George and I had an appointment with Gabrielle's therapist last night. I was anxious for George to meet her and get his impressions of her. We sat with her for an hour and came away both encouraged and hopeful. She pointed out our parental mistakes in a way that left us feeling grateful. She truly understands teenage girls and was an advocate for Gabrielle. I think we have not being hearing Gabrielle. She wants to be taken seriously, whether it's how much she hates her hair, her pimples or this boy. I think we are trying to look out for her future without regard to her right now. She is not looking years down the road. She is lucky to be thinking about tomorrow. So our telling her that this love for Alex isn't real or it's dumb, is not really listening to her. She feels like her feelings are not valued at all. Will this relationship last? No, but she doesn't think that way. Most teenagers don't. We have taken so much away from her that she has absolutely nothing to look forward to. Why would she try in school? To get into college like we want? She has shut us down because we have tried in vain to shut her feelings out. On our end, we need to slowly give her some privileges back. This weekend we are going to write a contract together. In it, we will list how to get privileges back. The therapist also told George that he needs to quit telling Gab that she will never see Alex again. His phrasing has been, "Over my dead body will you see him again." This is way too final and has no hope. Alex has never hurt her. He really has tried to lead her in some positive ways. Do we think he is healthy? No, but we can't control him. If Gabrielle shows some improvements, he can come over and hang out with us. Maybe dinner and a movie with us. As she gets healthier, she will realize that Alex is not good for her. But she has to come to this conclusion herself. With therapy, I think she will learn this.
When we got home from the appointment, we had a talk with Gabrielle. She sobbed in relief. George just held her as she sobbed. She kept on saying, "Really? I might be able to see him again?" One good thing is that she definitely thinks the therapist is on her side and is willing to work with her.
I had a meeting at her school today. They had a behavior specialist there as well as an asperger teacher. There are some behaviors that Gabrielle exhibits that are not at all typical of autism. She is very manipulative and lies a lot. She also does not want to be considered different. She sees special education as the enemy and wants to stay as far away as possible from it. I think this works to our advantage. For the next weeks before Christmas, she will have an escort to all of her classes. She will be switched out of her Spanish and lunch classes(ones she has with Alex) If she has a good few weeks, we will handpick her teachers for next semester and she will have a fresh start.
We are hoping that with a contract at home, a therapist and a psychiatrist involved, and a school which is very willing to help, we will see success. The behavior therapist said we need to close the circle. Meaning that everyone needs to be working as one. The school needs to be able to relay to the therapist what is going on with her and vice versa. I have not felt a lot of hope recently but today I do. I'm thankful.