I’m failing in spectacular fashion.
Our bonus kid has been struggling with learning how to be part of a family without falling into her old pattern of alienating everyone around her before they can disappoint or hurt her. She vacillates between needing intense, toddler-like levels of affection to openly despising every word anyone over the age of 19 utters in her presence. When her actions result in unpleasant consequences she resorts to self-harm and self-loathing. She has spent time inpatient and spends at least an hour a week in therapy. Her intentions in regards to interpersonal relationships are good; it’s her follow through that is still very much lacking. The grown-ups in the house aren’t handling it well. As any parent of a child with a severe mental illness can tell you, there comes a time when you just can no longer handle being treated with contempt every moment of every day. We know it’s our children’s illnesses, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Most days we can hold it together and not raise our voices or lash out. But most days are not most days in our house right now.