Monday, May 12, 2008

Ann's Story Part 25: Feeling Worried

I don't know if I can explain how deeply the shouting match between my husband and Ann effected me. Roland never looses his temper. Never. Ann pushed him to a place I had never seen him, and she was enjoying it. He was out of his own control, but she was not.

Ann still sometimes said that she could just loose it some day and do something terrible, but she always said that when she was completely calm. Her tone expressed concern for us. It was clearly an attempt to coerce, even terrorize us. I began to think that she would use whatever methods she needed to feel in control of her life and I wanted to make certain that she did not have to resort to violence.

Feb 23, 2003
To the social worker

You know that Ann had been telling me that she thought that sooner or later she would hurt one of us when she was angry. That did stop when we talked to her about and our willingness to call for help if anybody was violent. So I want you to know that I am not writing out of any sense of urgency. I do want to process something though. This is pretty bear (or is it "bare"?) with me.

Ann regards this placement as temporary. Ann is so wonderful when she is wonderful and so horrible when she is horrible. She is also capable of being quite violent. Before she moved in I could not imagine her hurting anyone, now I see the moods when she is capable of it. Since our talk, Ann has not threatened violence. She seems to understand that there is a line past which she may not cross. As long as she wants to be here she will not cross it.

I think Ann has very mixed feelings about being here. Mostly she is happier here than when she was at home. Roland says it is clear that she loves me. Though she does not threaten violence anymore, she does tell me that she does not like or does not care about Roland and Brian. She does not complain about Andrew, but the two of them have begun to squabble some. When Andrew, in his quiet way, has been upset with something she has done, she replies in her very loud, intimidating way. Andrew is very mystified by this response. (The other day Andrew said to both Brian and Ann that whoever was eating the apple sauce that I had bought for lunches should not be snacking on them. Brian just said that it wasn't him. Ann got quite emotional and loud and told Andrew that she was not eating them, that she did not appreciate him accusing her of things, and he was not the boss of her and should shut up.) Ann talks about wanting to go home and that she misses Mandy, but it is clear that this happens mostly when she does not want to do her homework. I don't know how much she sincerely misses her. Ann still gets annoyed at other people for looking at her funny, or for smiling, or for standing where she wants to walk, or humming, or existing.

So now to the point. Sometimes I get very worried about what is going to happen when Ann finally realizes that she is not going back to the Mandy and John’s. I don't know if her belief that she is going to go back to Mandy and John’s is an important part of her coping strategy. She is capable of doing things that I cannot ask the boys to live with. She is also capable of deciding not to do those things. I am really not certain about which way she will go. I know that this is supposed to be the permanent plan for Ann, but I am realizing that it will not feel permanent to me until I see how she will respond to it as permanent.

It is possible that Ann will act very violently when she realizes that she is really not going back to Mandy and John’s. If she does, it is possible that she will act out against Andrew and Brian. And that is not acceptable.

I know that the dust has not settled and that you are dealing with stuff that you are protecting me from. So I don't expect you to be able to do anything about this any time soon. BUT, when we are finally ready to do the paper work and make certain that Ann "gets it" I would like her to be given a choice. I want her to understand that choosing to be here means choosing to live with the boys. Siblings all quarrel, and get on each other's nerves, but she needs to commit to trying to get along. I think that it is important that, at least to some extent, she regards this home as something she chooses and that she knows that if she cannot stand it she has alternatives.
Part 26

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