Friday, February 23, 2007

Saying one thing - but her results don't show it

Talked with A, the family rep, again last night. This was pretty much the same as before. All of Katies notes for the call talk about how she is working, and planning on going up for level 2 next week, however in group she hs not done here single goal AT ALL. She is so caught up in being accepted and trying to be liked that she is completely missing the point here.

Another major issue is that she is deceiving herself, and that is basically lying to herself and then everyone else, about where she is and how she is doing. Honesty has always been an issue here, and it truly has to start with being honest with yourself before it can go anywhere else at all.

Several girls are leaving first thing this morning to go to graduation. I would think that would have some impact on her - she has been there long enough so that kids who have come in when she did, and after she did, are now going home. I've talked with other parents, and that is often a trigger to get the kids working - just the idea that they are being left behind.

Her school work is catching up, except for algebra. So at least she may be caught back up by the end of the school year, or close to it. Since she doesn't really get summer break, there is no reason why she actually can't get completely caught up and even ahead if she tries. It does seem that almost everything is easy for her except for the math, and I believe a lot of that is simply attitude.

And so it continues as it has been. *sigh*

Friday, February 16, 2007

Staying the same

Well, right now she is pretty much doing the same. She has support for all her goals, except for the main one, which is calling out other girls on rules.

From the outside, this sounds like being a tattletale. But what it comes down to is personal accountability. The whole concept of realizing you are in control of all your decisions, and you are responsible for them and the results you get from them. And one of the ways you learn this is to accept the decisions you make - and the easiest way to do this is acknowledging when you decide to break a rule. However it is hardest to admit this to ourselves, and we often need help. So the girls are supposed to track when each other breaks a rule, and bring it to their attention. It isn't about punishing them, but about getting them to realize they made the decision, and here are the consequences.

Yes, the confrontation is hard. I have a problem with this myself - I don't like to hold the boys accountable for their chores (and I resent when Diane holds me accountable for not holding the boys accountable (ok, honesty time - I resent it BIG TIME, especially because I just feel like the go between - but that is another issue entirely)). However one of their rules is to hold others accountable - so they are actually breaking a rule when they let someone else break one without calling them on it.

However it does get easier, and the amazing thing is that people will step up. You phrase things in the terms of agreements - Did you agree to do (or not do) X? Do you acknowledge that you did not do (or did) X? From there you can deal with consequences, and integrity. Ultimately it isn't so much about others but about keeping the agreements you make - which leads to honesty and integrity and trust - and those are three things that Katie needs desperately.

So B, her therapist, had an interesting idea last night on the call. For the next week this is her only goal - she won't have to worry about the others for now. But every day she doesn't do it, when they are in their group sessions, she will then have to confront every girl there with an issue they have to work on. Right then. And there will be no avoiding or putting that off. So the next call should have some kind of interesting results.

One other thing Katie has tried - she wrote Diane saying that she wanted Diane to adopt her. We shut that down, but it was still something we had to deal with. She has such big issues with her birth mother, and I can understand these, but that is not a solution ( aside from the legal and cost issues involved for - well for nothing at this point). It is interesting to note that she said she wanted to do this as a symbol of her relationship with Diane. We replied that the relationship has to be repaired first - and even if we did an adoption, the paper wouldn't change the relationship. And while it has improved - Diane and Katie have an enormously long way to go. The distance between them is farther than the physical distance by a long ways, and will be much harder to truly cross.

Friday, February 09, 2007


I had our bi-weekly call with A, the family rep. last night. She is very nice to talk to, we ended up talking for almost an hour (most of it not about Katie)!

Katie had a bit of an up and down week. The real up point was that she attended the 'Orientation' seminar, this time as a Buddy, and once again graduated. Orientation is the first seminar the kids attend, and it introduces them to a lot of the concepts. They assign an 'older' (meaning one who has been through it) girl to each pair of new girls going through it as a buddy, to help them out. Apparently she had mixed feelings about this, but ended up doing ok and graduating again from it. I tried to emphasize with her (in my letter this week) that this is a good thing, and there is always more to learn. Even teachers learn when they teach a subject (and in fact, you never learn anything as well as when you teach it).

Then in group later in the week things didn't go quite so well. She brought up that she felt she was being 'disrespected' by several of the girls there. After she finished, A simply stated that if she talked to the other girls the way she had presented in group, then it would instead come across that she was disrespecting them. She, of course, did not like hearing that one little bit.

So it was mixed progress. We'll wait and see where she goes now - if she takes the opportunity to learn and grow, or shuts down, falls back into her old patterns, and loses the little bit of momentum she had gained.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Please sir, may I have some more?

Well, this Oliver Twist managed to survive his initial beating so far. Looks like we are approved for another 6 months worth of financing. It is kind of funny - I am so afraid of getting behind on paying the school that I actually jumped the gun on a little bit on this one. I don't think they will need the new money until March 23, but they should actually get the first one this week. And for some reason this is in five disbursements instead of six like the last one.

That is one thing about Sallie Mae - since they do it a bit at a time at least you have a few months to ramp up the payments before you start in full for the rest of your life. It will be a bit weird, because I will now have two Sallie Mae payments each month.

One of the things I need to do is to consolidate all of these into a single payment - but I've heard some things about that which make me want to wait until we have them all. And that may be another year and a half from now.

So a bit of breathing room, at least for the next six months. It has us really worried that we would not be able to get loans and she would have to come home early. Unfortunately, if she hits 18 then she will probably have to come home anyway, but at that point things are a bit different. At 18 she may come back, but doesn't have to be in the home. Before that there really isn't a choice.

Of course maybe she has really turned things around like it seemed last week - only time and her will tell on that.

We shipped off a box to her today. The 7 Habits for Highly Successful Teens Workbook, two big bottles of Dove body wash for sensitive skin, her med refills, a valentine, and a letter from her grandparents.

The letter is a bit rough, especially after having a good week - but she has got to be able to face the disappointment others have been feeling with her.

The body wash is for her Excema - she has it pretty bad, and the dermatologist they took her to said that she had developed an alergy to the soap there. A, the family rep, picked some up for her, but I figured I could get some more when I was at the store. It doesn't really surprise me - she has always had really sensitive skin. I remember when she was real little, she would get McD's chicken mcnuggets with the sweet and source sauce - and everywhere it touched her face (you know kids, getting it all over) it would leave a red mark.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Some small progress

Well, we had a pleasant surprise yesterday during our call. B, the therapist, reviewed what Katie had been doing. The first week it was pretty much the same, but the second week she had gained support in nearly all her goals, being about 80% completion. That is a huge jump. And then he went and got her on the call, which was the first time in about six weeks.

We told her we were proud of her accomplishments, but not to give up. She was saying that there was one goal she couldn't do (calling other girls on rule violations) - that it was just too hard. I tried to frame it just like everything else in her life - where it all seems too hard until she does it.

So, for the first time in a long while she actually seems to have a little bit of positive momentum.

And I contacted the admission company about trying for another loan. I figured I'd ask for the next 17 months (to get to her 18th birthday) - I don't know if I'll get it, or just part of it again. But it is a start.