Which is why my fourteen-year-old son, who has frequently dominated my emotions, has also dominated my posts for a long while.
In my preoccupation with Mr. J, though, I'm afraid I've neglected to update on something miraculous and incredibly important:
My daughter, Miss M, is doing really, really well.
Actually, if I'm being completely honest, Miss M and I are doing really well.
This fall, I began my third year of homeschooling Miss M. This means that she and I have been predominantly together since June of 2011, when she finished second grade.
It's been two years and five months.
That is a l o n g , l o n g t i m e .
In the beginning, I wondered how I would ever survive being with my daughter nearly every waking moment. If you recall, she was an extremely difficult child to be around. I'll leave it at that, but if you look up any posts about Miss M from a few years ago, you'll get the picture. (Look under the RAD posts tab at the top of the page if you need a refresher).
On top of that, at the time that God asked me to homeschool, I was a frustrated, hurt, angry, bitter, traumatized and (more than I care to admit) unforgiving Mama.
No one likes to talk about it, but parenting RAD kids often brings out the worst in us. The beautiful intentions of helping and healing and loving that hurt child get pushed to the back burner as each day - day after day, year after year - becomes a matter of survival. You become a control freak, because all a RAD child wants (every waking moment) is to control you, and you start to become paranoid about the motives behind every little thing your child says. On top of that, even "good days" are not good days, because of the anticipation of them becoming "bad days" in a moment or less.
There are no easy, relaxing days in a family with traumatized children; RAD parents are constantly on edge.
So, needless to say, after she finished second grade, I felt like I needed to - even deserved to continue to send Miss M to school, even though it was a toxic environment for her.
But God had other plans for us.
|Miss M is reaching for healing!|
Two years and five months into this journey of forced togetherness, my daughter and I are (for the most part...tween drama aside) peacefully building a mother/daughter relationship. Things aren't perfect: Miss M still has goals to accomplish on the path to her healing, although she's come remarkably far, and I definitely have a ways to go on my journey to become like Christ, but we are both moving forward. Together.
In the beginning, I doubted that it could ever be true, but I'm a better person for having spent these last twenty-nine months with my little Miss M, and she's a much healthier and happier girl for having spent it with me. I thought God was crazy when He asked me to give up my life, in a sense, for this child. I understand now that the best place to be is always inside of God's will. Follow His leading, trust Him, and the rest will somehow fall into place.
I'm very proud of my daughter; of the vibrant, empathetic young lady I've seen emerging from the broken shell of RAD in recent months.
And I'm very thankful to God for using Miss M and her struggles to overcome some of the worst in myself.
I'm beyond excited to see where He takes us next.