The Twenty-Four Hour Furlough

Sweetie 4 has made it to her first over night furlough. It has been nearly a year since she spent the night in her own bed. She was so excited to be able to come home.
A typical furlough is quite busy. Just to give you an idea of what it is like; she has to have objectives to achieve and those are worked through during regular family life.
On Saturday evening, we picked her up at 6:30.
She went to her first AA meeting, required by the center. She then went to a job interview and got HIRED! (she can work on furloughs)
We came home, had a snack and by then it was about 10:30. We headed to bed.
In the middle of the night, there she was standing by the bed… “Mom, I can’t sleep.”
I was thinking, REALLY? You have the best mattress in the house! But she was just not used to sleeping in her bed and had a lot of thoughts racing through her head.
Up at 7:45, we readied ourselves for services, and she, Dad and Sweetie 2 headed to get donuts while Sweetie 3 and I prepared for a pot luck.
We all met at church. After church services, Sweetie met her future mentor for Texas Challenge and had lunch with her. She helped clean up and then we headed back home. Those were two objectives that she completed at church. πŸ™‚
Her next objective was family time. We played a game of Apples to Apples and she also went out to the chicken coop to look at more ideas for working on it.
After that, it was almost 5:30 and time to head back.

She did WELL except for a few bumps. She is not used to using her healthy tools for healthy relationship. She didn’t like talking about future schedules, or the idea of some chores (also required elements from the center) so she started to fall back on some old familiar behaviors.
We were able to turn things around, but not without some serious deep breathing.
She was angry with herself for saying something she shouldn’t have said and couldn’t move on. She began saying things like, “Just take me back now!”
We said, “No Sweetie. We need to work this out and learn to use our tools. In the not too distant future there will be nowhere to go back to!”
She calmed and we wound up having a very good talk.
She has some unusable tools that she needs to toss from her tool box so she can use the healthy, useful tools we have all given her, that really DO work! But she reverts to old habits that MUST be broken! She needs to continue to work on establishing new habits, so she can be successful in the community, outside of a detention center.

This is hard work for all of us.
For her, she falls back on old habits. For us, we experience her behavior and for me, I feel panicky inside, like, “oh no…….here we go again!”

So, we have another chance this coming up weekend to do it again and do better.:)

5 Responses to The Twenty-Four Hour Furlough

  1. Annie Kitching says:

    She’s probably doing better than I would do. This all sounds so threatening and stressful! I am not sure I can do well looking at future schedules either!

    Are there other options than the Teen Challenge? Military stuff seems so masculine. I’d rather spend long days plain sewing, washing laundry or scrubbing floors than doing military things. What if this just isn’t a fit for some girls?

    • ChristieM says:

      She is actually looking forward to the school. It is an all girls academy. πŸ™‚
      I would love for her to spend time sewing and doing typical things, but honestly, she isn’t ready for it yet.
      This will be a good transition between detention and home.. and when she finally comes home for good in May,
      I would LOVE for her to teach ME to sew! πŸ™‚

  2. Karen says:

    Wonderful! πŸ™‚

  3. meln says:

    Hey Christie,

    I can only imagine you are taking life day by day and when she gets home, hour by hour.

    The BPD potential dx is interesting. So much overlap with bi polar although there are several strinking differences. Fear/Obligation/Guilt – FOG. I remember learning that acronym as how many bordeline personality disordered people manipulate others.

    You must be so very tired.

    Wish I were local and could be a real life friend. This is tough tough stuff.

Comments warmly welcomed!


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