It Gets Better

So, Aubrey has been home for a little over a month now, and has seen Karen four times. When she first came home, she was a lifeless curled up ball who sat next to me playing solitaire on her tablet for hours on end. Now, she is waking up every morning, doing all the “activities of daily living” without being told, working a couple of days a week, and being creative and productive. She went from drawing mandalas on a page to making three dimensional mandalas, otherwise known as Ojo de Dios or Eye of God.

I’m sure you remember the ones you made in grade school by crossing two sticks and wrapping yarn around them? Yeah, these are closely related, but nothing like that at all. She uses four dowels, giving her eight spokes. Because one set of dowels sits on top of the other, it gives it a dimensional quality that one does not see with just two sticks. She is able to weave in and out, under and over. They are amazing!

the first try

She learned a lot from the first one, so she moved on to making one that would match my rather cheery pink, green, and white paisley quilt. However, as she got near the end, she started to hear pops, until finally, the center collapsed. It still looked pretty cool, though.

what happens when one breaks

She had to take it apart, count the number of winds per color, the pattern that she used for that color, and if it was over or under or a little of both. After she remade it, it looked like this:


Never one to just throw something away, Aubrey used the broken sticks and made two smaller ones. They looked like this:

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

and this:

Black Forest Gateau

Of course, being Aubrey, she names the designs after food, particularly desserts.

The large ones are 18 inches in diameter, while the smaller ones are a little over eight inches in diameter. She wants to work up to a full 36 inch diameter design, with 12 to 16 spokes, but she’s still working on perfecting the smaller ones.

I’m thrilled that she seems to be getting happier every day, and stronger. Yesterday, she did something she thought she could never do, and it proved to her that she’s making progress. She’s been waking up at 5am in order to shower, get dressed, take her meds, and make her bed, all before Ron has to be awake and start getting ready for work. We all agreed to put off school until summer session, because she still has a lot of stuff to work on. We don’t want to have to be standing over her saying, “Do your homework!” She’s not 12, or 17, she’s not in junior school or high school. Sadly, we’re a little late on teaching her self-motivation, but better late than never.

“Time is a healer, but we can’t see how, when you’re caught in the moment, and the hurting is now. We don’t wanna see that maybe some things weren’t meant to figure out.”


4 thoughts on “It Gets Better

  1. Anonymous says:

    So glad to hear she is doing so well!

    How do you instill self-motivation? I am at my wits end trying to get my 25 year old son to care about anything at all, and it’s so hard bc I know he can’t make it on his own living on his own, no jobs here, everything so expensive. He is very intelligent, and I am trying to get him to go to community college, but its just frustrating, his complete lack of motivation. Any help much appreciated, Vicki

    • mzklever says:

      It’s called tough love. She doesn’t have too much choice. She knows that she has to go to therapy, which is first and foremost the priority. We pay all of her bills (except for the few things that she buys for herself, like clothes), including internet, car insurance, health insurance, copays, etc. So she could easily decide that living at home forever is the way to go, except we also control her internet access, car access, checking account access, credit card, cell phone, and tablet. We can’t ground her, because there isn’t really any way to do that, but we all agreed on what her responsibilities are. If she doesn’t do them, then she cannot do anything else until they are done. For instance, she is supposed to have the dishes done by the time her dad gets home from work. That gave her some freedom to decide how to divide her time. She didn’t do them, of course. So then she had to do them after he got home, and the next day, she did not get her electronics back until after the dishes were done for the day. Even though she complained that she was tired and just wanted to rest a bit since she worked that day, I told her she should have done them earlier instead of procrastinating. It’s finally starting to catch, although I just had to ask her for the third time to get her clothes off the floor. That wasn’t on the original list of agreed upon activities, so obviously, now we have to add it.

      I have a 23 year old who lives on his own, and although we are paying for college this semester, we only agreed to pay for next semester if he gets Bs or above in all three of his classes. He works two jobs, and practices his piano for hours a day. Right now he has straight As, and has even taken charge of finding an internship for himself. He’s made arrangements to pay off all his debts, and has managed to pay some off already. A year ago, it was an entirely different story.

      Some kids are late bloomers, like my son, and some kids just refuse to launch. My daughter was still emotionally wounded from breaking up with her high school sweetheart, and she really just wasn’t ready yet. She’s young for her grade, both physically and emotionally. She really needed more time, and she needed to heal from that relationship. Until she’s mature enough to be trusted to take her meds like she is supposed to, she will have to live supervised.

      However, at age 25, you have an entirely different problem. Unless he has a mental or physical disability, he should be one his own, period. It may be time to flat out say either pay rent or get out. If he “can’t” find a job, or “everything” costs too much, then you can decide if going to school is an acceptable substitution for paying rent, and agree on a set list of chores he has to do to help out. He should apply for student loans if he doesn’t qualify for financial aid, and that will probably give him enough funds to live with a roommate.

      My guess is that he has some kind of video game system? I seriously blame the video game industry for this generation of launch failures. However, the games are your leverage. If you can’t physically take them away, you can sell the tv he plays them on, cut the power to the room, whatever it takes so that he cannot play them util he does what he is supposed to do. The goal is to make life at home just unpleasant enough that he doesn’t want to live there.

      Honestly, family or individual counseling may be in order. If nothing else, you may want to go to counseling for yourself, and your therapist can help you figure out how best to handle motivating your son; also, a therapist can help you cope with the stress of having an adult child living at home, and we ALL know how stressful that is.

      Any attempts to force him into college without it being his choice is just money down the drain. It has to be his decision. You may want to read about neural linguistic programming. It’s quite fascinating, and could be what you need to make your son think that going to college is his idea.

      Best of luck, and keep me posted, either here or privately. I hope that all goes well for you both, and I would like to know what is your final solution.

  2. mummybigbum says:

    Hey!! I missed you. I’m so behind on everything that’s been going on with you – please excuse if all your old posts get now defunct comments on! Jeez those things Aubrey has been making look cool. She must have so much patience. Would one of the small ones be capable of travelling to England if I bought one (incl p&p)? I love personal touches to a house and as I’m about to move into a new home and I sort of feel you helped me get to a place in my head where that’s been possible…well, I just think it would be lovely. Please ask her. I love the Watermelon and Black Forest Gateau, but not sure what colors I’ll have in my house yet xx

    • mzklever says:

      I know she would absolutely love to make one for you, ESPECIALLY since she can claim that she’s internationally known for her creations. The small 9 inch ones are pretty easy to ship, but the 18 inch one might be a bit more; it’s thin, but the diameter requires a big box. I’ll ask her when she gets home from work. Don’t worry…she won’t charge you an etsy price. Seriously, $100 for $2 worth of materials and time spent sitting on her ass watching tv, anyway?

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