Fail Road
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.  

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  • Jenifer October 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    A few things stand out in your post. BONUS kid. Someone you took on because you are a loving person. You have a heavy load, already. If you're like me (and I'm guessing you are) you are your own worst enemy. You know all the things to say and do, and sometimes struggle yourself to do them. Reason and rationality are fine, but they are nothing in the face of a constant stream of difficult emotions. If we were people who could meditate for 2 hours or so a day and approach every situation in a Buddha like manner, it would be wonderful. I strive for that kind of enlightenment. However, for me, it's not likely to happen any time soon. Was that what the yoga revisit was about? 🙂 You need to remember you are very human and have very big responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to remember that you can do the best you can in any moment, but that's probably about all. Remember that those of us who know what it's like feel for you, understand you and celebrate you, despite your "imperfections." Keep on keepin' on. Much love. Jen

  • Adrienne October 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I hear your pain. I know these limits. If you are failing (and I'm in no way willing to concede that you are), it's because the need is too large, not because your willingness, love, and ability are somehow lacking.

    So, I'm going to yell because I know you can't hear me if I don't. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. You didn't create this need, and there is no human and no family who could meet the need. I'm convinced of that. I know exactly how hard this is to do, but PLEASE try to be gentle with yourself. You and Tom are wonderful people, deeply generous and loving. This is not your fault.

    Go to YouTube and search "Iron Man hitting the wall." What happens to those people physically is what's happening to you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

  • Debbie Lynne Malison October 2, 2013 at 2:36 am

    cannot even imaging having it in me to do what you did. the first two comments said it all. bless your heart.

  • Marian Wiseman October 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I know. I know. I know. We think about you and bonus every day. Boy13yo sends her a message and is waiting for the day when she can answer again. I think we all are. But, her bonus parents will find the way.

  • Amelia October 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Sending light and love.