Saturday, October 1, 2016
Chinese food Saturday
Today Fiona was due to come home for a visit and I wondered how things would go. Not only did she have a stressful experience last evening, but her group home is again in transition. The really good house manager that has been there just shy of 2 years has moved on and there are other staffing changes as well. Whenever there is a transition it is tremendously hard for her. Additionally, it means there is less support for her to access as she processes any feelings or concerns that come up as she reconnects with Mom J.
So I was not surprised when Fi called me mid morning, angry and confrontational. She had been asked to not play her music loudly in the common room where others were watching TV. She felt she had every right to do that no matter what. Staff later told me that she was playing her music so loud the music could be heard clearly even though she was wearing her headphones. Eeks!
While I agree that she was appropriately asked to move to another location or to lower the volume of the music the new staffer also told Fiona that if she didn't comply that she would "lose her visit." Fiona quite rightly said that the only time her visit is jeopardized is if she has a hold. I won't take her off site if she is that unstable but anything else, i am okay with.
However that comment from the staff was the tiny straw that broke the back of the tenuous grip that she has held on her emotions since the loss of the former house manager. Much ranting ensued in thephone conversation and somehow she wound up telling me she didn't want a visit anyway, she didn't want me to bring spending money, and I could just leave her alone. I explained that I would be coming with her months spending money but that she of course had a choice of seeing me or not.
By the time I got there, a more experienced staff had helped her find some calm, and gotten her to a place where she could more rationally discuss the other staff's mistake, and her own role in the incident. I suggested that instead of coming home, that she and I go out for lunch and she agreed.
We ate at a Chinese restaurant not far from the group home. A cute little family run place. I had a yummy spicy tofu, and she had her favorite crab rangoons and chicken wings. We were able to talk about her visit yesterday, happy anecdotes of her time there, concerns that she had over the transport issue, plans for future visits there with Mom J and plans for visits with us.
The best thing is that it ended well. A year ago, maybe even 6 months ago, she wouldn't have gotten things together enough to even go to lunch. Huge growth for my daughter and I am so proud.