Friday, November 16, 2012

I haven't forgotten about you

Patches was discharged from RTC last Friday and is doing very well. She has been trying to help Kiki learn some control over her emotions. Even writing that makes me giggle a little. Who would have thought? Patches and I had a moment at the beginning of summer that we both decided to learn from. We had reached the end of line for her violence and threats. I am so proud of her for choosing to be an active part of our family. She smiles, giggles, and tries so hard to do her share even when her brain is telling her I'm trying to ruin her life.

Michael is coming for a day visit Sunday. First one since February. We are all excited and nervous. I'd love to say he is progressing but the fact is, he is the same. It is beginning to look like life will be very difficult for him. We have chosen to fight for him to remain a part of our family even though no one is sure he will ever be safe enough to live at home.

Ruthie has a boyfriend. She is a hormonal mess. She is a mouthy teenager some days but still complies with me while yelling at me. It is too hard not to laugh and that is not helping.

Cyr is doing virtual school and helping with my MIL. My MIL has taken a turn for the worse and needs round the clock care. Cyr loves going to help her a few days a week. I don't know of many 16 year olds that could or would be willing to help like this. I am so proud that even thinking about it, I tear up.

Emma's Mom is staying with us until Christmas. Emma is thrilled. She also is obsessed with One Direction. It is annoying. She took up the clarinet and loves it. It sounds great from about a mile away.

Ella and Ava were placed in the same 5th grade class. They are starting to blossom at school socially. It's very sweet. Watch out boys, these 2 are gorgeous and if they ever work up the courage to talk back to you, you will fall in love. They are both so sweet and caring little girls.

Can't forget Kiki. She is still a hot mess. We couldn't love this more. I believe she saved Patches. She is the only real connection she has been able to develop. She loves that child and Kiki adores her. We have a lot going on with her lately. She met her first father a few weeks ago. When we first told her about him, she asked how come he didn't know about her until now. Then she answered, "aww. It's probably because he isn't smart like me." He has turned out to be a really nice guy. He told his parents that he discovered true love after his first visit with her. His parents are smitten, too. She is an emotional roller coaster but the best snuggler ever.

I'm nearly finished with my holiday shopping. I am so glad about that. I did it all online. What did we do before the internet?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Home Visits

Life is quiet here. Patches and Michael are both living in different facilities. We are waiting for Michael to be moved to the one Patches is in. Patches has already begun weekend visits home because she shows absolutely no signs of anything. She is perfect. She happily cleans, reads, showers, and participates in therapy. They know she has issues. They have seen her interact with me on video and were shocked she was so hostile. She is honest with them about her behaviors at home, too, and that helps. They were able to see how much work it is for me to help her maintain her deep anger towards me. It is work for me because she makes no effort. I had to dance and distract constantly.

Right before she entered the RTC, she began an anti-depressant called Celexa. We have tried others in the past and didn't see much difference. We were more focused on her psychotic symptoms, at the time. Now her symptoms are under control and the biggest issue is her aggressive, homicidal crap that she focuses on me. Anyway, new med took a few weeks but we are seeing a huge difference. It seems a lot of her anger may have been coming from anxiety. We have always worked on naming their feelings and she could only name sad, happy, and mad. Turns out, she was nervous, too. Once the anxiety was calmed, she is able to think through, with help, situations when other big emotions happen. Twice last weekend, she was able to take criticism from me and respond like most people do. You know, without having an urge to kill their mom. LOL She approached me several times for hugs, too. She admitted she just wanted to hug me. That NEVER happens.

School starts here on the first. Yes, you read that right. We start Wednesday. Kids are thrilled and so am I. Cyr will be doing online high school at home for 10th grade. Patches is entering 9th grade, Ruthie 8th, Emma 6th, Michael 6th and Ella and Ava 5th. Kiki is finally old enough to enter Pre K but we were unable to get her enrolled here because we thought we'd be moved before school started. She will go into a program as soon as we move. She is writing her name already and insists she is ready. I know I am.

We are still waiting on the IRS to give us our money. I swear, they are the slowest of slow. They agree we are owed yet still "resequencing" our file. I'm irritated but there is nothing we can do. This could go on forever. (It better not bc I have big plans to go visit my stalker in NY in a couple weeks!) I think we have decided to buy our home "off the courthouse steps". It's so much cheaper but requires so much more work upfront. It's a risk I think we can manage. I have been learning how to do title searches so we won't have that financial burden/risk.

(On a side note, Patches is reading to Kiki! No one asked her to and usually this is a HUGE trigger for her. Watch out folks, the sky is falling!)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Waiting Game

Why is she still mad at me when I gave her what she asked for? I can not win. She refuses to be happy. She refuses to believe I have her best interest at heart. She refuses to accept me as her mother. She refuses to accept her birth siblings as family so I know it isn't me. All of my other children, issues or not, know I will love them and protect them no matter my personal cost. She "loves her school psychologist" and says she is the only safe person except my hubby. I show her more kindness, patience, and understanding than both combined. I am still shit. I wish I could count the days until she is in RTC but we still don't have a date. My girls need a break from her constant chaos. I doubt they will miss her and then I will have to convince them to try again when she is released. I think I need to consider having a stiff drink.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Happy Birthday, Son!

Today my son turned 12. I remember sharing his 6th birthday with him shortly after he became a part of my family. The difference in him is nothing short of amazing yet he still isn't safe enough to live at home with us. We went up to the RTC to visit him today. We brought cupcakes and wrestler figurines for him. We stayed an hour and left. He is always sweet but couldn't care less when we leave. He says bye but never looks back. He is more interested in the things we bring.

The RN I signed him out with praised me for being such an amazing and accepting mom. I didn't know what to say since I haven't seen her before. I had no idea what she was talking about. She clarified when she saw how confused I was. She told me we have spoken on the phone many times. She is the one that calls after my son has been injured or had a violent episode. Remembering some of our brief conversations, I smiled. She went on to explain that most families are defensive and nasty to her, some even blame the RTC for the events. She said it is so nice to call and be thanked for trying so hard. She said my son has spoken many times about how I love him no matter what choices he makes and I am the only one that can really keep him safe. She said he told her he knows he can't love right but he has the right mom bc I love him him enough for both of us. I almost cried. He does hear me. It is so hard to tell sometimes but now I know.

We had some big emotions around here after the visit. I had stepped out to get TP and had to come running back to help the hubby. I got the kiddo to take her night meds and do some breathing w me. She regained control after a bit and the day is winding down.

I can hear 4 or 5 of my girls having a burping contest in their room. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Changes

We are seeing some changes around here. One is Patches. For the last 3 days she has been amazing. I woke to her doing her chore the other day. I was scared. Then she volunteered to clean out the laundry room. Several hours later, I went to find her and was shocked that she had indeed cleaned and organized the entire thing. She did struggle a bit yesterday but pulled it together before damaging anything. We are still waiting for paperwork to come through for RTC. We hit a snag bc the pdoc we use left the office we work with without notice.

Ava is acting sneaky and mean lately. It is an annoying resurface of the old Ava. She is instigating trouble, hurting people's feelings for sport, and crying on cue. I think the stress of being the end of the year and moving is getting to her. I'm confident she will pull it together before I'm forced to bury her under the sandbox.

The move...I have tremendous guilt about moving again. I hate it for the kids. It's so hard on all of us. When you rent, you don't have a lot of choices. Now we will own. I can't believe it's happening. We asked for and received a Tax Advocate a couple of weeks ago that pushed our adoption credit through so we could get moved quickly. It's all been approved and now we wait for the check to be cut. Now we have a real estate agent and are looking for the right property. We will be paying cash for it and will be working our asses off to make it ours. This will change our lives. Literally. No mortgage? Who wouldn't love that?

We are making some room changes and security upgrades at the new house. The kids are excited about completely redoing their rooms. We are hoping to give Cyr her own room that she will set up like an apartment. She wants a futon instead of a bed so she can entertain her girl friends. If not, she will share with Ruthie and Emma. The twins want to switch to a twin over a full bed bunk so Kiki can be on top and the twins will have a big bed to share. They currently have a triple bunk but refuse to sleep separately so Ava's bed is always empty. The biggest change is not politically correct and may have many folks questioning my sanity. After much consideration, we have decided Patches and Michael will share a room, if he is ever able to return safely. We found so many good reasons to do this while the only negative thing is that they are a boy and girl, technically. They both are so much a like, in good ways. They have the same interests and issues. Patches is the safest child I know regarding personal boundaries. In other words, she hates to be touched, hugged, or even brushed up against. She can and will model good personal space. She can't allow anyone to break a rule without calling them on it. I mean the tiniest of infractions must be addressed. They both have difficult times at night with waking and hallucinations so they can comfort each other. They both enjoy the smell the of urine and need rooms decorated minimally. They are excited by this option. Since they have such high needs, they will have a camera in the room and motion detector outside of it. They will be able to share a bathroom without any worries other than the filthiness of it. It's a win-win.

Now we just need to find the house to fill our dreams with.

It's that time again. For the last 2 years I have vacationed with my fellow trauma mamas in Orlando. It is the most amazing thing I have ever done for myself. OK, it may be the only thing I've ever done for myself. If you relate to my life, you need to go. If not this year, next. Registration is happening this week. It's worth every penny. It changed my life in so many ways. The most amazing mothers are there and ready to welcome you. You will fit in. Go check it out.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It's the last day of school here. Emma is graduating from the 5th grade. I will be joined at her graduation by the twins, Cyr, Kiki, Ruthie, my MIL, her other Mom, her other Nana, Poppy, and 2 of her other sisters. I say other to clarify to you. In our lives we rarely say bio, birth, first, other, or any of the numerous words to describe our extended family. They belong to all of us. We love them all through the good and bad. Emma was up about an hour early this morning. She couldn't sleep. Her anxiety was getting the best of her. She decided to shower and start her day. When she got out, I got up and painted her hands and feet with a new pretty pink. I fixed her hair and added a tiny bit of makeup to her face. She was so beautiful. I can still see the chubby little toddler in her almost grown up face. I love this child so much it makes my chest ache. I'm a little pissed she insists on growing up though. I'd like nothing less than to smush her into my lap forever. My little baby. My only one. Everyone else was walking and most were talking. Watching them grow up is so rewarding and sad at the same time. If 5th grade graduation is this hard, how the hell are going to give them away when they get married?????

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Best Mother's Day so far. I did say the f word before getting out of bed but Patches quietly went to her room stunned. Later she returned announcing that her meds had kicked in and she was ready to start the day over. We laid around and watched sappy movies and ate leftovers. I was thrilled to be drama free. I just had my birthday last week and the juvenile system scheduled Patches to see a judge in celebration. It was a waste of time. "You better stop hitting your Mom or I will have to think about detention or committing you to the state. How do you plan on stopping?" Patches stood and promised to use her coping skills. The judge seemed pleased with himself and nodded at me. I almost laughed. Seriously. It was stupid. We are pursuing residential treatment for her. I'm tired of being her punching bag and the kids are tired of her being in control of our family. Cyr has decided to try homeschooling. We have a great program here that is a virtual public school. She can earn her high school diploma and an associates degree at the same time. I think I may have to pull Ruthie from school and try it with her, too. She is really struggling. Both girls are pretty emotional lately. Ruthie is as close to a basket case as they come. Days in bed from depression and somatic symptoms. I was so glad the aggression stopped but this isn't good either. We are getting her started with play therapy and EMDR to help her cope a little better. It breaks my heart to watch her lay here and cry. We have increased her meds the last 3 months and took a break this month to see if she leveled out. I would say no. When she isn't crying, she is flat. She is working through feelings of guilt and and remorse for her past actions. I wish a band aid would help. She is one tough cookie. I know she will continue to work hard and get through this, too. Y'all just hide and watch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Screw You, We Are Outta Here!

It's been 2 months since I've posted. A lot has changed. A lot more is coming. I want to post. I worry now about how tings will be taken and how I should write it and then I give up. I hate that our county not only took our daughter's siblings from us and lied to cover up their mistakes but also took this from me. Even though they violated my civil rights and drug me through the mud, they didn't pay, I did. It's not fair and I'm bitter. Every decision we make, we have to worry about how they will twist it. Twist it is exactly what they do. Even their own investigator warned us we were never going to be free from them and that it seemed to her there was some sort of weird thing going on without any real reason for it.

We've made the difficult decision to leave this county. This means moving an hour away from my favorite sister and her beloved family. I am heartbroken. It is the only choice we can see to keep our family safe. Once this choice was made, we had to figure out what areas to consider. For me, it was a no brainer. My hubby was a little slower to catch on. Now that the kids are so much healthier, we are craving socialization. I think they can handle it and they have managed beautifully every time we have tried. We want to be near our old stomping grounds and reconnect with old friends. The most important thing to me is to be near my amazing MIL. She has given so much of herself to our children, we will be honored to help her as much as she will allow us during her illness. If we had our way, we kidnap her and keep her for our own. All we have to do now is wait for our adoption credit to come back from the IRS. It will change our lives by allowing us to pay cash for a foreclosed property. No rent or mortgage. Just take a moment and imagine it.

I've mentioned a lot has happened. It has. Michael came and left. He made it 3 months at home before requiring residential again. We saw progress then his pdoc said some nasty things to him about how we should disrupt him and that our current safety plan couldn't be maintained. She wanted it in writing that she was against him being in our home bc he will never change. He tried to hang himself. He is 11. One thing led to another and he was allowed to be alone with another sexually reactive child while at a the psych hospital. I'm sure you can guess what happened. He was safer in our home than in a hospital. He is taking responsibility for his actions. I wish the adults in his life would do the same.

Cyr just turned 16 this week. I can't believe it. I am taking her to get her learners license today or tomorrow. Watch out world, here comes my girl. We are watching her bloom lately. She is socializing and having fun with friends. She has decided to do high school online next year. I have some reservations but she really wants it. If anyone can do it, it's her.

Patches is amazing. Don't tell her though. Every time I tell someone about how well she is doing, she becomes a lunatic for a day. She is allowing me to rub her back and even initiates hugs! She has even been able to let me correct her behavior without attacking me verbally. She did require a short hospital stay after an arrest and fingerprinting but we saw remorse and guilt afterwards. She is even developing empathy. We see genuine smiles and giggles every day. Even the little girls have noticed. I think the most shocking is how she adjusted her reactions to help Ruthie on Easter. She realized she was struggling and tried to help her. Seriously, first time she has ever tried to help a sibling other than Kiki. Big steps for her!

Ruthie lost her crap on Easter. She was and is doing very well. She just had a difficult day. She ended up hiding with scissors and cutting off the tips of her fingers while she was upset. She took her self harming behaviors to another level. We were in the middle of a major med change and I fully blame that for her actions. We saw her anxiety go through the roof a couple of months ago and knew something had to change. I hate med changes bc it's so hard on them. We had also been documenting a lot of paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. She seemed to be living in her own world and just visiting us. She thought a lot of things were happening that were not. She didn't believe me when I tried to prove it. She has us all very concerned. We are waiting to get some intense services in place for her very soon. It is so much easier to deal with the mental illness without the anger and aggression. She seems to be heading towards the dx of Schizophrenia, too.

Ella is really gaining some confidence. She spoke to her teacher for the first time this school year just a few weeks ago. She is also teasing her twin about being Twin B in a loving and funny way. She has mouthed off to me for the first time. Huge for her. I clapped and cheered when she mumbled under her breath. She was a bit surprised. She has always been in victim mode and to see her step outside of that roll, is fun to watch. I'm hoping it doesn't bite me in the ass later. LOL

Ava is weepy again. I don't think she knows why and I'm clueless. I'm hoping this is just hormones. I have a feeling she is worried about losing her brother forever.

Emma is still struggling with her anxiety. It's on all our nerves. Our once very independent little girl can't spend the night away from us. She calls me a million times while she is trying to stay over. She is back to sleeping on my floor several times a week. Somatic symptoms are about to drive us all crazy. I can't even imagine how hard it is for her.

Kiki is her normal self. Mouthy, funny, smart, and bossy. We love her in spite of it. She just came over and washed my feet while I've been posting. She went on and on about how nasty my feet are. I looked down and commented on the lack of dirt on the wipe. She snapped, "If you could see what I see, you'd gag, too." This from a child that still screams for me to wipe her butt after she poops.

Thanks to all of you that have been emailing, we are all fine. Better than fine. Great!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Safety

More often than not, therapy is used to document the things the kids and I are talking about or working through at home. My kids rarely confide in their therapist or even have meaningful conversations with them before shutting down. They will share more, if I bring up what we've already been talking about, but barely. It's not the therapist. It's my kids. They do not trust. What I love about the therapists we have used and our new one is they get that. They push but in the end, they use me and that builds the bond between my children and I. OK, slowly but still work is being done. LOL

Currently, we are adding services and professionals to our home. We are quite full and that itself can cause stress. It seems the topic lately is my safety. I know I have things under control but the kids are worried I will be hurt. There is quite a bit of anxiety about it floating around. We only have one that is raging and to me, they are so much better than previous years. I think my kids forgot what it used to be like here about 5 years ago. It was nearly every hour of every day. Now it's twice a week. Progress, I say. Not so clear to my kids.

Parenting children with such high needs is hard on all of us. Sometimes, I need to stop and think about how this is affecting the rest of my kids. I can't not parent the tough ones. They need to be loved and safe, too. I need to step up my game and show them I have it under control. I thought I was. As they grow up, they are getting so much smarter. We have always addressed their safety in this life but now I really need to focus more on making them feel I'm safe and how I look to the other kids. They know all the safety measures we take. I think it is just the physical aggression that worries them. No one should see their parents being abused. I have tried to explain that to the child doing the abusing and it seems to be sinking in.

I've decided to help Cyr deal with her anger and anxiety about their behaviors and my safety by attending a local support group through NAMI for caregivers and families. She is really having a hard time finding patience and empathy for them. She suffered "worse" abuse, in her mind, and she can't understand why they aren't moving on. The whole mental illness and cognitive delays shouldn't matter, according to her. I have tried until I'm blue to explain but she can't move past it. I'm hoping this will help her. Seeing other families and knowing she is not alone in this may.

Watching Parenthood last night brought me to tears. OK, I sobbed like a baby for about 5 minutes. There is a little boy on there with Aspergers and they talk a lot about how they help him. All services, therapies, money they spend on them, extra time they have to put into his care, and his daily struggles. The do a really good job of showing how much more it takes to parent a child with special needs. Socialization is a big issue for him and fitting in. Last night, he refused to participate in PE at school. He ended up using his disability to get out of it and they were worried about it. By sitting on the sidelines, he began talking to a child in a wheelchair. The next scene, is him telling his parents a child is in their driveway that he knows from from school. They are shocked, he has never had a friend over and were not aware this friend was even invited. When they opened the door, the boy rolled in and his parents began nervously explaining they were so glad he was invited. They apologized that they had to give them a list of a few things they needed to be aware of while he was there, that he had special needs. Then they admitted this was the first time he had been to a friends house, in fact, this was his first friend. Knowing it was a first for both and the huge deal it was, I bawled.

I have children that have never had a single friend. They do not know a single classmates' name. I wonder if they ever will. It is heartbreaking but they do not even seem to notice they are different in that way. As a mother, you hope you child is liked and accepted. When this doesn't happen, it hurts you. It makes you worry about their future. All we can do is keep trying for them and with them. Maybe one day, a friend from school will show up at our door, too.

I need to brag. Actually, I need to write this down for the bad days. I need to come back and remember that he had such an amazing day. Michael had the best day yesterday. He had a small fit, didn't do his chore, and pretended he didn't have any homework to do. All irritating things. Are you ready for the best part? He accepted responsibility for his actions several times. He put into action advice I gave him twice without prompting. He apologized, sincerely. He washed his hair and smelled nice after his shower. He wore underwear without being told. He picked up dog puke and asked if he could scrub the carpet. He locked the bathroom door. He maintained personal space without being reminded. He helped his little sister. He let go of a toy in the middle of a struggle and let her win. He waited his turn. He complimented his sisters on their new hair do. He thanked me for cutting his hair and accepted compliments from us. He stayed where he was supposed to stay all day. These are all huge issues for him. He rarely does ANY of those things and has never done more than one in a week. It was a day of miracles for him. No one else noticed. I did and it will keep me going for a long time. If he can do it for a day, he can do it for two. Probably not two in a row, maybe not two in my lifetime, but I can dream, right?

Monday, February 13, 2012

You know your kid has RAD get a whiff of his hair and you puke. Seriously, he showers every night and still comes out smelling like a wet dog. He always manages to find time to use deodorant and still stick to high Heaven. It takes real effort to smell like he does. He puts a lot of energy into it. He alternates between smelling like he just shit his pants to greasy wet dog. He can make it as hard as he wants to, I'm still going to love him. I may not snuggle on a full stomach but love him from across the room, I will.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Scheduled Tantrums

My son is beginning to use me to regulate himself again. This is NOT my job. I try very hard to find ways to help him actually use the coping skills he can spout out at me. It isn't working. He is too angry then and I am always his focus when he gets angry. We are going to try scheduling tantrums every day for just a minute or so. He can scream and stomp about anything he wants to but I will try to help him focus on his past hurts. This way he can get some of it out instead of looking for reasons to blame me for something and attack me or sabatoge himself.

He went nuts yesterday after his teacher allowed him to print out a picture of Chucky and bring it home. If you just consider his age, it is inappropriate but if you consider him, it's absolutely ridiculous. He was testing them and they failed. He came home and screamed and yelled at me about anything and every thing. Eventually, I pulled out the video camera. He used to fall to the floor limp at the very sight of a camera. Not anymore. He ran like a crazy person around the table throwing everything on the floor. I had to stop when he ran at me and began hitting me with both fists over and over and over. It gave the therapist a good idea of how little control we have to help calm him. All we can do in manage him.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

More People

We are adding another group pf professionals to our list this week. This one promises to have real resources and will be providing respite for our son. I'm not holding my breath but I do appreciate how so many people are trying to help him adjust. So now I have 3 appointments tomorrow alone in response to our weekend.

My little dude is struggling. Really that is an understatement. I don't see him being able to manage here much longer. I think I could manage him here until his size becomes an issue. We are all safe as long as I am able to physically stop him from hurting himself or others. I can do that now because he is the size of an 8 yr old and he is barely growing from year to year. Of course, we have other concerns like the fact I can no be alone with him due to false allegations. I'm not sure if he really believes those or if he is just confused. They seem like out right lies but he gets quite passionate. Who knows? We document them and luckily for us, he made one about the rtc he was in and they had video to go back and look at. We should have the update cameras installed son and will be able to do the same.

I am counting down the days to Orlando. I have most of the kids placed at friends or relatives homes for the long weekend I will be spending with all my favorite trauma mamas. I can't tell you enough how important it is to build a support system for yourself. Just being able to vent to someone that understands and doesn't judge you or your feelings is amazing. I wish that for every one of you. If you can't find a local support system, make your own like I did.

Friday, February 03, 2012

I Need Your Help

I'm starting a new local support group with an amazing woman that came into my home to help my family cope when my son came home. She is an adoptive mother and experienced many of the hard times we all have. I'm really excited. I would love for all of you to help me get the word out. Follow the new blog (I'm not stopping here), tell all your friends, post it on FB, and follow us on Network Blogs on FB. Get the word out there.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bribes and Threats

My son has been home for 8 weeks and his honeymoon is officially over. He can't follow a rule or stop trying to argue with me to save his life. He actually argues by himself until he ends up sobbing. It's so sad to watch but worse, it gets on my nerves. I walk away. I have to. He hounds me to the point I can't speak to him. His brain doesn't process his thoughts very fast and you can see him trying to come up with the next lie but instead he studders. He no longer has any of his Christmas gifts and his room smells so bad that we have to keep his door shut. I spray it every day but he works very hard at keeping the urine stench fresh.

Patches is amazing. Ruthie is even better than that. Emma is a ball of anxiety. Cyr is finally letting some of the stress go. Ella is taking a mental health day today and hanging out with Kiki and I. Ava is growing way too fast. Kiki is like a wind up toy wound too tight. She doesn't stop. EVER.

My MIL, however, is not doing well. She has been battling breast cancer that has moved into her bones for quite awhile. She has been in and out of the hospital for a couple weeks and is very weak.

I really got lucky in the MIL dept. I lovingly call her delusionally optimistic. I think it gives you an idea of her personality. Nothing is ever bad. She can do anything. She is strong and brave. She hasn't chosen an easy path in life but never complains. We are a stronger family because of her. My son is the man he is because of her. She is literally the nicest person I know. She has always been kind and giving but has spent more time with my difficult children than any one else. She never says no and always goes out of her way to help. It is breaking my heart she is across the state and I can't help her when she needs it the most. All I can do is hope she gives in to my pleas and comes to stay with us until she feels stronger. If she doesn't give in soon, I may have to break out the bribes and threats.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I joke with my hubby and insist I'm considering taking up a heroin addiction so I can escape from reality. I've been teasing him for years about it. The other night after watching Shameless on Showtime, he shared with me that the family in the show is how our's would look if something happened to me. Of course, he was joking but it got me thinking. Now I'm dedicated to sticking around. LOL

Today sucks. I'm sitting with Patches and Cyr waiting on their forensic interviews. Stress galore. I'd trade places w them in a heart beat.

Cyr posted a little about why we are here today on her blog.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New DX

I spent my afternoon driving almost 2 hours away to sit with a very insightful neuro-psychologist. She has spent 10 hours with my son and I trying to dx him properly. In the end, she said his RAD and PTSD are not the key players anymore and while he will continue to struggle with both, his current dx is Childhood Onset Schizophrenia and PDD-NOS. We had been told by a psychiatrist during one of his early week long hospitalizations that he had it but had failed to get any one willing to put it in writing. No one wants to label a child with this. I can't blame them. This doctor did a fabulous job explaining his new evaluation and how to help him. This will change his educational career and help him reach his full potential.

This new dx also means we have experience with every disorder/mental illness except FAS. How messed up is that? With another child experiencing auditory hallucinations, our worst fear is that we are moving towards 3 of the six siblings with Schizophrenia. It's not fair. Mental illness is a bitch.

My 2 children that have made recent allegations about their former foster parent are really struggling. One is acting out at school but shutting down completely and the other has been home for 2 days bc she is too overwhelmed by people. We are waiting to hear when the forensic interview will be scheduled for them. They are both sharing their stories with us separately. My hubby couldn't hold back his tears last night when one finally shared the worst part. My heart breaks for them. Their therapist offered to run out here last night to help bc she is that invested in helping my kids. They are strong and brave kids. We will all be here to help them pick up the pieces.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Someone Showed Their Ass

We have a new behavior. Well, it's not new but the reason is new. Michael needs to be in control of everything. It's really sad to watch him ruin his day with constant arguing. One of his new ways is to hate everything I serve for any meal. It doesn't matter what it is, he hates it, refuses to eat it, and begins trying to get me to let him eat something else. When you have a large family, you serve one meal for everyone. Our rules are eat what you want and don't be rude if you don't want it. He has NEVER turned down food, any food. The boy ate chocolate covered bugs, he will eat anything. Now he hates everything and begins digging in the fridge calling out alternatives. I've basically ignored it and calmly said no to every option. He eventually starts sobbing and screaming we won't let him eat. We repeat he can choose to eat or not and it is fine with us and walk away. You'd think that would be all but you are wrong. He continues to scream, sob, and becomes destructive. Eventually, he will eat 2 or 3 helpings of the horrible crap I tried to pull off as a meal. It's getting old. Last night, we had to restrain him because he was becoming unsafe because he "hates macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, corn, and ice cream" that the birthday girls requested for their dinner.

Another fun one that we are seeing is in the morning. With Michael and Patches both, you have to be very clear with their rules. You can not have any variations, no exceptions, EVER. If you do, it changes it forever. She will yell that I am breaking the rule trying to keep it the same. He can't follow the rule and tries to always do the exception. I'll give you an example of each, I have many to choose from.

Michael has a strict rule that he is supposed to stay in his room in the morning until I shut off his alarm. I made an exception that he can come to my room to shower IF he wets. Now that was the mistake I made. Now he has something to work with. He comes out of his room multiple times a morning before I am out of bed. Sometimes it is to shower for 30 minutes in my bathroom because he is wet. He will also shower downstairs without telling me. He checks to see if I am awake. He comes out to get toys. He showers for no reason other than he is bored. For those of you that do not have mentally ill children or do not know his back story, it is not safe for him to be out of his room. Let your minds wander and assume it is 10 x worse than that. He can not be unsupervised.

Patches is different but equally irritating. I have made it clear to the kids that certain things they threaten will force me to call the police. There are times I can not immediately call them like if she gets too out of control and has to be physically restrained. Usually, that restraint will allow her to let out all her anger and then she is calm and completely safe. At this point, she won't be accepted into the hospital and she doesn't need to go. She will turn on me later saying I don't love her because she didn't go to the hospital the last time she was aggressive. The whole "you don't love me because" is a game she plays with me constantly. She adds up anything she can manipulate and uses it the next time she gets upset. It rarely makes any sense to anyone else but is very real to her. It is proof that I hate her. She refuses to remember how I was calm and loving when I explained how she had gotten things under control and was safe , only that I didn't do what I said.

Someone is currently sobbing like someone killed her baby because her sister touched her shirt when she was cleaning up the shelf it was on. I'm not making this up. Now try to convince them it might be something other than the shirt will be difficult. I think we should play relay parenting. Tag, your it. Good luck!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Time Is Flying By

The holidays went so much better than I expected. We had friends here for about 2 weeks and it was stressful with 18 people in the house. We survived. Kids loved their gifts and not a single complaint about who got what.

We finally got my son registered and in school The school appointed him his very own para pro. They hired him just for my son and without my suggestion. They wrote up an incredibly detailed safety plan for him, too. I'm pretty impressed with them, so far. The AP took me aside and confessed her background is Special Ed and the kids with the emotional issues have always been her passion. He's doing well this week and even magically overcame his fear of the dark to catch his bus alone. It's a miracle. LOL

My curly headed lovely went in front of a Judge on Tuesday for 2 counts of battery against me and criminal trespassing for kicking holes in our wall. The Investigator was firm but kind and she followed her directions well when she spoke with the Judge. She held her head up and made eye contact. Considering I suggested it and she shut down even more, I was tickled she managed to hear the Investigator and follow through with it. She received 2 years Probation and can be let off in 6 months, if she isn't running around and violating it. I'm thinking this is something she can handle because they made all the conditions reasonable. I have high hopes for her and think an outside source is the key for her. At the rate she was going, a parole officer was in her future so getting to know the juvenile probation dept isn't as horrible as it sounds. This way, if she chooses to learn from the experience, she will have a clean record as an adult. It's not the end of the world.

My anxious little 10 yr old became a woman last month. I just received a call from the school clinic that she started her cycle again. She has the pain tolerance of a sick husband. She wanted to get out of PE and let me know she was suffering. I'm hoping this isn't going to be a pattern that she feels the need to call me every month from school, just to keep me informed. I can certainly wait until after school.

The twins are 10 today!!! My sweet little girls are growing up. We barely acknowledge birthdays here to minimize their emotions. We let them choose dinner and dessert. They receive a small gift and I sing every chance I get to them. Once a year we celebrate all their birthdays with our big carnival. Ella chose TV dinners and Ava wanted Spaghetti Os. Nasty but we will manage. The both wanted their own pint of ice cream instead of a cake. So easy for me! Both girls are doing great in school and are starting to develop friends that they see out of school. It's a great thing to watch.

Speaking of son told his therapist that I don't let him talk on the phone or have his own cell. While some parents might feel the need to become defensive, I laughed. I admitted I may be holding him back but offered I'd be happy to allow him if he could tell me the name of one friend. He stuttered a bit and babbled some crap about he has friends at school and so on. I asked for a name. nothing. The therapist was barley holding her grin back as we bantered back and forth. In the end, I suggested he have them write down the names and numbers of his friends and I would gladly help him call them. He knew there was nothing else do deny or accuse me of but tried one last time. "You won't let them come over." I praised him for his effort and walked away. I looked back and even though his head was down, he was smiling. Little Booger!

Kiki is Kiki. She spent the night at my sisters last week and her sisters the week before! Shocked and amazed is about all I can say. She even called me to tell me here sister, Emma, was acting like a baby but she was not and she had to go.

Ruthie has always had a lot of somatic symptoms. People with anxiety usually do. We see it in Emma, as well. The stress of the house over the last couple of weeks has taken it's toll on her. She is physically drained. She isn't doing much outside of laying on my bed and watching TV. I thought she had come down with something until I started questioning her about her feelings. It was stress. As she is talking about her feelings, the aches and illness are slowly going away.

My oldest had a heck of a vacation. I won't go into details but think it is important to share how she is discovering things about herself. She is very insightful and brave. She has had boundary issues with boys and I have written about them several times. It isn't uncommon in girls that have been sexually abused to struggle with them as they reach their teen years. She is no exception. Until this point, she hasn't been able to look at herself from any other view. I asked her this week to think about WHY she is having such a hard time saying no to boys. I know the answer but she hasn't been able to believe it. She defends the boys and even her actions. This time was different. It's not that the boys are horrible and make her. They do what boys do and pressure, a normal teen thing. She quietly told me in her room last night how she hasn't had a choice in the past and doesn't know how to say it now. HUGE!

It is no secret, we are all aware of the terms flight, fight, or freeze. More often than not, children being sexually abused "freeze". This sets them up to "freeze" when confronted with sex in their teen years and into adulthood. It's not that they aren't feeling good or that they don't want to do it. Their brains freeze up. They fall into the same feelings they had before, they have no choice. If they just do it and get it over, it will be better. The flip side to this is they try to recreate sex situations by being in control of the act. They can be the aggressor. They are just trying to recreate that situation and change the ending. They do not want to be the victim. They end up being called sluts by their peers. She was already coming to some of these conclusions on her own but when I laid it out for her, it was a big moment for her. She agrees that she needs to get her rear back into therapy and work through this.

She shared some things with me that I wish were shocking but having listened to their histories of abuse, I wasn't surprised, at all. I will say that I had to make a phone call today that wasn't fun. I had to report her latest allegations against her father and former foster dad. Pieces of shit is what they are. I'm sure nothing will be done to her father since he will never see the light of day and it will boil down to her word against his. I will be following through with making sure the foster home is closed.

I always knew that we would never know the entire story of the abuse they all endured but to hear this 5 1/2 years into claiming them as my children is kinda freaking me out that is so much more to hear.