We completely feel for her. Moving half-way through your junior year, and to a school that doesn't offer what you want must be really stressful and disappointing at the outset. I wish it didn't have to be this way. But the needs of our family as a whole outweigh the consideration of her desire to stay where she is. We want her to understand that this is not all about Caroline. She wants to blame Caroline for any of her problems. Caroline's needs are only one factor. We have about four other major factors leading us to move. I think it is hard for her to understand the big picture.
In addition, we talked about Caroline coming home in two weeks. This news got the biggest reaction. She became very upset at the thought of having her at home again. She began to cry and become very angry, relating how she feels that Caroline's absence has really improved our family life and her own life, and that she doesn't want her to come home ever. She brought up how her birthday last year was ruined by one of Caroline's meltdowns, and she can't forget that. We tried to help her understand that Caroline has changed, but she won't believe that she will ever be different. She thinks that as soon as she comes home, it will be just like it has been the last six years.
I feel her pain. I can understand why she is fearful and angry. But she doesn't seem to see Caroline's great suffering as equal and greater than her own. Unfortunately, she can't be talked into a change of opinion right now. She will just have to see how Caroline has grown for herself. We have asked her to be kind to her, because she is her sister, but also because Caroline really wants to have a relationship with her. Elizabeth needs a lot of affirmation of her own pain, as well as to be challenged to put away bitterness.
I agree that the break from her has been healing and necessary. But now we need to bring her back into the fold and resume our family life with her in it. She has a place here and always will. Someday Elizabeth may hopefully understand why we made the decisions we did.