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.