Today marks the 5 week point of Mary being in a RTF. I can say that it has NOT gotten any easier to walk away in that 5 weeks, but it has gotten more manageable. It breaks my heart every time we have to say good-bye, and a little piece of me gets left behind with her when we leave. I am still not "okay" with this, and at the same time, I wholeheartedly believe that it is the right thing to do.
Mary is making good progress. She has been tapered off of some medicines and new ones have been introduced. It is a game of remove one med, wait a week or two, add a new med, wait a week or two, etc. As the medications work to balance the moods from a medical standpoint, the therapy that she is receiving has been working to help her regulate those moods from an emotional standpoint. She still has days where she is completely off, and foul, and rigid in her thinking and actions. But she is also having days where she is engaged, and fun, and learning new things. We are thankful for all of those good days and try to be thankful in the bad days as well, knowing that is where the real growth occurs. They have to see the full spectrum of her emotions in order to really help her. She has been moved to a different unit which is more home-like in the hopes that it will be less stressful for her. It is a less volatile environment in this unit. She seems to be enjoying it so far.
We have been going through training in the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as part of Mary's treatment. We are learning phrases like radical acceptance, mindfulness, emotional mind, validation of others and ourselves, how to ask for something effectively, how to diffuse a situation, and many other things. It has been fascinating to learn more about our brains and how to accept where we are in life, while at the same time working to change it. Mark & I were discussing how Christ deals with us in a very similar way. He says to us "You are evil and full of sin (radical acceptance of where we are)... AND... I love you enough to have paid that price for you and to change you from within (change)". He is mindful and fully present when He deals with us and doesn't let His emotions change how he interacts with us. He communicates clearly in His Word, describing the problem (sin), explaining how He feels, asking us to accept Him and telling us the rewards that await when we comply. He doesn't ever apologize for the law that He has set down, but is compassionate and understands the impossibility of us ever fully obeying that law. I am so thankful for a savior who is a perfect example of the skills that we are learning. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn how to be a better parent to all of our children.
Specific ways you can be praying:
* That Mary will continue to stabilize and learn the skills she needs.
* For Mary's safety (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) while she is away from us.
* That we can be a light in a place surrounded by darkness and a witness of peace in the midst of turmoil.
* For good friendships and relationships with the other patients and the staff.
* That our insurance would see the medical necessity of this treatment and agree to pay for her stay at the RTF.
As always, thanks to all of you who have prayed for us and supported us through this trying time.