This blog was all about honesty, and being honest about the challenges as well as the intense love involved in raising my children. While things have only been improving during the last 2 years for both of them, we’ve had a real roller coaster with Karen lately, and I’m not sure how to help her.
She has a huge chip on her shoulder and takes any kind of rejection very hard. She gets angry and lashes out at whomever she feels has let her down. But sometimes, especially with the girls she would most like as friends, the rejection is real. On the one hand, she wants lots of friends, on the other, she’s bossy and overbearing and gets pissy if a friend doesn’t want to do the same thing she had in mind. I’ve tried talking to her, but she gets defensive and always puts the blame on the situation, the friend, me…anyone except herself. She’s smart, and I think she recognizes that she’s to blame, but she keeps focusing on how she treated so many of the girls in her class when she was “younger”, and she feels that now that she’s learned to control her hitting, they should be welcoming her with open arms. After all, when she was hitting, I always told her that if only she stopped, she would have more friends. But the truth is, she still hurts some of the kids. Maybe she doesn’t punch or slap them, but she grabs, pushes, trips up and does all kinds of smaller things that involve her either touching them or their property in a way that hurts or damages.
She knows, after testing us for years, that we’ll love her no matter what she does. But she can’t seem to understand that once you’ve gone too far with someone outside the immediate family, they won’t love her. They’ll hate her because she scares them.
She still sees friends and participates in lots of activities. Truth is, she doesn’t have much free time, and when she is free for any reasonable bloc of time, she often visits with friends. But she doesn’t have a best friend. She did, but she feels like another girl “stole” the best friend. But she does have a lot of casual friends, both older and younger, whom she knows mostly from school. I know I can’t create a best friend for her, and if I could, she’d find some fault that would make it a deal breaker for her. I think her hunt for a single best friend ends up hurting her even with more casual friends. Once she sets on wanting one girl as “her” friend, she gets jealous when other girls have her attention and may not be including her. Suddenly, she’s hurt and angry at both of them. She has articulated very clearly that she fears the original rejection of her birth mother will recurr if she were ever able to meet her and I think she’s replaying that in some way in each of her close relationships.
One therapist told me that she still may not be ripe for learning friendship. She still needs to overcome some basic trust issues and be emotionally available. She’s wonderful with Matan, and when we’re doing family stuff, so maybe she still needs to feel her family life is more solid before she can really be open to socializing properly. In one sense, I’m grateful because the lack of a best friend means she really gives herself much more freely to us and Matan. We’re her refuge. But the lack of a best friend, and her inability to socialize in a pleasant manner seem to be the biggest cause of her anti social behavior at this point. Then again, I could be completely wrong. Been known to happen.