Tuesday, August 12, 2008

They are driving me crazy

Angela, I can't get to your blog through your name, it says your profile is not available.

I have had a rough couple of days thanks to Ruthie and Michael. Let me begin with the threats I get from my kids. I hate it, it freaks me out, and the kids that are in control at the time become unglued with fear. Ruthie is my main accuser. Every time she is angry, for whatever reason she sees fit, she threatens to tell her teacher that I am mean to her. This time I had had enough and very loudly explained what would happen. She would lie and say I abuse her (she will have the marks b/c the child mutilates herself every time she is stressed or angry), the teacher would call DFCS, DFCS would come over and remove the children while they investigate her claims (the other kids would go to Nanny's and Kiki's but since she is abused she would go to a foster home), they would determine our home is safe so her siblings would come home after have a blast, she might be charged with making a false allegation, and we would have to seriously reconsider where she would live b/c she would be endangering the kids by making these allegations. I pointed out SHE would be the one that suffered.

This only made her scream that I didn't want her here after I was very clear and said repeatedly for the previous hour how we all wanted her to be here and loved her. I can't win. She only hears what she wants to hear when she is like that. She screamed at me from 3:15 to 6PM. She was nearly hoarse. This may have been one of her shorter tantrums but it certainly got me riled up a bit more than usual.

Today Michael is giving me a run for my money. He hit Emma for opening the door before he did. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, for a crazy person it does. I was so hopeful when I questioned him and he admitted he did it. This has only happened a couple of times and I immediately praised him for being honest since that is one of big family goals around here with so many liars. He went off. I have spent the last hours rearranging his restraint to avoid being injured further by his new shoes and fingernails. I have scratches on my wrists that are burning and he kicked me in the shin and knee. The darn knee is killing me. He faked me out at one point (first time ever, I won't fall for it again) and then ran to his room, locked the door, and hid in his closet. Since the rule is he has to stay near me instead of going to his room, I had to go get him. I still had high hopes of helping him understand that while he had done something wrong, I was proud of his moment of truth. This of course was his excuse to really get me, he tried to shove me down the stairs. Thank goodness I am an old pro and knew to hold on tight when near the stairs. Ruthie and Patches have both tried to injure me by pushing me down the stairs when they were mad. One of them seriously hurting me, funny now that I can't remember which one.
I wanna back up a minute to explain, I think I have before but it is a real struggle in our daily life. My kids do not read emotions, can't do it at all. We work on this by me telling them my emotion as it is happening and showing them how my face reacts to it. This is something most kids pick up on as babies but mine can not do it. We are no closer 2 yrs into this with them than they were on day one. That is an exaggeration, there is progress but no one else could tell. If they are in trouble, I deliberately use a deeper voice, make it louder, and wrinkle my face. When I am bringing something up to them that is a concern but they are not in trouble I have to say, "You are not in trouble." over and over. I watch them scan my face never believing my words. I change my tone of voice, open my eyes up wider, get down on their level, and lift the edges of my mouth a little without smiling. I then point these things out so they look for them. I think part of it is they get stuck in a PTSD moment along with this inability to read emotions. I know it is frustrating for them but if they could learn to it would illuminate so many tantrums like today with Michael. I am open to advice on this, people.

I spent the day with Ella. I thought she had an appointment with her new Orthopedist at 11"15 and it was 1:15. Whoops! We chatted and she played at McDonald's until she asked to just go b/c the other kids there were too rough on her. The appointment went fine, he doesn't do kids usually and refuses to do surgery on her tendons due to lack of experience. He will continue to see her for scripts for her braces, OT, and PT. Nice guy. Ella liked all the senior citizens in the waiting room, I was 50 years younger than all the other patients, they adored her.

I got 2 hours of sleep last night so we are going to bed early.


Anonymous said...

My gosh, what a horrible evening! Get some sleep!

Kelly said...

You are an AMAZING woman. Hope you have good nights rest and a better day tomorrow.

Mongoose said...

I know your kids aren't identical to the Guy Who Went to Jail but this approach never worked for me and him. What worked the best for us is to not let his tantrums control me, because that was 100% what it was all about, I'm quite sure. And when I watch other abusive people in my life and in my cab, that's what they're doing too, especially when any kind of criticism comes their way, they lose it on the other person just to make sure things are under THEIR control. Granted it comes from anxiety or PTSD or attachment problems or all sorts of stuff, but at the bottom it's always the same, they attack others to retain control of the situation.

So, back to the Guy Who Went to Jail, the best way was to not participate in his tantrums. I would give cookie-cutter answers to everything as if we were making polite conversation, like "mm-hmm", "I see," or "is that so?" Never respond to the insults and threats coming out of his mouth, never get emotional myself. Of course I knew that if I started crying he would usually stop immediately, but that would be validating his tactics. The other thing that worked, especially after he went to jail, was simply to tell him to quit, before he could get worked up. At one time I could see a tantrum coming on and I'd just go "don't even start" and he would either leave or get over it. Also a couple of times when he said something particularly absurd I would say "wow, that just made no sense at all" and then we'd both laugh and it was over.

Anger is power, I should know because that's why I do it. So in my experience, what's worked best for me is simply to not let someone else's anger control me.


I know I haven't been commenting as often but I always read your blog and think about you. :)

skirbo said...

Hang in there lady.


Alyssa's Mom said...


Have you tried the emotions face charts? I use this with my daughter every day, multiple times.

We also stand in front of the mirror together and I make a face and she tries to guess the emotion. We make it a game and she loves it! It is also working so I love it too!

I will keep your family in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there! I hope you're getting a good sleep tonight. Tomorrow could be a wonderful day ...

- April in RI

Michelle said...

Advice? That's what I read YOUR blog for, lol!

I have no experience with emotionally damaged children so I've got zip. Not that being taken into foster care and then permanently removed from your parents, and adopted by people who were strangers to you produces emotionally healthy children...but nothing like what you are dealing with.

Well, I have well wishes for a good night's rest. And a better tomorrow with the kiddo's. Do they ever feel bad afterwards? Do you ever show them your war wounds? Just curious.