Friday, April 27, 2007

Still moving

I talked to Katie on her therapy call last night - went very well again. She goes up for level 2 on Monday. She is putting forth goals and plans and finally has said that she actually wants to come home. Right now she wants to make level 4 and get a pass by her birthday ( July 3rd ) - I did tell her that it won't happen that weekend because we already have a committment - she took that well and said it could be the next weekend. She also has decided she wants to be home by Christmas.
I don't know if either of these are realistic goals, and we discussed that as well. We also talked about that she needs to realize it is not all smooth sailing from now on, even if she has turned the corner. There will be bumps in the road, and she will lose levels. The key will be to pick herself up and keep going.
It is nice to have good calls.

Friday, April 20, 2007

growing stronger

I talked with the family rep 'A' yesterday, and Katie is still doing well. She presented her goals to group this week, and got 100% support on them. She should go up for level 2 a week from Monday, and if she keeps going like she has been then she should actually get voted up with no issues - a first!

She has also buckled down with her school work, and is getting caught back up to where she would be. She talks about wanting to be a veterinarian - and I had to stress that it was very hard to get into vet's school, especially when a few months ago she had barely completed her 9th grade work. I big change in that as well, so that whenever she gets out she will be where she should be in school, if not ahead!

B has made here the buddy of another girl. Katie has a problem with talking way too much, this other girl barely talks at all. So for now, they are only allowed to talk to each other and the staff. It is good, because this other girl is holding her accountable as well.

It is really nice to have calls that have good news instead of frustration.

Monday, April 16, 2007

2 letters

Surprising, got a letter from Katie and Friday and another on Saturday. I'll respond back to them today. Both are decent, meaningfull letters, which is good. It is really comforting to me to see her start to make some progress. I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, but part of me can't help but hope that she has actually made a breakthrough and is finally getting started working.

She wants to go by Katie - which we never had any issue with (as you can tell) - we just don't support her going by K.T. (that is her grandparent's dog's name). She also wants to read fantasy books again - which is not going to happen for a while. She was using them to escape and not deal with her issues and reality, and just doing a little bit doesn't earn them back. When she gets to high levels (i.e. at least 4) then we can begin to talk about it, but not until then.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A good call

I had our call with the therapist 'B' and Katie last night, and it was actually very pleasant - which is quite unusual. Katie is still working, and right now she actually sounds great! I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but both 'B' and the family Rep 'A' (and her teachers) have noticed a significant change in her these past few weeks.

'B' had her go back through Orientation as a buddy (her third time), and she said she really got a lot out of it, including accepting and incorporating feedback she received, another first.

There was also an interesting incident this week. Apparently someone from another group said that she took a piece of fruit without asking. 'B' confronted her with this, and it looked like she immediately went back into her old habits, not remembering doing it, not accepting responsibility for it. However then the big change came in - the rest of the group supported her on this - saying that it was not like Katie to do that at all, and that she did not take it. She said it was just amazing how good it felt to actually have support!

She had also worked on a big presentation she wanted to give to the group - and on the day she thought she would do it she was all excited and over the top - and 'B' caught it right away that she was playing for attention yet again. So he said she wasn't going to do it. And she accepted it without fuss and went on instead of getting upset and closing down.

She said she may go up for level two next week or the week after - she is actually re-doing a bunch of her 7-habits workbook stuff that she had just glossed over before. She doesn't sound worried about it, and seems to understand that she has to earn it.

She also talked about the future quite a bit - in a realistic way. Actually talked a bit about coming home, though she knows she is a long way from that happening, but she is actually looking forward to it.

So maybe she is finally making a real change. The key for me is to let go and let her work it - I can't get worried about it one way or the other.

But it was nice hearing good news for once.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

and hope flickers on

We received two letters from Katie yesterday - and both were better than usual. Not real deep, but then that isn't required every time. But they weren't just empty fluff either.

The one real significant bit is that Katie has started to get some support from her group, and it is making her feel good. These other girls are all really good and detecting bullshit, and their detectors have been going full blast for quite some time, so it is actually extremely promising to hear that she is being real and the group is getting behind her - because they won't do it as long as she is playing the games she has been.

I made sure I wrote her back very quickly, just to continue a bit of positive feedback for actually working.

She still has a huge way to go, and lots of issues about her mom - which is not a surprise to anybody. I did write to her about the fact that digging into these issues is painful - I made the analogy of an injury that requires surgery to repair it. You can leave it to fester and never get better, or you can bite the bullet, accept that there will be some more pain involved as you clean up the wound, and realize that the pain will actually start to decrease after the healing begins, but there may be a bit more to get it started.

Sometimes it is easier to endure the pain you know than to face the unknown, even it if promises to make things better. Especially if the unknown may mean more pain initially.

But isn't change always like that?

Friday, April 06, 2007

still glimmering

I had our call with the Family Rep A last night, and for once it was surprisingly good. Compared to the usual call of no work at all, she is making a small amount of progress. It does sound like the call last week, and maybe the letters, might be finally having some effect. And I don't want to discount with her therapist B has done - when he tore up all her work in front of her it seems to have had a pretty big impact.

She is in the positive points, and is still working on the apology exercise, but the latest revision of the letter to her mom is much better. Still not where it really should be, but the last half that turned into a major guilt trip has been fixed by her, which is very good. It does seem that she is learning what a real apology looks and sounds like, as opposed to what she was doing.

The crux of it all is getting real, with her real emotions. Especially around her mother, but not limited to that by any means.