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.