We have had a 16 year old daughter since September 28th.
The past four and a half months have been tumultuous, hopeful, discouraging, rewarding, and, more than anything else, draining.
I am drained.
I have given love and support. I have given boundaries and consequences. I have given forgiveness and second, third, fourth, and fifth chances. I have given all I had to give, and it was not enough.
On Monday, I sat in a room with a team of adults to determine the next steps. The conclusion was unanimous; this child needs more.
As I always do, I will let you see the ugly in me. I was relieved, maybe even elated.
Mom. That’s what she calls me, even to her friends when I am not around. Mom.
As she goes, I don’t know what side is up or down.
I left that room knowing the end was in sight, believing the decision was right, and feeling LIGHT. But, then…with her sitting beside me in the car, I was sad and broken because we were driving to what will no longer be her home.
She asked about her inappropriate clothes. I said, “afuera,” and we laughed because that is where she said she had been. I know you don’t understand that sentence, but there is so little in this situation we can comprehend.
How did she… no we… get here?
She is funny, determined, and smart. She is wild, clever, and slippery… so slippery she is sliding right out of our hands.
As she walked into the house, I stayed in the car and wept.
It has been a few days, and we are still mid transition. She knows where she is headed, but she doesn’t (as usual) believe the consequence is real or will happen. She doesn’t know that we gave all we had as she trampled every rule and laughed at every boundary.
In these days, I have watched her continue to push, wiggle, and strive to get to things that we have fought to protect her from. I have been relieved for the battle to end and sorrowed at the fact we are are both losing.
I know the next step is right, and I am hopeful for reform and return. But as she goes, I am angry at her defiance, frustrated by her attitude, desperate for the relief, and heartbroken we couldn’t give her more.