This has been the week from hell. Let me elaborate....
As you know, Princess Ivi is 13. She will be 14 in 12 days. She has been struggling with anxiety, depression, anger, sadness, all of it for a while now. It all really began this past summer. Before that, she was happy, social, sweet, never got in trouble, a good friend. Since she has been dealing with all these new emotions, she has become antisocial, mean, angry, rebellious, and gets into trouble. Things really came to a head this week.
Monday my daughter's principal called to tell me that Princess Ivi and her boyfriend had gotten into trouble within days of the last time for public displays of affection. (I believe that they were being excessive since they had this past weekend in front of me and I had to talk to them about it and they still continued to hang all over each other.) The principal had ordered them to have different lunches and that they weren't allowed to spend their free period together. I said that I would talk to Princess Ivi about then when I got home. Of course when I got home, I talked to her but her response, after saying they weren't doing anything, was to shrug her shoulders or stare off into space. As punishment for this referral to the office, she lost her phone and computer privileges for the rest of the week.
On Tuesday, I received call from the dean to tell me that Princess Ivi was suspended from school for three days because she disregarded the Principal's orders and had lunch and her free period with her boyfriend anyway.
When I got home from work, I woke Princess Ivi up (her plan was to avoid the talk by taking a nap). Again, I was met with a lot of shoulder shrugs. It ended up that all night long, she refused to speak to anyone. (I did tell her that she couldn't have a boyfriend because she wasn't mature enough to handle it.)
On Monday and Tuesday, both discussions centered around the fact that her behaviour would create a reputation that she wouldn't be able to get out from under and that she needed to participate more in our family. It also included that she needed to not take me for granted and only want anything to do with me or be nice to me only when she wanted something.
On Wednesday, after kissing her goodbye and making sure she took her medicine, I left for the day. I was taking half a day off of work so I figured by the time I got home at noon, I would have worked out the rest of her punishment for getting suspended.
I made it halfway to work before Princess Ivi's boyfriend's mom called to tell me that he had run away from home. I turned around and went home to talk to Princess Ivi. After getting home and searching her cell phone, I found numerous texts to friends that she was going to run away on MONDAY and meet the boy and they were going to run away together. I confronted her about all these and I have to admit that I probably didn't handle it very well because I was so scared. I know I yelled. Especially when her response was either a shoulder shrug or telling me that she "didn't know" why she said or did things.
There were also texts to her friends saying that she as going to kill herself so after talking to her psychiatrist, we agreed to take her into the mental health facility. She agreed to stay for a few days. I have a family meeting in 45 minutes and I am hoping they tell her she can go home soon.
We (doctors, therapists, me) believe that Destiny's core issue is that because of her father's abandonment of her 12 and a half years ago, she has issues. She has anger, sadness, no self-worth, etc. Because of this she has no coping methods that are healthy. The plan is to teach her those coping methods so she doesn't turn to doing anything to herself to cope.
For the past several weeks now, as Princess Ivi closed herself off from me more and more, I have had to deal with crazy emotions. The main one being guilt. Guilt that I made my daughter's life so difficult and made the wrong decisions for her. Sadness that she is feeling so out of control. Hurt that she was distancing herself from me. For a while, I let those emotions get control of me. I let them make me feel horrible about myself as a parent and as a person. I felt scared and alone and I was wishing that I had someone to lean on to help me through this difficult time.
Lying in my bed Wednesday night, knowing that Princess Ivi wasn't in her own bed, I started to feel guilty, lost, hopeless. But then I heard a voice in my heart say "I gave her to you to take care of and by protecting her, even from herself, you are doing the job I gave you."
Recognizing that to protect her from herself, I had to put her in the care of someone else was hard but knowing that she was safe and hopefully learning useful things to help her deal with this situation that exists made me feel hope for the first time in a long time. This situation exists. I can't make it disappear. All I can do is protect her as much as I can and help her to learn how to deal with how she feels in a healthy way.
And I can lean on my faith that she will be okay because there is a plan for her life. She was put on this earth for a purpose and she hasn't fulfilled it yet. I will continue praying that He lightens her heart, helps her through her pain and reminds her that she has a purpose to fulfill.
And I can remember that I am not alone in my love for her. Someone loves her even more than I do and as her parent, I am never alone in her raising her.