Tag Archive | parenting

Good day, good people

The universe has made up for my kiddo’s disappointing birthday. Today he is smiling and my heart is happy.

His friend’s mom, one that was invited to his party and forgot to rsvp no, called and invited kiddo to her house today. She was babysitting another boy and thought one more would be fun, the more the merrier.

I dropped him off and their house was huge and beautiful. She apologized for my kiddo’s party, said the mom who attended told her about it, and said she has only had family birthday parties for her kiddos, so she understands it must be so hard. She was sincere.

She had a baby on her hip. Her oldest was the age of my youngest. She looked a bit frazzled, ahhh I remember those days. She was watching the kids more than me while we talked. I felt completely at ease leaving kiddo with her.

Kiddo was going to be there a few hours. I went to pick him up and that mom offered for him to stay even longer, while I go to physical therapy. She said she already called the other mom and the other boy can stay later.

I was so touched! Yes of course he can stay. He was having a great time and would be home alone with big sis watching him otherwise. This was perfect.

Kiddo gave me the biggest smile, biggest hug, and ran off to rejoin his friends. Hurray for good days and good people.

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Operation: Feel Better

Last week something changed, another switch flipped and I decided I was tired of feeling like me. Tired. Drained. Empty.

I re-read my DBT binder from intensive outpatient therapy. Hmmm. I am not doing well with self care. In fact I was self hurting.

  • I was staying up until nearly 4am every night and staying in my room until noon.
  • I was not doing basic hygiene regularly, only when I needed to go somewhere outside the house, which is usually only once per week. (Actually two consecutive days, but my worn out brain figured yesterdays shower was good enough)
  • I was only going outside for counseling, dr appointments, running light errands. Not actually spending time outside, just walking from the house to the car.
  • I was not getting daily or even much weekly exercise.
  • I was eating poorly, even binged a few times.

So I did not suddenly see all of this in myself. No. What I saw was my children, turning into depressed couch potatoes. My children, who normally have so much energy we can’t contain it, barely able to move. My children saying, nah, don’t feel like a bike ride or going to the playground. My children lounging in yesterday’s filthy clothes, too tired to change. My children cranky, irritable, snapping at each other instead of playfully making jokes.

Wow. The transformation was incredible. What happened? They had no schedule or structure with school being out. We can’t afford any sports this summer with me not working, so they are all just home, with nothing to do. And with me in bed, partly recovering from surgery, partly my odd sleep schedule, they had transformed and were showing signs of depression.

My brain hurt at this realization.

My stupid binder was right. I was hurting myself. And my kids.

I tried telling hubby my concerns and he was quite unresponsive. He is working so much he was unable to comment on the changes I am seeing.

So I decided on my own to make a change. Because I am mom, I can do this. I can do for them what I can’t for myself.

I told the kids that starting tomorrow we would have one daily activity. It has some rules. They can help me choose the location, give input, but ultimately it is up to me. Here are the rules I created.

  • We will drive to this location, it is far enough from home to require this
  • We will spend at least 30 minutes outside (unless terrible weather)
  • We will be active during the 30 minutes, moving our bodies, walking, playing, etc
  • We will go to a new location every day

So we started this mandatory anti couch potato activity 4 days ago. We have gone to 2 playgrounds and 2 nature preserves. We have invented new games. We learned eggplants have purple flowers. We explored a lean-to someone built in the forest.

When we got home, they asked about setting up the badminton net instead of heading back to the couch. We all played badminton. That was a bonus, not forced or mandatory. The neighbor kids saw us playing and asked to join. Awesome! Yes!

So this is working. I started taking melatonin at night to get back on track. That plus daily sun and exercise is helping me sleep-at night.

I may not be making money, but I am a damn good mom, and I am finally seeing how important I am to them. I am giving them life long lessons, values, hopes, strength. All the things I need. Maybe, just a fleeting thought here, is it possible I do have these things, because if I see them in my children it is a reflection of me? Can I give what I don’t have? Maybe I am not as empty as I feel, it is all somehow hidden from me. Does any of this make sense?

Volleyball pants aren’t right

There I said it. I am a mom, trying very hard to teach my girl modesty and what is right, and to care about her body and to have self-respect, and today I dropped her off at a volleyball camp hoping that she hates it.

Why?

Because if she wants to join the team I will have to decide if I can allow her to wear to those ridiculous little underwear bathing suit type pants that come as part of the volleyball uniform.

I’ve been trying to decide how much of this is based on my past. Well, of course a whole huge freaking bunch of it is, but then again, some of it isn’t. Let me explain. Some of this is me being a rational human and trying to advance women past the stage of being sexual objects bouncing around for men’s viewing pleasure.

I have varying degrees of disgust with how some of us dress our young girls, and the conflicting messages. School dress code would not permit them to wear these volleyball shorts to school, so why to a volleyball game? It’s not like you need the maneuverability or aerodynamics that short tight shorts provide. Swimsuits allow you to swim quickly, they have a purpose. Short cheerleader skirts are meant to make the football team happy, those skirts are also too short for dress code and not allowed in school otherwise, but also may provide room to do acrobatics. Girls basketball has very long baggy shorts, I often think those are too long, they actually look like they might get in the way and look boyish.

I started thinking of boys uniforms and I guess football pants are very tight, wouldn’t want them getting tangled up when tackled I guess. And wrestling uniforms are a bit obscene really, but again, you need that agility and flexibility I guess, but they make me uncomfortable too honestly.

So I guess I’m uncomfortable with the kids showing too much period, and then it feels out of my control when I have no choice in the matter for the team uniform, plus then another choice removed when the team photos are all over the town newspaper, facebook, school website, for the world and all the creepers to see. So It makes me angry when there is no reason for it. I can work through my discomfort when we are swimming, even though I know there is a creepy dad, coach, grandpa, etc somewhere in the crowd, bleachers, or watching the footage or photos on facebook. I know this as a fact, and I can’t UN-know this. I don’t keep my kids covered head to toe, we do swim, although not in a string bikini. I guess I just think maybe, just maybe I am adding a layer of protection by not drawing extra attention to ourselves. Maybe. What else can we do? I’d rather stay home and keep them home safe where no one can look and drool and I know no one will attack them, but I don’t do that. I and letting them out in the world to grow up. Even though I don’t trust this world, and I pray my daughter does not become a statistic. So many girls are hurt, I know this stuff.

Here are some of the facts that I know and maybe some other people should know, so I am not crazy or over protective, and that if encouraging our girls to dress modestly might help, then maybe we should speak up and help. Maybe it wouldn’t help, and maybe these girls are just as appealing in more modest clothing. Maybe I am wrong, but it sure does make me uncomfortable to think I might be helping to put sexual thoughts into a predator’s head.

  • 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Among all victims, about nine out of ten are female.
  • 29% of rape victims are age 12-17
  • 44% of rape victims are under age 18
  • Girls ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault

My daughter is entering middle school. Right now she agrees with me. She curls up her nose in disgust at the girls with the short shorts, cutoffs so short the pockets hang out, and the skinny jeans so tight you can see what brand of underwear someone is wearing or not, and the belly button showing shirts. Drives me crazy.

The thing is, if boys also dressed like this, I wouldn’t mind at all. If we lived in a hot climate and everyone bared skin, no problem. My problem is that we teach young girls to do this for attention, and we teach young boys to look, and many young boys, and way too many old men, can’t control themselves, they think nothing of these girls, and that we were put on this planet for entertainment purposes only. My young boys are already being taught not to look, and that it isn’t a big deal.

I also want to make sure you don’t think we dress in wrist and ankle length clothing, my girl wears ‘normal’ clothing like her friends and fits in just fine. We are not extreme in any way, other than when selecting shorts and skirts I expect them to serve a purpose of actually covering the underwear underneath no matter what position you may find yourself in, like her cousin’s shorts that seem to disappear when she sits. Not flattering to her, and embarrassing to us. But that is the STYLE in high school right now. Its also an expensive style for that tiny bit of fabric. And I’m the crazy one.

Reducing Stress in Pediatric Care

My heart is aching again, my blood was boiling again. My son needed a high level MRI, a test ordered by his new doctor, that required sedation, and of course another IV. My little guy has developed a strong fear of needles and IVs now after his extended hospital stay earlier in January. I told the staff about it and felt like I was telling my concerns to a wall. They did not heed my advice, and from my point of view, did nothing to lessen his fears and make him feel safe.

I wanted to say no to the test, but they were checking for early brain damage that one of the diseases he MAY have , that if left undiagnosed could be truly serious quite quickly. (He does not have this, thankfully) So I allow my child to be tormented for several more hours that day.

I am really frustrated overall and just can’t believe that minimizing stress on children is not standard or even a priority for non-urgent situations in a children’s hospital. We were asking him to do a test, not providing life saving medication. No need to rush. These things should be done on kiddo-time, not penny counting hospital schedule time.

And then there is my stress too – I had a flashback in the MRI room when I had one without sedation, I have realized how much of my childhood trauma is from my own hospital stays, ha, it’s not all my parents’ fault. I don’t want my kiddo to have PTSD, really really don’t.

I have spoken up when I can, told the nurses and doctors how stressful these tests are, and they apologize but say there is no other way. I call bullsh**.

If I ran that lab, I would make sure kids are comfy and secure before they see any needles, bandages, rubber band thingies. Some nurses do this – most do not. He was in the room less than 3 seconds before a team came in with the tray he now recognizes is for IVs. He curled up in a ball, started rocking and moaning repeatedly “no poke, no poke”. Too many people in the room, a new room, everyone rushing at him and talking at once, bribing and reasoning with a mind in an unreasonable state. You can not reason a 5 year old out of this state, you have to wait for calm to return. It takes time. Offering a sticker to a child that has had about 50 painful pokes this month will do nothing except make him think you are stupid.

If I ran the lab – I would talk to parents and look over history to see if anything makes it better or worse for that kiddo. I told them not to say the word “poke” and it was one of the first things out of her mouth. Then she looked at the chart and said “oops” and giggled to laugh off her mistake. And I would not assume that my actions don’t matter since the kid isn’t supposed to remember it – nurse kept saying we’ll just do this quick, don’t worry he won’t remember any of it because the meds cause amnesia. Yes well, maybe when calm? My guy remembers everything except the time he was actually asleep in the machine. Everything. He remembers everything that nurse said and did and sadly he told me all about it and asked if he had to do that again. My heart sunk so low. I don’t know. I told him I hope not. Because I don’t know what else is in store for him as he goes through more diagnostic tests until we get the answer the doctors want.

And If I ran the lab – I would better inform parents of what to expect.  The Doctor, after it happened and only because I asked, said about 40% of kids have trouble waking up from that medication, and have experiences similar to night terrors, emergent delirium they call it. No one thought to warn me about that, or soothe me while it happened. I guess they see it so much it doesn’t phase them? They don’t think Mom needs to know her kiddo is ok? They asked me if I had any questions about the sedation, but I didn’t know what to ask. They should have told me.

He was so upset after this procedure and the rough wake up, and the nurse being so overbearing and pressuring him to get ready to go home (despite me asking many times for her to back off and give him space) that he could not calm down and we took him out to my van still completely screaming, poor guy.

And then the nurse looks at me and says “Is he always like this?” It took everything in me not to punch her in the face. I wanted to say, “no he only screams after being tortured and pressured and scared half to death” But somehow I said “no, he is having a hard time today”

Is bedside manner and stress reduction seriously not a required course for nurses? Do they have to do anything special to become a pediatric nurse?

 

Cat Fattening and Princess Graffiti

Life is entertaining when you actually think about the tasks that seem ordinary now. I am no longer in crisis, and so I have some plain old life is funny stories to share. I’m guessing that is how this blog will be now that my father is out of my life and out of my state, and usually even out of my head now.

I have a geriatric kitty that needs extra daily care as we attempt to fatten him up. He is about 19 years old and although rather healthy, active, and playful for his old age, he has been losing weight steadily for years now. He has always been a food wolfer, meaning whatever you feed him he will scarf down without delay, Garfield style. When he was young, this was no problem and he was actually overweight for many years. But then his system decided to reject that binge style of eating and immediately vomit up whatever he scarfed. (sorry, that’s what cats do) We noticed it was worse with dry food, and switched him over to primarily can food.

And now I feed him about a teaspoon worth every hour or so, all day and evening, every day and every evening, trying to fatten him up. He does well with these tiny amounts, keeps it down. I’m not too hopeful he will put much weight back on, but I do hope to at least slow down his loss and make sure he retains some nutrients. Poor guy. I don’t mind catering to his needs, but it is difficult on the days I need to be away from home (which are still few and far between) to get him back on track again.

And then there is the issue of Princess Graffiti in my house. My daughter has a sketchbook that she has been laboriously filling with images of princesses in various gowns, hairdos, and poses. One day she came to me and presented her sketchbook, like she often does when she completes a drawing to get her attagirls, but I saw that look on her face and knew something was wrong.

Look! Look what they did to her!

I looked, and at first only saw the pretty hair, complete with swirling braids and tiara. And then I saw it. Someone had drawn a penis, complete with stream of urine and a forming puddle below, on that poor, innocent maiden.

Now I have been a Mom long enough to know to look away from my children quickly, to hide my giggle and amusement, because some book said Moms have to be mature about these things. So I took a quick deep breath, looked back to see if girly was devastated or just annoyed, to help me decide how to proceed. She was annoyed, but did not think that princess was her best work or special or anything. Phew! That was good.

Now, I noted that drawing was actually quite well done, highly detailed and anatomically correct, so I deduced it was likely drawn by someone who has that appendage himself. I have two young sons, and they have friends that were over our house recently. No one admits to the crime, and I don’t have the maturity to press the issue much further. I had the offensive drawing tossed in the trash, apologized to girly on the boys’ behalf, and told the boys that if anything like this happens again they will ALL be grounded. Hope that’s good enough parenting here.

All in all I am thankful it was only a drawing. Girly is getting older, and I am NOT looking forward to ever finding her with a real penis in her hands. (deep breath – I can do this, I can do this)

🙂

 

More Worries for Mom

Still at the hospital with my little guy. I think we made it through the latest crisis. I couldn’t write about it while it was happening because the words were too scary and real.

My boy had terrible tummy pain and was rolling and screaming and nonstop heaving even though his belly was empty hours ago.

Then he urinated pure blood. Later They said no urine was present in that sample for analysis. Pure blood. I gave the specimin cup to the nurse and managed not to pass out when I saw the panic on her face.

An xray showed nothing abnormal. An ultrasound showed distended kidneys and gall bladder and fluid surrounding his organs. They wanted a ct scan but he was unable to drink the dye without vomiting. He was still screaming in pain.

They gave him morphine and antinausea meds and he settled into a light sleep. Several hours passed like this with still calling out in pain and vomiting.

And then the worst night of our lives began. He was not producing urine yet so they gave him a foley catheter thinking the blood may have caused an obstruction. Another hour with no urine and he started to breathe heavily like he was congested. This quickly escalated into respiratory distress with full rails and belly breathing. Nurse grabbed pulse ox and he was at 73. 73! He needed oxygen NOW. Nurse called code something and opened an emergency box with oxygen mask similar to an airplane one. His ox level went to 80.

All at once his room was full: doctors, nurses, xray, respiratory therapists. Xray showed fluid filling his lungs. His kidneys had shut down and all the iv fluid needed to go somewhere else in his body and filled his lungs. He was literally drowning from the inside.

They gotva different ox mask that could deliver a higher percntage of oxygen. But he was struggling to breathe still. Hubby and i took turns sitting in his bed holding upright to keep his oxygen levels up. Laying downg made the fluid to hard to push against. It was time to go to the icu. Again.

At the icu i was warned he may need a breathing tube if he couldnt maintain oxygen. They were giving him pressurized air at 25 psi and 60% oxygen. He still dropped under 90 and wearing out. He could not keep that up and it was stressful on his heart. It was time for a breathing machine called bipap.

It was so scary. I kept leaving the room to cry. He was comfortable now and getting enough ox without working so hard. But the image of his tiny body so helpless and motionless with that huge mask strapped on his head. Hubby and i both cried at that sight.

Moving on more quickly, so you dont suffer with waiting like I did. His breathing improved, he started to urinate and was released from icu.

He is now breathing all on his own, they removed catheter, kidneys are functioning, and we are about to go walk the hospital halls for his first time walking this year.

The Universe is Laughing At Me

Haha, very funny. I get it. I do. Lesson learned.

I have been complaining too much I think. I have written many times about how much I hate small talk and wish people would open up and have real discussions. Be careful what you wish for.

I am suddenly immersed in a neighborhood issue and getting to know way more than I ever wanted to know. I’ll back up and tell the whole story.

I’ve lived in my small town for over a decade now, but up until last summer I barely knew any of my neighbors. I had chatted with my closest neighbors, an elderly couple, from time to time when we were both outside doing yard work, but that was about it. Everyone else got a smile and a wave, and I probably wouldn’t recognize them if I ran into them anywhere else.

Then last summer, My then first-grader had a friend knock on our door and invite him over to play. He lived on the street behind us and we never knew. That was the catalyst to my kids’ social life. We were introduced to several other families just a few houses away, all with kids in the same age range as mine. Hurray! Well, hurray for my kids. It was hard on me, very hard on me. Suddenly, my safe haven, my home where I could hide and no one knew I was here – was invaded nonstop by loud, stomping, giggling, yelling and running little people. They would knock on the door anytime from 8am to 9pm. I no longer felt safe, and was annoyed that I couldn’t wear my jammies all day long any more. But I knew I had to give that up for my kids to have friends and feel like they belong here. So I got dressed – every day. (That doesn’t sound impressive unless you understand how many years I have been hiding here, working from home, sometimes not going outside for weeks at a time) I set boundaries – no friends before 10 am or after 7pm; No friends in the house when I have a meeting; You must ask me before going from one friend’s house to another.

Things settled down, though I am so happy summer is over and I have my peaceful house back during the day! The stress was building up in me from the constant noise and excitement with very little down time.

When I would go to pick up my kids, I would chat for a few minutes with the mom, babysitter, grandpa, etc while they search for shoes and get their bikes. All of these few minutes added up to a whole lot of trust and information being shared:

One mom is divorced, single, unemployed, on medicaid and disability, and started calling me to “ditch her son with me” for an hour here and there while she did errands. I have never asked her in return, but I would consider it if needed. My gut says she is scamming the system, but she takes good care of her son otherwise.

Another house has 6 kids, parents always working, teenagers run the house mostly.

Another house has a couple of nice little girls, and a really sweet, really fat dog. And a young cat that fights with my cat if he sneaks out.

Another house has “Pawpaw” and “MeeMee”, the grandparents of a sweet little girl that spends weekends there often. Everyone started talking about this little girl. They said she is living with the grandparents until the caseworker decides her placement. I didn’t hear much more all summer. My kids played with her nearly every day. And then school started.

Day 1 of school. I send kids to the bus stop, and see they are screaming to someone. I am not dressed, so I don’t go off my porch, but I call out and ask who they are talking to. It is their friends – duh, that live 1 street over. I never thought about it. I decided we should wait at the school bus stop with all the other families the next day, it seemed silly to have my kids wait alone 1 block over. But, and this is a big butt, it would mean I have to go with them. They usually get the bus on my street, and I would stay on my porch and watch them. Been doing that for 5 years now. I can’t see this other stop, it is around the corner. Was I ready for this change? I was already used to getting dressed every day now, this didn’t seem impossible. It did mean I would have to go chat with the other moms every morning. Wha! But I face challenges now. Gulp.

So Day 2 of school, I take my coffee and my phone and head to a very crowded corner with about 7 kids and 4 adults. A man is there I have never seen before, talking loudly on his cell phone. I quickly figure out this is the father of the girl living with the grandparents. He hangs up the phone and starts sharing details of lawyers, court dates, visitation rights, child support. (He was talking to the other parents, but did not care that I heard, I just shuffled about and waited to introduce myself, but he never made eye contact with me). He says they set up the first visit for today, not that she cares about Patty, all she cares about is her stuff, her phone. He then shares some scary sounding details about his ex, how she would leave this 1st grader home alone, and how she would kick the father over stupid things like phones. She sounded terrible, and I was so sad for the little girl in this messed up situation. I hoped the mom never abused the girl, it was bad enough to see her father getting attacked.

Day 2 continued, I have a dentist appointment. I hate the dentist, not personally, just hate going. I hate the small talk they do while your mouth is full. I was prepared for a few hours of pain and discomfort. But I was not prepared for this fun little twist the universe sent out to my plot. The small talk started as usual, but quickly turned into real serious talk. See the conversation below.

English: Dentist - Faroe Islands

How was your summer? We have ways of making you talk. Bwahahaha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Dental assistant 1 (DA 1): How are you, how was your summer, are the kids back in school?

Me: Fine, really nice, and yes.

DA 1: Where do they go to school?

Me: I tell her the city.

DA 1: My daughter is living in that city. (She tenses up and trembles a bit).

Me: (I notice her tension, but decide to be polite and practice my chatting skills) Oh? What grade is she in? Does she go to this school?

DA 1: I think so. (Now appears angry. Why? I am confused, and I am done talking. I look away, not wanting to get involved. long pause) My husband stole her away from me and I have not seen her in 2 months. I’m not sure the name of the school, but she’s in first grade. I get to see her today for the first time all summer. My lawyer got me visitation – supervised though.

Me: (big eyes, open mouth in shock. This is too weird.  Could this be the mom of the little girl living with her grandparents on the street next to mine? My heart is racing. I decide to put it out there) Are you possibly Patty’s mom? I think my kids have been playing with your daughter all summer.

DA 1: (narrow eyes, voice full of venom) Yes!! He took Patty away from me! He’s making me fight just to see her again, telling everyone I abandoned her! And that I’m the worst Mom! Just because I left without waking her up. I mean who wakes up their kids at midnight just to say they are leaving? Anyone would let them sleep. I didn’t abandon her, that’s ridiculous.

Me: (I now have two swabs hanging out of my mouth, local numbing. I just shrug my shoulder at her, not sure what to say. What did I get into here? What am I supposed to do? And oh crap – I can’t even end this torture, I’m stuck in this dentist chair for the next few hours! A captive audience for her to interrogate!)

Dentist comes in and gives me several shots of novocaine. Another assistant comes in.

DA 2: So you know Patty? How is she? Is she adjusting? Poor girl. The whole situation is such a terrible mess. Her ex is so wrong to do this. They are treating her like a criminal.

Me: (I’m mostly numb now but manage to mumble) Yes Patty is a nice little girl and has had a fun summer. My kids like her very much and her grandparents are taking good care of her from what I can tell, but I don’t really know anything.

DA 1: (She comes back in, still shaking, so glad she isn’t my dentist and not the one drilling today! She leans in really close to me. ) Do you ever see my husband? Does he talk about me?

Me: (Crap, crap, crap, crap crap. I can’t lie. I should, but I can’t. I don’t have it in me. If you ask me a question I have to answer it honestly, I know no other way.) Ummm, I didn’t see him all summer, but he was at the bus stop this morning before school, and talking about a fight you two had, and generally saying not so nice things about you.

DA 1: I only kicked him when he wrestled me to the ground to get the phone. He’s lying.

Me: (How did she know which story he told me? It must be the only one he has to spread around. Hmm.) Oh.

DA 1: Well I’m going to get him, he’s not going to win. I’m taking a tape recorder with me today when I visit Patty and I know she’ll tell me everything he’s been saying.

Me: (Oh Man, my parents used to do that to me mid-divorce. They even recorded the phone calls, trying to get anything they could twist and use against each other in court. It was never about what was best for the family, it just about hurting each other. Poor Patty caught in the middle like that. I’m totally numb now and mumble some ackowledgement) Ahhhaannmm.

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I was never so happy to see the dentist come in to drill my teeth and stop this painful discussion. I don’t know if she is lying or her ex is lying. I do know her daughter is hurting and neither of them are handling this well. I found out from the Grandma that her Mom and Dad were separated, and Patty was living with Mom in an apartment. I guess Mom had a habit of leaving Patty sleeping at night, all alone, while she went out somewhere. They are guessing she went out with her boyfriend, the reason they got separated, for a late night booty call, but who knows.  She appeared to be an educated, professional, civil, polite woman and I can’t understand why she would think it is ok to sneak out at night and leave a 6 yr old home alone. I guess Patty woke up one time and could not find her mom, got scared and called her dad. He went to get her, and the police arrested the mom when she finally returned. The dad took Patty away and the police took away her rights as a mom, saying she was a danger to her. She has not been allowed to even talk to her on the phone all summer. Wow.

I no longer have any problem with small talk. In fact I love it. Hey there, how’s the weather? Cooler today? Yup.

PS: I think this dental assistant saw my address in my file and was fishing for information from the start. It was all too unreal how it unfolded, and I am way too familiar with manipulation not to recognize it. And I also noticed that DA 2 asked about the girl, how she was doing, and showed love and concern. DA 1 did not. She was only concerned with her own reputation and ‘getting back’ at her ex.