Thursday, September 08, 2011

Breaking the Cycle

Thanks to a long story no longer worth telling, my ex-wife and I have parental custody of my granddaughter.  She is overall a good child.  Like all children she brings with her challenges, but unlike all children she carries special burdens.

Beside my alcoholism-damaged personality, the child is from an alcoholism-marred family on the ex-wife's side.  Without telling other people's business, let it just suffice to say that there was alcohol from that direction.

She also comes from stock that has ADHD.  There has been a suspicion as she has gone through school that she suffers from that.  However, there is a complication that makes knowing that hard.

And that is that she suffered serious head trauma as a toddler, trauma caused in my belief by abuse.  So there may be non-ADHD neurological damage that creates her day to day challenges in learning.

I am the parent that focuses on the school aspect of her life.  The thought is that I am best suited for this, but there are days when she is willful and just not getting it that I question that analysis.

She has a playful personality.  Everything is always fun time.  And while I am more than capable of having fun, I don't really know how to make doing homework into fun time.  It doesn't help that I thought (times tables aside) doing homework was fun.  Yeah, I was that much of a nerd.

So I often see my mother or father emerge in me while trying to keep her on track.  Again, I am limited by having no examples to draw from other than them.  And I am sure that from time to time, I am passing the alcohol damage down the line.

But I fight on because I want her to have options, to not be counted out, despite the numerous strikes already against her.  There's no real ACoA lesson here, other than I have to learn how to parent both her and myself.  It's just hard seeing myself possibly passing on future damage because I don't yet know how to stop it.

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