Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Challenge

There have been times with V that I have been challenged to the max. 

Seriously.  I have felt like throwing up my hands.  Screaming.  Running away.  Yes.  I have felt like running away from my own home.  This child that I adore so much has the ability to turn my house upside down.  If she wakes up in a bad mood, and wants to pick on her sister, torment the pets, or disobey every thing M or I ask of her, then it's on.  I have learned many coping mechanisms to minimize this, but it isn't a fix, and it doesn't change that she acts out frequently.  It doesn't erradicate that she has no relationship with DQ as DQ has no patience for her.  It is really bad some days.

During the really bad, I have called my mom crying.  She also has a child with behavior issues.  She can relate.  There are just some days that you feel like no matter what you do...  you aren't good enough.  You suck as a parent.  No matter how much love, and gentle guidance you pour into this child he/she can turn it into a negative situation.  You become exhausted from the constant manipulation.  From trying to stay one or two steps ahead of this deviously brilliant child.  A child who has vastly different thought processes, and whom you can not fathom why they do the crazy things they do. 

My mom and dad (and countless others who have heard my lament in raising a child with severe behavior issues), always tell me that we aren't given more than we can handle.  They assure me that with my gentle love and guidance that she will straighten up.  That one day this will all be a bad memory, and even something we will laugh about.  There was a time I would struggle believing in this.  I would get off the phone with them and cry a little longer thinking that they just have more faith in me than I ever will, and I don't know how I will continue with this lovely little girl that makes our lives a living hell sometimes. 

In the end of June of this year, I will have had custody of these kids for 5 years.  I have had five years to learn what they like and don't like.  To learn what their favorite colors, foods, clothes and toys are.  Five years to learn what they are afraid of, and what they have nightmares about.  Five years of therapy.... for me and them so that we can learn new coping mechanisms for everything they went through.  Five years of listening to them fight, with the occasional time that they get along and play nice together.  Five years of weeding through V's lies, and reminding DQ that she shouldn't be so bossy with her sister/friends.  Five years that my sister has lost... completely, and will never be able to get back. 

These five years have changed me.  I thought I was strong after getting out of an abusive relationship, and rebuilding my life.  I have to say that parenting a child with behavior needs... has made me even stronger.  It has sharpened my sense of humor.  I AM able to laugh about some of the silly things she has done over the years.  I have learned so many coping mechanisms, parenting skills, patience techniques, and discipline routines that I feel well equipped for the baby that I will give birth to in 40ish days. 

When it all boils down, and I look at the bigger picture....  I have to admit that although she has been my challenge, V has made me a better parent.  Because she has done some amazingly crazy things, I feel like I can handle anything this baby throws at me.  I am by no means a perfect parent, and I still make my fair share of mistakes.  But I am a stronger parent.  I don't know if V will ever pull out of this, and will ever be the person I think she has the power to be, but I do know that I have tried.  I have given her my all, and if she fails, it will be because she has chosen to because I have never given up on her, and I never will.  I just keep pulling her along on this crazy ride called life hoping that one day it will all sink in, and she will become the happy, well adjusted adult I know she can be.

So many people have commented on how far she has come.  How big of a difference they can see from a few years ago till now.  She has come pretty far, but I see that she still has a long way to go.  I am hard on her, and I hate that it has to be that way, but if that is what it takes to help her be the best adult she can be... then so be it.  She is hard on me too.  She is making me the best parent I can be.  She has given me new depths to my patience, empathy, love, and wisdom.  I am eternally grateful for the chance to be called mom by her.  For this chance to become a better parent for her, DQ, and our little E who will be here in 6 short weeks (or more/less). 

So to my little V, thank you.  You have given me the opportunity of a lifetime.  Whatever you throw at me, is just part of my challenge.  I will continue to rise to the occasion.  You're worth every minute of it my sweet little Judeus Maximus.  Every single minute.

Aunt TT

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