Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quiet time and reflections

I had two blessedly quiet days this weekend. Lew and The Ninja took off yesterday morning on a “boys’ day out”; Lew wanted to visit his childhood haunts in NJ and show them to The Ninja. They wound up connecting with some friends who live north of the childhood haunts, and spent the night. They got back a little while ago, pooped out. Ninja is playing his beloved video games and Lew is taking a nap.

I got to relax and recharge. I did some writing and reading, crocheted, spray-painted an old picture frame that I’m turning into a bulletin board, made soup, baked banana bread, and drank wine. Never turned the TV on at all. It was glorious. It is nice to have them back home, though – I was starting to miss them.

Visited Toots on Friday afternoon. It was a pretty congenial visit. She has lost eleven pounds since she’s been at Children’s Hospital. It’s a good start, but it is really a drop in the bucket when you consider how much she needs to lose to get anywhere near a halfway normal, healthy weight. But baby steps, baby steps.

She has been having a good couple of weeks, working on controlling her reactions when she can’t do or have something. “Controlling emotions” is going to be one of her formal goals, going forward. She has been working on that since she was eight. She’s 17. Will she ever get there?

Toots goes through phases. For a few weeks or a month, she will be unreasonable, argumentative, demanding, manipulative, self-injurious, sometimes violent, and we sympathize deeply with the staff at wherever she is. Then, she will go into a “good” period, where she is helpful, friendly, cooperative, and reasonably well controlled. That is why she keeps bouncing from placement to placement. But the good times never last. Is this going to be the pattern, forever? I fear that it is.

Next month, we are going to start the process of applying for guardianship. We may or may not get it. Probably may not, since she will most likely be considered “competent”. What a joke. If we don’t, after she is 18 she can sign herself out of whatever placement she’s in, and go – where? At times, she says she wants to come home. At other times, she wants to go to “independent living”. She doesn’t want to go to the State Adult Hospital, but I think she will probably wind up there at some point.

We are going to do our best to make sure she is in a safe and good living arrangement. If she winds up on the street eating out of Dumpsters, it will be her choice.

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