This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Relationships and a clean garage

So much going on with the kids, but my biggest worry of the week is the problems Hubby and I are having. He told me yesterday that he feels like we’re just roommates, and that I don’t love him anymore - if I “ever did.” When we met I was struggling with an attachment disorder and a complete mistrust of men. He was amazing and never pushed me. He stuck with me and loved me for the years it took me to trust him. It’s been 15 years now and I love him completely, but apparently don’t know how to express it so that he feels it. We were both crying 10 minutes into the conversation.

We were doing OK until a couple of years ago, although apparently barely giving the other what we needed (if you’ve ever read The 5 Love Languages – we speak different languages. I’m words of affirmation and he’s quality time and physical touch). Then the kids came and our “love tanks” were drained completely on a daily basis. Both the older two kids have RAD, and out biodaughter recently became a teen, so you end up pouring love into them and getting nothing back. We are so overwhelmed with have almost nothing left for each other, and as .

We had a 2 hour conversation and hopefully came up with some ways to give each other what we need – that we can really stick with. I don’t think I’ve cried that much in a long time. Neither of us have had really good examples of a relationship that meets the emotional needs of both partners.

Despite Hubby’s unwillingness, the whole family spent the morning cleaning out the garage (partly because it was disgusting and partly because I needed to make it harder for Bear to hide contraband in the garage). I did let our daughter that just got home from residential psychiatric hospitalization on Saturday to quit within minutes of starting when she began complaining of a stomach ache (Hubby disagreed with my decision). Biodaughter refused to help and quit fairly quickly (Hubby took away her books and put her in the FAIR Club). She decided to quit anyway. She did make lunch for everyone, but it could have been so she could have what she wanted for lunch or to try to get back on our good side.
The good news is we did finish it and it looks nice. You could still hide a ton of stuff in it, but that’s life. The trash man still needs to come and take away the tons of bags and boxes, but all the “good stuff” has been dropped at the local charity. Not sure what we’ll do to get rid of the big stuff that doesn’t fit in the trash cans.


Tudu said...

I think what you are going through is normal in families with kids struggling with special needs. I know we have our ups and downs. Being completely honest, my life would be easier if mine disappeared. Terrible to say or feel but true. He takes so much energy that I just don't have and spends so much of his own time and energy on himself that it irritates me. He tries sporadically to help me but doesn't truly get what is going on. He has no short term memory from a couple of traumatic head injuries and it sucks he can't keep up. We are kinda in limbo right now. Trying to make it work, trying to spend time together, trying to remember the person we fell in love with.

You are not alone.

marythemom said...

Thanks Tudu, I've been keeping up with your story on your blog, and I know how blessed I am. Even at the beginning of the conversation, Hubby never once said he wanted to leave or stop helping. Responsibility is as deeply ingrained in him as his work ethics and being the strong, silent type that he got from his "Marlboro Man" father. Not the perfect romance novel relationship, but he'll stick by me no matter what. We can work on the rest.