Although since my last personal post, One is a lonely number, things are still in a state of uncertainty in my life, (no luck yet on the job front, my last paycheque was not entered into the system, still waiting for Record of Employment so I can collect Employment Insurance until I find a job, and two banks have turned me down for refinancing my house – the house I owned for 12 years and my ex had for 6 months), I am in a better frame of mind as I work toward regaining balance in my life.
I did want to share how proud I’ve been of my daughter in the last few months. As my life was turned upside down, she has shown great maturity and continues to evolve and grow into adulthood.
She continues to see some professionals to help her navigate life. She is committed to these supports and I definitely see positive changes.
She stepped up to help me when my partner left suddenly, two weeks before the end of my contract and I had no one to look after the dog. He has never been alone for more than 4 or 5 hours. She stayed while I worked my final two weeks. She was alone for 10 hours, three days each week, and other than myself and her grandma checking in a couple of times a day, she coped.
She has treated me a couple of times to cheer me up. Bought me lunch one day, coffee another, and offered some of her money to help pay the internet bill – so I didn’t have to cancel it until I find work. Of course she uses it when she is here, but she is showing some responsibility in helping cover that cost.
She will be 20 this summer. Where is that little eight-year old, 4 foot, 40 pound girl with pigtails, wearing 6x clothes, that stole my heart from the moment I saw her. (This is a post that explains the 6x reference: Our first steps were 6x Steps). A little girl with a brilliant smile, infectious laugh and an energy that lit up a room. She is still there, I see glimpses of her, but she is finally turning a corner and gaining some maturity as she grows into adulthood.
I offer this post as a glimmer of hope to those parents and caregivers who wonder, will my child learn and mature? I have been where you are, and I’m sure there will still be bumps and curves ahead as the maiden continues to mature, but I hope your child turns a developmental corner that shows you how resilient s/he is.
When she got so caught up in the can’t do or won’t be able to, I told her she will “do” one day. Her brain is just taking a little longer to catch up. For those things she still has trouble with, she needs to figure out a way to do it – in a way that works for her. I can guide her, explain how I might do something, but she has to do things in a way that make sense to her and work for her.
She is learning how to stop and think. In a recent argument with her grandmother, instead of calling me in tears, threatening to harm herself or run away, she explained to me what the problem was and we figured out a solution and she went and did it. She is developing impulse control and reflection and planning skills.
While managing money can be a struggle for people with FASD, together, we came up with a new plan (because believe me we’ve tried many) to allow her to have a bank card and manage her spending money. Here are some posts about this subject: The Maiden and Managing Money and Money, that’s what I want!
She has an account with a different bank, that has not been used for years. She will be given full access to that account, but it will be up to her to put in the money she wants to use. The reason for this is for on-line purchases. Right now we have to do those on her behalf. In order to develop skills, we need to let her have some control, in a safe way. We have only just started this so I will let you know how it goes, but it gives her control of her own money and she will learn important skills.
I’m simply going to revel in this moment. Enjoy and treasure it. We need to celebrate the small successes, which for our children (and adults) can be big milestones. I’ve told her how proud I am of her. I’ve asked her how she feels about what she is accomplishing and encourage her to be proud of herself. And I always remind her how far she has come and she will continue to move forward.
She may not be where a “typical” nineteen year old is, but she is where she is, and that is fine with me, and it should be fine with everyone else.
We both continue to grow and learn.