Family therapy this week was once again useful. We started without Emily and in addition to the therapist had her main nurse, Tia in the room with us. Tia is the one person who seems to hold the mini team together. The problems we have experienced are in part due to her recent leave and extended period of sickness. Tia knew what I'd said at the review and she was so apologetic that the original plan had not been followed. I told her that it wasn't her fault, it wasn't her sole responsibility. I have nothing bad to say about her. She is the only one who calls me with updates and suggestions. Unfortunately, when she is not there, no one else picks up what she does for us.
I went over a few of my observations about Emily's behaviour at home. There are times, I feel, that she is trying to get my attention. One of my pet hates is the leg shaking. We are all in agreement that this is not an involuntary reaction to stress. To be honest it drives me to distraction. I have now taken to leaving the room. To stay would make the chances of me saying something unkind highly probable. Interesting, when I've done this, the behaviour has stopped.
I'd also noticed an increase in nightly toilet trips. Emily insists she can't help it, she needs to keep going. We'd tried to talk about it, she fears she may wet the bed. I told her that she hasn't wet the bed since she was a small child and even if she did have an accident, no one would be cross.
When Emily finally joined our session the therapist started to explore some of the observed behaviour. Whilst it may be upsetting for her it is important that it is confronted. To ignore it is not helpful. By talking about it, the staff were able to suggest that Emily has some CBT sessions focussed around some of her thought processes.
On Friday morning I took Emily to her mainstream school, we met an outreach worker, a school house manager and two students. It was difficult and strained. We had a walk around as if Emily was completely new. The two girls chosen to meet her seemed nice. The trouble was that Emily was looking at her feet, she hardly spoke and her eye contact was non existent. The outreach worker and I chatted to the girls, what were their favourite lessons, how close to school did they live? We worked quite well together, keeping it light and trying to include Emily and encourage her to speak. We didn't really succeed.
On the face of it, you could be forgiven for thinking the visit was a waste and didn't go that well. But, when I consider her reaction to the last visit, this can only be seen as a success, well at least an improvement. She didn't get upset and angry, she didn't 'freak out'. I told her she should be proud. She'd gone in, stayed calm and made it through.
The outreach worker will be calling me next week for the next visit. We are both thinking that an actual lesson may benefit, Emily would have something to focus on and she wouldn't need to make small talk.
I asked Emily if she'd like to come into the city centre at the weekend to pick up some
panto tickets I'd reserved. She shook her head, no way. No way was
she going to a busy town or going on a bus.
This morning I took her up to the local shops for her hairdressers appointment. We'd talked over options and she decided to go from mid length layers to a blunt bob. The way I see it, if you have a nice haircut, clothes you feel comfortable in and your spots covered up, you can conquer anything. I hoped I was right as I watched as the lengths of hair fall to the salon floor.
As we walked home, she swished her locks and kept touching them, laughing at how much shorter it was. Now I turned my attention to her face. She is such a pretty girl, but has terrible spots. I think that's one of the reasons her head always points to the floor. I talked to her about confidence. I do worry that the kids at school will see the spots and it will be another barrier for her to overcome. So I asked her to bring me the contents of her make up bag. They were pitiful.
I took a chance and offered her a deal. If you come to town on the bus, I'll get you a few bits of new make up. I could see the fight she was having with herself, fear of the bus, of the busy town centre, versus NEW MAKE UP bought with someone else's money.
A few hours later we sat at the front of the bus on the top deck. We laughed at what we could see from our vantage point. She was calm all the way, her leg didn't shake once. Though town was a little busy, she managed, we picked make up, got the panto tickets and came home. Emily said she couldn't believe she'd done it. Such an everyday task to so many of us, had been a huge hurdle to her. One more thing overcome.
- Mum of 2, suffering my own mental health issues, I began to write this blog as a way to release feelings and emotions. At 13 my daughter was terribly bullied which has led to her having serious mental health problems of her own. She is now 16. I wanted to document our journey and hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come.