Friday, March 19, 2010

Don't Hold Your Breath

The therapist and I discussed our current struggles and my perception of them. Something happens when you live with certain behaviors over a long period of time, your normal changes. The things that I have been willing to tolerate or write off as things we have to deal with is need of a tune up.

I watched, along with millions, the 20/20 show last Friday about Childhood Schizophrenia. It made me stop and look at our situation. One family had made a point to take down all the doors in their home because their daughter had tried to strangle her sibling behind a closed door. They showed a child in crisis screaming for help and to go to the hospital. It gave me something to compare ourselves to. I'm not saying my kids are sicker than theirs, I'm saying we deal with that stuff and it didn't occur to me how bad it is. We don't have the opportunity to see other families with our issues to see where the line should be drawn. In our household, the line is just moved as their needs increase. I read others blogs or have other supportive relationships online but I don't see their crisis, I hear about it. It is much different.

This isn't the fist time my son has wrapped his hands around his siblings neck. We hear our children scream to go to the hospital because they can't be safe or fear their will hurt someone. This has become a regular behavior that we moved the line to make room for. These things have decreased in their frequency but intensified. They used to rage and scream that they hated me or wanted to live somewhere else. They now scream they want to die or kill me. How did that become "normal"?

I know how this has happened. I haven't been able to consider splitting them up for more than a few nights. Like a frog placed in cool water, we never noticed it was getting hot until it was boiling. I seem to have some stupid need to fix all their boo boos myself. My self esteem seems to be mixed up in being their mom and not giving up. The isolation has helped me convince myself it isn't as bad as it is. The wonderful children the world sees outside of our home. If I am completely honest, I worry that if they have to go, we will drown financially due to hospitalization costs and lost AA. So, I keep on managing. After all, once the crisis is over, they are exhausted and I can convince myself we made it and maybe I was wrong about how sick they are. I find myself trying to prove they dx are all wrong, in my head, and they are right to my DH. How weird is that? I guess, I need him to understand while I am quietly hoping to prove it all wrong.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that they shouldn't have been placed together. At least one of them desperately needed to be separated from the rest. She is triggered worse today than ever. We are narrowing down the treatment possibilities that will end in her hospitalization. (If you have read here more than once, you are aware that I do not want to consider hospitalization and constantly give myself a time line to consider it again then move it up over and over. I fear long term hospitalization would trigger their intense abandonment/attachment issues.) What if the thing I have fought the hardest against is what needs to happen? What if they all need some separation to change the cycle they are in?

I left the appointment with some ideas to go back to. Things we have stopped doing that need to be incorporated once again. Things that will make us all feel like failures. Things that have to be done to prevent catastrophic incidents. Sometimes you need a kick to the head to see things clearly. I'm glad we have good therapists that are more than willing to step on my toes when I need it. Our therapist is processing the application for a program called CBAY. It's a step above IFI and before long term hospitalization. It's a last resort to maintain them here at home. He is sure we have plenty of documentation to qualify so it's just a matter of time.

On a better note, LOL not really, Michael is hallucinating. I'm sure of it. It's denied by him but he is at least hearing things. He is looking around like he is being called. He settles back in and does it again. Over and over. I said his name a few minutes later and he didn't respond. I said it again and he looked around and back down. I'm not sure if I explained that well but it is obvious he hears something and he can't tell the difference between the real noise/voice and the hallucination. His delusions are increasing and he made a commitment today to try to let me help him determine if the other child is really trying to get him in trouble or harm him before he attacks them. I'm not holding my breath and I don't suggest you do either.


nightsoleil said...

I've been reading your blog for some time and never left a comment. BUT you need to know -- you're such a strong woman! And as someone dealing with mental illness myself I know what it means to have someone in your life who's fighting for you when you're not able to. And that's what you do for your children, you fight for them, you never give up. I'm so thankful to have found your blog, to have found YOU. You give me hope for mankind. And I trust you to make the right decisions for your kids.

Sending you a hug
-- jules

Lindsay said...

You ARE an amazing mom. You'll be their mom whether they are at home, in hospital or need some other alternative care. You are NOT giving up on your kids by accepting they need care that can't be provided in the home.

And I know - that is easy for me to say, but hard to know in your heart. I hope you continue to find ways to help your family heal.

Kelly said...

Once again I stand in awe of you and all you do for your kids.

I have wondered if it wouldn't have been in the best interest of your kids to have been separated into different homes when they were adopted. If you have followed my kids at all you know that there are two in a different home than my four. This is sad to me but I have to remind myself that it was done in the best interest of the children. Do I think they COULD live together? Yes. Do I think it would be the BEST for them to live all together? NO, absolutely not!!

Due to the fact that you can't go back and change the fact that they were all placed together I KNOW you will make the very BEST decisions for them. You are an incredible woman, mom, and advocate for your kids! ((hugs)) and prayers for you and your kids.

MomInTheTrench said...

Sounds like you've got an action plan. And we all know plans keep us going. Hang in there. You're doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

Hello -

I am so happy I came across your blog! I can empathize with your situation. You seem like you have a good grasp of the situation. I have so many parents live in denial of what's going on, all the while things are spiraling out of control.

My son is diagnosed with schizophrenia - and when he returned home last summer from a residential center, I was forced to have my twins (11yrs old) live with their dad - for their own safety. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But, I will do anything it takes to protect my kids.
I admire you for writing about this. You seem like a very strong and courageous mother.
I wish you all the best!

Babs said...

Holy shit. That's the second time I've said shit on your blog tonight. Please don't ban me lol. Girl you need a freakin BREAK. I was ridden with anxiety just reading a single day in your shoes. Props to you!! You're my new hero. Seriously.

On another note, in our state adopted children (from the state) keep their medical cards until they are 18. Our parents also get a subsidy for children who have special health care needs and also negotiate for special health care expenses such as hospitalizations if they are needed for these type situations. I haven't read all you blog (but am planning too) so I may have it all wrong. Anyway (((((((((((hugs))))))))) to you!