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Sweet Sixteen

by Paul, Sandra and Ashleigh L.

Our daughter used to be someone you did not like to be around. She was always talking bad about you, saying anything she knew would hurt you, violent when angry and could not hug you with any feeling in it. She really did not care for anyone but herself. We used to describe her evil modes as she looked like the devil, the hatred in her eyes was scary. I did not like to be alone with her because you could not have any enjoyment at all. It caused so much stress in our marriage because of the triangulation that we almost did not make it. We had been married for 15 years prior to our child coming into our home and we had one of the greatest relationships a married couple could have. We could not believe one child could possibly have so much hate and anger. Our family could not survive at the rate is was going. Someone was going to have to go, but we were determined to make it work.

After visiting with several therapists and numerous medications which did not work, we sought out a local attachment therapist, who after seeing our daughter and us and saw how distraught we were recommended visiting with Nancy Thomas. I had never heard of her, but we were sent home with some videos of her training she had done locally. She had a couple of openings in about 3 months, so I called her up and got signed up without asking my husband. I looked at it as what do I have to loose. We had to take out our college fund to go, but without help there would be no college. I expected a miracle, because that is what we needed. We did not get a 2 week miracle, but what we got put us all on the right track to change our lives. It was hard work and even harder once we returned home, but the little steps made the difference. It was so nice to hear our daughter say, “Look Mom, I write just like you do.” Now that is not a big deal to most, but to an unattached child who before was so abusive to me it was the miracle I most asked for.

This was 4 years ago. Our daughter is turning sixteen this week and she is truly “sweet sixteen”. She is on an average the most respectful, fun, beautiful teenager I am around, and I am around many teenagers each week. She truly cares for others, animals and has friends, something that was impossible before. She loves both of her parents and we enjoy calling her our daughter. Most people are truly amazed if they hear her story, as she does not act anything like she used to. Does she still go to therapy? Yes, occasionally if something from her past is bothering her, but on the average she does not need to attend therapy as she can verbalize her feelings now. It is painful to reflect on those memories, but if it can give but one person hope, then it is worth it.

Paul, Sandra and Ashleigh L.

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