I was trying to decide what to name this post…..and the rest were either not descriptive enough or way to descriptive..so I will just leave it at this.
Jeralyn is leaving tomorrow. The day has come.
All of us, including her have been counting down the days. She packed her car last night….and the boys are preparing for their freedom.
Unless you live with someone that has a mental illness ….you will NEVER understand. To other people she seems normal…at home she is uncontrollable and puts us all in a tailspin. When we adapt to one thing she will come up with another…so it’s not as if we haven’t tried to minimize the damage….as parents we have lots of guilt about our other children. How we have all had to suffer at the hands of her mental illness. But this is the hand God delt us …so we are doing the best we can.
I would like to think that things will be a lot better around here and smoother…but I don’t think that will happen right away. In my group of support they talk about how once the “problem” leaves …sometimes your family is so used to chaos and pain the healthy ones will create chaos to compensate..it lasts only a short time because you can reason with them and love them through it…but I think I have a few of those that live in my house….change is difficult. But I have to admit I am so tired.
This last week has been so difficult…she was missing assignments ( like 10) on the last week of school, she is sneaking out of the house til all hours of the morning….she doesn’t accept responsibility or have any accountability. She denies that we are her parents and everything else. Rob takes this hard….I don’t so much. I have a thick skin and I know she is out of her mind……and operating at a 12 year old level…( which she will most likely stay at) and that’s what they do. So if you know that’s all she can understand….it’s easier to reason out in your own mind. So she gets to leave in a blaze of glory …burning all the bridges of everyone around her. I cancelled her graduation party. She is so rude to me and constantly throwing me under the bus..that I feel like it doesn’t matter. She won’t appreciate it and it’s a waste of time. So it is what it is.
On top of that for years Rob and I have been chased out of many places, homes and churches because she tells everyone we abuse her and treat her horribly. Sometimes if I think the people or place is worth it I will share her diagnosis and defend myself. But truly, I think I shouldn’t have to….I think people should make judgements based on their personal interaction with me. I also think when I have 6 children and only one of them says that stuff…..don’t they need to just interact or verify with one of my other children? It’s insane. The people close to us know and I am OK with that….but this last week has been strenuous because we have had to once again face all of this within our own church….and I am made out to be this horrible heartless person. Classic Reactive attachment behavior says that the child will take out all anger and rage on the mom….so true. So do I have a lot of nice warm fuzzies to say about her?….at this point…no. I am so tired, worn out, and I give up. I did what I wanted…I wanted above all for her to graduate. I got her that far..now she will be on her own.
I am at a place where I wonder if her reputation will affect my other children….will she wear down everyone around us even further to ruin any light/success for our other children..basically what else is she going to rob from them when she leaves here. I can’t compensate for her outside of our home….I can only do damage control inside the home. But I can’t worry myself about it…..It’s in God’s hands.
We will be able to run things a bit differently around here and we will all be able to breathe a bit easier….and maybe get some rest. Maybe. I still have teens. But maybe since we aren’t already on such a short fuse everything else won’t be so magnified. I pray for some relief and some laughter. These boys are good kids..and they are also tired of the drama…..so maybe we will all be able to actually enjoy each other more. Maybe the next one that leaves won’t rob us (the family) of the experience of a proper good-bye and transition. Maybe the next one will leave on good terms…with love, help, acceptance and a feeling of pride. Proud of their accomplishments….with a feeling of a good future…they are always uncertain….of course. But at least I may have a chance of not feeling dread when the others leave. With her …that’s all I feel. She will experience lots of pain and dread…with each phone call we receive. But I have been watching lots of Dr Phil recently….and I think It’s God intervening here…because it seems like there have been lots of episodes lately on troubled kids/adults and enabling parents. So I know everything I am doing is right on target. I know how to not enable….and my mother is a perfect example of an enabler…the kids she enabled are now in prison.
I think for me it will be easier not not enable Jeri because she is a negative force…but I will feel more likely to enable the others because I feel guilty for how they were raised with her….and her antics. But I have realized that we all have a story. We all come from strife….our character is developed by it. We have to choose to rise above a situation and make good choices for ourselves. So my other 5 children will have to rise above….no excuses. Jeri will have to decide to become an active participant in her own life…instead of letting her illness get the best of her. This is years of pain, experience and life for all of us.
So now is the time for my oldest. She no longer has our protection. She no longer gets a free ride. She no longer has freedom. she thinks she has freedom…and as we all learn…that leaves as soon as you leave home. You become a bigger slave to work, school and life.
So I am heart broken…but I know I have done the best I can….I know not a lot of people could have done what I have. I know lots of people would have given up a long time ago…believe me I wanted to. But God gave me strength..Rob pushed me….and my strong will to succeed. Make that ONE goal. That’s how I am..I set a goal and I make it.
Graduation ceremony is Friday…..and that will be the last time I see her for awhile. Until she needs something.
Please pray for my family…her and us. We all need to adapt to this new life. I know it will be positive for the majority of us.