Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ann's Story Part 19: Ann Protests

Feb. 2, 2003
To the social worker:

First about respite: I will be attending a conference the last weekend in March. I will be leaving on Wednesday March 26 and coming home either Saturday night or Sunday day (March 30). I mentioned this last night and Ann said that she did not want to live alone with a bunch of boys. I told her that I would ask you about respite for her. She says she would like to stay with John and Mandy. I told her that I would communicate that too. Roland can certainly manage with all three kids, but I am certain he would appreciate only having two while I am gone.

Ann ran into Mandy at her counselor's office yesterday. Last night she was whimpering about wanting to go home. This was mostly, I think, about not wanting to do homework but I thought I would share the conversation with you...this is a summary, of course.

"I want to go home."

"I know."

"I have a terrible time when I get angry and I am afraid that I will hurt someone: Andrew, Brian, you or Roand or the cat. No, I have never hurt an animal. I would not hurt the cat, but I might hurt someone else. So I should go home."

"So you can beat up J instead?"

Laughter. "No. So I won't hurt anyone here."

"Ann, I am not afraid of you hurting anyone here. You have been doing a very good job of managing you emotions. When you are upset you go into your room until you feel better and then you come back."

"But what if I don't?"

"You understand that we all deserve to feel safe where we live, right? You, me, Roland, Andrew and Brian...we ALL need to not be afraid of the people we live with."


"If you are seriously afraid that you might hurt someone you should call Ruby. She might be able to find you a home with no other children in it." (Pouting from Ann) "You should be aware of the possible consequences: you might have to move farther away; you might not be able to go to the same school and you might not be able to see your mom and dad as much."

"I want to go home!" throws hair thingys across room.

"Ann you know what your options are. If you work hard with your counselor and get really good at coping Ruby might be willing to talk with you about going home. Right now though that is not possible. The court said that you had to live somewhere with fewer children"


"Okay... your options: work hard and maybe go back to Mandy and John's. Stay here like you are, being able to visit a lot, which is cool with me because I like having you here. Or make people afraid of you and get farther away from Mandy and John."
"What would happened if I hurt someone?"

"Maybe a stay in a mental hospital, but probably your suspended sentence would no longer be suspended." (I explained what that meant.)

Head under blanket and loud artificial crying.

"Ann. I love you and I would be happy if you stayed here forever." (Louder wails). "Okay, well, I have to go back to the living room now."

Later when she was in the living room whimpering over her homework and being tutored by “Hubby”, she commented that our house was much bigger than Mandy and John's...and much less cluttered.

I know that Ann genuinely misses Mandy and John, but I am uncertain about how genuine her desire to live there is. Sometimes I think it is mostly a combination of feeling like she is SUPPOSED to want to live there (guilt response) and a handy tool to get attention from me. I plan on not having more conversations about this. The next time she pouts about wanting to go home, I will just remind her that we have talked about all her options and then change the subject.

Part 20

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