Alicia – One Year Later

Last night I spent some time thinking about the progress Alicia has made and the things she has endured an overcome in the past year.

It’s not easy being a teen, but I can already see that my daughter has MY strength, determination and sass! She will do good things in life because she is already a strong independent young lady!

Last year on this day, she watched her father marry a new woman. She had just moved from her home she grew up in, to this home of her new step-mother and step-brother. Instantly life had changed, and she had a new – extended family.

In September she began the first year of a new school, in a new town where she knew no one. Eighth grade is a tough one to start alone. To my surprise my shy and quiet daughter made a lot of new friends instantly. I was so happy for her and it seemed that things were going to be okay.

Then came the morning that they were told about their classmates death the night before. She was a girl in her home room, and a few other classes – – dead from a house fire. Alicia was quiet and didn’t talk about it much. When she did talk she commented in how she can’t believe someone, even her age, can be here – full of life one minute – then gone the next. It’s a hard thing for adults to understand, and I felt for all those kids.

She tried to concentrate on school. She was having problems with algebra because she never had pre-algebra in the other school. She took the initiative however to ask for help. She stayed after when she was able, and even started tutoring with her grandfather. I was so proud of her for making such an effort. This is something she wouldn’t have done before.

Things were still difficult at home and it was still a situation in which she was trying to adjust. Her step-mom and her butted heads a lot. Alicia came to me and said she was finally ready to go to counseling, and please make her an appointment. I was happy to do so because when I suggested counseling a year earlier she refused. Again, I can see she is growing up.

Most of you that have read my earlier posts know that she recently started cutting herself and dealing with depression and uncertainty about how to express her feelings at home. She spent 5 days in a behavioral hospital and said she wanted to live with me.

After I began making preparations for that to happen she told me she changed her mind. That despite the way things were at home, she had a lot of friends and wanted to continue school with them. That she would put up with home life and stick it out. She also agreed to finally start taking the antidepressant the doctor prescribed. These have been a lot of hard decisions and situations for a fourteen year old to handle, but she has handled them well. I am very proud of her.

Next week she begins a new year, and a new chapter in her life.
HIGH SCHOOL – – I wish her the best and hope she has an amazing 4 years!

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4 thoughts on “Alicia – One Year Later

  1. I know that as a mom, it has been quite a journey for you too. When our kids struggle, a piece of our hearts break. So kudos to you as well, for being an informed, caring, involved, loving advocate for your daughter. So many kids just WISH they had that from a parent.

    At the risk of sounding pushy, I am going to link to a post I wrote about a conversation I had with a young single mom who was one of those who had wished someone had cared.

    http://helptohopeblog.net/2013/06/03/care-enough/

    I know you have a lot going on and lots of decisions to make. I just want to reassure you that everything will be okay. ❤

    Take care,

    Monica

  2. Thank you and thanks for adding the link to your post. It has been a hard couple years for me as a parent, as I’m sure it is for so many parents. I am an EMT and unfortunately see so many young people suffering from psychological problems. And I see so many that are going through the entire process alone. As if they have no family, or the family doesn’t care. Many people just don’t pay attention. It’s very sad. When I’m called for these kids in crisis, I try very hard to comfort them, let them talk and also let them know it’s a common thing. This is the main reason we took her to the hospital and acted immediately. Because at work, we do and have to, take it seriously. Any threat. I just never thought I’d be signing papers for my own child.
    Surprisingly, she was never angry at me. Never said anything hurtful to me for bringing her in. She was a part of the process the entire way. I am very open with my kids and we talk openly about depression and psych problems as well as other things. I don’t want them to think depression or anxiety is anything bad that they should have to hide. Society is a stressful place, and we all have things we need help in dealing with. My goal has been to let my children know that they can come to me with anything and we will deal with it together. It doesn’t mean it’s always easy, but talking about it is better than holding it inside.
    I just wish I was always able to take my own advice.

    Thank you for the support, it helps knowing your not alone 🙂
    Tawnya

  3. I have a family member who is a cop. One night he spoke sternly to a teen who was trash talking his parents. He told the boy not to speak to them that way. The young man turned to his dad and said, “Why don’t you ever tell me that?!?” He *wanted* boundaries and limits from his parents, but they weren’t giving him what he needed. This was years ago, but I still remember hearing the story for the first time. Sobering.

    My ex-husband was more prone to try to ignore our daughter’s issues away, telling me to just let her be and she would outgrow the phase. No, she was ill and needed help. She even told me later that she wished I would have stepped in to hospitalize her sooner than I did. Unlike your daughter, mine was VERY angry with me, but at the same time I believe she was terrified and knew she needed more help than I was able to give. We both know treatment saved her life.

    I’m liking your philosophy on parenting, and also the compassion you show to teens through your EMT work. It may be the most some of them ever get.

    Take good care of yourself,

    Monica

  4. Sadly I think it is the most many of them get. It makes me feel good to give them someone to talk to but sad too. Sad that they are can not enjoy just being a child. It makes them have to grow up and endure so much so young.
    I hope your daughter is doing better. I know you must have had a very difficult time yourself and gone through hell. Thankfully women are strong and can do what needs to be done.

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