Friday, November 1, 2013

Lately I’ve had thoughts I never thought I would think.  These thoughts are more reactions (and blows) to my careful vision of the family I wanted; the family I tried to create.  In my head I always saw a Mom and a Dad and a boy and a girl.  I saw beautiful dimple cheeked cherubs with sparkling personalities and wonderful traits.  My traits, his traits, our traits. My vision was clear, a loving couple raising amazing kids. A family that worked together played together but most importantly loved each other; and for two whole decades my vision was real. The times were challenging but fun and at night, we always took the time to glance into their bedrooms to marvel at those beautiful creatures we called our own; our kids.
Recently I took a personality inventory test that revealed that my energy level bordered hyper.  That at times I’m too enthusiastic and that my leadership style may make others uncomfortable. The next step down from hyper was energetic.  Where am I going with this?  Let me explain.  When I realized that others might perceive me as too enthusiastic and hyper, I realized that my perception of the world might be off track with regards to the people who share relationships with me too.  If I make strangers uncomfortable, then what do I do to you my family? Me, eternally optimistic me?
Right now at this place in time, I cannot stop the thoughts that surge in my head. They are worrisome and troubling and I am battling them like a Spartan at war.  The thoughts = the feelings that are so foreign to me that I feel like I’m trapped in a b-rated horror film from 50's. The words that come to mind are: disappointed, sickened, worried, disgusted, resigned, hopeless, helpless, embarrassed, directionless, horrified, meaningless, lost and alone.
I am grieving her.
I am deeply sad about saying goodbye to my vision but amazingly, however, I am not depressed.  I am not despondent and I am not deterred from dreaming new dreams or charting a new course. 
The daughter I thought was the angel sent from heaven the day she was born, our gorgeous toddler with golden skin, eyes and hair. This girl who showed signs of beautiful sensitivity and amazing creativity was our little girl, we were so proud of her and who she was. She was the kind of girl that was so eager to please everyone and defended the underdog on the school playground.

But something changed when she turned 14.
Our teenaged girl became dark and moody and began to lie to us.  And when she broke the law and incurred 5 infractions and 500 dollars in fines, I emptied her bank account to hold her accountable to pay for them.  Suddenly the girl that had only one BFF her whole life began to cycle through friends.  There was Laney, then Paige, then Lacey, then Ashley, then Amber and Alisha.  Her grades plummeted and she flunked her first year in high school, even though she was voted onto the homecoming court.  It just didn’t seem to matter what anyone thought of her, including her peers. 
In a desperate attempt to re-route and re-up high school, we decided to hold her back and enroll her into a tiny private school.  Her grades went up, but she began to isolate herself and the dark mood lingered.  In her junior year, she made a plan to make up her missed credits and rejoin her classmates at her original high school. We were so optimistic.  We (the counselor, coaches, teachers and us) devised all kinds of plans for her to join clubs and teams, and she simply rejected it all.
The downward slide simply continued through 15, 16 and 17. 
Her grades were great but her attitude, her choices and her new set of friends were bad influences.  Now each and every time we encounter each other she smells like an old ashtray. She only calls me when she needs something so I stopped taking her calls.  She even went so far as to cuss me out when I wouldn’t give her money stating that, “You still owe me money from my birthday.” To which I replied, “I didn’t owe you anything on your birthday, I gave you your birthday!” Last summer she ran away and we didn’t see her for a month.  She returned to school this fall to knock it out of the park.  Her grades are stellar, but again she decided to hang with the same set of kids and again ran away.  This time it was much worse however, because she made a long emotionless statement.  She said, “I have decided to leave this family.”  I don’t want this family anymore and I hate everything you stand for.  I hate everything you say and everything you do.  Your life is not the life I want.  Your standards are not the standards I want.  I will choose my family and it won’t be you.” "I feel like a hostage."
What do you say to that?  We are now numb.  We are beyond worried and stressed and now grieving the daughter we used to have and seriously wonder what the future holds for her.  Some of the hardest parts of my day involve conversations I have with family and friends.  They don't know about our struggles. Many of them with kids the same age talking about sports events, senior pictures, senior activities and plans for college. I smile and nod and always say, “Wow, that’s great!” and “You must be so proud of her!” Never letting on to my deep grief.  Inside I have gravel in my gut. I never dreamed our beautiful little girl would disappear to be replaced with a girl that looks just like her but doesn’t act like her.  The insults have cut deep and the damage is done.  I never dreamed it would turn out like this.  I heard it through the grapevine that she was getting a job at a gas station. I can still see the images in my minds eye of a little girl full of smiles and giggles and mischief...but now its time to forge a new dream and a new vision for my family.
The end.

Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

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