Mental health! We've made a deal that if her depression starts up again, she will talk to me, and in turn I will help her get into counseling (still a work in progress) and that I am willing to drive her to appointments and, if she chooses, a support group. I let her know about my struggle with bipolar disorder, and it's opened the door for communication about her own struggles.
She has agreed to take her medicine. I am monitoring how much she takes by counting her pills, since last time she took 6 xanax all at once. I can see a significant difference with her personality while on her medication, and she's starting to seem like herself again. She is finally eating again. I've kept a close eye on her for purging and binge eating, but she seems to be doing much better. I know from my own experience that her eating disorder is an ongoing struggle. She's actually taken over most of the cooking since she just started learning!
Let's see... Boundaries! We've definitely had to instill those since our last fiasco. Dh and I decided that while she did royally screw up by trying to run away, we decided to give her a clean slate. We had a heart to heart with her, and we understand why she did what she did. Basically, we live out in the middle of nowhere where she has no friends and no one to talk to, and in addition to her going off her meds and her mom rejecting her, she became impulsive. So now, in order to keep her from feeling isolated we try to make sure she is social for at least once a week. Every Friday, I drive to town where all of her friends live. My bank is over there, and I do most of my errands there anyway. She's agreed that I will drop her off with a friend either at their home, the mall, or public pool/park. At the end of my day, when I say it's time to go home, she must return with me. She has broken my trust for overnight stays and will have to earn that trust back over time. I have now met all of her friends and have introduced myself to their parents. I now know where everyone lives so if she ever takes off again I know where to look. If she does take off again, this privilege will be revoked.
Allowance... Tonight she asked me for an allowance. I've actually been giving her one here and there. She's been working with her grandma and making tips, but with her emotional instability, I've had to pick her up a lot here lately. After a week of not working, I let her know that I feel like her health is more important right now and that she does not NEED to work, as long as she is helping out around the house and being respectful to everyone, I would be happy to give her a $20 a week allowance. She can either spend it all at once or she can save it.
Anyway... This is such a sensitive situation. I know it probably sounds like we're being lenient with her, but she's coming from a lifetime without structure or stability, so we're just trying to take it one day at a time to ease the transition. Things really do feel like they're getting better, and I'm feeling positive about this.