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where it stands
tuesday, october 26, 2010

we have hit a new stage with the youngest: we're too tired to care any more.

and it's pretty obvious she doesn't either.

let's be clear: i love my daughter. i think she could have a bright future—she's a very bright girl. too bright. but i'm losing her; i have been for a long time, probably longer than i realize.

correction: i've already lost her.

when she first started stealing, i figured it was a combination of adhd (she can be very impulsive) and seeing her sisters do the same. unlike her sisters, however, she never stopped. instead, she graduated from food around the house, to trinkets, now to whatever she wants whenever she wants it. there's no remorse. the only thing that seems to bother her at all is getting caught. and instead of dealing with her part in all of it, she gets mad at us. she's taken to making the grand baby and taz not tell on her when she's doing things she's not supposed to be doing or getting into things she's not supposed to be getting into. and she looks us straight in the face and lies without batting an eyelash.

and it's OUR fault. that she has stolen and lied doesn't even enter the picture as a part of the problem. no, we caught her, we got mad at her, we punished her; THAT'S the problem.

i've tried everything i can with what we've got: when she was younger, she got spanked; after the age of 10, we started grounding her, taking away privileges, taking her things away from her, and so on. absolutely nothing has worked. we tried positive rewards for awhile; also didn't work. she's seen a psych and decided she didn't want to do it anymore. remembering how badly that went when my mother forced me, i let it go. (and, really, when does seeing a psych actually work if you're not willing to be there and fix the problems?)

i've had all kinds of suggestions on how to deal with it, including things that would either end up blowing back on me more than her or that would include me deliberately putting her in harm's way (which i will NOT do). i've done everything i can legally do, i've done everything i can remotely think of that doesn't involve either of those two options. NOTHING HAS WORKED. she is CHOOSING to be a thief and a person we can't trust.

recently she decided she was moving out in january (it's not happening unless she decides to do it without any support what so ever, but that's beside the point). when we realized we had more things missing, we went through her boxes...and found our missing things. that's not impulsivity. that's a deliberate attempt to take things that do not belong to her out of this house. she's started stealing money, and i'm not talking loose change laying out on a table. i'm talking going through people's purses or sneaking into saxy's penny jar.

i didn't set out to raise a thief, but i probably couldn't have been more successful if i had. i don't think there's any way to stop her from landing in jail. nothing has been internalized enough with her to make it important enough to stay out of jail.

i won't deny that things have been rough. but she's had a roof over her head, food in her mouth, clothes on her back. we've done our best to raise her knowing what's right and wrong. she could have risen above the poverty and the struggle. she hasn't. and right now, at a point where i'm facing the fact that it's a deliberate thing to take what's not hers and to lie about it, it's her choice.

and all i can do right now is step back and let her fall.


word of the moment: exurb

a region or settlement that lies outside a city and usually beyond its suburbs and that often is inhabited chiefly by well-to-do families


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