The good, the bad and the ugly

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 :-)

7 thoughts on “The good, the bad and the ugly

  1. Elizabeth Dishman says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Kathryn! All children are complex, but it seems that some are more than others. :) We’ve got one of those too and have been helped by Dana Spears’ book “Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer?” It might open some windows for you, or just be an encouragement. You can find it on Amazon. In all your spare time. :)


  2. Praying for the wisdom and spirit of cooperation and grace at the meeting that you so desire today.
    Having dealt with special needs children for 30 years, I think that many of them share the same behaviors that Anne does. Even “normal” children share the same behaviors as Anne, but they probably have more control of their actions. Remember that Anne is a work in progress! God’s not finished with her yet. Control of her behavior may come with time and with much required guidance from everyone and from God. I will pray for this control of her behavior with time. God’s will be done, but in His own time and in His own way. The professionals you’ll be meeting with have been trained in ways to help themselves and you and your family to learn to deal with these behaviors and how to help Anne learn through time to learn to control these behaviors. Your feelings of wanting your children to just be “bad” at home are shared my most parents. I know that’s how I felt with my daughter. Patience is a virtue! Each day is a challenge! God doesn’t give us anything that He doesn’t think we can handle! Remember that God is in control and he has a very special plan for Ann!
    God bless!


  3. Lucel-Melody Wings says:

    I imagine these issues feel really, REALLY miserable. (Bless you).
    ……yet, I couldn’t keep my brain from immediately jumping to all the awesome and neat ways God’ll get to use this, in your own family and beyond. (Tho I do know/get it, that the journey’s NOT fun. Hugs)
    And I also think it’s a good thing you’re able to see that “the Anne of before” wasn’t perfect…..and that actually, instead of a totally different Anne, what you’re getting is a more complete picture. A different kind of wholeness.
    I don’t envy your journey, but knowing how much you are NOT alone with it (even when it feels like you are) I’m not concnerned about your making it. And clearly, ALL of you are shining brilliantly thru it all.
    Of COURSE lifting each of these concerns and their ripple effects, up in Prayer-Songs, along with all the other.


  4. Hal & Cathy Friesen says:

    Thanks, Kathryn, for sharing again what’s not pleasant to share. We prayed for each of the 5 of you this morning and now will remember you, as well, in your noon meeting.

    Neat that you can see the before and after of Anne. And God knows exactly where she is at this moment. Our Love, Hal and Cathy


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