Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our porcupine

I haven't written about Gabrielle in awhile. I would say she has gone from bad to fair. She's not great, she's not even good but she is better than she was. She has been going to the therapist weekly and George and I go with her once a month. I really like this therapist. She's smart, quick and doesn't take any crap from any of us. A lot of people can be intimidated by George. She stays a step ahead of him and can match him intellectually. I can tell he respects her.

Gabrielle has realized that she has to comply to our rules. She's not happy about it, but she's doing what we ask. She might even get to see Alex over the break. She constantly wants to know when she can start dating and not having to have us around when he comes. George has finally stopped saying never or over my dead body and is willing to reassess the dating situation around her sixteenth birthday. The biggest problem I see are that the changes in her are not coming from within. She wants to know exactly what to do or what we want. She hasn't realized that these are just exterior changes, not heart changes. I can tell George is really hurt. He wants a true relationship with his daughter and can't really see this happening.

So where does that leave things? The therapist wants us to include her in family activities once a week. We have included her in the past but she sulks, pouts or begs to leave. She doesn't mind doing stuff with just George and I but doesn't like to be around the two little ones. It's almost like she sees herself separated from the family. It's her and us. So if we are playing Lego's on the floor, she will come play for ten minutes or so. This doesn't seem like a big deal to most, but for her, it is. Her therapist said it will be like hugging a porcupine. She's going to be kicking and screaming but we have to be insistent.

We all have thorns, bristles and quills. Some of us hide them better than others. But we need to remember that beneath all the prickles is a tender, sweet girl wanting to be understood and loved.