Yesterday was therapy day. The therapist and I talked longer then we usually do because new issues have come up. The child in the shadows is showing more of her true self. She is showing more of her own little attachment issues. Showing more of the effects of multiple moves. Even the therapist has noticed the increase in jealousy and the increase in outward defiance. The funny thing about attachment issues is that it presents itself differently in each child.
We are at the point where this is the longest they have been in a placement. Dimples showed us her true self pretty quickly. Michelle has just showed us cracks of her true self. I knew that there was more to be concerned about then what she presented. By the end of the school year she had lost all of the friends that she had made. At home the kids don't want to play with her. She is having more problems with social interactions then I originally realized.
Quite frequently her jealousy gets the best of her. She will tell lies about kids to get them in trouble and we are seeing a pattern of her doing it when she is jealous of them. She will say hurtful things to her peers to bring them down. She erased Anthony's games on his Nintendo DS and later I realized it was because she couldn't win those games. She was jealous so she erased his. I say that she is so jealous that she only sees the ice cream cone in another child's hand and doesn't notice the one melting in her own.
The root of this jealousy issue is a low self esteem. Feeling rejected by so many homes, one of them promising to adopt, does have an impact. Her mom visiting only once in the last 8 months has an impact. It doesn't matter why she was moved to 7 different homes, as a child she thinks that it is because she is not worthy.
So, she is hyper vigilant. She notices every little slight, even when there isn't one. She assumes that everyone can do everything better then her and will sabotage them. She will lie to get them into trouble. She will try to draw the attention to herself when someone else is getting attention.
This behavior will affect her quality of life. Her ability to make and maintain friends and to have close relationships. It is already affecting her in the home. The teenagers have drawn back from her and the little ones prefer not to play with her.
Now that we see the issue for what it is we can look at how to best help her. Their therapist thinks that they will always require therapy. They will always struggle to some extent with the effects of their early beginnings. To me the sad thing is that all the damage wasn't done by the parents. A lot of damage was done by moving them to 7 different homes in 2 years. The foster system is part of the problem.
The other day the therapist that visited our home asked me why we do this when the girls are so difficult. I wasn't expecting that question but the only answer that came to my mind was that someone had to. Someone has to stop the moves and buckle down and do the hard work. The someone is our family. It is a family effort, these girls impact the entire family.