Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Tearful Apology

Yesterday afternoon, Danielle called my stepmother to apologize for her lie.  She sobbed out her tearful apology, saying that she had made a mistake and had "misunderstood" something that we said.

My stepmother seemed pretty gracious in accepting the apology, but she did ask Danielle if it was really a misunderstanding, or if it was just a lie.

What did we say that Danielle claimed to misunderstand?

During our family therapy appointment, when it came out that Danielle was off her meds, we said we needed to make sure that my stepmother (or father) actually watched Danielle take her pill, so that we could be sure she wasn't skipping her dose.

How that managed to get twisted into it is my stepmother's fault Danielle wasn't taking her pills is beyond me.

Despite Danielle being back on her medications since Thursday evening, things still aren't back to normal here.  When I tried to talk to Danielle about her lie, she called me a bunch of names, and walked off, shouting some elementary school version of I'm a mirror and everything you stay goes back to you!

Real mature.  This coming from an almost-17-year-old.

An hour later, Danielle came back and tearfully apologized to me as well.  I accepted her apology, but I also realize that her apologies are absolutely meaningless.

As I wrote about in my old blog, there are three components to an apology:

  1. The apology itself.
  2. Making amends for the wrongdoing.
  3. Not repeating the act again.
Danielle's an absolute pro at the first item on the list, but I can't think of a time where she's managed to complete the other two.

Sure, she might be extremely sorry in the moment, but all of the regret in the world doesn't seem to be sufficient to motivate her to change her behavior.

Nothing changes her behavior.

Maybe she's just not capable.  Certainly her doctors, therapist and teachers think she should be able to do better.

Me?  I don't know.  I worry about her future.  In 13 months, she'll turn 18, and she'll be out on her own.  FosterEema and I have had some long, hard talks lately, and we both agree we are going to ask Danielle to leave (if she doesn't go on her own accord) when she becomes a legal adult.

It's not a decision we like.  Danielle will turn 18 long before she graduates high school.  Although we did discuss the possibility of her staying until she graduates, the latest explosion makes it clear it's not a workable option.

Danielle is currently a minor, so we have no choice but to put up with her fits of temper, defiance, name-calling and episodes of violence.  Once she is 18, we are no longer obligated to put up with this sort of behavior in our home.

We know Danielle won't be ready to launch.

We are tired of being verbally abused and traumatized by our child's rages.

It's not a pretty choice.

1 comment:

  1. No, she won't be mature enough to take care of herself, work, go to school on her own, etc. She cannot possibly make that much progress in 13 mos. You may be surprised, however, and she might just up and leave on her own anyway since she doesn't seem to want to be part of your family. Two of my kids did that and while I anguished over their futures for years and did absolutely everything I could think of to help them transition to adulthood, ultimately they just walked out. I'm sure life hasn't been rosey for them but they aren't calling for money or to come home, I know they're still alive and mooching off of anyone and everyone they can manipulate. It sure isn't what I wanted for them, but it is what it is. I don't think we should have to put up with the ugliness and raging and violence EVER, but we did all we could and we put up with it while keeping everyone as safe as humanly possible. It is sad that's all we can call success.


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