This chapter provides the background that I failed to provide earlier. Again I appologize for making that mistake.
I hope you like this,
Cuddling her close, Adela patted Abby’s bottom wanting to comfort her. She didn’t like having to be the one to tell the poor girl that she had no choice in what her circumstances were. She honestly loved this little girl. While she knew this was going to be very difficult for Abby over the next few days, she hoped she would come to terms with her situation quickly, and get back to laughing and playing for a while. It seemed to do the most good for her.
The conversation with Charles and Karen came back to her then. It had been a difficult and sometimes heated discussion about Abby’s situation.
Adela took a seat on the couch when she and Karen had entered Charles' office. Karen had come into the nursery and told her that the three of them needed to have a discussion about how to treat Abby, and then made her way to Abby's crib and spoke soft words to her. When she finished, she had said "Come with me to Charles' office, she will sleep until we're done." Looking through her notes, Karen thought about the best way to approach what she wanted to say. Clearing her throat, she began. "Alright, there are several ways that we can proceed with Abby's treatment. As you know, I've put her in a state where she truly sees herself as a baby girl. This gave me time to figure out what the problems were and develop a means to help her. One way to treat her is to do it the old fashioned way and bring her back to being an adult and spend three days a week trying to talk her through what happened, get her to see that it was wrong, and show her that it wasn't her fault." Karen explained. "How long would it take to get her to see all that?" Charles asked with concern. "The reality is, It may take several months and things would be fine, or I can spend several years working with her, but she may never see it. There's no way to tell." she answered. With a sigh, Charles said "You talked about a new treatment." "Yes." Karen agreed. "It involves changing the way she interacts with her world. Essentially, I would make it so she cannot control her bladder or bowels, feed herself, speak in any other manner but like a toddler and increase her need for her pacifier and her bottle." she explained. "Why in the world would you do that?" Adela asked with distaste. "Adela, to understand why I think this is necessary, you need to look at what's happened and how she got where she is. Through her early childhood, she learned very quickly that her needs were completely irrelevant to those that provided for her. She was used for their pleasure, even if it caused her a great deal of pain." Karen explained. The details of some of the sessions she had with Abby came back to her and caused an involuntary shudder. "This started as an infant, and carried forward. The incident when she was twelve only served to reinforce this. As she moved into adulthood, she gravitated toward men that would treat her in a similar fashion." she continued. "Why would she do that?" Adela asked, not able to figure out for the life of her why someone would seek out what had caused them so much pain. "Because she was thoroughly convinced by that time that that was what she deserved. She believed that she's a horrible person and that's why she should be treated that way. Actually, there is a part of her that knows better. If there wasn't, she would never have continued to see you Charles. You didn't treat her needs as something to be dismissed, you met them, even putting them before your own. Most people discover what they want and need over the course of childhood. Abby was different. It's hard to figure out what you want out of life, let alone who you are, when you don't have a safe environment to find these things out. As children, we learn how to deal with stress and changes in our environment by having parents that care about us and keep some things the same, no matter what else changes. It's like a child's stuffed animal. They may have to move from the only place they've ever known, but having the animal to cuddle with in a new home allows the child to have a sense of security. The only constant for Abby throughout her childhood, with the exception of a short time in one caring foster home, was pain and ridicule. It's no wonder that she would seek it when she became an adult." Karen explained. "So why the gambling?" Charles asked. He had known other folks that had done similar things, drinking for example. "It's not unusual with a history of child abuse for the adult to later turn to some form of addiction. Abby's found some relief in the rush of winning when she gambled. It gave her a feeling of euphoria that she has seldom known in her short life. The problem with an addiction is that it starts out small, and eventually, the need grows bigger as time goes on, so what started out as small bets became much bigger ones in order to give her the same rush. The other problem with gambling is that as most folks know, you lose more times than you win. Losing, for Abby, makes her feel worse. While it's not exactly the same, consider what things would be like for you Charles, if seventy percent of the business decisions you made went bad." she told him. Charles couldn't imagine that. He was careful to examine every option, every risk before making a decision, and sometimes missed things. After all, nobody gets it right every time. "I'd get out of business." he told her. "Even if the only way you could feel that you had value was by building your business?" she asked. "I get your point." he said quietly. Abby was between a rock and a hard place. "OK, so how will making the changes you talked about help?" Adela asked. "I want to put her in a situation that is similar to when she was little, but without the abuse. She will see over time that it shouldn't have been that way in the first place. I'll make it so she needs diapers. I'll also make it so she cannot change herself or aid in any way, no matter what the circumstances. This will force her to rely on you and to interact in a setting that was both frightening and painful before, but will not be that way now." Karen said. "You don't think that being unable to help herself will frighten her? It would scare the devil out of me, I tell you." Adela said clearly. "Don't misunderstand, it will frighten her now, and probably make her angry as well, but what I meant is that she will have no need to fear the people changing her. To help, I'm going to make parts of the process seem very comforting to her." Karen clarified. "Alright, now that makes a bit more sense." Adela replied with relief clearly in her voice. "I'm going to give her the vocabulary of a toddler for two reasons. First, it will prevent her from calling another bookie and convincing them to take her seriously enough to take a bet from her. Second, it'll reinforce the feelings of being a child. Part of what I want to happen is for her to learn to play and enjoy herself. You saw some of that when you went to the park Charles. You described a child that was just enjoying being a child." "Yes, she was, and I agree that no one will take a bet from what sounds like a two year old." he told her. "Exactly. It's to keep her from ending up in the same situation as the last time." she clarified. "OK, I understand what you've explained so far, but why make it so she can't feed herself?" he asked. "That, again, is to force her to rely on you two. It makes a childish interaction between her and one of you absolutely necessary. This will force her to reevaluate her place in the world, to question her independence and hopefully to just accept the situation and be a child for a time. While I don't want her to lose touch with reality, I do want her to learn to accept that she needs to be cared for as a child for a time. In other words, I don't expect her to start believing she's a toddler, but to accept that she needs to be treated like one for a period of time." Karen answered. "OK, I can understand that." he replied. Looking at the next item in her notes, Karen said "I'm also gong to make it so that as her anxiety increases, her need for her pacifier will increase along with it. If she gets scared or upset, she'll want her binky very badly." "Hold on a second." Charles said. "That will make it very hard for her to leave this house. I have no intention of agreeing to something that will humiliate her in public Karen." he stated firmly. "Charles, tell me, when you diapered her at the office, how long were you going to keep her that way?" Karen asked. "A few months, why?" he asked with a slight cringe. "And were you going to require she take a pacifier and a bottle?" Karen continued her line of questioning. Looking uncomfortable, Charles said "I was yes. Not in public though." "Look Charles!" Karen said hotly. "I read the document that you made Abby sign. It specifically stated that she would take a pacifier and a bottle no matter where she was. Now, you're telling me that you had no intention of enforcing that?" Charles didn't know what to say. She was right. The document was an agreement that Abby would be treated like a toddler for an indefinite period, to include diapers, bottle, pacifiers and any other items associated with a toddler. "It left the discretion to either me or Adela." he said half heartedly. "So you mean you weren't going to make her take them outside the house?" Karen persisted. Getting angry at being badgered, his guilt at how things had gone at the office got the better of him and he said "She was acting very immaturely, and damn near got me killed. What did you expect me to do, just pat her on the head and say 'it's OK, no harm done.' Yes, I was going to require she use them outside the house." growling now. The minute he said that, he understood why Karen wanted it to be done this way. The consequences of Abby's behavior had put her, him and Adela in danger, and despite knowing that, Abby had done the same exact thing again. He knew now, that unless they took drastic step, she wouldn't learn. "Never mind, I understand the need." he explained as he ran his hand over his face. He had done the same thing in the office, by sitting her in the middle of the room, her diaper exposed. "I want her to rely on her binky and her bear, not a phone call to place an illegal bet." Karen clarified. Adela saw the logic, but felt for the poor girl, knowing that it would be very difficult for her. "Also, you have the resources to protect her from most difficult situations Charles." Karen reassured him. Charles hadn't thought about that. He did have the resources to provide Abby with what appeared to her to be a public outing, but in reality was not. He could pay to have a store or park peopled with folks that wouldn't ridicule her, but treat her as a toddler. "You're right." he agreed. "Her bottle will become another source for comfort for her. She will automatically need it if her pacifier is not available. But it'll also bring a sense of safety and love when you hold it for her. By making it a comfort item, she will take it more often and therefore wet more often. At first this will create a cycle. She'll want the comfort from the bottle, and then she'll need changed and get anxious, so she'll need the comfort of the bottle again. Eventually, both will give her comfort and a sense of love and being cared for. I would suggest you take her binky before changing her. That will keep the cycle going for a while." Karen explained. "Alright." Adela responded. "Remember, the goal is to treat her with kindness and love allowing her to see that her needs are being met. At first she's going to hate this, I guarantee it. But after a time, she'll come to terms with the treatment and learn to tolerate some of it, and enjoy other parts. She will probably want to cling to you for a while. Let her. Give her as much time cuddling as she wants. Anything you can do to comfort her that will reinforce her seeing herself as a child will help." Karen told them. "As adamantly as she has been about not being a baby, I doubt this will go smoothly." Charles said. "I understand." Karen told him. "But consider that you were going to try to force her to be a toddler without any means to enforce it other than perhaps spanking her butt. This way, the spanking isn't necessary. She will need her binky and her bottle. She won't be able to remove her diaper so she will need to be changed. She won't be able to feed herself, so will need to look to someone else to eat." Karen added. "What if she decides she won't eat if she can't feed herself?" Adela asked. She had known girls that were anorexic before and understood that it was possible to starve oneself to death. "I'm going to put a trigger in place that will cause her to feel extremely hungry if you ask her if she's hungry. That way, we won't have a problem with getting her to eat. Each time you say the trigger, it will increase her feeling of hunger." Karen answered. "How long is this going to be needed, and what's involved in removing all of these instructions?" Charles asked. He had no intention of letting Karen mess around inside Abby's head if it was going to take a long time to remove what she put in place. "The duration of time that she functions as a toddler will be left entirely up to her. The way this is done is to set it up so that if she doesn't accept her circumstances, or the need for them, then she will remain as she is longer. I'll start a three month window. If she accepts things, the timer starts. If at any point in that three month window she decides she was wronged and shouldn't be treated the way she is, then the timer starts over from there and she will be a toddler for three more months. If she makes it through three months, then some of her function will improve, and another timer starts." she explained. "What if she doesn't ever come to terms with her treatment? Are you telling me that she could be functioning as a toddler for years?" Charles asked. "Yes, it's possible, but highly improbable. The reason for setting it up this way, is that once she knows she controls it, if she doesn't advance, she will know that she is to blame. Nothing you do Charles can lengthen the time she is a child, only her unwillingness to accept her circumstances can, so it's entirely up to her. This gives her a sense of control, while holding her accountable if she doesn't accept the way things are. The risk that she remain a toddler, is the reason I won't do this without a couple of things in place. First a trust fund needs to be set up with enough residual income to take care of her as a toddler for the rest of her life. This is just in case something happens to Charles before she is able to complete this process. Second, I want a signed document committing you to caring for her until she is deemed able to care for herself." Karen answered. "Alright, I have no problem with either of those, and I'm going to make a condition of the fund that she not be put in an institution." Charles explained. "I'm glad you said that. That hadn't occurred to me." Karen replied. "What do you mean by accept it?" Adela asked. She certainly hoped Karen didn't mean like it. If that were the case, they would be sentencing this girl to a lifetime of bottles and diapers. "Abby will need to realize that what she did put her in the situation that she's in. She'll need to understand that it was necessary, and that she can learn from the experience. By this, I mean that if she gets angry at one of you because she needs to have you change her diaper or feed her, the time will reset. If she gets angry at herself for letting things get to the point where she needed this type of treatment, then it won't. The first one shifts the responsibility from her to you, the second accepts the responsibility for where she's at." she answered. "OK, that makes sense now." Adela told her, feeling much better now. "I do want to add one more condition, but I won't if you don't want me to." Karen stated. "I think it would do a lot of good to add that she needs to be able to get through her regular daily routine without being embarrassed. In other words, if she gets embarrassed because she messes, then her time will start over." "Why?" Charles asked perplexed. "It may make her time as a toddler longer, but it'll help erase the hold that the ridicule she endured for wetting still has on her today. The way I'll set this up will only affect how she feels when at home. If she has to go to the doctor and messes her diaper and is ashamed, then it won't have any impact on how long she remains a toddler." she answered. Charles thought about this for a moment. It made a certain amount of sense, but he wasn't sure that Abby would ever make it that far. "Before you decide, I want you both to know that there is a part of her that wants to be a baby, whether she admits it or not." Karen said. "What?" they both said in unison. "Like I told you before, she's been regressing at night, probably for years. If Abby didn't want to wear a diaper, or take a bottle or a pacifier, then she wouldn't be upstairs sleeping right now. I can't force Abby through hypnosis to do something that she really doesn't want to do. What I can do is use those things she subconsciously wants, to force her to change her point of view." Karen told them. "I don't understand. She's been adamant about not being a baby since I met her." Adela said. "Yes, this is what she says, and it's probably because she feels she'll either get abused or punished if she says otherwise. The reality though is that she wants to be held and cuddled as she has been for the last couple of days, and she truly does love her binky and her bottle." Karen responded. "That explains why Abby started crying in the middle of the night because she couldn't find her binky. This happened while we were gone." Adela told them. "Yes, by making her feel better the way you did about wetting, she was willing to show you how she felt about her binky." Karen replied. "OK, well, I will almost guarantee that the next few days will be difficult for all of us, but you've convince me that this is the way to go." Charles said. Adela thought for a moment and then added "Me too." "You're right, the next couple of days will be hard on you and her. That reminds me. I'll be lessening her hold on her emotions. I'll make it so that if she gets scared or upset, she'll cry like a two year old. It'll help her to get rid of a great deal of the stress that will come with these changes." Karen told them. "I'll call and get the trust fund put in place, and get a document setup and printed so that we can get this started." Charles told her. "Alright. Charles, I know you're a man of your word. Give me your word you will see to both of them, and I'll get started on making the changes with Abby. That way, she can start moving in the right direction." Karen explained. "You have my word that both will be done before the day is out." Charles told her solemnly. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Adela recalled thinking about the gravity of what she was doing just before she signed the document. As she continued to rock Abby and pat her bottom, she knew with a certainty that she would care for Abby as long as she needed her to. Turning to give Abby a kiss on her cheek, Adela said "Hey Baby Girl, how about we go down to the play room for a while. I think it would do you some good to play with some toys for a bit." Abby thought about it for a moment before silently nodding her head as she nursed her binky. At least in the toy room she wouldn't have to worry about people seeing her behaving like a baby. "That's a good girl." Adela said, relieved that she didn't get upset. She was surprised when Abby smiled around her binky. Setting Abby on her feet, she gave her another kiss and said "Let's go have some fun." and took her hand, leading her out of the room. As Abby toddled through the door, she hoped no one would be on the stairs this time. When she thought about it though, it hadn't been so bad when the lady hadn't made fun of her. As she waddled along, she didn't realize she was smiling as she thought about the doll house that sat in the playroom. She would definitely have to fix up the nursery this time.