Monday, May 19, 2008

Ann's Story Part 42: Ann's Response

Not surprisingly Ann was furious at being told she could not spend more than 2 hours at a time with Mandy.

3/23/03 (Saturday)
to social workers

Ruby & "Robin":
This is as much for me as for either of you. I just wanted to record the events of the day, so to speak.

Let's see. I will back up to Friday. Friday evening I asked her how she was because I knew she had had a hard day. She teared up and told me that it was just not okay for someone to first tell you that you could spend several days with someone you loved and then turn around and say that you couldn't. I agreed that it was tough and gave her some comfort. Things seemed okay.

Saturday morning she got up and when Roland mentioned something about the first house we ever lived in, Ann asked what would happen if we moved … would she be able to go with us. Then she wanted to know how long we would be in Maine. It seemed to me that she was thinking about staying with us indefinitely.

But on to the exciting part. This afternoon she was bored and called a couple of girls to see if they could play. No one was available and then she asked if she could call her mom. I said yes and when her mom answered she asked if she could come over to visit (first time I had heard about that one). Anyway she pretty quickly started crying and then hung up and swore. She stomped off to her room and cried loud and long. After a couple of minutes I went to her door and asked if I could come in. "Not now." "Okay, if you want to talk, let me know." She came out and wanted to call Ruby. I had forgot she was out of town and said yes. Then Ann asked if she could call her teacher. Again I said yes. I was not certain that was a good idea, but fortunately the teacher was not home. She threw herself on the sofa and started complaining loudly (I asked the boys to please go downstairs for a while. Brian did not want to go, but Andrew persuaded him that it was a good idea). Ann said that it was not right that she was not even allowed to visit her mom. She had been told that she could not go for respite but no one said that she could not spend the night or even visit! Then she got furious because we had apparently been told that and it was not right that we knew more about her life than she did. Somewhere along here she said that her mom told her that as far as she (Mandy) was concerned, Ann could come back to stay, but that the agency would not allow it.

That was when we decided to call Robin. Robin told me that, contrary to Mandy's understanding, there was no limit to how often Ann could visit. If it was okay with us and Mandy and John’s she could go over again. Through this Ann was yelling at me that SHE wanted to talk to Robin, that she did not want for ME to be talking to her. When I was done I gave Ann the phone and she took it into her room. After Ann got off the phone she walked around the house, went to her room for a while and then called her mom. Mandy apparently said that she might be able to visit later, but that this was not a good time. Ann laid on the sofa for a while and then said she needed a hug. I gave her one and she seemed to be much better. Sad, but the storm had passed.

Since then she has been quite calm, even cheerful.

I have a hard time figuring out what Ann's real feelings are, and what is a cover. I think that is because Ann is not certain what her real feelings are. A few minutes ago I asked her how she was feeling. She said that she still felt bad. I told her that it was okay to be sad, and that she could be as sad as she felt for as long as she felt it...just don't turn sad into mean. She shrugged. I don't think she understands sad. She gets angry, but she does not know what it means to just be sad.

Robin called and asked if we were all okay. I said we were.

Anyway, everything is quiet again here. Roland and I agreed a couple of weeks ago that if Ann ever got scary that one of us would take the boys somewhere and the other would stay with Ann. Today was the first time that we considered enacting that plan. We did not have to though. Right now all three kids are downstairs playing a board game. I have the baby monitor on so that I can eavesdrop. Life with Ann can be surreal. One moment I think she is going to blow it, the next she is Miss Charming.

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