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My Daughter
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I don't talk about our daughter much. It's been just over 2 months since we placed her in residential treatment for attachment disorder. We've visited once, and are about to visit again.  Visiting her is consecutive days of serious therapy that makes you feel like you've just vomited your soul. Can't wait to go back.

She's 12. My teeth are clenching even now, as we just had a phone call with her that makes me want to scream. I've sat here, looking at the screen, wondering how to come up with words that would convey how lovely and gifted and wonderful she truly is. But those aren't the words that I want to type. Or think. Those words make me want to laugh right now. Wouldn't it sound like I had enviable faith and hope and vision if I were to talk about how great she is despite our circumstances...? Sometimes I can do that, and do it with great sincerity. Now is not one of those times.

She's a force most people underestimate, even those who know her well. She has an ability to destroy viciously, and intentionally, all the while smiling and effortlessly convincing others her innocence is unquestionable. She's a hard kid to parent. Even now, from a distance, when I have few to no responsibilities, still it's hard.

For so long our lives have been directed by the sick, twisted dance of dealing with her disorder. Surviving each day meant something different for each of us. I was required to wear thick, thick armor at all times around her. Twenty four hours a day, every day, and never ever let down my guard or slip up. If I did, she took advantage in any way she could. She was constantly looking to hurt me, to drive me away, to rid herself of me in any way she could. Any weakness or misstep or mistake on my part was cause for her celebration. She can admit that now, whereas before she wouldn't.

It's still the same, even now, though.

I am hopeful that she'll be helped by the people who are caring for her. They're amazing individuals, with more talent and love and dedication than I've ever before seen in a group of people.

Sometimes I'll go off on some tangent when I'm talking to my mom on the phone and she'll say, "Um... what's your point?"

Are we at that part of this post? I guess my point is that I've put off writing about her at all because I couldn't do it in a way that didn't sound like this. But this is what it is, pretty or not, and I want to be genuine. So here.

(Now, go feel up your boobs and comment on the post below, please. Goals are important, y'all , and ours is 30 this month.)

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Your Comments

I am unfamiliar with this disorder. I am sorry this is a struggle you are to bear. And I appreciate your genuiness... So when do you visit her? Or will that be awhile.


on Aug 17, 2006 10:40:31 PM
jeana Said:

What? You're taking off your top when we reach the goal of 30? I don't think that's the best motivation for the Christian women that make up your audience.

Wait, you already changed it. The one I was reading in Bloglines said...oh, nevermind.

on Aug 17, 2006 11:01:09 PM
Gina Said:

I'm starting to wonder if my neice may have that disorder. I've heard about it, but don't know much details. Can this disorder be person specific? What I mean is that can you be detached from a parent or relative, but not others?

on Aug 17, 2006 11:12:18 PM
Susan Said:

Just remember "the battle is not against flesh and blood"-I understand difficult people and I have to quote this to myself often. I am praying for you and your daughter. God bless your journey!

on Aug 17, 2006 11:19:12 PM
Carol Said:

So, you're saying there has been some progress? She's admitting to some things she wouldn't before? That could be huge.

God can change any heart. Believe Him.

on Aug 17, 2006 11:27:25 PM
HolyMama! Said:

As I told Gina by email, if you think you know someone with this check radkids.org and look at the signs and symptoms page. GIna actually describes 'triangulation' in her comment, where the kids cannot handle being close to one person without simultaneously pushing others (like a mom figure) away. The kid's tactics are often subtle, masking a very real violence, as in our case.

on Aug 17, 2006 11:36:04 PM
lala Said:

oh wow what a struggle! I have a 12 year old too but thankfully she suffers from no disorder. I have not heard of this disorder too and can't imagine what that must be like for you!

on Aug 17, 2006 11:40:32 PM
Big Mama Said:

I can't imagine what you're going through. I'm keeping you and your daughter in my prayers.

on Aug 18, 2006 12:17:39 AM
momrn2 Said:

You know I am praying friend! Praying and praying some more...

on Aug 18, 2006 12:36:45 AM
angi Said:

Small baby steps are better than no progress at all. I'm praying for you.

on Aug 18, 2006 12:59:10 AM
sarahgrace Said:

Thank you for being so refreshingly honest about your daughter. I can't imagine how hard it has been/is for you and your family. I will be keeping you all in my prayers.

on Aug 18, 2006 2:28:36 AM
Geekwif Said:

I really admire your courage, both for doing what's right for your daughter (and your family) even though it "makes you feel like you've just vomited your soul", and for being so honest and open about it. Maybe someone, like Gina's niece, will be helped because of your honesty.

on Aug 18, 2006 6:56:00 AM
Suzanne Said:

you're in my thoughts and prayers. Sometimes life is a struggle and we'll never know why. It's good to know that there will be peace at the end.


on Aug 18, 2006 7:43:09 AM
Heth Said:

I appreciate your honesty Kelsey. It would be really easy to not share this aspect of your family's life but thank you for being brave. God has His hand on her and He's not going to let go.

on Aug 18, 2006 8:58:00 AM
Heather Said:

Thank you for your honesty. It's so important to share this heavy load you're bearing. If we in blogland can do a little of the sharing, then it's worth it to put it out there.

on Aug 18, 2006 10:14:15 AM

Hi Kelsey, Funny how God works...thoughts of you and your daughter popped into my head yesterday, and I wondered how things were going. Even when you can't blog about it, God reminds others to pray. How cool is that.

on Aug 18, 2006 10:40:32 AM
Kristen Said:

Wow. What a difficult situation you are in. I can't even imagine. I'm not familiar with this disorder, but I'll be praying for you and your family and your daughter while you deal with this. I hope she's able to overcome. (If it is possible with this disorder.) *hugs*

on Aug 18, 2006 10:49:04 AM
Maggie Said:

I like the fact that you are still able to define her disorder as different from her. Hang in there!

on Aug 18, 2006 2:11:51 PM
April Said:

My nephew has a similar disorder and I've seen how hard it can be on a family. Fortunately, at 14 he's doing much better. He never had to go to a facility like your daughter, but he's been in counseling for several years (since threatening to take a gun to school & kill all the bullies). I wish that he had a relationship with God, and your daughter at least has that example from you in her life. God bless you and your family.

on Aug 18, 2006 5:53:24 PM

It's so brave of you to write about this. But it's catharctic (if that is how you spell it) at the same time isn't it!? Especially when you find people through your opening up that are dealing with it too.

I have no idea what you're going through except what you've written. It terrifies me. It makes me pray for all of you...so keep mentioning it!

It would be great if you could remind us just before you go on the next visit so you could have as many people praying for that girl and for your family as you can. Even though God hears just one prayer, there's power in that quantity thing!


on Aug 18, 2006 7:37:24 PM
Ficklechick Said:

This has got to be such a hard thing for you to deal with. I admire you for putting all of the effort into it that you do. It's got to be very tiring.

on Aug 18, 2006 10:04:59 PM
chelle Said:

You know reading through the whole post, the thing that stuck with me was the title. My Daughter. That in it self says so much. I lived with my Dad's wife through my teenage years and she never meant it when she referred to me as her daughter. To have the whole love of a mother makes such a huge difference. It could be worse ...

on Aug 18, 2006 10:43:14 PM

I'm praying for you and your daughter...

on Aug 19, 2006 12:09:57 AM
oshee Said:

Please, try to stop worrying about how you should feel, how you 'should' write, or how you should think where she is concerned. You have a lot of healing to do too and to deny yourself that because you 'shouldn't' need it would be unfair to everyone..especially you.
I applaud you for being real in this post. For genuinely sharing a tiny part of the pain. I bet it can become completely overwhelming if you let it. You are fighting a brave fight..for her, for yourself and for the rest of your dear family.

You are in my prayers.

on Aug 19, 2006 3:20:55 AM
Jan Said:

Put on the armor of Christ, the breastplate of righteousness....
Wow what an image you conjured up.
Bless your heart, you have a heavy load to carry. Prayers for all of you.

on Aug 19, 2006 8:33:25 AM