs to go a year without sneaking food before we make plans for that.  She became belligerent.  The upstairs kitchen is always locked on Thursdays.  We haven't been locking the downstairs kitchen.  At some point she went downstairs and found some graham crackers and ate them.  Her blood sugar was sky high at supper.

Today we had our annual eye exams.  I just had a call from her insisting she couldn't stay at program after her eye exam.  I told her I had confidence in her ability to cope with it.  She didn't like that, of course.  I refused to allow her to go home.  She often becomes challenging after she is praised.  She has difficulty believing she deserves to do well and be happy, so she self-sabotages.  I keep reminding her that she deserves success, but it is still too frightening for her.  Talks of more independence can trigger these issues, too.  She has to prove she's not ready for it yet.  She's convinced me. 

The good news is that my cold has not gotten any worst.  It was a productive week at church.  I don't have to see Daughter again until Sunday. I'm going to celebrate the good news. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014


I have picked up a cold.  It's not unusual.  Fall is stressful, and I often find myself fighting a cold.  The good news is that things are going really well at the church. This was our third Sunday in a row with over 100 in worship.  In 2011, average worship attendance was 78, and we only had three Sundays all year with worship over 100.  We have been growing steadily since that time.  It's not at a fast pace, but it is a comfortable pace.  As I was watching people visit before worship, I realized I couldn't tell who the new members are.  This congregation really adopts new members, and here were lots of hugs and noisy conversations this morning. 

We made some changes to the worship service this fall, and so far I haven't heard any complaints, which is pretty amazing.  Actually that isn't true, they don't like learning new songs, but they do it.  Tomorrow night the board is meeting, and we will talk about some of the information I brought back from the retreat.  I'm looking forward to the discussion. 

Daughter was in a cooperative mood again today.  I wouldn't take her shopping, but she accepted that pretty well.  She even listened when I talked to  her about perspective.  I told her that when things are bad she immediately wants to run away, and forgets all the times things have been good.  It took explaining it several different ways, but I think she finally understood what I was saying.

I have some ideas on securing the pantry, so once I get that done, I'll allow her to visit again.  She has begun keeping track of her blood sugars, and seems to be willing to take responsibility-- at least for now.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Good Week

It has been  a busy week.  I was at a retreat for the regional church Monday and Tuesday.  It was very affirming of the direction we are taking at the church.  Our vision statement is in line with the steps they suggest for church growth and renewal. 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to hear the story of a woman who began attending the church in July.  I am always honored when these stories are shared with me.  She has suffered and overcome much in her life, and has a faith  and a story that touched me deeply. 

Daughter was in a better place yesterday, which was nice.  Bell choir started back up yesterday, which I enjoyed.  Our vocal choir director came to me with two things-- a good health report for himself, and a problem with hygiene of a choir member.  I prefer good news, but I guess all news can't be good. 

The energy at the church is translating into more participation in various activities, from adult education to working the football concession stand.  We are moving forward in exciting ways.  I continue to be very grateful that God called me to serve this congregation.  Next month I will celebrate 4 years in ministry with them-- and 29 years since my ordination. 

Daughter is unhappy that she can't spend the weekends with  me, and understands why.  I still have to figure out how to better secure the pantry, and informed her she has to get better control over herself around food.  She acknowledged that the high blood sugars were the result of a friend "forcing" her to eat food.  I told her unless he tied her down and forced the food down her throat, it was her responsibility.  That shut her up. 

I did manage to get Daughter's appointment with the psychiatrist moved up.  She seems even less in touch with reality than she usually is. I am so grateful she is no longer living with me.  Life is easier when I can hang up the phone on her when she gets abusive. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Daughter is happy with the woman who is becoming the permanent staff member at her house.  This morning she said she no longer wanted to move.  Of course, this afternoon she wants to move because several staff members have asked her why she missed one of birth control pills.  Overall, though, she seems to be doing better. 

It was another great day at the church.  Attendance was good last week, and better this week.  A friend from the conference we attend each summer was in worship this morning.  She told me I'm preaching at the conference.  I guess that means she liked the worship service.  She did tell me she was impressed-- 4 people welcomed her before she sat down. 

I have a retreat with the regional church tomorrow and Tuesday.  I'm not looking forward to it.  I was trying to come up with an excuse not to go.  It makes for a short week in the office.  It looks like I'll get to work the concession booth at the football game Saturday.  I have told them I'm available if they need me.  Looking at the sign-up sheet, I think they'll need me.  Administrative Assistant thinks she'll be needed, too.  Neither of us is thrilled.  There are pleasurable aspects of it, and it is a lot of work. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Long Week

Daughter seemed a little better today.  It's been a long week.  I picked her up for our Friday evening children's program, but Administrative Assistant agreed to take her home.  I was exhausted.  I will pick her up before church on Sunday.  Since she got into the pantry, she can't come to the house. 

When she is in crisis like this, it is exhausting.  I don't know whether I should look for another living situation for her or not.  I'd prefer to leave her where she is, so I hope the new staff will help her feel safe there.  I never thought I'd be parenting her this intensely at this age. 

It continues to be busy at the church.  Things are going very well.  As I keep reminding AA, it's fall.  Things are going well. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rapid Cycling

Yesterday I received an email from Case Manager.  Daughter had sent her an email asking her to convince me to let her move and get her out of the current house.  Case Manager forwarded the email to me and asked for my thoughts.  I responded that Daughter had been working on this idea for a week, and I was surprised it had lasted this long.  Yesterday she was mad at me and needed to get out of the house immediately.

This morning I picked her up to do her volunteer work at the church.  She got in the car and said, "Okay.  I'll listen.  I know you have things you want to say to me."  By the time we got to the church, she was accepting the idea that she should stay where she is and give the new staff a chance. 

By lunch time, she was mad again and refusing to work.  At some point she gave me a note demanding to go to the psych unit.   She then drew me a picture with lots of blood and a list of all the people she was going to kill before committing suicide.  She does know how to get attention. 

By suppertime she was apologizing and agreeing to stay at her current house again.  Have I mentioned dealing with her is exhausting right now?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Protective Services

I received a call from Adult Protective Services this morning.  They were investigating Daughter's house.  The gentleman who called went out and talked to Daughter this afternoon. 

Daughter is adamant that she wants out of her house and will not go to another group home.  She's recruiting a couple from her program to take her in.  Of course, this weekend she broke into my pantry again, and I'm sure these people have no idea of what would be involved in taking care of her.  She wants me to meet them.  She is quite convincing.  I finally told her I'd think about it.  I'm not sure what to do at this point.  I have not heard anything from the Home Owner, who didn't respond to either of my texts yesterday.  She also hasn't responded to the one I sent today about Daughter's program needing more needles. 

I suppose I need to talk to Case Manager at some point.  I find the silence from the house and Case Manager interesting.  You'd think they'd want to offer me some reassurance....


Daughter has been having problems with the main staff person at her house.  Staff keeps her TV on all night.  She doesn't always measure Daughter's food or follow her diet.  She complains  to Daughter about things going on in the house, and then tells her not to tell anybody. 

This afternoon Daughter called me.  They were back at the house, but no one was answering the door.  I texted Home Owner, but she didn't  respond.  I tried calling her, but she didn't pick up and her voice mail box was full.  Eventually 3 buses were in front of the house waiting for someone to let the women in.  They eventually decided to call police, as they couldn't wait indefinitely.  Case Manager called Daughter, and Daughter told her what was going on.  Case Manager got someone over there. 

They went and looked in Staff's bedroom.  It was empty.  Apparently, she quit today without telling anyone.  Daughter was quite distressed about it.  "She didn't even say good by!" Once they got in, she called me, sobbing.  During the crisis, she sounded fairly calm.

She continues to complain about having to be the strong one.  She's the only resident with a cell phone and decent communication skills.  I hope the next person hired will have a bit more sense than the last one did. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Daughter's Big Plans

Daughter likes to dance.  She hasn't had any formal instruction, but she enjoys it.  Staff members have seen her dancing at her program, and they decided to give her a chance to teach a dance class in October.  She is very excited. 

This morning she was up before me, working on a list of things she needed for the dance class:
  • a boom box
  • CD's
  • towels
  • dance shoes
  • wood dance floor
  • mirrors
  • a rack for dance shoes
  • a rack for walkers (one class will be for people in wheel chairs and using walkers)
  • little water bottles
  • a refrigerator for the water bottles
So at breakfast we sat down and talked.  I asked her about the goal for the class.  She finally decided it is to have fun.   We talked about what would make it fun.  We talked about encouraging people to move and praising them for any movement at all.  We talked about being positive.  We talked about keeping it simple.  She decided that she has what she needs, though she would like to get the soundtrack from the movie Fame. 

She does like to make big plans.  I was amazed at how easy it was to downsize those plans today.  She's in a good, cooperative mood.  I like having her around when she's like this. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

It's Fall

Several times this week I found myself thinking, "Yup, it's fall."  After a wonderful Labor Day with Sister Best Friend, I jumped into  a full week on Tuesday.  I first thought, "It's fall," as I was arriving home just before 9:00 that night.  There were two late nights this week.  We had more people stopping by the office.  They are beginning to come back  from their cottages on various lakes. We kick off our fall program on Sunday.  We've made some adjustments to the order of worship. 

Daughter has been in crisis, and quite frankly, I understand why she doesn't feel safe.  Staff wasn't going to give her a bedtime snack Monday night.  I had to explain the importance of a snack in light of her blood sugar.  She finally agreed to give her half a sandwich.  They ran out of needles for her insulin pens, so she spent two day reusing needles, which puts her at risk of infection.  Staff is in the bedroom next to her, and keeps her TV on all night.  Daughter says she's not sleeping well. 

When I picked her up and brought her home this evening, she disappeared. I finally called her name, asking where she was.  She was snuggling in my bed.  She felt safe there.  I've emailed the home owner, who was on vacation.  Daughter called in tears this evening.  Home owner is in the hospital following  and auto accident.  I'm  dreading the possibility that I'll have to move her again.