Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Grungies

Yes, my anger did come out last night on the call. I just can't believe she's fallen so far back. And it all feels so manipulative. Am I being too critical? Am I taking this personal? In a way, how can I not?

It's not supposed to be "about me" but it has an effect on all of us in the family. I know there is nothing I can do, it has to be up to her to change her ways. It just boggles my mind that after almost 2 years nothing has seemed to change. She knows the "program speak" like no other, but she doesn't DO it.

The "grungies" have a good hold on me since yesterday. I'm having trouble staying focused at work, though there really isn't too much to focus on at this time. We're going out with some friends after work to the Funny Bone. Hopefully that will lift this mood.


Early call, but not good

We talked with 'B' yesterday. Apparently he had something going on this evening, so he called me at work and we did the call a day early.

It wasn't good. Katie is back in Orange again. She was given an assignment when she chose out of Principles, to say "Is it Honest? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?" before she spoke. Every time. And she didn't do it. At all. Which is a Cat 4 for not following therapy assignments.

We did talk to her - and tried to get to the bottom of, well why she has bottomed out. There were a lot of tears on her part, and a lot of anger came through on our part, especially from Diane.

Before she got on the call we did talk a little about wilderness programs - however those don't fall under educational loans, so I doubt we could even go that route, plus I really feel that she would end up with some type of medical issue going on, and get out of it that way. 'B' is very frustrated (as are we) about the lack of progress, and we have raised the concern about finances - this is not getting any easier.

I'm waiting to here back on the finalization of the next loan. I hope to hear that is finalized soon, it will be a big relief there.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Looks like another six months

I got the loan documents today, so it looks like we will be good to go for another six months. Or at least we won't have to pull her because of money - yet. Now paying for the loans is something else entirely - but finding $275/mo is much easier than $4200/mo.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lots of letters

After quite dry spell, we are suddenly getting lots of letters from Katie. I don't know if that is better or not however. In the past week I think Diane and I have gotten 5 letters.

The last one was all about how excited she was to go to principles, as well as a lot about religion.

Well, we know she chose out of principles, and not gracefully either. So all the talk about it pretty much goes out the window - she did her homework but wouldn't actually do the work in the seminar.

The religion thing is also 'interesting'. It wasn't long ago that she said she really wanted to go back to the Baptist church she joined two and a half years ago here, now she is wanting to be a Mormon (she says she was baptised (which would be her third time) in the LDS church when she was at ther mom's two years ago).

Me, I'm not religious. I'm not actively against any, I just don't believe in them myself. I can see how some people can get comfort from them, and at times I envy that, but it is not something that I can accept or believe in.

It is frustrating to here her say the same things she did before she ever went to the school. I'm feeling that her letters lately are just crap - nothing real again. She is going on about wanting to talk about things, but then I feel no trust of her that anything is true.

I guess that tells me what I need to do. I need to re-iterate my committment to only respond when she is being real and honest, and not to crap. I don't know how to tell when she is being honest, but right now I don't feel it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Long Time, no post...

As with Mike, I am very frustrated too. I don't know what to say to her to get her to start working again. It's like she just gave up and is back at square 1. I don't how much my feelings would be different if she were "my blood child" and not just a step child. I know I'll probably catch hell from some saying "just a step child" but if you've never been there, there is a difference. Maybe if I would have had more dealings with her from a much younger age things would have been different. I'm not saying I'm the perfect, and all-knowing parent or anything. It's just that things would have been handled differently. And if she were younger, it all would have been different. Mike has done a great job with what he was dealt. I understand what he means when he says when the kids outnumber the parents by more than 2 to 1, it's extremely hard to do anything.

But I can't change any of the past. I just have to learn to deal with the here and now.

A side of me wants to just yell at her and say "WAKE THE HELL UP! Do you realize how good you could have it by just stopping all this stupid shit you continue to do???? STOP playing victim, oh poor you, you've had it SO rough. If you think rules don't apply to you, just go and make your own way in the world since you know everything. You can't live here and disrupt our lives any more. As it is we will never be out of debt. The boys know how much has been wasted on you -- yes WASTED. And they are not happy about it. They don't understand why you continue to make the stupid decisions you do and not just cut the crap and come home."

Then the other side just is frustrated. I see the stress on Mike and the boys. The money that we will never have, the easy retirement we will never have. I want to cry knowing there is nothing we seem to do or say that is making a difference with her. Other "program parents" say to just hang in there, and many have been in the same spot we're in -- maybe not for this length of time, but they've felt the same frustration.

The Cross Creek school is SO good, in my opinion. They are also frustrated and have done so much to try to make this work. I feel sorry for them to have to deal with her day after day and not being able to make her see the light.

The letters we get just seem to be rambling, and repeating. I think she is comfortable there and won't do anything until it is time for her to leave...when she turns 18 in 10 months. We don't think we'll be able to continue with student loans for that long, however. So what then? I truly don't want her back here disrupting our lives like she did. And I truly think that is what she will do. She has learned just enough to get her by, to manipulate those enough to get attention but in no way does she want to take responsibility.

Wow, just re-read the above. I guess I didn't realize I was this angry again. But as Mike has always told me. Be honest, even when it sucks.

I love him with all my heart and feel so lucky to have him in my life. I don't know how I can handle having her back home if she doesn't change her ways. And maybe I'm not giving her enough credit as Mike says, but my trust in her was trashed a long time ago and I know myself well enough that it takes a LONG time to build that back up , IF it ever happens. All I see is her manipulation and I'm not willing to play that game any longer.


Friday, August 24, 2007

23 months

Yesterday was 23 months in the program. So what does that mean?

I had to download another loan application. I'm in debt $100,000 so far, and have to ask for another $25,000 for the next six months. I'm paying more for the educational loans than I am for my mortgage.

Diane and I are keyholders. We have graduated 8 different seminars, and I have staffed one. Jon has also been to one as well. The things we have learned about ourselves at these are incredible, and life changing. I'm not the person I was two years ago, that is for sure.

Katie got out of Orange yesterday, but is back at square one completely, or perhaps even farther behind. She has destroyed all trust that she had built up with everyone around her. While I had expected her to drop a bit, I had thought she was making some real progress before. Now, I really don't know.

My frustration level is extremely high, and I'm not dealing with it well right now. At least I can recognize this. Getting out of it is another thing entirely.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fallen, and won't get up

Well I've been out of town since Wednesday, but we did have our call with 'B' the therapist on Thursday, but not Katie. No, she was not on the call, because she is STILL in Orange. So we've gone back to some of the restrictions we had when she was in her other groups - if she is in Orange then she doesn't get to participate in the calls.

On thursday it will be 23 months, and that means time to go back to 'Aunt Sallie Mae' and beg for six more months again, and then hope I can find a way to continue to make the loan payments.

It is so much easier to do this when the kids are working the program and not fighting it. There are lots of times I have to tell myself that she is still learning, and we aren't just throwing money into a pit.

It has been 10 months since our last therapy visit, and 'B' is talking about us coming out for another one now, but I feel like that is rewarding her for not working.

It feels right now like she hasn't gotten anything out of the program, and the progress she had seemed to make before was just another lie. I wasn't upset about her falling at first, because I like that line from "Batman Begins" - "Why do we fall? To learn to pick ourselves up again." But now she has fallen, and won't get up again.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Like a yo-yo

Up. Down. Up. Down. Up.

In orange. Out of orange. Back in organge. Disrespectful. Working. Good days. Bad days. Better days.


Talked with 'A' last night as usual. Things are rough right now. Katie got out of Orange, then went right back in. It turns out that she had finished whatever tape credits she had to do, so got out. But was not supported by the staff to be out, so went back in. She didn't handle this well, and was deep back into her old patterns of disrespect etc. Yesterday she was doing much better at least.

I don't know what she needs to get out besides start working again. The one shining light is that she hasn't lost all her points - so all she 'needs' to get back to level 3 is support - which is the most difficult requirement of all. It is nice to know that she won't have to repeat all the other steps again and again.

She was scheduled for a seminar this weekend (where the adults have 'keys', the kids have 'principles'), but 'A' didn't know if she was still eligible for it, even if she got out of orange in time. So yet another missed opportunity.

At least when she is falling it is for shorter amounts of time, and she is turning back around much quicker. Before something like this would have lasted for quite some time - but she may already be working again.

So much for me being concerned about a pass etc. I feel like we are back where we were six months (12 months, 18 months, . . .) ago.

And just to put in that little extra turn of the screw - it is getting close to the time to go back and get yet another loan.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Just breathe

Ok - deep breath. Hold it. Now let go.

That is the key. Let it go.

We had our call with the therapist 'B' and Katie last night. At first I didn't think I would be on it because I had something going on at work, but then it took Diane over half an hour to actually get through - she kept getting a busy signal, so by the time she did get through I was home and Ben was able to conference me on.

Katie is back in Orange.

She got fired from being Momma, for both not working at the job, and for an inappropriate conversation (it was about shaving - started about girls who shave their heads and headed south. She says she stopped talking at that point, but also didn't do anything to stop the conversation - which was in the tape room as well.)

Otherwise it was a working call, if not a good one. She does seem to realize some of the things that came up, and wants to work on it, so this may not be such a bad thing overall. It is also good for her to experience some bumps in the road - as that is what life is all about (at times it seems that life [b]IS[/b] the bumps.

So not the real key is to see where she is and what she is doing in two weeks. Is she back to her old behavior, or is she actually learning something. A lot of it comes down to here feelings - she said that she felt like a failure about this, and the key is to realize that this was a mistake. To not tie her self-worth to external events. Which I guess is something that has been coming up for the entire group a lot lately.

So time to take my own advice - and just breath.