Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Family's Struggle

DQ holds so many things inside - at times, I worry about her because I am never quite sure what she is thinking or feeling. She's been through a lot over the past three years, and I'm amazed at her strength and resilency.

As most of my regular readers know, DQ is biracial. She went through a terrible time for almost two years when she attended a small parochial school in a small town about 20 miles north of here. Her experiences there proved that racism still does exist in our culture, and there is a huge reluctance to admit that among school administrators who would rather bury their heads in the sand than confront the problem head on. In fact, DQ was actually blamed for the problem, and they tried to portray her as a "problem child" - which is SO ridiculous because she's so meek and quiet in a classroom setting that teachers almost have to beg her to participate in class discussions. She was home-schooled the last quarter of her 8th grade year to get her out of that hostile environment, and it gave her some time to heal. As you can imagine, her self-esteem suffered as a result, and she did go to a counselor for awhile.

It was also during this time period that her older sister became gravely ill and was in the hospital. I was unable to spend much time with DQ because most of my time and energy was devoted to TP. I was torn - and to this day, I feel guilty because I was so wrapped up with one child that I overlooked the other child's needs. I feel that DQ suffered as a result of that, and is paying for it to this day.

Last night, DQ came downstairs with tears in her eyes - which is so unusual for her that immediately I knew that she was suffering a great deal. She opened up tremendously - and spoke about how painful it has been to live here in our house lately. The strain of the past several years is catching up with all of us - and it's taking its' ugly toll on our relationships. The past few months, and especially the past few weeks, have been especially difficult. She shared with me how that the arguing goes through her heart and soul, and that she misses the closeness she once had with her older sister. It's been painful for DQ to watch her older sister turn away from us - and it hurts her to see how TP has treated us as she transitions into adulthood.

The only way I could respond to DQ was to hug her and comfort her. I couldn't promise that it will get better because I don't know that it will. It has renewed my determination to not engage in fighting, to place responsibility where it is supposed to go, and to pray like crazy that this darkness which has settled on to my family will finally be lifted. I miss the closeness, too, and I'm not sure how to get that back.


At 6:14 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

I know what you mean about DQ not being a problem child. We usually know which one of our children are stinkers and which ones aren't, and what they are capable of doing, especially in a situation that is upsurd.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger annb said...

I'm sorry for the pain you are dealing with right now. My family is going through something similar and I know how much it hurts everyone! Our oldest daughter has separated herself from the family and, more importantly, from God. She has decided that she would rather live as a part of the world - even though she knows right from wrong. I will keep DQ and your family in prayer and please know that I am thinking of you and lifting you up before God that your family can be comforted. Please know, also, that your comments and your journal entries mean a lot to me and I thank you for sharing your life, your faith and your wisdom.
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

They will get that back. Actually, you need to find joy in the fact that she does care and she is hurting. Transitions occur and eventually DQ will be living in the new world that TP is. And you and I will be crying over the Internet to one another about how our babies are leaving us.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Hey Valerie,

I haven't been keeping up as I should be (real life has been kinda busy), so I don't really know what's been going on with TP...but I'm sorry it's had such an effect on DQ. The teen years are so tough, as I'm just beginning to remember, now that my kids are hitting them. Hang in there, and hug DQ for me while you're at it.


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