lying and the adopted child
0 comment Thursday, April 10, 2014 |
We have trust issues with Daughter. We haven't always had them, but I think That's because she's been clever and we're naturally trusting. Husband and I are only just now beginning to understand the true extent of her easy relationship with lying and dishonesty.
Last school year, she used to get tuck money. �1.50 a week, which covered 30p a day for the most expensive thing on the tuck menu, a cheese toastie. Unless she had this every day, I would therefore have expected some change at the end of the week. But I never got any. So I started feeling a little puzzled when she mentioned buying a drink or a flapjack, and started paying closer attention to how much money she was spending every day. I became alarmed when I noticed that �1 or more was being spent in two or three days!
I had a talk with Daughter about this. Asked her where the money was going. She said she didn't know. I impressed upon her what the tuck money was for, that it was for her, no one else, it was money for her to help fuel her through the day and I gave it to her because I cared for her.
I gave her a second chance and took her tuck money down to �1 a week.
The very next week she had spent that in one day. I talked to her again. Asked her where the money had gone. Again, she said she didn't know. I told her that I was very sorry, but until she did know she was getting no more tuck money.
Some weeks passed and she admitted to me that she had been buying tuck for her friends. I asked why she had told me that she 'didn't know' where the money was going and she told me that she didn't want to get told off. I asked her if she didn't want to get told off why hadn't she just stopped spending the money on her friends? She said she didn't know.
She has asked for tuck money again a few times since then and my reply is always that I don't trust her enough to give it. I do not trust that she will not just spend it on her friends.
And the reason I do not trust her is that the afore mentioned scenario has been repeated too many times in recent months. It always goes the same way. I get suspicious of something, talk to her about it, she denies any knowledge, it carries on, I put some sanction in place, or I catch her out, and I find she's been lying.
Most worryingly, I have suspected for some time that Daughter takes Son's stuff, sometimes to play with it herself and claim it as her own, but also sometimes just to hide things from him. My Son has a catastrophic reaction to things disappearing. That's when his language gets very dark and he starts talking about killing himself or running away. It's not hard to fathom why. One day his birth mummy, and then his whole life as he knew it, disappeared. It terrifies him that life is so fragile and so easily lost.
Yesterday, off the back of yet another lie Daughter was caught out telling, I talked to her about this. I talked to her about how deeply her brother is hurt when his stuff disappears, and how I knew that it would be a hard habit for her to break but that she must break it. I told her that to help her break this habit that whenever something of her Brother's 'disappears' then I would take something of hers. She would get it back when her Brother got his stuff back, but that I hoped this would help her stop and think before she took what wasn't hers. She seemed to understand.
This evening, Son lost the Dr Who cards that had come with a magazine that I had bought him today. I made Daughter stand to one side whilst Son turned the living room upside down looking for them. He swore that the cards had not left the room since he'd bought them home. But they were no where to be found. I reminded Daughter about what would happen if these cards were not found. She denied taking the cards.
At one point she went upstairs and I expected her to come down having 'found' the cards, but they didn't materialise. Instead, she went through her not inconsiderable pile of cards, showing her Brother that she didn't have them. And she didn't. But unfortunately for her Son noticed that she did have one of his Moshi Monster cards. The ones I had bought him that very day.
I felt a spike of anger. What? I switched the TV off and faced her, asked her how she came to be in possession of one of her brother's cards. She had 'found' it she said, and put it among her cards to 'take care of it'.
I'd love to say I remained calm and told her how disappointed I was in her, but as she'd already lied that day despite our long talk the day before about trust and honesty, I'm afraid I hit the metaphorical roof and sent her to bed. Husband and I then removed all her soft toys from her bedroom (three huge travel bags full) and told her calmly that she would get them back when her brother's cards turn up. I haven't heard her cry as hard as she did as we took her stuff. I told her, more than once, that she was now feeling how her brother felt when she took his things.
We just found the Doctor Who cards. I was practically sitting on them. How on earth Son missed them when he upturned every cushion and seat on the settee, I don't know. In fact, I find it so hard to believe that I suspect Daughter placed them there, having fetched them when she popped upstairs briefly when her Brother was tearing the front room apart. I have absolutely no proof that that is what happened, but when you don't trust someone That's the kind of thing you believe about them.
Daughter has also taken stuff from people's homes before now, only little stuff like game board pieces or hairclips, but it is taking none-the-less. We understand that adopted children, who have lost so much, have a powerful and warped relationship with 'things', and until now we've been trying to give Daughter an understanding of why she feels the need to do this sort of stuff and why she doesn't need to do it anymore.
Now however we have reached the point where blunt action is needed. To keep her Brother safe we must take the kind of action that will make her stop even if it doesn't make her understand.