I have a meeting at Anne’s school today to discuss her behavior issues.
Anne has always had behavior issues. I was reading through an old journal recently and found a story illustrating how mean Anne was at 18 months old. And after the story, I had written, “She’s just like her daddy.” Ha! I thought that was funny. (Eric will be the first to tell you that before God changed his heart through salvation – he was selfish and mean!)
The difference between Anne’s behavior issues before the accident and now… is that before, she saved all of her ugly, stubborn, selfish and mean behavior for her family. No one outside our home ever saw that side of Anne. Away from home, Anne was shy and eager to please. “A perfect little angel” people would say.
You know, I like the world seeing the best in my children and leaving me to deal with the ugly stuff. That’s much easier than dealing with all the ugly stuff with teachers and therapists and counselors. Let’s just let everyone outside our home think that we have a perfect little family. I don’t want to share our “ugly side” with the outside world. Well, that’s not for me to decide, now is it.
So Anne has been turned “inside out.” She doesn’t have the self-control to keep anything in. Everything she does and says comes straight from her heart – everyone gets to see ALL the bad – and ALL the good.
And here’s the interesting part to me. Because she’s been turned inside out, it’s much easier to see the good. She’s fiercely loving & affectionate. She’s mean because sometimes she doesn’t feel accepted, and because she loves so deeply, the hurt is especially painful. I can look back to her “before-the-accident” self and understand much more clearly all of her crazy behavior. At the root of everything (both then and now), is a war between Anne’s deep desire to be loved and her compulsion to be in control of… EVERYTHING. Throw in all of her sensory issues (that were present before the accident) and we are left with one complex little girl.
I don’t know how to solve Anne’s behavior issues. But I do know that she is treasured by her Creator. He is passionate about Anne. He loves her like crazy. And my deepest desire is for her to find her value in Him – and not how she behaves at school (whether good or bad).
I would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and a spirit of cooperation and grace at my meeting today. We meet at noon. Thank you :-)