Lily had a rough time last week, after a nice Christmas. I'm still fighting the desire for an instant and complete return to my idealized version of family life, even knowing how ludicrous that is! But writing it out helps me maintain some perspective, so here goes.
We traveled to a distant town to spend time with my older daughter and her family. One of the motivations was to watch my grandson while she returned to work for the first week, a difficult thing to manage with a new baby. This meant less direct attention for Lily. It also meant she'd need to be somewhat independent with grabbing meals and meeting her individual needs. She's been more independent in the past, so I know she's capable, but it didn't go well last week. She was angry and frustrated, and also clearly jealous of the adorable 10 week old baby.
We also had titrated down a bit on her risperidone. So when Lily reported a couple of hallucinations, and I witnessed her struggle to remain calm and co-operative, I wasn't sure if it was from the med change, the frustrations of being away from home, or a combination of both. We did get through the week, and a miserable ride home, but it wasn't pretty.
I also need to keep in mind that she's fourteen. She criticizes most things I do, or represent, and that's part and parcel of the difficult push for independence from your parent. But I don't like it. Especially when she criticizes something she's asked me to do for her, a favor that meets with disdain and/or snarkiness. Because, really, I'd much rather be doing my own thing than help someone who's rude to me. I could be reading, walking, writing, even cleaning house would be preferable.
So once again, I'm trying to be mindful about balancing my response to Lily. It's normal to feel frustration with a rude teenager, but this kid also needs a lot of reassurance. I need to let her know when she crosses a boundary, so she'll learn from the experience, but I also need to be certain she knows I believe she's lovable, talented, capable, worthy. Because she is.
In the end, we settled in at home and Lily returned to school this morning without any negative drama. We get a gold star for that, as it is a group effort. Yay us!