lying and stealing, again
0 comment Monday, June 16, 2014 |
Nearly bursting into flames is never a good thing to happen, but it also happened at a particularly inconvenient time. Daughter, of course, has just returned from her five day residential course and I particularly wanted to spend time with her and keep her close.
As it happened, she didn't come out the jibbering trauma-sprouting wreck I expected, but came back mature and calm! It was Son who couldn't handle her return with several angry outbursts and random crying fits, but hey ho, I was there for him too.
Reader, you will recall that my daughter has trouble not taking things that are not hers and also has a fast and lose relationship with The Truth. On Saturday, when my friend came around for our cinema trip, Daughter had to apologise to her for taking five packets of Haribos from her house last time we visited. Both friend and Daughter handled it well and it was a very dignified moment as apology was given and accepted.
This is on top of the apology letter she had to write and post to her Grandparents for throwing things around and having a tantrum last time they were here.
Apologising is never easy. Maybe, I was thinking, she'll conclude that life will be easier if she just doesn't do stuff for which she later has to apologise.
Reader, you may also recall the incident of the jaffa cakes in which I allowed myself to consider the possibility that I was going slightly insane, rather than believe that Daughter had climbed up onto the kitchen work surface to take and consume a whole box of jaffa cakes.
Well, yesterday, Sunday, jaffa cakes were mentioned quite a lot. Where did that empty jaffa cake box come from, I wonder? Who could have taken them? How could they have got them? Surely not climbed up on the kitchen work surface because That's dangerous! How upsetting it was for me that someone could take Daughter's jaffa cakes. How sad it was she missed out on them. How awful that someone thinks it's OK just to take stuff.
You get the picture.
Her face, every time I mentioned those damn blasted jaffa cakes, was a real sight. Maybe I was tapping into something, I kept thinking. Maybe she was feeling guilt in a safe way. Maybe she would reflect on what she had done.
This morning.
I had got up and seen to the children and to the pets, then went upstairs to get dressed as usual. When I came down again Son was happily eating his cornflakes in the living room, but Daughter was absent. Son told me she was in the kitchen. Daughter then opened the door to the kitchen and came out holding her cereal bowl very close to her chest.
For one crazy stupid fool-hardy moment, I thought nothing of it. I went to carry on with my business, then, suddenly, it was... hang on...
Why was the kitchen door closed? The kitchen door is never closed!
Why was Daughter hogging her cereal bowl close to her chest? What didn't she want me to see?
I went into the living room and stood in front of Daughter sitting on the sofa, still hugging her bowl to her chest. I asked her to hand me the bowl. She refused. I told her I wasn't going anywhere until she gave me the bowl. She refused. I remained. She handed it over.
For breakfast, Daughter had decided she would like five Penguin chocolate bars. The chocolate bars that I keep on top of the kitchen cupboard. The ones she'd have to climb up onto the kitchen work surface to get.
I'd love to say that I handled this revelation with humour and consideration of her traumatic past, but I did not. I lost my rag. And I called her a liar and a thief.
No, I am not proud of myself. Although there is a part of me that thinks because I actually managed to make her cry this morning that maybe it might have done her some good. She never cries when I have a go at her, she only cries when she's trying to get out of being told off. Maybe this morning she allowed herself some real genuine human feeling, although I suspect that was a painful sort of pity for herself.
Actually, no, let's face it. I am relieved that she cried because I managed to make her feel as bad as I felt at that moment. Which is the kind of crap the children do to me.
It is the crazy lying and stealing of the adopted child that can drive you slightly mad. She gets to pick her own breakfast cereal, she can have whatever she wants. She picked her cereal on Sunday and yet on Monday she thinks, sod it, I'm gonna have chocolate bars. Five of 'em. Never mind that I get chocolate after school, never mind that I get chocolate after tea, I want it now too.
This morning I've had work to do because my business is just starting to take off, but I haven't been in the right mind. Instead I've been reviewing all the stuff on the internet about adopted children and lying and stealing. I am in a better place now. I know I shouldn't take it personally. I know she can't help it.
This article summarises the whole crazy making business best.
In particular the following rings true:
"Control: if they feel they are controlling you it makes them feel safer, if the child can make you believe there was an alien landing who came and ate all the biscuits that is one up for them. They are in charge!"
This is the thing that pushes my buttons I think. Yes, Daughter likes chocolate, but she gets enough of it, she doesn't need to steal it. What she likes more is pulling the wool over my eyes. She feels better being in control of what she can eat, taking that control off me, even though I am fair and generous with what I give. Even though taking control means doing something that will hurt me, and something that she knows is wrong. Doing it even though have spent much time with her talking over these issues, dealing with them sensitively, trying to get her to udnerstand why she feels the compulsion take things she knows she shouldn't.
I have to accept that I cannot fix her. I cannot help her see reason and get her to not lie and steal. Her compulsion is deep and hard-wired.
I have decided to put a lock on my bedroom door and keep all money and chocolates in there. I've read of adopters having to do this, I was reading about it this morning, I never thought I would have to live in a house and a family like that and I feel sad.
I feel sad for Daughter too. This weekend she showed me the girl she would have been had her birth parents not screwed her up. Then this morning she showed me the price she has to pay for being that girl. I don't know, I'm not sure sad is the word.