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Let the little children... - Nobody wears a white coat any more... — LiveJournal
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
Let the little children...
Kate is nine. She weighs as much as your average six-year-old; appropriate in an eerie way, because she hasn't gained a pound since she was six. She and her sister are victims of a victim mentality, and I spent twenty minutes on the phone with her psychologist trying to brainstorm ways to reverse the damage their mother has done. We don't have many answers.

What we do have is a picture.
Kate's mother has a victim mentality and a history of poor choices. She tends to move from boyfriend to boyfriend, moving in with one after another - and then being kicked out or leaving due to abuse - and still persists in telling her two little girls that "this is going to be your new daddy." She doesn't hold a steady job, nor - from the sound of it - a steady emotional state.
The girls are in their grandmother's custody; mom has visitation rights. For a long time, their mother would come to them and tell them how she had hoped that everything would work out this time, but Daddy 1534365436 turned out to be A Bad Person so she had to leave, and she was so sorry, but bad things always happened to her. Sad. Little girls believe their mothers, most of the time. And so these little girls were saving their money - allowance, anything - in their piggy banks. And when Mom got kicked out of the house or left or ran away and came to them, they would break the banks and give her all they had. So she could buy cigarettes.

Fast-forward a few years. Kate and her sister are now in grandma's custody, but mom visits regularly. Grandma is quite concerned because Kate is not only ADD, she's now showing a disturbing tendency toward compulsive acts. She picks at things, washes her hands until they bleed, has to complete all steps of a task in a specified order, and really needs to do things. Band-aids, medications, whatever small interventions she can take in her life.
"She gets worse when her mother visits," Grandma says.

Childhood is a strange and surreal time. How much more strange and surreal must it be for Kate? I worry about her. I worry about the anorexia she's likely to develop. I worry about the stress syndrome she must be undergoing. I worry about her desire to please and the untruthfulness of innocence.
And most of all, I worry that I'm not doing enough.

Tags: , ,
now feeling:: worried worried

5 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word
From: dafne99 Date: September 6th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Once upon a time I thought I could make it in the world of medicine. It's stories like these and those locked in my head from my work in the NICU and pediatric physical therapy that let me know I did the right thing not pursuing that field. I'm too sensitive and empathetic.
You're a good person, you will do all you can for your patients. It's tragic that sometimes even doing all you can won't be enough... but there's nothing more you can do about it. Just do your best and pray that God will watch over them when you are not able to. Thank you for being concerned for the children. The world needs more people like you. *squeeze*
omarius From: omarius Date: September 6th, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
She is blessed to have someone like you watching out for her.
zecular From: zecular Date: September 7th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
There's a world these girls live in that doesn't make sense to us; strangely, our world doesn't make sense to them either.

You aren't the only one looking out for these girls. I assure you there are plenty of teachers who are aware of their history and with everyone serving in their best interest, hopefully the cycle will be broken.

deadrose From: deadrose Date: September 7th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Can she have a pet? Having a fuzzy little critter that she can mother and give food and water and generally care for might be a useful thing. She'd have an outlet instead of feeling like she had to mother her mother. Finding ways to expose her to more healthy models of families or parents might also be good if it was done carefully enough.

I'm just working from personal mommy instincts and experience ehre, no actual training. Take or leave as you see fit :-)
coanteen From: coanteen Date: September 7th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
I wouldn't suggest that unless grandma's willing to give the pet a home for life. Bringing an innocent animal (that may well live quite a few years, by which time the kid's custody setup may have changed) into an unstable situation is hardly fair. Why risk messing up more lives, even if they're just animals?
5 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word