one has decided that being even ruder and angrier at me is the way to get through this 5) stick together and don't let anyone new or healthy into the group. (For those of you who don't know - my 5 youngest are full sibs, so they have the same tempers and the same attitudes and the same genetic vulnerability to addiction, and they were all exposed to drugs and alcohol on a daily basis while in utero and the youngest 3 girls hang out in the same social network).
These are hard rules because I'm a therapist so of course I want to discuss this with everyone; and, I find myself crying at times because it's really bloody sad,
One of my strongest beliefs as a parent and a therapist is that the relationship has to be preserved above all else and its starting to look like the best way to keep any aspect of my relationship with each of them is to let them pull away as they need to. Sounds quite contrary, but they were already in the normal stage of adolescent de-taching and if they feel they can cope best by avoiding reality, and me, at this time, then that is what I have to accept. I won't accept it forever, but at least for now. I mean really, what parent has any control over any acting out teen's coping mechanisms? I'm really aware that this is a process that we all have to go through and nothing can hasten or slow any of it. My only real goal is that at my end, they have some sort of acceptance and have resolved enough that they aren't burdened with guilt as they grow up.
On a side note, I've also discovered what I always suspected - I am not a noble person and I don't suffer with dignity. I worry about how that will impact the kids, too, as I develop more to whine about.