Thursday, December 22, 2011

They Are Going To Clone Me

The fun has begun. My son is starting to break down a little. No violence but some emotions that are becoming harder to hide are coming out. He is right next to me or in his room with an alarm at all times. If this is as bad as it gets, life will be good.

We have so many professionals in and out of our home to support both him and the rest of the family. We hear the same thing over and over, there just doesn't seem to be anything they can find we should do differently or resources that would help. We end of educating them on the reasons behind the behavior and how to minimize them. It would be funny if it wasn't such a serious subject.

I found it entertaining a couple of these professionals began to panic when my son escalated yesterday. Their first instinct was to call the police and have him admitted. We were no where near that point and I had to calm them down. As far as I was concerned, he was doing well. Everyone was safe and no one was hurt or in danger. He was mad. He was loud. He was doing the best he could. I think it really gave them insight to his special needs and how well we manage them. The things they seemed to focus on seemed so minor to me in the grand scheme of things. I tried to explain those issues (crazy lying, denial of obvious truths, and playing the victim) would all fade as he heals. We address them but don't dwell on them. The therapist explained she had never seen anyone do it to the extreme they do. I literally laughed. Welcome to my life.

Last week, I had to fill out a ton of paperwork so one of them could properly decide what level of care Patches is on. I tried to negociate a lower score on many of the topics and gave her my reasons. She was so kind and simply repeated, "you can put a 3 on it but i'm going to change it to a 5". In the end, she closed the folder and and leaned in to tell me she had never seen a score so high in all the decades she has done this. She went on to tell me she has never seen a child even close to her level of care be managed in a facility with such success as our family does here at home. She is anxious to clone me and find a way to use us to develop a model to help other adoptive families. She actually claimed I was her Christmas present this year. I can barely get my head through the door now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ruthie!

Ruthie turned 13 yrs old today. I couldn't be any more proud of her. The differences she has made and continues to make on a daily basis is nothing short of amazing. I think back to last year and how I felt about her. I was not comfortable with her living here again. Keeping my eyes on her 24/7 was exhausting. She was still having a hard time talking about all her feelings and behaviors. She refused to stay with me and had to be attached to me with a leash to keep the other kids safe.

Today, I never have to think about where she is. She always tells me when she leaves the room and finds her own partner if she wants to play somewhere beside next to me. She makes sure she is not only responsible for herself but lets me know if someone crosses the boundaries she needs to keep. She goes out of her way to make sure here siblings feels safe and no longer complains about that responsibility. She feels remorse for her previous actions. She communicates her needs and feelings like nobody's business. She is thoughtful and respectful. I love this child so much I ache. She is going to be successful and not because of anybody but herself. She made a choice to become a productive member of our family again and has grown beyond our greatest dreams. I can't wait to see what she does next.

Friday, December 02, 2011

I Already Need A Glass Of Wine

This day is not starting off well. I walked outside to 2 flat van tires. Yes, two! I filled them up only to hear the air pouring out of them. My poor DH worked all day yesterday, came home for dinner, worked all night, came home for a shower, and went back to work. He never slept. He will not be of any help today. The poor guy needs to sleep. Not sure how but I need to get to the RTC to get my son. Let's see what else can happen....

And Then There Were 8....

Today Michael is discharged. He will be returning home after 15 months of living in a residential treatment center. He has made progress in the last 2 months. He will need a huge support group in order to succeed. Our main goals for him are to be safe and nonviolent towards me. We are as ready as we can be. He desperately wants to be successful. With the addition of an upgraded video monitoring system and door alarms, a huge team of professionals/therapists, tolerant siblings, and motivated parents, I think we can do this. I'm sure he will have setbacks. I'm sure we will all be angry, at some point. I know we love him and want him home. What more could we ask for?

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Lot Is Going On

I'm to have just disappeared like that. I'm sure some of my old readers had a PTSD flashback LOL I spoke too soon on the last post. I knew the minute I hit publish it would bite me in the ass.

While we had moments of my 13 yr old holding her anger in control, she did lose it again the next Saturday. It wasn't a monumental event. She has been violent since we first fell in love with her 5 1/2 years ago. We manage her attacks by restraining her the way I was taught many years ago when I worked in a RTC. We have never had a single injury to any of our children by these restraints or by the angry child. I have been injured numerous times, though. Now that she is getting so big, it is difficult to take her down. We decided that we needed to try something else. We chose to call the police and press charges. On this day, she made numerous threats to harm me that forced me to get close enough to get her "weapon" from her. I stayed close to prevent her from leaving or hurting herself. She decided to kick a hole in the wall and then head butt me. The police were called.

We had an incident with one of the officers that was strange enough, I reported him. He spent his time focusing on her while another spent his time gathering my side of the situation. Another, their supervisor, came and went from the house and between the officers. I could tell they thought I was in the wrong. They didn't see a mark on my face and since the kids had already been removed from the situation when she did it, they weren't witnesses. (The minute things look like they will get cranked up, we have a family safety plan that they follow. The oldest/safe child takes control and takes them to do the activity I suggest. it can be anything from jumping on the trampoline, watching cartons in my room or the living room, or playing a game on the deck. They are kept out of earshot and danger.) This went on and on. I was asked to repeat the story over and over. I got a little frustrated and finally called out to my child, "Where was it you head butted me? They don't see a mark." She calmly said, "on the side of your face, hard." Both officers looked at each other and put their heads down with a slight grin. They never bothered to ask her what she did. She will usually admit it.

Back to the officer that was with her. He called me over after that and insisted he knows all about adoption issues and mental illness. He has 3 generations of adoption in his family, he adopted a son at birth that lives with his ex wife, and his son has ADHD and requires meds for it. Being polite, I smiled. Then he went to great lengths to describe and suggest we purchase a watch for her that has an alarm built in that will remind her to take her meds. Confused because no one said she had issues with takin gher meds, I explained I knew of the watch. He then began talking baout a med bracelet to warn people about her illness. I praised him and said that was awesome but she is extremely destructive of her own personal property and it wouldn't last. WHen she can handle it, that would be a great idea. I then spoke about the watch and it would see the same fate her glasses do each time we purchase them. He began to argue with me that she needs to be in charge of her own meds and blah blah blah. I realized I was going to need to be firm with him. "I'm sure you would agree that allowing a child with a severe mental illness and a history of violence against others to be responsible for the very thing that stops her from feeling homicidal or suicidal would be criminal on my part." You would think that would stop him in his tracks, right? No! He went back to the glasses. He insisted that since she's so destructive, I should get her Lasik surgery. Seriously? SHe's 13. I suggested insurance won't cover it. He said to get a dr to write a letter. I gave up. I realized he wasn't going to stop. I said I'd try that. He had to have the last word. "It would be the responsible thing to do."

When he was done with me, he said, "I need to interogate your other children one at a time." I replied, "No, you're not. You are welcome to speak to them as a group in a light hearted way. They have PTSD and we have worked very hard to convince them police are not there to take them away from their family and are here to protect them. They were removed from their parents 5 times and most of them by some poor officer dragging them away in the back of a police car." The other officer nodded silently to him and I asked the kids to sit around the table. I heard from the other room that he focused quickly on my intensely shy Ella. She NEVER confronts anyone and still lacks the confidence to speak to directly to her teacher at school. He got firm with her and asked her several times why she instigated my 13 yr old by asking her to pick up the piece of paper on the coffee table. (Yes, the entire event began bc she was asked to pick up a piece of paper that she she drew on. SHe gave it to her sister and so she didn't view it as hers and became nutso bc she was asked to do something that she shouldn't have to.) This cop was insisting that somehow when Ella asked her to do this, she was responsible for her outburst. Ella also asked her other siblings to pick up their shoes and book bags but they did it without a word. I was getting pissed. Cyr redirected him and took the pressure off my poor kid.

Can anyone guess how this conversation was processed by my 13 yr old with Schizophrenia, Bi Polar, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and PTSD? She heard, "My Mom is not giving me the things I need. If she loved me she would buy me that stuff and fix my eyes. The police are smarter than my Mom and love me more than she does. if my siblings would treat me right, I wouldn't act this way." Those of you with kids like mine, are all nodding. Those of you that don't are thinking that's crazy. It is crazy. Her perception is different that your average child. It is the very nature of mental illness. I reported his behavior. I was asked if I wanted him repramanded and I declined. I wanted him to listen more and not share with me his entire life history. I want him to understand he doesn't have a clue about mental illness bc his son takes meds for ADHD. I want him to take a sensitivity class on mental illness.

Did you think that was it? So did we, until my 13 yr old came home from school and announced DFCS had come to her school. Instantly, I was a mess. Not again! I began trying to find out who went up there and why. Long story short, one of the officers filed a refferal not because the kids are in danger but because I am. The entire thing was because they were concerned about the repeated violence against me. To say I was surprised, is an understatement. The SW did come out to meet with the rest of the kids and see the house. I assured her we have therapists in and out of our home and lives, we have a better knowledge of the services available to us than her office, we have both IFI and CBAY services in place, we have a wonderful relationship with the RTC my son is in, we are trained and knowledgeable about our children's needs and issues, we are committed to them, and we have signed up for yet another service that will be providing in home assistance that is strictly post adoption related. She couldn't think of a single thing she could offer except help with Christmas. It was a relief to have it over. She will be contacting all our references and I'm sure she will be moving on.

We have finally pinned down a time frame for my son's return home. He has been visiting weekends for a long time and we are planning on moving him back in the week after Thanksgiving! We are ready. He is ready. He is still doing very well the last month. It won't be easy. We have our concerns and are addressing safety issues.

My darling, Ruthie, is amazing herself. She is not he same child she was 15 months ago. She is letting herself feel my love and trying so hard to monitor her boundaries. Every ounce of her energy goes into being safe. She has taken on the responsibility of protecting her boundaries instead of making me monitor them for her. Don't get me wrong, she is not trusted but she is making tremendous personal progress. I couldn't love this child any more than I do. I am so proud at all she has worked through and is overcoming. SHe is determined to better herself. I have even caught her reading in bed! She reads on a 1st grade level so it isn't something she usually enjoys but she is trying.

Emma started her meds again for anxiety. Huge difference in a week. Her therapist even said she was like night and day the last visit. Emma says they need to be increased a little more but are really helping.

We are still waiting on Cyr's aids. We know they were appoved but that's all.

Smava and Smella are still quiet. They are both the most thoughtful and kind children I've ever known. I can't believe how much they've grown over the years. They were Kiki's age when they came to us and now they are in a size 10! If anyone has ideas on how to keep your babies small, I'm all ears!

Kiki is still running the house. She came running up to me the other day and said, "You better get cracking on making a lovely dinner for my prince charming and me." I'm not kidding. I could go on and on about the crazy things she says to me but I feel like I talk about her more than the others. SHe is the most creative person. SHe tells me stories about everything. She loves to snuggle and pet my face. If we could slow down her pace a little and level out her ups and downs that would be great. SHe seems to have stopped biting so we are working on her hitting and choking. SHe gets excited and wraps her hands around my neck as hard as she can. It's not so bad on me but the poor dog is terrified of her. She has to be closely monitored around animals and small children. The funny thing is, when she is squeezing, she is saying, "breathe in deep through my nose and out through my mouth". SHe knows the coping skill but just isn't getting the how to use it, yet. SHe's trying and hates that she hurts people in the process. She'll get it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Should Be Jealous

Kids are great. I mean really great! We had some med changes and have seen some really amazing things turn around quickly. Patches is back to her gentle and kind way. She is talking and accepting responsibility for her actions. She's not following around the new boy at school like a lost puppy. She is following directions at home and at school. It always amazes me how different they are when their meds are right. She is not groggy or sleepy from them. She is cheerful and engaging. SHe becomes active and playful. It's like she wakes up and joins life. It's exactly what they are supposed to do. By the way, if you find your kid drooling or sleeping all day, you might have the wrong meds. LOL

Michael is still holding it together. He is doing great. The stress is starting to get to him and he is having auditory hallucinations. Nothing worrisome just irritating. Who wants to be called in the house 10 times a day only to find out no one called you? That has to suck.

I've been causiously optimistic about Ruthie since her med changed a couple months ago. SHe is fantastic! No aggression. Remorse!!! Compassion and empathy are coming along. How lucky can one woman be to have so many kids working so hard simultaneously? This is real progress, too, not just a cycle for her. She is genuinely feeling better.

Ella fell this weekend on a half a million acorns and has 2 giant black knees. SHe had to be carried in the house by my hubby and she told me yesterday that she felt like a princess when he carried her. Awww! She is quite possibly the sweetest kid ever. In case you weren't aware, you should be very jealous of me. My kids rock!

Emma has started therapy to help her cope with all her anxiety. SHe seems to really enjoy it. She is feeling better with her meds. Her giggle is back. What a sweet sound that it.

Ava is working on finding her voice. The child whispers everything. This isn't new. It's about the only thing this little girl needs to work on right now. Pretty fantastic, huh? If only I could say the same about myself!

Kiki continues to entertain all she comes into contact with. She is the loudest kid in the family. She is also the funniest and most creative. She tells me "stories" every day. She tries to play them off as real but will admit she is trying to pull one over on me, if I confront her. Her latest is about Buttercup. Buttercup is her pet dinosaur. He lives in our woods. She feeds him and plays with him in our yard. SHe is very detailed about him and will go on and on about him. It is so hard to be serious while she is telling me what he eats and who he likes and on and on and on. Her stories will be fantastic books someday. I'm sure of it.

Cyr is still blogging over at www.intomychaos.blogspot.com. SHe is doing well. SHe is getting a little anxious about her hearing aids. Patience is hard at 15.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Costumes

We are going as a chain gang. hahahahahahahaha A couple of kids aren't but most of us are. Ella is our guard/officer. This completely cracks me up.
Things went well at JJD last week. Patches will go in front of a Judge. I'm conflicted about this step in her life. On one hand, better to do this at 13 than 18. On the other, I'm not confident this will ever end for her. My fingers are crossed this helps.

I spent the weekend with Kiki's family. when we go,I take Kiki's sister, Lexi, and w spend the night at their Great Granny's. This time I took the twins with me, too. Her family celebrated her birthday and she was spoiled like a princess. LOL. Its always hard on the girls and their Mom to leave.

We are working out the details to get Michael home next month. Someone shoot me, please. Coordinating services, well more like finding services, is hard. The new IFI program that we began a few weeks ago, is a real disappointment. They aren't coming out like they should and they have very little knowledge of RAD and the complicated feelings/issues that come with it. They are really dropping the ball.

They were going to schedule an appt w their pdoc to do a psychological evaluation on Patches. They are usually done by a psychologist so when they insisted on doing it w their psychiatrist, I questioned it. I was assured they had it right. We went to the appt yesterday and LOVED her. She spoke to both Patches and I about her symptoms/issues. She gave her thoughts about appropriate dx for her. She was right on the money all the way around. Everything. That never happens. We always end up explaining how and who gave the kids their dx. Then we end up defending it to someone that has just met my kid(s). This was a nice change. It's really too bad the rest of the staff seems so unavailable to meet our needs.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

JJD

We are off to meet with the Juvenile Probation Dept. They seemed to have changed their mind about putting my nearly 14 yr old in front of a Judge for the Battery charges. The woman claims her supervisor feels it should be let go because she has a dx. I have every intention on changing their minds back. If they let it go, it proves further proves that adults aren't going to follow through with things and it is OK to continue to hit me when she gets mad. She knows the difference between right and wrong. She controls herself with other adults and even the kids. She is terrified of Judges. I'm hoping it would help her get that her actions have consequences. I don't hit her, she needs to stop hitting me because she is mad at someone else.

I have a couple of stalkers. I'm so special! I suggest y'all get back to work before I call and tell your employers about your threats and other activities. The tracker I have on here tells me where you are, who you work for, how often you open the page, and even what posts you read. Busted! It's so sad you go to such great lengths to learn about my life. I've tried to be nice and talk to you but you aren't interested. It's fine with me but people are tired of hearing your complaining about me. If you don't like what I have to say, don't read it. If you feel like something is inaccurate, you were always free to say so. You could have even asked me to remove it and I would have. Instead you hide behind your computer to stalk me, twist my words, and then complain. Everything I post is true to my knowledge. You may not like it but it's true. In most cases, I've been more than nice. Since I have no way to contact you privately, I did it on here. I will not do it again. If you threaten me again, I will report you to the police and your work.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Very Emotional Night

Cyr showed no improvement after a round of steroids. The doctor said it looks like it is a genetic form of hearing loss instead of damage to her ears. They took a mold of her ears today. Now we wait until they call to have us come in to fit the new aids. She has been a real trooper. SHe was a bit weepy tonight. I told her it is perfectly normal and she has every right to be upset.

I really don;t think this will hold her back. She will be able to do anything she wants. She may just have to take a different route to get there. I wish I could post her biggest concern but instead I'll just put a reminder in here that I told her she wasn't deaf and dumb and things will work out. Her and I will get a big laugh about that when she can find humor in all this later. Oh, and she should just go ahead and take full advantage of this now and blame all her lower grades on this emotional trauma. She admitted she plans on doing that. LOL She is SO my daughter.

I reconnected with someone tonight that I thought I lost many years ago. I love how much she has grown and how she has the ability to say what she thinks in a very clear but kind way. She is as amazing as I knew she would be. I would love to tell you who she is but with recent events that you all are not aware of, I shall keep her nameless. We sure would hate for people to attack her, too, for no reason. She knows who she is and that's all that matters. Somehow, the young women in this group she belongs, are so much more mature and accepting than their parents. I knew there was a reason I adored them all.

An Eventful Day Ahead

I have a busy day ahead of me. Emma is seeing the pdoc for the first time in over a year. She asked to get back on meds to control her anxiety shortly after school started back. It's too much to handle with her coping skills alone. We began to see depression slip in for the first time over the Summer so we agreed, it's time.

After that, Cyr goes back to the ENT to today to read the results of the CT scan. Since the ringing hasn't decreased nor is she hearing any better, we are pretty sure she will still require the hearing aids. With all the waiting and back and forth, it will be a relief for her to just get it over with.

My oldest niece got married in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. We will be attending her very belated reception at her Mom's, my oldest sister, home. It should be interesting for several reasons. My Mom and her man will be there and even though he is my oldest's father, things are tense between them. My youngest sister stopped speaking to me for no reason a few years ago and has been a real witch about me to others. I haven't seen her since. She's bringing her husband with her and from what everyone says, he's a piece of work, too. If that wasn't enough drama, my kids do not do well around drinking people. They all have a scary memory of a big brawl and even an accidental shooting at a family function before living with us. We have shown them that responsible social drinking is safe but this will be their first big party with alcohol present. It could go either way. I'm hoping for a lovely drama free celebration for my niece. Any bets someone else acts like an idiot after a couple glasses if wine? We should start a pool. LOL I almost forgot, I received some nasty comments from my oldest sister's friends awhile back. They may be there. Woo Hoo!

We decided on our costumes for this year. We will be a chain gang! Ella will be our prison guard. Hahahahahaha. It completely cracks me up. I know, it doesn't take much.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Asking For Help

Something we've seen throughout the entire sibling group is the inability to ask for help when they are in need. One of them will ask for help constantly when they don't need it but none of them do when they are sick or scared. As 3 of them have begun to heal, they will tell me they need meds for an illness or ache, if they are awake. The other three dare you to catch them sick. My son and Patches go out of their way to let you know they have a fever or have vomited. I can't count the times I've found dried puke on their beds they have covered up. The RTC has been equally surprised by this behavior from him.

Logically, I know where this comes from. Their needs were never met as very young children so seeking it now is foreign to them. When they were hungry, no one fed them. When they were dirty, no one cleaned them. When they were tired, no one rocked them. When they were hurt, no one comforted them. Their brains are not wired to expect help. When they are awake, they can think it through and realize that I'm here for them. In the middle of the night, they just revert back to what they know. I've gone out of my way to assure them they are always welcome to come to my room. It doesn't help. Their behavior remains an extreme contrast to my other attached children.

This changed this morning for Patches. I was already awake and waiting for the arm to go off when I heard, "Mom". I nearly crapped myself. I just knew it had to be horrific. I jumped up and ran to her. I asked her what was wrong and held my breath. She began telling me she had a bad dream and every time she fell back asleep, it would continue.

Surprised, I asked her what the dream was about. She told me that we were al on a boat in the ocean and I jumped into the shark infested water. I told Ella to get in and then swam to safety leaving Ella to be eaten since she is not able to swim. Ella has Cerebral Palsy and her legs just can't kick enough to keep her afloat. (In her birth home, her father would become enraged and beat Ella with a belt as she tried to drag herself down the hall. This image has tormented Patches for years and made her feel she is weak and needs protection.)

I think the dream is pretty accurate about how she sees me. She is terrified I'm going to somehow trick her and her siblings into caring for me then hurt them. How could she not feel this way? It's exactly what her parents did. She loved them, they hurt her and refused to take care of her. I'm just some lady who stole her from them before they could get it together and live happily ever after.

I know it seems silly to some of you that I would be so excited over this simple act. Some of you are grinning from ear to ear or welling up with tears because you are living with a child like mine or were a child like her. You know how hard this was for her. What a leap it was for her to trust me enough to tell me she was scared and what abut. It took everything I had not to jump around and squeeze her. I calmly patted her back and told her how strong she was for telling me. I assured her in the only way she will allow me without shutting down. She left this morning without any anger for the first time in weeks.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Our Real Life Princess

We have a birthday in the house today. Kiera (Kiki) turned 4. I've said it many times, this child has a huge personality. HUGE, people. She is quite the character. She is in charge of all of us. We all bow to her and her wishes. It is biting us in the ass. I may be in over my head in a few years. LOL

She refuses to sleep all night in her own bed and will often promise to snuggle with the other parent on their side when it is suggested she return to her bed. She insists on having homework because the kids do. She picks out her own clothes. She speaks as clearly and has the vocabulary of a teenager. She is smart as a whip and corrects anyone without fear of consequences. She is my sole companion and entertainer all day long. She is confident, thoughtful, smart, funny, and generous. She gives me movie star kisses, fixes my hair, and tells me what it's like to be a "real life princess". We play games and she doesn't trust me to use my own words. She writes my side of the conversation to suite her. She has an incredible imagination. She is a joy to parent.

Today, as friends and family called to wish her happy birthday, she made it clear that just saying it wasn't enough. She made the all sing it. She is under the impression that since we are celebrating her special day 4 times this year to do it with everyone that loves her, every year she will add another day. So, next year 5 days, the year after 6 days and so on. She dismissed my objections.

She has the benefit of having a very open relationship with her first family. To her, every one has 2 moms and 2 families. It is natural. I'm not saying it's always easy, it's not. She doesn't see them enough. She would love to see them every month but it's not possible right now. She is content with calling her Mom every few days and going with me to spend the night up there every few months. It will be more when they can do more.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Coming and Going

We had hoped to have all the kids home by the end of the month. That's not looking like it's going to happen. He will still be coming but someone is making it clear she needs RTC. She is impossible to live with. Her anger outbursts aren't making any sense to us. she is scaring her siblings and that was the turning point for us. She can treat me horrible and I can take it. They shouldn't have to. They don't want to.

We have always thought that Patches wouldn't have a lot of boy issues since she can't stand to be touched. She is mean to the boys she had crushes on so far and seems to go out of her way to hurt their feelings. We have compared her to a praying mantis in love. That has changed.

She has found herself attracted to a smart bad boy. He has convinced her no one can make her do anything at school or home. He lays his head down at school so she does. He told her he is in a gang, does drugs, and dates older girls. She is smitten. She can't say his name without smiling. She doesn't even realize she is smiling.

Yesterday, she told us she was threatened with out of school suspension because she wouldn't leave the class while he was having a violent outburst. She was in danger. She didn't care. She was grinning from ear to ear the entire story. Trying not to tickher off, I remained quiet. Her sister told her that was ridiculous. We quickly moved onto picking up Emma and heading to the park.

All went well until it didn't. I'm not sure where I went wrong. We ran through the grocery store and she began trying to irritate the kids. When one of them finally said she was making them mad, she replied that I was making her mad. She continued and eventually, I had to step in. All I asked was what I could do differently that wouldn't bother her. That's it. Then she began with the hate stuff. We headed home. She calmed. I knew she was on the edge and offered to do her chore, of she would apologize. For the next 3 hours, we had to listen to her scream about how I'm a witch and gay. We ignored. We ate dinner. Hubby came home. She quieted but got sneaky. Made stupid threats that forced me to physically monitor her. Eventually, she threw her dirty socks in my face and raised her arm to hit me. My hubby took 2 giant steps and she put it back down.

I'm so stressed about her that I was up at 3:30 am. Can't sleep. That is nothing remarkable in itself but irritating. Her behaviors get crazy every Fall. Every year prior, I've spent my time trying to figure out her triggers, her trauma events, how to help her feel better, and make her life happier. Things are different this year. I'm going to focus the kids that are working hard and help make their lives better by having her admitted to a RTC. Its past time. I love her and want what best for her. We are all running out of patience. Time for a family time out.

Friday, September 30, 2011

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

And that's all I'm going to say about that today.

I met our new Behavior Specialist that will be working with Ruthie and Patches. She was interesting and funny. I really liked her. The only issue I see is she has no experience or knowledge of RAD. None. She was willing to research a little over the weekend for us so that is a plus. I had been hopeful the team would have at least heard of it. Maybe next lifetime.

We had a great afternoon w Patches. Woo hoo!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I was expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised when I was able to help Patches pull it together today. She really turned it around. I'm sure all of you are sitting on the edge of your seats wanting to know how this incredible feat was accomplished. I entered a conversation with Kiki about Patches recent behaviors. Since the only 2 things she cares about since her mad crush on her friend, Noah, this Summer, is her dog and Kiki. She was moved immediately when she heard her say she was mean and it hurt her feelings. She began to sob when she heard she was afraid of her when she yells at her Mommy. When she finally stopped crying, Kiki was long gone.

We talked frankly about our different opinions on why she is losing her crap daily. She was polite and open. She wouldn't accept any affection from me until much later. She never apologized but has made it clear the next 4.5 hours until bedtime that she was making up for the last 2 weeks. She didn't make one grunt about chores. She wrote sentences for screaming at me last night. It was the first time we tried that consequence. she has too many chores built up and she loves to write. I had hoped it would feel like a consequence but be manageable. I had her write "My Mom is great!". It worked well for both of us. She bathed and gave me the first sincere hug than she has given me in months. We should be good now for a couple months. LOL.

Cyr wrote about her appointment today. She has an MRI Monday and will have a round of steroids for 9 days. We go back in 2 weeks to retest her hearing and if nothing has changed, she will be fitted that day for the hearing aids. I was so relieved he was willing to double check for us. He didn't sound optimistic but said their could be a slight chance. Cyr wanted it to be over today. She'll be much happier if they were wrong the first visit in the long run. If he was right, she'll barely remember the inconvenience in a few years. At least I would hope so. LOL

Run and vote today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm currently ignoring death threats being shouted from behind a closed bedroom door. I know she is trying to get taken to the hospital so she doesn't have to apologize to me for being very nasty right after school. She is running out of options other than to just apologize so she is pushing things. Because I know this, I don't want to waste the kids, hospital staff, police, or my time. I'm sure she will use this as another reason I am horrible. She will twist it into I didn't protect her when she was out of control.

Everything that comes out of that child's mouth is just twisted versions of the truth. Its old. That and the police know her number, she already admitted all of my other kids like living with this family and most love me dearly. The other 2 want to but are struggling due to RAD. She has also confessed to wanting to lie and say she is being abused by me so I'll go to jail. Not a smart move if you really have that intention, if you ask me. Well, what do I know? I'm just a stupid lady doing every thing she can to help a girl that she loves find some genuine happiness

Don't forget to vote!!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Help Me Find My People!

When I closed this blog last Fall, I didn't think I'd be reopening it. Apparently, no one else did either. I have lost nearly all of my readers. I figured in time it would pick back up and, to some extent, it has. I went from a readership of more than 1200 a day to 200. I'm not sure how to reach back out to them other than to ask you all that do blog, would you mention I'm back here? Got an idea that might help me find my people? I'm open to suggestions, too.

P.S. I almost forgot, please hit the pink button on the left and vote! I'm #7 and just a few votes behind #6 and #5. With your help, I could move up!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cyr Has Something To Say

Run and see what it is over at www.intomychaos.blogspot.com

Dream Crusher

Kiki and I took Emma to the therapist's office today. She has always been a very anxious child and was dx'd with an anxiety disorder based on information given by both us and her teachers several years ago. It had begun to really interfere with her school and life. After a few years on meds, she asked if she could stop taking them. We believe it is her body and we need to listen to any of our children's concerns about that. She had some good points and we agreed.

She has done very well until this Summer. She slipped into a heavy depression and took her to see the pediatrician only to realize she wasn't ill, she was depressed. Once school started back, she asked to try them again. She is having a hard time coping with her anxiety. She becomes very stressed about tests, keeping up with her peers, letting her teachers down, her appearance, but the biggest thing is what her peers are doing. She becomes extremely agitated if she feels someone isn't doing things the right way, is breaking a rule, or the teacher is unaware of something. She drives herself insane with all of it.

We set her all up with the pdoc and a new therapist. She is excited and hopeful. She really needs to deal with the loss of her siblings from last Fall and now her mom has some chaos going on that doesn't feel stable to her. I'm sure this is just what she needed and she will begin to feel better soon.

Patches is home and really struggling. She has no idea how difficult it is to live with her when she is like this. The kids want to smack her and I can't blame them. She is mean to them and goes out of her way to make sure they know she doesn't like them. They are still polite and generous with her. I hope she pulls it back together before they turn on her. We keep talking about how her life is like a roller coaster and even though things are low now, they will be better again. I'm not sure anyone is buying what I'm selling though.

Michael is coming home. I think all the indecision is killing us. I insisted the RTC just move forward and make a plan. They agreed they can't do anymore for him and as long as we are willing to take him home, they will send him. Of course they made it clear, he is not healed or even doing better than he was before he came. We feel the sexual stuff is under control and every one is talking openly about feelings and concerns. That is vital to our success. We have the cameras in place and alarms still on so everyone feels safe and is safe.

I so rarely talk about the twins. They are so fantastic, I can't even begin to make you understand how lucky I am to be their Mom. They are both quite passive aggressive so we never see any anger or outward negative emotions unless they are pushed. Ella cracks me up. You can only tell how mad she is by how fast her ponytail swings as she is walking away. CP caused issues with her legs and she walks on her tippy toes. It's kinda hard for her to stomp but she gives it her best effort. When stomping off her ponytail swings ridiculously hard. I laugh out loud. Fortunately, my cackling usually makes her laugh, too.

Cyr is depressed. She is blah. She is weepy. She doesn't want to go to school and see her friends. She asked if she could stay home today but I told her she only gets 1 mental health day off school and she thought that was funny and dropped it. She is really upset about the hearing aids. I have a feeling, she will fight wearing them. We go Thursday to get her fitted. I told her kids are gonna be jealous. It's like braces and glasses, kids want them unless they have them. Maybe that only applies to elementary school kids but I'm holding onto that.

Kiki told me I was cancelling her dreams last night. I had no idea what she was talking about so I asked. She insisted I was cancelling her dreams. Still confused I just kinda looked at her. She said, "You are cancelling all my dreams of going to dance school!". There you have it folks, I am a dream killer. I have no idea what prompted this or how I did it but I crushed her lifelong dream.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm moving up!

Keep voting for me at Circle of Moms! The little link is on the left side of the blog.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Do It! Do It!

Have you been voting for me on the Circle of Moms Contest? Just click on the cute pink button on the left side of my blog every day for 11 more days. Puleeze!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Have you voted today? No? Please run over there now!

She Needs What???

I have had a very busy week. It began with what I thought would be a routine doctor visit with the ENT for Cyr. She had mentioned her ears were bothering her but not in an earache way. When it came up twice in a month, I set an appointment. Five of my children from that group rarely complain of illness or aches and pains. It varies between them but can be as extreme as my son has never admitted to being sick. No headaches or stomach aches. He has vomited but like his sisters, he covers it up with his pillow or hides it in the laundry. The RTC called last week to tell me he had strep. When I asked for details, they told me they had only tested him because so many in the unit had it. When they checked him out, he had a fever and a very nasty throat. They were amazed he hadn't mentioned it.

So when I heard something about Cyr's ears a second time, I took her in. They said he rears were clear and there was nothing visible that could be causing her any discomfort. They asked a few questions about dizziness and she admitted she felt it after she heard ringing sometimes. They did a hearing test and came back in the room with a brief comment about "significant loss in both ears". Having no idea what that meant, her and I bantered back and forth a bit about hearing aids and surgery to drain the ears.

After almost 30 minutes the doctor and nurse came back in to go over the results. He seemed a little nervous and the nurse wasn't making eye contact, at first. He mentioned "significant hearing loss in both ears". I asked what we needed to do, fully expecting him to suggest meds for fluid or further testing. The nurse walked behind him and got a brochure for me. He looked at me and said, "We need to see her in a week to have her fitted for hearing aids." Cyr and I both looked at each other and laughed. We had not expected that.

The next part of the brief conversation was me pressing for a number. I needed to hear the percentage of loss. I'm thinking 10-20% but he told me her good ear had lost 50% or more and the other ear was worse. I know our mouths were open. How did we miss this? She said she had been feeling an urge to look at people's lips when they spoke to her but it didn't occur to her that she couldn't hear them. She is fine at home but my hubby has severe hearing loss so the TV is loud and we are loud to help him avoid the same kind doctor appointment. She is a soft spoken child and so no one else noticed.

It has been quite a shock to her. She is strong and will be fine but she has been unusually emotional since. We have been talking about it and she is coping much better than I expected. The biggest let down is she won't be able to join the service. She had been banking on that to get away from her siblings. She is much less concerned with the aids themselves. In this process, my hubby has agreed to have his hearing tested and look into aids. It is a miracle, folks. A real life miracle. All it took was his little girl crying over a brochure and his need to fix kicked in. Before he new what he said, he offered to join her in this journey. We are going to make him honor that promise.

I mentioned Cyr was a little emotional. It popped up again on Friday night. Patches had been struggling for about 48 hours over an IEP meeting. She had been caught in a few not so true statements and she had made herself believe them. Our meeting shattered her reality and she focused on me. The police were called out Thursday night because she was making threats against me. She verbally attacked the wonderful officer but made no real threats she he couldn't do anything. She was awful at school on Friday and came home crappy. We catered to her a bit by separating the kids from her when she tattled.

At bed time she wanted to sleep in the little girls' room and was told no. That led to threats of killing herself. After some discussion trying to calm her, she began to hit me repeatedly. I had to hold her hands down. Once she began to kick me, Cyr grabbed her legs. Patches is becoming too strong for me when she is psychotic and her hands slipped out. She got a few swings in and Cyr lost it. She jumped up and into Patches face. I heard her scream like she has never done before. She told her to stop hurting her Mom. Quickly realizing she was out of control, she refused to hold her legs and yelled at me she was having her arrested. Cyr entered the area in the LR that the kids were sitting watching cartoons and terrified them by simply having emotions that strong.

The police showed up and my hubby and I had finally restrained her safely. He handcuffed her so I could get up. She admitted to attacking me. I had obvious scratches and bruises so he insisted on filing charges against her for battery. He took her in the back of his car to the hospital. I calmed the kids before I joined them there. Of course, I'm skipping so much of the details but you get the jest of it. She was 1013'd again. She will be home in a few days and we have started the process of admitting her to the same hospital my son is in.

Life, for my children, is exhausting. She is a fantastic kid. Most of the time, she really wants to fit in and feel a part of our family. Then these moments she fears she may be rejected or in trouble, she lashes out at us first. At 13, she is now involved with the juvenile system here. Therapy, medicine, and will alone haven't helped. Our last hope is that a big scary judge will help her take a moment to use the coping skills she knows so well but refuses to use when she needs them. Violent, aggressive, paranoid, and delusional. I fear for her future. She deserves to be happy and feel love. I will never give up trying to prove that to her.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Please Vote for Me!

See the little button on the left of the screen? The one that asks for you to vote for me. Just do it. You know you wanna. Then come back every day for the next 16 and do the same. I was nominated and I do not want to end up the only person with less than 5 votes. If you really want to help, you can post a link on your Facebook, too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If You Thought That Was Bad....

The last post caused some stirring in my family. They are upset I spoke about them "on a public forum". Honestly, I was being nice in that post. I'm sorry if they were so upset. I'm sure they will be really pissed when the book comes out since I'm not changing the names since they aren't innocent.

If they were so horrified, why did they tell all their friends to come look? I don't mind, every time they come here, I make $ off them.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Rocker and The Old Lady

My sister, Kiki, and I traveled down to see my Mom this weekend. She moved away a few months ago to St. Pete and we have been dying to see her new life. I swear it wasn't that I needed a break from real life and would go anywhere there weren't kids. OK, you caught me, it was both. Anyway, we planned it a couple of weeks ago and it fell through and ran off together for a very long drive down there this past weekend. The ride was uneventful other than to say, I do not like Monster green. That crap tastes like an extra sweet, almost thick, sour patch kid candy. The sour part kicks you in the teeth after you swallow. Please, just take my word for it.

I noticed something between my Mom and I right away. The Old Lady is recovering from breast implants. While some people may think it is ridiculous to fix those saggy bags at her age, she wanted to spice up her new life and that is exactly what she did! She looks amazing! This picture is my sister, Kiki, and Mom with their new boobs. I think they have both gone from an A to a D. I think they have been jealous of my G for years.



Exhausted, Kiki and I went to bed. It became very clear that Kiki had no intention of sharing the pillows. We giggled until 4:30 AM. What is it about old people? They need the house to be 80 degrees. We managed not to melt away but I was worried my alleged snoring might wake her. I brought her ear plugs. The next morning she assured me the snoring wasn't a problem but me sitting straight up screaming at her that I was snoring was. Yes, I sat up in my sleep and yelled that I was snoring. I'll try to work on that.



While my mother lives in a nice part of town, I was a little concerned when we found this homeless man on her porch enjoying himself like he lived there. LOL Actually, that is her man. I know he looks vicious but he is not. After spending time with him this weekend, both my sister and I were amazed at how fast he grows on you. He is deeply sensitive, funny, warm, welcoming, and is obviously VERY in love with my Mom. Let me be completely honest, anyone willing to take her, can have her.



They drove us all around their little town and he made sure we got to the sweet spot so we could witness this. He took us to the top of a restaurant and we waited. He promised we would love it. We did.


I want to take a minute and share their story with you. Not because it has anything to do with me or my life but because the story needs to be told. Many years ago, a young greaser kid stumbled upon a teenage girls' pajama party. Being a young strapping stud, he knocked on the door and met by a dozen giggling girls in lace baby doll nighties. He offered beer, they let him in. One of those girls was my mother.

They began to date and eventually ran away to be together. They hitchhiked across the country to meet his family. They had signed him up for the Army on his 17th birthday and he wasn't welcome to stay there. The teenagers decided to run off and get married. They did. They found a boarding house and jobs. They were happy. Soon they discovered they were pregnant with my sister, Julie. He couldn't have been more in love than he was with the two girls in his life.


The first few years were great. They were deeply in love. They were broke. My Mom was terribly homesick. He wanted her to see her family and saved for a ticket to send them there for the holidays. Once there, her family began to convince her that he wasn't stable and she would be happier if she stayed. Torn, she eventually agreed to stay with her sister. She begged him to move there and get a job. He got rid of everything they had and bought an old truck. He never imagined what was about to happen. Now that she was a mother, her need for stability would outweigh her love for him.

Things weren't as he had hoped once he arrived. My Mother had changed. Many of the women in my family have the knack of shutting someone out completely. My Mother, my sisters, and even me. It is a coping skill we use when things hurt. We shut off our emotions and cut the people off. My Mother was doing this to him because she thought it was the right thing to do for her child. He wasn't dangerous, he just wasn't welcome in her family and she felt she needed their support to raise her daughter. It was a decision she regretted all her life and still has tremendous guilt over. Eventually, she filed for divorce. Devastated, he left town. He never stopped loving them. He never stopped calling her his wife. He intentionally never remarried or had any other children. He had that already.

My Mother remarried and my sister was adopted by her new husband. Times were different. He wasn't encouraged to keep contact and was even run off by my Mother's family. Everyone worked hard to convince him that he wasn't good enough and she was better off without him. He respected her enough to think she must have known what she was doing.

When I hear this story, I see a boy that would have felt rejected from his first family, his wife, the world because he doesn't fit into their idea of what he should be, and now as he is reaching the end of his life and is reaching out hoping to fill in the hole he has carried for years, he is rejected by his only child. She wants nothing to do with him. Nothing. She is angry. She is using the coping skill handed down to the women in our family. She is missing out. The worst part is that they are so much alike. They could learn so much from each other. Even writing this, I'm crying for their loss. They missed so many years and now he has cancer. She is punishing him now for leaving her behind. The details about what happened don't matter to her.

My sister isn't someone that comes across as caring or supportive. She comes across as stubborn with a need to be right. She will argue with a wall to prove her point. She can't look past your faults and find something charming about you. She will search your soul until she finds what she knew was there all along. She isn't going to get in and get dirty, she is going to spend her time proving she was right. We are complete opposites. She may seem unemotional but she is really just protecting herself. I'm not saying she is awful, she is not. We are just very different and we struggle to see each others point of view. I think she is so scared of loss, she refuses to feel. I feel way too much. Neither is good. We do not have a relationship. She is my sister, I love her, but really she is just a woman I have known all my life. It is sad to me that my children do not know her or know that her daughter is their cousin. They can't remember her name or face. It breaks my heart. Now she is shutting out another person in her life. I wish it was just her loss but it's his, too. She has complete control over it and maybe that's what this is all about, control. I know she feels abandoned. She won't allow him in or give an inch. She will fight tooth and nail to prove he wasn't worthy any way.

Her daughter doesn't have a relationship with her father either. She was given an ultimatum, it may have not been a direct conversation but she has made her feel like it was him or her mom. Her daughter has chosen not to find him out of respect for her. It is very similar to how adult adoptees feel in closed adoptions. It's sad. On the other side of that is me. I parent children and force whatever healthy relationships with their first families that I can. I open our home and hearts to anyone willing to love my children. Some of the people in our lives are addicted to drugs or alcohol, they have mental illnesses, and some have spent time in prison. As long as they are safe, they are welcome. Call me crazy, but I look past those things and find reasons to like them. We may not agree on many things, but we find common ground. This is not a skill or an interest she has. Perhaps she views this as a weakness, who knows?

I am choosing to get to know him. I want my children to see how he treats my Mom. I need to see her happy for the first time in my life. I completely support their life together. He waits on her hand and foot. It is amazing to watch. In his love for her, he loves us. My sister doesn't get this. She can't fathom how he could love her daughters much less his own daughter because he doesn't know her as adult. She couldn't be more wrong. I'm not sure how to explain it to her. It is real, I could feel it. Maybe I get it because I love my childrens first mothers. I don't have to know all about them, I love them, no strings attached. To me love is a choice. I know this will be one the hardest things my sister ever does, I hope she chooses to look past his rough exterior and see the gentle man inside.


We learned things about my Mom this weekend. Some good and some we'd love to forget. We felt her connection to her first love that hasn't faded with time. We watched her go from our strong mother to a teenage girl when he walked in the room. We saw her sit back and be taken care of. It is nothing short of amazing that these 2 people could have fallen in love almost 50 years ago and reconnected after all these years, but that is exactly what has happened. I couldn't be happier for them. They deserve happiness during whatever time they have left.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We are fine here except a nasty hurling virus is sweeping through the house. I'll be back when we all recover, make that, when I recover. LOL.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weepy? Me?

I'm a bit weepy today. I am rarely weepy. Usually, I am able to compartmentalize things until I can deal with them privately. I keep finding myself thinking about my kids that aren't here. I filled up with tears when I saw Country Strong was on again, when I saw a post about Soul Sisters meeting up, Emma told me she cried at her friend's house last week because she missed me, and now as I write this. Not sure what is up.

I know it hit me hard when I got a second call about my son this weekend from the RTC. He has had to be restrained twice and he received another shot. It breaks my heart. They said he pushed all the kids buttons looking for a fight until he got one. We've seen that more times than I care to admit. I miss him enough to forget how awful his behaviors are and how hard they are on our family.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Is It Really?

We have a sitter and are going to the Visitation set up for tonight. We couldn't manage the funeral because the kids would come home alone and we all know THAT wouldn't turn out well.

On a completely different note, I spoke with Michael's family therapist yesterday and it seems after our meeting last Friday, we are closer to all being on the same page. They were missing key information and I shared some things that made them look at the whole picture. Some of the confusion is that he mostly hallucinates at home. He rarely shares what he is seeing because he thinks they are real, unless they are scary ones. I have learned to read him and ask a lot of questions to figure out what is going on. They thought it must be PTSD flashbacks since it was happening at home. I had to explain that his meds are controlling his hallucinations and that they do reappear when he is under stress. He is stressed at home because home with his siblings trigger stress for him. He is only sharing with me because I ask the right questions. He would never offer it up to anyone unless he was frightened and looking to be reassured he is safe. Flashbacks should be exactly that, a flashback to the traumatic event. He sees things he has never seen, talks to people that say things he has never heard, he thinks things are completely different than other people around him do. He is not in our world sometimes. He has different players than we do. He is shocked and surprised and you can see it on his face. They are not flashbacks.

We also discussed that when you are surrounded by a certain disorder, you tend to see any symptoms familiar with that disorder as that disorder. They are surrounded by RAD and PTSD. They see his behaviors that relate to that more clearly and may miss the others. How could he not have it? He lived through a childhood with numerous foster families, all kinds of abuse, and severe neglect. The psychiatric hospital that sees my son when he is having scary commanding hallucinations because he is psychotic, sees Schizophrenia. Another doctor in the beginning saw PDD-NOS because he made no eye contact, wasn't social or able to read social cues, was delayed developmentally, and didn't play like other kids. Another felt his hypervigilance and lack of attention must mean ADHD. His speech therapist thinks his inability to process his thoughts is a speech disorder.

So who is right? I don't know. I know I see RAD, PTSD, BiPolar, MR, and Schizophrenia. I'm not a doctor. I do know my son. I know he wants so badly to be a good boy. He wants to be "normal". He wants to learn. He wants to feel love. He is terrified of being loved. He is tormented by the people and things he sees. He can't catch up in school and doesn't try because he feels hopeless. He was traumatized in his first family's home and thinks about it often. He sabotages himself. He is depressed and withdrawn because he can't connect with others. He becomes aggressive and violent when he is frustrated. He has a strong family history of mental illness. Does it matter what it is called? Does it matter if it is from trauma or a mental illness?

I go back and forth on that. Truly. Sometimes I need a name for it. I can put off all his difficult behaviors on that. It's not his fault. It makes it easier to accept it all. Other times I feel if we just figure out a way to make it better for him that it doesn't matter what it is is. Ask me tomorrow and I'll feel differently. It changes constantly. The only thing that hasn't changed is his symptoms. He is very disturbed and whether or not I have something to call it, he is miserable and struggling. The professionals can't agree or figure out what the Hell it is so how are we supposed to? He is the one suffering. All I want to do is make him feel better so he can grow up in our family feeling loved because he deserves at least that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

She Opened Our Minds

My hubby and I knew a young woman years ago that was dx'd in her late teens with Schizophrenia. She was the only person I knew that had a mental illness that didn't try to hide it or acted like she had any shame for it. I'm not sure if she actually felt that way but it looked that way. I asked her many questions over the years and witnessed a couple of breakdowns. My hubby was closer to her and dated her one Summer. She shared her fears and thoughts openly with him.

Without knowing it, she has had a huge impact on the way we feel about mental illness and how it affects our family. We teach our children they have nothing to be ashamed of. You don't need to whisper when you talk about it. It is no different than having Diabetes or any other chronic illness. The symptoms are much different but they are just that, symptoms. They require meds to keep it under control. They need family support to find the strength to keep trying. They are under a doctor's care to help guide them. It is nothing but an illness.

We lost touch with this friend over the years, as most of us do. We talked about her fondly. Her and I reconnected last Fall during our chaos and I had the opportunity to get her advice about the illness. She told me her dx had changed over the years and symptoms came and went with stress. She was very supportive and helpful. She felt we were on the right path about the shame and had some thoughts about that. Her paranoia about being watched was shared but she wasn't clear who was doing it and I didn't ask.

She shared she had married and has children. She is mostly stable and felt she was on top of things. She gave us hope. We saw that our children may have quirks and struggles but they could lead a "normal" life that could include a spouse and children. A hope that we desperately needed. She promised to bring her children to our big birthday carnival this year so we could catch up.

My husband woke me very early this morning by shoving his cell phone in my face. He was frantic. He couldn't read his FB on his phone without his contacts in and all he saw was a status update with her name in it. She had recently deleted her FB account and we had wondered numerous times what happened. We still aren't sure why she did that. The update was letting her friends know she had passed last night.

There was no going back to sleep after that. Worry set in. A selfish worry. One of the biggest concerns we have is the suicide rate for people with Schizophrenia. We are terrified one or both of our children will find life too hard and take their precious life. For a couple of hours I cried for her family and ours. Then I got a response from another of my hubby's ex girl friends telling me that wasn't the case for her. They think it was her heart.

Nothing can make her family feel better about the loss of their mother, sister, wife, and daughter but I wish they knew just how she helped our family cope with our life. The strength we found from our long ago friendship when we first heard the dx for our children. Knowing her and her struggles made the unknown with our kids seem possible.

I know in my brain that her life has no real connection to how my children live out their life. I know that. Her illness is different because every one's is. Yet, somehow, even her death has given me a tiny bit of hope for my children. She will never be forgotten. My children will continue to hear stories about the girl that taught their parents about mental illness and how to look past that illness and see the person. She made us better parents to our very special children. She taught us patience for people that seemed different. We are eternally grateful to have had the privilege of calling her our friend.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

No Visit

We knew there would be fall out. The RTC decided they are liable for my son on visits and have stopped this weekend's visit. I completely understand their position but at the same time, I KNOW we can handle him. It's not that it is even just him, they are also concerned about Ruthie. I get that, too. I see her reaction last weekend as progress.

Maybe a weekend off would help them both but what if they feel it is a consequence for her being honest? We all know that no matter how hard I try to convince her otherwise, she will continue to believe whatever she has built in her mind. For what it's worth, I'm very proud of both of them. Life is hard for them and each time they make any effort, it should be rewarded. Most people would give up and die. The fact they keep trying and want to feel better says amazing things about them.

Ruthie has been sick and vomiting this week. My hubby is thinking this is psychological. Since he usually doesn't notice these things, I blew him off. (I know, bad wife.) Now I'm wondering if he wasn't on to something. (See, I do value his opinion and thoughts. It was only a temporary lapse in judgement.) No one else has been sick and usually it runs through here like a wild fire. Time will tell.

We are all excited about a day visit with their Aunt Michelle and Uncle Floyd at the lake. We have barely seen them since Ruthie came home and nothing since his accident. He is home now and is back to reality. He remembered his wife, family, and life. He is walking again and is able to care for himself during the day. Of course, as we know from my hubby's 2 traumatic brain injuries, this will be a life long struggle for them. They are up to it. It may have saved his life. He has since quit drinking completely. We wish nothing but the best for them. We are all excited to give them some giant hugs Saturday.



Monday, August 08, 2011

But He Didn't Get Violent

Life has changed here so much since this time last year. I can barely speak of the kids we lost. The pain is still deep and fresh. Right before we lost them, Ruthie, Patches, and Michael entered 2 local residential treatment centers for intense therapy and interventions. Patches and Ruthie were at the same one and were released WAY too fast. The RTC didn't take the time to wait out their honeymoon and see their behaviors or get to their intense feelings. They let them down.

Luckily, Patches learned a few somethings from her brief stay outside our home that did make up for their lack of ability to treat her. She learned that she would come back here because we love her and she is a part of our family no matter what, we aren't as bad as she thought, we are safe, we do what we say we are going to do, we aren't the only family with children that struggle, and she never wants to leave us again. She used to throw fits that lasted hours and screamed things about never loving us, never returning to us for Xmas, wanting to die or kill us, and other things trying to express how deeply hurt she was feeling. To say that her feelings were over the top for the situation is an understatement. These episodes were happening because her sister moved her shoes to her room or she was asked to take the trash out. Anything could trigger these events that would usually end in a restraint to protect her or me.

Ruthie's return wasn't so easy after she was released. We had safety issues to work through. We did just after the holidays last year and she has been here since. She, too, learned many of the things Patches did.

Michael still has not returned home full time. We are transitioning him now. The hospital is hesitant to release him because he is still having some serious issues. He is aggressive, delusional, impulsive, and is hallucinating again. I'm sure most people would think, "Why would you bring him home then?". While they RTC is hesitant, they agree with us that this is probably the best he is going to be able to manage. This is his life. He deserves to be in a family. He is a good boy. We aren't your regular family and can handle his issues safely here. We are prepared and willing.

To say our home and lives are drama free would be a lie. In comparison to our lives prior to their hospital stays, it is calm. Patches is stepping up in ways that bring tears to my eyes. I never thought we would get to a place that I could trust her to make a good choice, be responsible for another person, or want to help her family. She chooses to be a part of us, has taken ownership of us, and wants to protect me. Huge stuff for her. She's not perfect. She has moments and stress gets to her much worse than your average gal. She pushes through. Ruthie is talking. She is sharing her feelings and thoughts. She wants to feel something for us. She is trusting me with her scary stuff. She is taking direction from me with minimal homicidal/suicidal threats. We still see deep anger come out but she moves past it quicker. Michael has been a model son (our version of a model child, of course). No violence on his visits.

He maintained that this weekend and that is huge for him. Keep that in mind when I tell you about his visit. No violence is big, it's progress.

He was off from the moment he set foot in our home Friday. OFF. Nearly every interaction with his siblings turned into a squabble. We all have our days so I tried to help him through it. Then he turned on me. He kept saying, "everybody is lying on me". It turned into the theme of the weekend. We are used to crazy lying here. He commonly accuses others of attacking him or turning situations around and becoming anger that they are lying. I witnessed him "misunderstand" all of us over and over. He began to seem deeply hurt. That was new. He remained calm. he talked through it every time. He was very confused. When I say this happened 30 times, it may be an understatement. He eventually asked to go to bed. It began all over Saturday.

I could see he was escalating and was concerned we would have to take him back early. I called both of his therapists. They had some great advice and we were able to salvage the evening by watching a movie quietly. Sunday was great. He sat at the table with his Dad and put together the coolest Lego tank that shot crap at us. He thoroughly enjoyed shooting us with tiny spear things. We ate dinner and he and Ava played some more while the table and dishes were being done.

Out of no where, he got rough with Ava. He began to kick her and punch her. She half laughed out of shock and he took that as confirmation it was ok to continue. We starting talking about why he decided to do that. It became clear when the other kids chimed in that he had been doing it to them and they didn't say anything because he wasn't angry when he was doing it. They felt like he was roughhousing and even though he isn't allowed to touch them, E.V.E.R., they felt like they handled it. It quickly turned into, "you are all lying". He didn't get violent. He didn't agree with anyone and was again, confused. He kinda stomped off into our dining area. My hubby could see him and we heard him throw the Lego tank to the ground and it shattered. When my hubby cried out, "WHY?" in his frustration, Ruthie began to lose it.

Ruthie has a history of attacking me when her brother is out of control. She is triggered and becomes psychotic. We can't make her understand he is safe, that he needs our attention right then, or that it is him that is having the issue, not me. I can't reason with her. Most times, I have to move from Michael to keep Ruthie safe from herself. I fully expected that from her last night when she began to cry. Our attention as a familoy turned to help Ruthie since Michael seemed to be holding his anger in check. SHe expressed anger towards my hubby for the first time. SHe talked about what triggered her. How she was feeling. She even decided to separate herself from the situation to calm down. How is that for amazing?

Michael took this very moment of progress and bolted out the door. Usually, when he gets agitated, we turn on the door alarms to all our out going doors. He seemed to be fine and it never even dawned on any of us. The kids saw him run up our back drive. I ran out to find him but he was gone. I had to call the police and the RTC to help. He was found a ocuple miles up the road getting dangerously close to the interstate. We live on a major road and he has run into traffic in parking lots so I was a mess until he pulled up in the back of a cop car.

Poor officers never know what to expect about why these things happened. They have to consider he was running from an abusive home. They kept him separate from us and spoke to him about why he left. Having such a severe processing issue and speech disorder, they kind of gave up. He ran to my arms and began sobbing into me. I comforted him and asked if he was ok. I told him I wasn't mad and was so glad he was safe. I pointed out this may have not gone well but no one was hurt. One of the 4 officers began to chuckle, "I guess he's alright here.".

When everyone calmed down, I took him back to the RTC. He acted like nothing happened. With all that drama, all I kept saying was, "but he didn't get violent". I'm really proud of him for that. Now I get to spend time on the phone with his therapists. We have to figure out what the heck is going on with him. I refuse to see this as anything except a moment of success for him. He is changing. He may never have things competely under control but I see a light.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Poor Daddy

We recently made a decision to put a tracker on our 15 year old's cell phone. There wasn't anything going on that we were worried about, we just thought it would be a good way to keep up an eye out for problems. We were shocked to discover texts revealing some previous scary activities. We thought things were worked through and discovered there were other things to worry about last night.

I won't go into details but will say that we are so glad we caught this pattern of behavior. This is a child that is respectful, attached, and genuinely a very sweet child. She has worked hard and we couldn't be any more proud of her. With all of our love, support, and work to build her self esteem, she found it extremely hard to avoid the path so many sexually abused children go down. We are in the process of helping her realize she is worth so much more than what she thinks she is.

I hate that her world has to be so small to protect her from herself but that's the only way to keep her safe. The things that stands out for this child is her ability to see her mistakes for what they are, listen and follow our advice, and want better for herself. She will work through this. We all knew there would be growing pains during the teens years. The only person I'm concerned about is her poor Daddy. He wants to strangle any boy that "takes advantage of his baby" even if there is proof and admissions that is isn't a victim at all.

I spent 2 hours at a neuro psychiatrist today for Michael. This lady really listened and described my child amazingly well. She will do an evaluation to figure out how to help him overcome his intense processing issues this October. At the end of our appt, I made one for both Patches and Ruthie!

Ruthie has already been taken out of regular classes! Her case manager/special ed teacher is awesome! Ruthie came home yesterday crying that she felt so out of place. Her teacher had already spoken to the asst principal this morning when I got there to change her to the resource room for all subjects. Ruthie came home very relieved today.
I wanted to announce, I'm working on a book. Who knows how long it will take but it will eventually come. I'm scared to death!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Are They Back?

It's back to school time here! We went to the schools Thursday and Friday to meet all the teachers. Everything went very smoothly except for Ruthie. Poor kid. She is so stressed out that the district is throwing her back into a regular 7th grade class. She will change classes every period and be surrounded by tons of kids. Considering she has an IQ of 56, can't process her thoughts or words, can't remember names or find her way around, gets confused easily, has a history of false allegations against kids/adults, is sexually charged/reactive/predatory, and reads at a 1st grade level, this is a huge disservice to her. The county won't listen to me. They think they know her best since she doesn't share her thoughts and issues with them. She began shaking the minute we headed to the school and until she fell asleep after taking her PRN and sleep meds.

We are being positive in front of her but are very worried. She has worked so hard to get her behaviors under control and to be thrown back into reg classes will be a nightmare. The last time she was in reg ed classes she became extremely sexual at school and home. She had to be hospitalized and eventually had to be placed outside our home for her safety and ours. All that doesn't matter because she didn't rage at school. She held it in. She honeymooned because she was only there a few months. She keeps asking why they are doing this to her. I'm mad. I'm sad. I'm extremely disappointed.

Michael is home this weekend and will probably be home for good in a month or so. We are ready for it. He is excited and nervous, as he should be. With his discharge nearing, we had another mtg w the RTC about transitioning. We will have a team of professionals involved with our children in our home. They will come right on out to us. I'm hoping they are considerate of the kids weariness of strangers/professionals. After DFCS destroyed our family last Fall, they will be even more scared to have people in here, regardless of their intentions.

It was my choice to invite them. They will not be involved forever, only to help Michael, Ruthie, and Patches find a way to cope with all of this stuff. They will assist our entire family but those 3 blow out with every new transition and we want nothing more than to help them manage their behaviors and emotions successfully. With each new success, they build confidence, skills, and trust. They deserve to be successful.

All of this causes my son to become stressed. He took the dog out to the fenced in area off our back door last night. He was on the porch about 5 min when he came running back in when he came running back in as pale as a ghost. It took him a minute to get his words out. He saw a big man crouched down by the fence with a mask on. The man stood up and then ran thru our woods to the main road. If you're fairly new here, you are concerned for his safety, thinking we should call the police and lock all the doors, and move. If you know us better, your heart is breaking for him. Hoping against hope, my hubby jumped in the van and flew down to the road to see if anyone was walking down there. I went to the neighbors to ask them if they had seen anyone. They were on their porch and couldn't have missed the guy. No one saw anything. I must have looked defeated. My lovely new neighbor offered me a glass of wine. I hesitated and accepted. I called the hubby to let him know I was fine, no one saw anything, and I'd be home after the wine. When I returned home, my son asked me if it had been real. I calmly explained the situation and he cried. All he wanted to know is if the hallucinations are back. Unfortunately, I don't know but my heart is breaking for him.

Friday, July 22, 2011

When Will Michael Come Home?

I had a big meeting with the RTC my son lives in this week about discharge. We were told to expect it soon back in March and then we all thought July so he would start school here. Neither happened. They are no where near a date now.

The monthly review we get in the mail says he has been physically restrained numerous times and had to be chemically restrained a couple times this month. His moderate behaviors (4-6 times a week) are aggressiveness, conduct, oppositional, distorted thinking, sexual acting out, impulsivity, anxiousness, depression, and social withdrawal. He is only minimally challenged (3-4 times a week) by self injurious behaviors, hallucinations, poor hygiene, manic, and elopement attempts.

What that boils down to is he has 14 good days a month. He can't manage his emotions and behaviors. He is often easily disregulated. He has significant peer conflicts that stem from him starting the argument, the peer starting it, or more often a misperception of the situation. He is very defensive if it is suggested he has a role in it. He puts himself into others' conflicts not related to him and remains agitated. He refuses to use the skills he can easily describe when calm. To top it all off, he has a nasty habit of running out the door and has to be blocked or chased in this condition.

Remember when I used to talk about how my children hide their issues in school or around outsiders? I have been slammed for that by people claiming it MUST be me causing all this. It took awhile for him to feel like he lives there but now he does. He also feels like he is visiting us. Guess what happened? We don't see ANY of those behaviors here on his weekend visits. NONE! The same thing started to happen with Ruthie before she returned home. It's nuts.

After almost a year there, the RTC is thinking this may be his best. He will never be like other boys his age. He is so stunted developmentally that to "catch up" is not a possibility. The damage is done. When you add trauma and mental illness to the mix, his normal will need to be adjusted.

They would like to put all kinds of services in place for us before his release. I was all for it but am beginning to have a few doubts. It will mean we have numerous (6) professionals in our home weekly. While I welcome their assistance and advice, I worry how the kids will react. They freaked when DFCS was stopping by monthly last year for Emma's sibling group. I can only imagine their reaction to 6 people in and out of here. What if they weren't experienced with kids this tough? We have heard it from all of the professionals we have worked with, they are extremely difficult to reach and develop trust with. They run out of ideas. They never give up but there comes a point the kids aren't progressing any further in therapy. We do so much more work at home and bring it to their attention to reprocess. I have an enormous amount of respect and trust in the therapists we have worked with but I know these new people will not be nearly as qualified. Maybe I'm just getting cold feet because it's unknown. I'm not sure which way we will go. I'll have to talk a bit more with them, I think.

Summer is almost over here. Next week we have their open houses and back to school on Monday. I'm over the moon! They are really excited, too. Poor Kiki will be bred to death with just me and the dog.

Speaking of school, I took the kids shoe shopping last night with my sister and mother. All went well until it didn't. Kiki has way too much energy and we switched out the person that had to chase her up and down the aisles. Literally, this person had to run up and down. She paused briefly to be kneed in the nose and I picked her up to comfort her screams. Completely focused on her, I was surprised by the water I felt splashing on my feet. It only took a few seconds to feel the warm sensation on my stomach and I quickly realized she was peeing on me. Good times, people. My mother and sister laughed really hard. They were much more amused than I was. The poor 18 yr old salesperson was visibly relieved when I offered to clean it up, if she would bring me paper towels. On my way out the door, a little old man stopped me to tell me that was the quickest clean up he'd ever seen. He thanked me for the entertainment and wished me a good night. I'm glad every one had a good time. A little pee was worth it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Emma!



Emma and her sisters-Kalee 12, Kyndelyn 11, Gracie 9, and Emma 10

Emma turns 10 this week. I can't believe it's been 10 years! I remember our first night together. She wouldn't stop crying. She had horrible gas and I assume abdominal pain that has continued nearly daily her entire life. I rocked and rocked. I fed her. I changed her. There was no relief until I laid in the guest room with her directly on top of me and rocked. She went out. I drifted in and out, terrified I would roll over. After a couple of feedings and a clean diaper, she all quiet and sweet for my husband when he finally strolled out of bed. He was convinced she just liked him better. Of course, he quickly learned that wasn't necessarily so.

She has grown into such a great kid. She is funny, has a beautiful voice, is thoughtful, tries so hard to do the best she can, worries about others, and has perfected the ability to look busy instead of actually doing anything. I can't imagine my life without her. She is a joy to parent and love. I even love that she sneaks into my room several times a week with a sleeping bag in the middle of the night just to sleep near me.

Ten years later, Emma has a fantasticly open adoption. We live 10 minutes from her Mother, 2 sisters, Nana, Poppy, and Uncle. We coordinate her holidays, vacations, and special occasions with her first family. Some are way more important to them than us so she spends it with them. The 4th of July was one of those. Her birthday is the day after her sister's so we have to plan a bit more. This year she will be with us the day of but will be picked up for dinner with them and spend the night. I love that she has this option.

It's not easy. We've worked hard on this relationship. Some of us are more committed to it. We had a major issue just a few short weeks ago. One that I feared we wouldn't overcome easily. One with screaming, threats, police involvement, and tears. I do not take it personally. I know they have emotional issues that do not allow them to react calmly. I was surprised at how big it got. I remained as calm as I could and as usual, made sure they knew I wasn't ever going to give up, I was here for them, things would be ok, and I loved them.

Things have since blown over. We've talked about it in small doses. They wish it would just go away but I have to make them work through it. They need that and so do we. Our shared child didn't know any details. She became physically ill for days and required medical intervention to regain control over her emotions. She is her Mother's daughter. The difference is that our daughter will grow up with the rules, stability, love, and support her Mother did not have.

Friday, July 08, 2011

She Scared The Shit Out Of Me

Teenagers can really suck big toes. The normal stuff they do is hard on your relationship with them and throw in trauma histories and it's enough to break your heart. I am very disappointed in one of my children. We had a scare last year and since then we have kept her extremely close. We moved an hour and half away and refused to allow face to face visits after such a horrible breach in our trust. I thought we were good. We were until my husband and I took back our social life and began spending a few hours a couple times a month with friends or out alone. We hired a babysitter we love and trusted to sit with them.

Since my kids are early to bed, by 9 PM the house was always quiet. This person thought it would be OK to allow my child to invite the boyfriend we do not allow her to see unsupervised by us over to spend some time alone with her in her room. His parents, knowing we do not want him here, allowed him to get a ride with his uncle. I guess she was trying to be cool. My child is a great kid with so many amazing qualities I couldn't begin to make you understand in a silly blog. She has one major flaw. She can't make the right decision when given a choice if her life depended on it. She has proven numerous times that when faced with a dilemma, she will choose to be cool instead of saying no. She did it again. Unprotected sex.

I tend to be a pretty positive person. I am really calm in a crisis regarding my kids and am able to find some positive in the situation. I amazed myself last year when faced with this issue. I amazed myself this year with a complete loss of control over my voice and emotions. I feel we all make mistakes as young people. We should learn from them. I can handle these mistakes once. It seems I am not so good with twice. I feel like she not only let herself down but our entire family, as well. I am angry that the person that was here to protect my children let us down, too.

I have strong opinions about things that many of you may disagree with. I think that drinking and driving is known to cause serious accidents that kill people and they should be charged with attempted murder. Seriously. I think if you are aware you cold get pregnant by having unprotected sex, having it would mean you are trying to get pregnant. I think women should have a choice to have an abortion and shouldn't be forced into any decision. The last one seems to have flown out the window when it comes to my own child. All of the sudden I couldn't bare the thought of having her raise a child in my home. All I can think of as a solution was abortion. I knew it wasn't fair. None of it was fair. It really shocked me.

I discovered some other things about this child throughout this process that I can't go into too much here. She has not been as open with us as she led us to believe. Of course teenagers hide things from their parents. That is their job. I feel it is my job to investigate and find those hidden truths. I will not be confronting her with them because they are not dangerous. They just show she is so unprepared for a mature relationship. She presents as an extremely mature young woman when in reality she is just a young girl desperate for a boy to love her.

Her test was negative. We though we were doing enough to protect her. We will take further steps to cover her butt until she is truly ready to raise a family in the way they will all deserve. It showed us that we all have a lot of work to do on ourselves and with each other. Even the best kids in the world need us much longer than they want. Even the best supervision can be compromised if they are dedicated enough to finding a a weak link.

Even though I want to keep her even closer now, I know she is going to have to learn to make good choices on her own. There is only one way she can do that and it is with practice. If she is being such a doo doo head and she is so well adjusted, what the heck am I gonna do with the other 7 teenagers? For one year, I will have 7 teenagers all in my home. That will probably be a great year for the blog. Stay tuned....

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Kiki's Version of a Joke

After much practice w her Dad, Kiki tried to tell me a joke.

Kiki-Knock. Knock.

Me-Who's there?

Kiki-Banana

Me-Banana who?

Kiki-Knock. Knock.

Me-Who's there?

Kiki-Orange

Me-Orange who?

Kiki-Knock. Knock.

Me-Who's there?

Kiki-Apple

Me-Apple who?

Kiki-Aren't you glad I'm not a banana?

Of course, I laughed hard.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

I just wanted to check in and let you know, I'm still here. It will be a few days before I post again. It takes too much work to post from my Blackberry and the internet is down until Tuesday. My poor thumbs are arthritic from typing!

Did you know that when you stay with a certain cable co (c0mc@st) for many years, you miss out on all the current deals and they just increase your rate each year? I'm embarrassed to say my cable, internet, and phone was $300 a month for that very reason. I decided to look around and found out how badly we were being made love to and took immediate steps to rid our lives from this beast. My hubby is a little irritated I didn't coordinate the new w the old so we could continue coverage through the holiday. What can I say? I felt robbed. He did get a bit emotional when he found out our new monthly total for the same 3 services will be $114. Wouldn't you?

Kids are all safe and have been coming and going from various aunts and friend's homes. They are having a ball. We have had 2 of my nieces here a couple of times, too. Ava is in FL w her bff for a week! With as little as 5 kids sometimes, our house is super quiet. We've been to the lake too many times to count this year and have many more lazy days there to come.