The more things change, the more they stay the same.
After the debarcle that was 2016 and relationships, things eventually managed to sort themselves out. I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief but no, not really. She and the inappropriate relationship went their separate ways. At this point in time they remain friends and nothing more. She began again to focus again on a young man attending another program. The same program that said no boyfriend/girlfriend with other students. True to form she began to argue with another female student for the affections of this young man. And as far as I was aware, he did not return those feelings. Still, it didn't stop both girls from ruining a friendship.
In October or November of that year she met at a party a young man she had gone to school with and decided that this was possibly an interest for her. The following month they met at a local dance and decided to become romantically attached. Far more appropriate, right?
A conversation with the hostess of the party early this year provided a surprising outcome. She had asked the boy from the party about Niece and he insisted they were a couple. Well no, they weren't. She didn't believe me. Are you sure? Yes, quite sure. She assured me they were a couple. However, whether or not they were it didn't stop Niece from pursuing the boy from the program, nor another boy she found interesting she'd found at the dance!
Niece asked the party boy she had known from school for his phone number and he became her sole focus. They arranged their first date and met up at a local shopping centre for coffee. This seemed to go well and arrangements were made for a second. The second date seemed to go well so they arranged a third. And from there, it went to hell in a handbasket.
We arrived at the predetermined location and despite her frantic phone calls he was an hour late. Okay. We rescheduled for another day. After waiting for two hours I told her that if he wasn't there in 20 minutes then forget it. After frantic phone calls from her trying to determine his location, we left. Reschedule. MOTH took her this time. He didn't turn up. MOTH refused to wait longer than 20 minutes and brought her back home. Since then, each time she tried to arrange a date he was busy. Soccer. Gym. Family obligations. Now, they see each other once a month at the dance but she calls him almost every day.
The phone calls. Oh, the phone calls. She couldn't live without the phone. Or calling him. Multiple times a day. No credit? DISASTER! YOU MUST RECHARGE MY PHONE NOW! No battery? DISASTER! YOU MUST CHARGE THIS PHONE IMMEDIATELY! IT'S BEEN 5 MINUTES! WHY IS MY PHONE NOT CHARGED? WHY HAVE YOU NOT CHARGED IT YET? WHY MUST YOU DO IT OVERNIGHT? And so on.
At my wits end, I asked her access worker for suggestions; we are now on a behaviour chart with tasks and behaviour guidelines. The behaviour box MUST be ticked before a phone reward is offered for 30 minutes.
Both her access worker and I are convinced that she is still not ready for a relationship but Niece still insists. She said she broke up with him and no one was sure if that was actuality or fantasy. For approximately 10 days or so she was the happiest she had been for the last 18 months. Laughing, joking, participating, doing better at her tasks. All the good things. However she suddenly decided last week that she was stupid for breaking up with him and asked him again if they could be a couple. Her access worker got the impression that the boyfriend didn't even know they'd broken up! That was about 7 days ago and only the last 2 have been anywhere near good.
I wish she would be content to stay single!
I know that I really need to set an end to the behaviour chart but I cannot beyond reminding her that it will continue until I no longer have to remind her every day to use her "happy on purpose" behaviours and not her "unhappy on purpose" behaviour. The way she is going I simply don't see an end coming soon.
I am yet to see how the commencement of the government sponsored NDIS program is going to work. This is a government initiative aimed at helping those with a disability become more independent. I can't see her reaching this milestone as she will always need behaviour coaching, and even prompting for things like personal grooming and healthy/sensible eating. I don't know if the NDIS will mean I have to give up Carer Payment and allowances and return to full time work. And at 52 I think I have reached my employment use by date.
While having my tax done last week I found out that I can get what is virtually a student loan up to a cap of A$108,000. Maybe I can go back to study? I won't be paid much while I am studying either but I already have a degree and a diploma. Neither of them garnered me any work. Would a nursing degree change that?
Only time will tell....