Welcome to my life. It's a whirlwind of kids, chaos, pets, people, family, art, and being home (most of the time; I like to get out here and there). We unschool, so the unexpected is, well, expected...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"The price I had to pay for what many people call "good upbringing" was that for a long time I was separated from my true feelings, from myself."

That is a quote by Alice Miller in a preface from her 2002 edition of "For Your Own Good"

Today, we saw the girl who ran away. I thought it was just Chamille being invited to meet up with her, but I found out at the last minute that I was invited too, so I went.

I'm still processing that visit. I love that girl, (I'll call her Alex for this story) she's so vibrant, yet here she sat with most of that hiding away. It was a supervised visit with her mentor/counselor. She introduced herself and told us all about the place where Alex is staying and then moved several tables away to let us talk. We met a coffee place.

In my own thoughts I made note of various things Alex said. Chamille asked if her mom trusted her yet, and her response was that "yes" she did, however we found out at the end of the visit, that the mentor hadn't just given her a ride like she'd explained. Yes, she'd given her a ride, but Alex's mother came to pick her up afterwards to take her home for the holiday weekend. So, really, the only reason the mentor stayed was to babysit. I'm not sure who she was babysitting. Was it because Chamille is so dangerous that she needed to be supervised or was it because Alex really isn't trusted yet. Either way, it says a lot.

One thing really jumped out at me in the conversation. Alex said "I know this is all for my own good. I know that what my mother is doing is for my own good." My immediate thought to that, which I did say, was to be careful with the phrasing "for your own good", it's the excuse that abusers use to continue abuse, and commonly used to control and manipulate others.

I'm glad that Chamille got to see her best friend. She wasn't either happy or sad about it. She really wished she could just hang out with her but was willing to accept a supervised visit.

I know I'll have much more to say, but the visit left me feeling empty. Alex firmly believes at this point that everything was clearly her fault and that she needs to heal from all the pain. She parroted back many things in her wording, things that didn't come from her own thinking. It was painful and sad to experience.

There were a couple of moments where there was a flash and a smile of the real Alex tucked underneath it all. That was worth the whole meeting, just to see that small bit of her still left hiding away. Just like the title and quote. I hope she survives it all!

More to come.....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The gift of helping your kids feel empowered... it's one that keeps on giving!

Spreading into the world, one person at a time, touching one person here and another there. Changing the lives of our own children DOES change the world!

Here is what comes from being a solid and happy person! I copied and pasted a facebook thread that my daughter was in. She is LunaCandy Bloodstroke, and the other person, G A, is someone I don't know.

The other girl started it with a status update:

I don't feel good enough.. OR pretty enough for him.. :/
3 hours ago

LunaCandy Bloodstroke then feel good, and pretty for yourself :)
3 hours ago

G A ‎://
3 hours ago

LunaCandy Bloodstroke not other people last forever, but you will always have yourself for as long as you are alive.
3 hours ago

G A Yes thats true.. But sometimes I hate myself..
3 hours ago

LunaCandy Bloodstroke everybody has those moments but its best to try and not get stuck there.
3 hours ago

G A Yeah.. :/ Ijust feel like falling apart that's all..
3 hours ago

LunaCandy Bloodstroke well then wrap your arms around yourself and hold everything together.
3 hours ago

G A I'll try..
3 hours ago

LunaCandy Bloodstroke everybody can do it, you just has to be strong. :3
3 hours ago

G A But see thts the thing I'm not..I wis I was..
3 hours ago

LunaCandy Bloodstroke I use to think I wasn't, I use to fall apart really easily, then I just kinda was like, no. I am strong, and I am me. and I can be whatever I want to be. and I can be happy even in the shittiest of moments.
2 hours ago

G A Wow.. I wish I could be like you.
2 hours ago

LunaCandy Bloodstroke then do it. I had to do it in one of the most worst moments of my whole life, and all I wanted to do was kill myself. but I thought of the people who are in my life. and how many more people I could meet in my life aswell.
2 hours ago

I always knew that Chamille had that power in her! I never doubted it for a moment even if she did. And for the record, the other girl, G A, is absolutely gorgeous. I can't say what kind of person she is since I don't know her, but she is really pretty! I do know the guy she's talking about though!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

hmmmm manipulating mothers?

Chamille heard in a round about way that her runaway friend has decided that she's going to try being really nice to her mom so that she can get her life back.

We were talking about that. Both of us wondered why she doesn't try being honest with her mother. Chamille said that it wasn't going to change anything, that she wouldn't get her life back, and she still wouldn't be able to see her, even IF her mom let her come back home from the "bad kid" reform ranch/school. The lack of honest communication is part of what caused all this stuff in the first place.

If a mom's thoughts and ideas are bigger and better than her child's, and she's adamant about them and loud about them, and possibly annoying about them, the child, like the one in this story, might just tune mom out and nod in agreement to get her to just STOP talking already! That poor mom. I have sympathy for her, really. She really believed that her daughter agreed with everything she said, she really felt like she had wonderful heart to heart conversations with her daughter and that they were in wonderful harmonious agreement. What a shock to find out that her child ran away from her wonderful home full of harmony and agreement.

So, now the daughter is STILL not wanting to communicate with her mother honestly, she wants her life back, her friends back, and what little bit of freedom she had before she was put in lockdown at the reform ranch place. I get it though. If the relationship is set up in such a way where one person's ideas always trump the other, the one being trumped will find other ways to get what she wants in life. That person will sneak and lie and hide. For a mom who is so sure that she is doing right for her daughter, that idea will be a hard one to swallow, but it happens ALL the time.

Chamille isn't holding her breath. She asked me why it seems that we are the only ones who seem to see that what they are doing isn't going to work. This girl's other friends are all in favor of her playing nice to get her life back. Chamille is, and always has been, 100% about honesty, even if it's painful or uncomfortable. She wonders why her friend doesn't just talk to her mom honestly and tell her exactly how she feels and what she wants, at this point, what would she have to lose?

How much could a kid lose? At what point is it too much? Why didn't she tell her mom how she felt in the first place? Her mom isn't a bad person really, lacking in parenting tools perhaps, but not a terrible parent like some other parents we know. It seems to me that open honest communication would help both the mother and the daughter. It would be a long hard road, but they could repair all the damage that has been done. If the mother waits too long, her child's childhood will be gone and I doubt very much that her daughter will forgive her any time soon. It's the nature of tearing down relationships through control and power dynamics. It's so hard to sit and watch it happen. It's hard seeing how torn my own daughter is over it, that I can only imagine how horrible it is for her friend, the one dealing directly with it.

I sent the mom an email a while back and told her she was one of the meanest people I'd ever met. A mutual acquaintance had suggested it was a shame that I said that, but it is truly how I felt. Her actions are ones of cruelty, stemming from pain, I get that, but does being in pain yourself ever excuse cruelty towards others? I guess, for me, I can't look at my actions and see that I'm hurting people and casually go about it anyway. That is the heart of self righteousness and a person can't truly heal from any kind of pain while being that way and behaving in ways that hurt others, especially if their actions are intentional. That doesn't even begin to dig into what this mother is doing to her very own daughter, that was just about her daughter's best friend. What she's doing to her own daughter is much much worse and could potentially destroy any chance she has of ever having a relationship with her. It's tragic that the one person this woman cares about, her whole world, is her daughter, yet she's driving a big wedge in between them, so much so, that her daughter is looking to manipulate her instead of getting what she wants by being honest and forthright.

I'm so glad that my own daughter doesn't do that to me. She will openly tell anyone that she likes me and respects me. She will openly tell me anything because I won't judge her. She's free to live her life the way she'd like to live it and I'm here to bounce ideas on and offer support and a little bit of guidance here and there. The only reason I'm able to do that is because I don't attempt to control her. I wish more parents could see that. In order to have any kind of influence on your kids is to NOT control them, in order to NOT control them, you need to trust, trust them to make good choices and trust them to come to you when they don't make good choices and need help.

Life need not be so black and white, right and wrong. Kids are people, real humans with real thoughts and real ideas and here's a news flash... sometimes they just know better than us parents about what's good and right for themselves, even if they make choices that we don't like! You really can be okay with it, really!