Making progress here - and it's feeling really good! Lily ended up starting the year at the local public high school, and we seem to have a team in place that's invested in her success there. It's so interesting, because the new team is working with the idea that we need to accommodate Lily less so that she adapts to the world around her. And I love it.
Seriously. After walking on eggshells for the past year, afraid I'd stress Lily out and she'd end up hospitalized again, I'm shot. We were on an unsustainable path, stretched to the limit by trying to avoid anything upsetting to Lily. Like "ck" words. When our TBS therapist was here last week and I apologized to Lily for saying a "ck" word (the word back I think), the therapist looked at me like I was nuts.
Aha moment. "Ck" words don't necessitate an apology. They are not dirty words. What were we thinking? Every time we made a special accommodation for Lily, she upped the ante and needed something more. Classic boundary testing. And because I was traumatized by what I thought Lily was going through, those boundaries became only about physical safety. She was missing out on boundaries that reinforced appropriate and courteous behavior with family, friends and the outside world.
So yes, I contributed to Lily's difficulties by confirming her belief that she should be accommodated in every possible way. She has her own dining chair, most of the long sofa, her own dishes, pots, glasses, flatware and cupboard shelves. Even I was wondering where it all would end. Shared space has been shrinking as Lily's need for personal space has grown. Want a good laugh? Lily was even instructing me on how I should be washing her dishes. Whoo Boy. I created a total monster.
And general consensus is that Lily truly believes that she needs the accommodations to be safe. She believes that she's not well and manifests symptoms that she hears about or reads about. But she may not in fact have schizoaffective disorder, She may well have Bipolar Disorder, but I'm not sure of anything anymore. It's been a bizarre year. From calling Dear Abby on me to our disastrous efforts to have her in school last year, through my retirement this year so that I could cash out my small pension and be on hand 24-7 to care for Lily.
So, did Lily experience psychosis, or did she just think she was experiencing psychosis? I thought I witnessed mania, but was it real? I think so, but I certainly doubt myself more than ever.
But that's OK because we have this super cool group of professionals helping to sort it out. And they're tuned in to the family. What affects Lily affects us all. And what affects us all affects Lily. Finally. Someone else gets it. I may be on the very edge of reason, but I'm not crazy. Hallelujah!