I question whether I am the one for this job I have given myself. I wonder if I am out of my league. I wonder if I do not have the appropriate safe guards and consequences in place or the support for myself to complete the task ahead of me.
As I mentioned the other day, when it comes to verbalizing understanding, Bug does well. She will agree with whatever is in front of her at the time, no matter what it is just to make the person she is talking to think she is willing or compliant.
This was her on Sunday. She agreed that change needed to happen, she agreed she was making some poor choices, she agreed that it wasn’t going to be easy, she verbalized understanding that it was her who needed to do that work.
Then we began to set rules. Curfew was the first rule we negotiated. I said 11:00pm and she said 1:00am. When I said that was unreasonable and not going to happen, she replied with, “Fine, then I just won’t go anywhere.” I told her that if she wanted to paint herself into a corner she was doing a good job. I made it clear that although I was willing to negotiate, I was not interested in dealing with attitude and by her response to her first attempt at negotiation it was obvious that she was less than mature enough to even think abut being out unsupervised. If she wanted to argue with me I was more than willing to stop right there and contact social services, the courts, her psychologist, and the hospital where she was treated in May.
I tried to make her understand that dealing with me was a lot less restrictive than living in a group home or treatment setting where she would not even be able to leave the premises for at least the first week and that she would be chaperoned by their staff when she did go out and that if their staff was not available then she would simply not have the opportunity to go anywhere.
I explained that her extremely short leash would be let out and eventually released as she proved her maturity and decision making was appropriate for her age. I don’t expect her to be perfect, I expect her to put her best effort forth. I was 18 once. I understand.
Day one…I sit her down to talk. I ask her to tell me about her boyfriend and what he does. Here is what I know so far:
- She met him through an online dating site and he currently lives just over an hour away.
- His job is “He has some sort of mechanic shop thing he does.”
- He is moving to our town for her (they have known each other less than two weeks)
I said he is not a business owner if he is up an moving after knowing somebody for two weeks. I asked if she thought that was reasonable or responsible. She thought it was and claimed he can do his job from here. I told her that a mechanic cannot do his job and serve his customers from an hour away. He is 19 year old…not sure if this is a real business or if this is a kid who fixes up his friends vehicles because he can’t get a real job.
This is when the eye rolling, closed posture, and attitude started to show through. I know this is tough work. I know what it’s like to examine your life and realize you have nothing. I told her that locking herself up in her attitude was not going to do her any favors and the first part of changing was to be mindful of her reactions and emotions.
I made it clear to her that I was serious about doing some very difficult work. I told her that if she was just blowing smoke up my ass saying what she thought I wanted to hear just because she has nowhere else to stay, it would not take long for me to figure her out and I am not interested in playing along.
She asked if she could go hang out with a new friend she met at work. I said yes, after the dishes were done. That was one of the two chores she agreed to be responsible for. She did do the dishes although at first she was complaining and I told her the running negative commentary was not only unnecessary it was unwelcome.
About twenty minutes later she said she was leaving. I said she was expected to put the dishes away. She claimed they weren’t yet dry and she would do it when she got home. I let her know that dish towels do a wonderful job of drying things and it would be done before she left.
So far, so good…right?
Then came curfew…
As I struggled with how to deal with her being late…do I call, do I text? Does she get a chance? I was pissed.
I tried to call…no answer. I texted her…no response. I sent her a message on Facebook…nothing.
I know I can’t lock the door because she will simply stand in the hallway and knock until she wakes up the neighbors. I think about leaving a note on the door, leaving her things in the hallway…I was pissed…
I let her in when she finally gets home…1 hour and 39 minutes late. I am fed two different bullshit excuses to which I answer that although she may be fine not sleeping at night I NEED my fucking sleep and besides that SHE AGREED to the curfew.
She starts to apologize and I tell her to not bother…her words obviously mean nothing to her, why should I accept them. I’m not going to waste my time listening to her lie to me…she only digs herself a deeper hole and it’s only going to cause more issues in the long run.
So, I’m back at work this morning. Extremely tired as I didn’t get very much sleep, which also means I am damned crabby.
I cannot save my daughter if she is not willing to save herself.