Friday, July 11, 2008

A Good Mother

I took the kids to the AT today and told them everything the kids have told us about the locked room. Every one except Michael and Ava talked about it in more detail. I have had a hard time listening b/c of my own emotions but with the AT there to keep the conversation going we heard a lot more. They will all begin EMDR next week to focus on this memory. I am so proud of my kids to have survived their lives before us. They are so brave.

Our male AT is sure Ruthie is attaching to us, I believe that, too. He is very concerned at her response to stress or how she reacts when Michael is acting out. She has always struggled to maintain her composure and more times than not, she loses it. He and I have discussed the possibility that she is disassociating. Today we are both confident that is the case. She rocks in the fetal position, hurts herself, and screams at me in a babyish voice about how mean I am and she loves her real mom (there are other things she says that don't make sense but this is the usual theme). It is hard to see in this picture taken awhile ago, she is twisting her arm all the way around trying to break it off. While doing this she is crying, rocking, and threatening to tell the police I broke her arm.

Cyr said nice things about me, (you can close your mouth now) she told the AT that I did what I said and I protected the kids from their parents. She has a hard time showing it but we could tell she is impressed with me just a little. She has been waking me up with coffee several times this week. I hear her get up and she calls to me to wait a minute and then brings it to me in bed. She is "working hard to be a good daughter now that I am being a good mother". Her words, huge step.

Ava will be going to respite for a few days as soon as we can locate a provider. It is for her safety and our sanity. The kids have all kicked her out of their room b/c she constantly annoys them. They want to hurt her, I am having a hard time controlling my feelings as well. I wouldn't hurt her but I know I am not being an extra loving mother right now. We need a tiny break.

I have mentioned before that I feel that they needed a lot of guidance to learn basic things like how to play, proper manners, how to express their feelings, how to be a friend, how to help someone,how to ask for help, and many other normal things. Something we learned early on is that they really wanted to know these things, they wanted to fit in. I have taken a coaching type role in parenting. They get the love and affection of a parent but we also give them responses to things, practice, and repeat until they are good at it. Both our ATs told me today that they have been using our kids as examples, they came to us so damaged and violent and are now able to have nice conversations with other staff members in the waiting room, control their sexual feelings, ask to talk about their feelings, and want to heal. They are not the same kids they were 2 years ago, I couldn't be more proud. I do want to tell the rest of you that are parenting traumatized kids or who are waiting for their children, I am sorry you will have to settle b/c I got the best kids in the world.


Diane said...

I enjoyed reading this post because it related to some of the things that we deal with in our home. A. wasn't as badly traumatized as your children seem to have been, but she certainly was not taught the basics of manners, how to be a friend, how to fit in, etc. So we too have had to be her coach. She has improved greatly in the 2 and a half years that we have had her and she speaks of her future in a very positive way. I don't know if she will make it past the teen years without making the big mistake of getting pregnant, but I know she wants to do what is right.
We hope we can guide her through the rough teen years without too many mishaps! By the way - you may have gotten the best kids in the world, but I think there was one more hiding, and we got her!


Lindsay said...

Your kids just amaze me with their progress. You have really given them the gift of life.

Hope the respite goes well for Ava and helps you all.

Innocent Observer said...

I'm so glad that you found each other.

Michelle said...

You deserve your wonderful kids...and they deserve their wonderful (adoptive) mother. Every child should have a mom and dad who think they are the best!

Isa said...

All of your children amaze me with their process. They were meant to be your children.

queerpoet said...

I am in awe and amazement for you and your kids. What incredible strength and grace you all show.