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Monday, May 15, 2006

The Perfect Storm

No, I am not talking about the storm battering the Northeast (though from the looks outside right now I could be). No I am talking about the clash to two equally stubborn minds. It is something that is troubling me, and as I try to navigate my way through, I need help. So I turn to you my dear friends.

Background Information you probably need: My B-I-L and his wife divorced a couple of years back. The collateral damage was so bad that it damn near took out my marriage in its wake. There are still plenty of deep wounds and battered egos from the whole thing.

The situation: My neice is a sweet girl, and despite being the product of the aforementioned terminated relationship is generally a happy child. She can be called a ... uh ... spirited child. She is always on the go, and almost always getting into something or doing something she shouldn't be. The type of child that if you said, "Do not touch that," the first thing she would do would be to go touch "that." She also exhibits all the classic symptoms of ADHD (figitity, never completes anything, can't sit still, notes home from school saying she is bright BUT has a problem focusing and paying attention, etc).

Her father has his own problems (I'm being polite here), so he is in no position to say anything, let alone dictate what should be done. Her mother is in denial. "Not my child," "She is just dealing with the divorce," "It is because her father always disappoints her." yada, yada, yada. Excuses. Pawning it off. Choosing to put the blinders on. Denial.

The Problem: I have mentioned this to my neice's mother before (which is where I got the above "answers" from her). She is choosing not to believe it. On the one hand, I want to wash my hands of the situation. This family's problems caused enough issue's for me and my wife when I was trying to help in the past, and worst of all, nobody seemed to give a damn that I was trying to help. So why shouldn't I just concern myself with my own family and the hell with them? On the other hand, I love my neice. Her and my daughter were the best of friends as well as just "cousins," and I don't feel it is fair to my neice to just let this go on unattended because her mother doesn't want to admit there could be a problem. (Hell, she lived in denial with her husband for 22 years). Like I said, her mother and I have discussed this before. Like me, her mother is a bit stubborn (my father would call it "thick headed"). The more I try to get her to take a serious introspection and honestly look at the situation, she gets angry. I get angry when she starts acting indignant, like nobody in the world knows anything but her.

I bounce back and forth (as you can see), and don't know what to do? Leave it alone, and wait for my neice to start failing in school, and have a school counselor tell her to go get the child tested? Then say, "I told you so," as if it really matters at that point. Or do I just continue to try and get through, hoping that after one of these discussions, she wakes up before it gets to a point where the child is failing? They say that the definition of insane, is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. By that definition I am already insane, but the alternative just doesn't seem like the "right" thing to do.

What would you do?

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