Wednesday, March 10, 2010

That Face

This picture of Charity really cracks me up. I thought about just doing a Wordless Wednesday, but I think the reason I find the picture so funny takes some explanation of her personality.

It captures so perfectly her determination. She tries so hard. Too hard, really. She thinks she needs to be perfect. She pays attention to every detail... toes pointed, hands touching toes, jump real high, just the way my big sisters do it... Oh, sweet baby, we love you no matter what! We don't want you to be just like them.

Unfortunately, for a long time her determination was directed towards less than desirable behaviors. She was determined alright... determined to keep us at arm length, to control the house hold, and to cause chaos. She was pretty successful at it, too. She was in survival mode, and I'm glad I understand that now. Because at the time it was extremely hard to swallow.

Oh, the mountains she's beginning to move. RAD is diminishing, and Charity is emerging. I read a great comment a special needs mom made about her daughter. About how her daughter had epilepsy, but epilepsy didn't have her. She talked about how her disorder didn't define her. Unfortunately for RADlings, or at least for me in Charity's case, it did define her for a very long time. It's all I could see. But that isn't true anymore. She's moving that mountain, one rock at a time. We (her family) are trying to help her move rocks, too, but most of the work is hers alone. AND SHE'S DOING IT!!!!! Praise God for His mighty works in her little heart!

She's a hard worker and a perfectionist. To a fault, really, and we're actually working on messing up. And it being ok to mess up. Like, practicing getting things wrong and then reacting nonchalantly. I say, "I want you to tell me the sound this letter makes, but tell me the wrong sound." Then when she "messes up", we laugh and snap our fingers and say, "dad-gum-it, I messed up - now I'm gonna try again." So that maybe when she really messes something up she thinks she should have gotten right, it won't cause a downward spiral of fits and rage.

But my point is that her determination isn't aimed at gaining control or the attention (at any cost) of everyone around her. She's now applying that same strong will and determination to getting along with her sisters. To doing her chores well. To accept what we've said and just say, "yes, ma'am". So when the moments of being stuck or regression come, they are oh-so-much-easier to accept... to respond to her the way she really needs instead of my own anger and frustration oozing out.

Funny how a strong character trait is both a weakness and a strength. The very thing about her that makes me want to pull my hair out is also the very thing I love deeply.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Hooray for Charity!! (and for all of you for sticking it out and working SOO hard!)

I am so thankful that the years of so much work and stress and uncertainty are coming to an end. You can know you're doing the right things based on the results!!

She is a precious child... she will always hold a special place in my heart!