There was once a girl, the second of three children, who found herself growing up in a middle-class American family. Mom and Dad both worked to provide the opportunities they wanted to give their children and the parents did their best to nurture their three kids.
The second daughter was plagued with a variety of challenges that affected her judgment and behavior. By the time she was an adolescent girl, telling lies and acting out in a harsh, belligerent manner toward her parents started becoming more and more common. Her self esteem suffered due to chronic body weight issues that undoubtedly aggravated her behavioral difficulties. Her parents, not knowing how to respond in a caring, supportive way that demonstrated to their daughter the consequences for actions deviating from acceptable social norms, struggled not only with her, but with each other. It was a time of family crisis.
After high school, the daughter tried leaving home to attend school, but that path didn't suit her and she returned. Old behaviors resurrected. She tried finding employment, but a career choice seemed elusive and jobs were random. Lying was preferable to truth telling. Blaming was preferable to taking responsibility. Hostility was preferable to peaceful coexistence. Still, her parents tried to support their daughter in finding a pursuit where she might derive happiness.
After she turned 21 and renewed her attempt to make her way independently, her personal difficulties increased. Her debt escalated and attempts to hide the debt from plain view made the situation far worse. Her actions were criminal in nature. If she found herself unable to pay a bill, she invented an excuse, told another lie, slandered another’s reputation in the process.
Finally at the breaking point, her parents excused themselves from her life. Without wavering, they both asked her to leave their home permanently, attend to the problems looming in her life, and not return until she was capable of making amends. They were worried, almost sick. Months passed of no communication. The daughter felt betrayed and angry that her parents had turned their backs on her.
Then one day she drove over to her parent’s house and found them at home along with both her siblings. Tearfully, she took a step, and admitting she was ashamed of her cycle of bad behavior, asked for forgiveness. She wanted a chance to repair what she had damaged by demonstrating that she was trying to change the person that she was.
But there was more. She was also expecting a baby. And it was complicated. There was no upside to be found in the situation, save for the fact that she felt blessed and joyful at the prospect of being a mother.
She is going to make her own choices, guided by advice from her obstetrician, counselor, friends and family. Everyone has a particular point of view. But in the end, the only view that matters is hers.
I do not know what will happen. I hope for the best. I pray that she may find steadfast strength and the comprehension to acknowledge her life in the present tense and make choices based on where she stands in that life, humbly taking responsibility for herself and her yet unborn baby.
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