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Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

just checking in. how am i doing?

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 3:05 AM
  • 13 Replies
Things have been balancing out, and my niece, Renae, has decided to stay here until she is finished with school and can afford to rent and furnish her own apartment. I've been so worried that she'd move back in with her mom or try to go live with a friend elsewhere. I have tried not to think about it, but now I know this is permanent and I've fully earned her trust. So to celebrate, we decorated her room, made and ate an entire cake, and watched one of those severely dysfunctional family/everybody's crazy movies to remind ourselves that it could always be worse.

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.
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 3:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
moobahlalala
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 3:20 AM
I almost forgot. Her getting a diploma is going to be tricky. She is 2 years behind. Her grandma is convinced that she should just get her GED and go to work. I'm still looking for alternative diploma programs. I've found a K12 online homeschool that is at her own pace, and she's interested. It's just a matter of making sure our area will accept it. There is also an alternative school she needs to interview with,but there is a waiting list. I feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off trying to keep track of all of this!
boys2men2soon
by Kimberly on Jul. 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Sounds like you are doing great.     May I suggest letting her invite a friend or two to your house? 




moobahlalala
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Thank you! With how far out we live from everything, it's hard to convince anyone to come out here. I've had a couple of friends come out and stay the night, but it's not as often as I would like it to happen.


Quoting boys2men2soon:

Sounds like you are doing great.     May I suggest letting her invite a friend or two to your house? 


chattycassie
by Bronze Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM

 SOunds liek you are making huge strides keep up the good work.

drfink
by Emily on Jul. 16, 2013 at 1:03 PM
1 mom liked this

hmmmm I might need to contact you for advice sometime! You are doing great.

Based only on the alternative schools in my city I would check it out very ,very well.Here some are outstanding and help the kids grow in every way....maturity ,academically in many ways.Others wouldn't be a place for any teen having a struggle to stay on path.Too many too far off path already.

So glad you are helping her have her social time.I had a 18 yr old client at the residential house I was director of .His parents had needed to move very far out in the country.He had lived in a thriving town and was socially active at school.The family farm they moved to was far out of a small town but the high school was thriving.The parents didn't understand how important the social interaction was to him and he slowly deteriorated.After a stay with us ,his parents learned from us and when he returned home they put effort out for him to have regular have social interaction . A friend of mine took his case when I left...he thrived.Had a few typical stumbles but he needed regularly scheduled time off the farm for social time.She is very lucky you recognize how important this can be.

You are making such a different path for her to follow.You make a difference.

moobahlalala
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM
I'm not sure if I'm much for advice lol. I know the last time I posted in here (2 weeks ago, maybe?), she took off and was so inebriated when I found her. She still doesn't remember that day. I felt like such a failure then. But maybe I'm doing something right now. :)


Quoting drfink:

hmmmm I might need to contact you for advice sometime! You are doing great.

Based only on the alternative schools in my city I would check it out very ,very well.Here some are outstanding and help the kids grow in every way....maturity ,academically in many ways.Others wouldn't be a place for any teen having a struggle to stay on path.Too many too far off path already.

So glad you are helping her have her social time.I had a 18 yr old client at the residential house I was director of .His parents had needed to move very far out in the country.He had lived in a thriving town and was socially active at school.The family farm they moved to was far out of a small town but the high school was thriving.The parents didn't understand how important the social interaction was to him and he slowly deteriorated.After a stay with us ,his parents learned from us and when he returned home they put effort out for him to have regular have social interaction . A friend of mine took his case when I left...he thrived.Had a few typical stumbles but he needed regularly scheduled time off the farm for social time.She is very lucky you recognize how important this can be.

You are making such a different path for her to follow.You make a difference.


moobahlalala
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 2:10 PM
Thanks


Quoting chattycassie:

 SOunds liek you are making huge strides keep up the good work.


MrsBLB
by Missi on Jul. 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

I agree    :)

Quoting boys2men2soon:

Sounds like you are doing great.     May I suggest letting her invite a friend or two to your house? 


HilbillyMamaof3
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:59 PM
You're doing a great job. The world needs more people like you
PurpleHazey
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 6:35 AM

keep up the good work

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