A word or two hundreds about my niece.
Tuesday, 01/02/07 - 10:34 pm.

Happy new year!!! The kids start school tomorrow, although I still will be home with my parents, little nephew and sister in law. But the holidays are over. My sister took a plane back home yesterday, and my brother #2 left for El Paso this morning. I've kind of gotten used to goodbyes, I'm pretty much numb. I do miss them, though, especially my brother (I'll see my sister when I get back home).

My sister in law quit her job and is only studying. She decided to do that in order to keep an eye on her children. My big nephew is so different from last year, though, he's charming 24/7, and handles everything better than he used to. My niece...well, I guess she's ok. She's nice sometimes, but she betrays your trust in her good mood very easily, and suddenly stops speaking to everybody and answers angrily, as if she hates you for existing.

I try not to let it get to me, and instead understand her, and be nice to her no matter what. But it's really hard. She asks and asks for this or that, very rudely sometimes, but the moment you ask for something in return, it seems she's gonna chop your head off. On New Year's Eve, she was demanding to be taken to the roller rink, where her friends were. She demands that her family gives her a two-day notice if and when there's a plan to do something, so she can "arrange her schedule", but here she was, asking for something at the last minute.

We were having a reunion, family and some friends. I understand things are different in this culture. Where we come from, we're more family oriented. I'm guessing New Year's Eve isn't that big of a deal in the States, so everyone just goes on with their lives. My parents were surprised that 12 year-old girls were left alone at a roller rink on NYE, or any other night for that matter. Kids are very precocious here, in comparison to what we've gone through ourselves. So, yes, I know my niece prefered to be with friends, rather than with her family.

It's not really that what bothers me, but her rotten attitude. She spent the previous days locked up in her bedroom, and only got out for meals; we went out or cleaned up the house. She never wanted to join nor help, and we left her alone, as she wanted. We asked for her to be present that night, and she made angry faces (though at the end she was enjoying herself).

She's been forbidden to watch TV and go online, with certain exceptions. My sister in law has a plan to maintain that. My niece is in a few extra-curricular activities she enjoys, after school, and on her afternoons off, my SIL will take her to B&N, so she can do her homework, read and have some coffee.

My niece is in this stage where she's, perhaps unwillingly, very hypocritical. She calls my brother "daddy" in the voice of a toddler when she needs help or support, but then she's embarrased to be seen with him in public, which at first upset me very much. I'm kind of afraid that this plan my sister in law has will make my niece feel too dependent, and so she'll get mad and kick and scream to break free, so to speak.

I've been reading this book, "invisible girls", about sexual abuse in teens and young women. Somehow, it's made me become more tolerant toward my niece's behaviors, even though there's no such terrible experience in her history. I've been reading about the importance of having your family there for you, to heal, or even to prevent the abuse from happening. It's probably a stretch, but hopefully this plan of my SIL's will keep her a bit safer. In the long run, will this be better than letting her do what she wants, as it happens with her friends? Who knows. I think you, as a parent, only try to do what keeps the well being of your child. And so far, her own judgement and reasoning hasn't proven to be the most efficient to deal with conflicts.

My hope is that one day she'll look back and appreciate how his parents and rest of the family were there for her, even thought she was rather rude; she usually refuses to greet anyone, and in general, seems to be mad at everyone. When she's like that, I feel like screaming at her face, pull her hair and kick her. Breathe, breathe, breathe. A huge part of me is certain she'll never appreciate anything her family does for her, and won't see past that we're not allowing her to be with her friends and such (she considers her parents have no right to put any limits, hence her constant tantrums). It doesn't make me angry, just sad. Because after all, we love her, I love her. And it hurts when you do something nice for someone, and that someone receives the act, but rejects you and walks away.

As you can tell, I think a lot of my niece, and I'm concerned. Angry quite often. While saving on the PC pictures I'd taken, I came across a few she'd taken of herself. All very MySpace style, making the peace sign, or some funny face, and one in which she's burying her head in her knees (apparently, taken from the floor). That just melted my heart...I don't know, I found it silly, and it also made me want to cry, in a "aaawww" way. It's almost as if I felt pity for her and wanted to hug her.

Argh, anyway, enough of her. In other news, my brother #1 (the one in whose house I'm staying) set up his boxing bag so I can use it. I've been thinking of taking a karate class, then of going swimming, and finally just walking. I have a sucky will for exercising.


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