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!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's raining, It's pouring

The old man isn't snoring (he suffers from insomnia when stressed).

Monday morning we went to Bear's special school to drop off his behavior cards (the ones we discovered were missing from his school folder when he tried to forge my signature). Bear is only at the special school on alternate days and he wasn't there that day. We got a chance to talk to the administrator and the teacher who was supposed to be responsible for Bear's cards.

We discussed Bear's increasing issues at home, and the few at school (mostly excessive tardies). Our theory is that Bear is reacting to the increase in freedom now that he is almost full time in the less restrictive and structured environment of his home campus.

Hubby and I mentioned that the food stealing is worsening and we now have to lock the pantry and garage. We commented on the fact that this has not really slowed Bear down. I'd left out a couple of cans of chili for us to take to work for Hubby's lunches (I know chili on a daily basis for lunch- gross right?!). They were missing, as were some other little things. We didn't really expect the administrator to do anything about it (not that he could with Bear not being there), but we just needed to vent a little.

Instead the staff offered to search Bear when he came in in the mornings (to the special school). At first we said no, I mean why bother, but when they offered repeatedly and said they were doing it with many other students, we changed our minds.

So Tuesday Bear was searched. He was found with:
1/4 of a pumpkin pie
a bag filled with at least 1 and a 1/2 dozen Squirrel cookies
about $.30 in pennies
a cell phone

The food was his "lunch" because he didn't like school lunches. Bear didn't understand why it was unacceptable to take this stuff - even though it's been explained to him Many times. He's admitted to using homemade treats to trade for other stuff (money, candy, and who knows what else- drugs?). Knowing the answer, I asked Bear what he'd had for breakfast (applesauce and a cookie). What was he planning on eating for lunch? (pie and cookies). We tried to point out that this wasn't healthy, but as usual I'm pretty sure it didn't get through. Truthfully the homemade food he had was actually pretty healthy... for desserts (especially the squirrel cookies which are full of whole grains, seeds and dried fruit) - the pumpkin pie had a whole grain crust and was sweetened with Splenda, even the applesauce was unsweetened. But considering the empty candy wrapper that fell out of his pocket, I'm pretty sure he wasn't planning on actually eating them.

He claimed he found the pennies on the ground. This was patently not true, but we couldn't prove it until we got home and checked the likely sources (It turned out he'd taken the pennies that Grandma keeps/kept on our mantle to reward the kids for little things like killing flies and refilling ice trays). I walked up to Bear tonight and told him to return the pennies to the mantle (no asking anymore, we know better). He denied it and claimed the pennies were at school. I just kept walking.

The cell phone had a more convoluted story. Bear really is a smart kid. He knows exactly what kind of story is most likely to keep him out of trouble. He claimed that a kid he knew only as Michael had asked to borrow Bear's jacket because he had classes out in the portables and was cold. Bear, being from Nebraska, is never cold so he loaned the boy his jacket. The boy handed back the jacket just as Bear was leaving to get in Grandma's car to go home, so Bear didn't realize the boy had left his phone in Bear's coat pocket until it was "too late."

Bear doesn't know Michael's last name. Has no classes with him. Only sees him sometimes in the halls at lunch near the ROTC room (where Bear eats most of the time). When I asked why the kid was returning the jacket an hour and a half after school got out if he wasn't in the ROTC PT training that Bear was, I was told it was because the boy had a sister in JV basketball and they were practicing in the gym and the boy was watching. Bear of course didn't know the girl's name. His description of the boy was generic too.

The administrator told Bear that if the boy wanted his cell phone back he would have to call the administrator who would need proof that it was the boy's phone - like the charger (the phone was already dead). As far as I know, no one has contacted the administrator, but we all know that if someone does they will have had plenty of time to be "briefed."

So it stinks that Bear will get off with yet another warning. We didn't even think to take the food with us from the meeting so Bear got it all back.

Bear has only served about 6 hours of his 30 hours of community service. Partly because of the holidays, partly because of the bad weather we've been having. Partly because he's very good at not being available.

I'm so fed up with Bear and burned out. Usually the kids take turns, but Kitty is having meltdowns too. It's a good thing they have a visit with the psychiatrist because with all the lovely traumaversaries around this time added in, they probably need some med changes. *sigh* Wish I thought meds could solve all problems. Calgon... take me away!

The stolen cell phone - what happened next


Marty Walden said...

Let me affirm you in your journey and let you know I'm praying for you right now. I know the overwhelming feeling of dislike for your kid and the guilt that follows We are humans living with other humans and sometimes it's not pretty. And with these kids, a LOT of the times it's not pretty. Take care of yourself. Walk away when you can and know you're an awesome mom!

zunzun said...

I've never posted here before (and if I have please forgive my perimenopausal mind!LOL) and although I don't have much advice or good pointers for you just wanted to encourage you to take care of yourself and your husband and do things separate from Bear...whether it's just walking out the front door for a walk when it gets really bad or just "accepting" that he may never change and lowering your expectations drastically.

I don't say this lightly. My daughter is 11 and has RAD (as well as the ever general Conduct Disorder and some PTSD thrown in there for good measure) and although most of our days consist of beating our heads against the same wall (for all that's getting to her) we still do it (in the hopes that "soemthing" will click some day) but we have also learned to "separate" our emotions otherwise we'd be exhausted messes all the time.

It took us years for my husband and I to be on the same page (she exhibited all the bad stuff only w/ me the first few she has included him and the grandparents so "Now" that it's happening to them they understand me and side with me!LOL) so be patient w/ one another and try to always present an united w/ attachment issues can smell a crack in the wall a mile a way and will do what they can to devide you.

Sorry...din't mean to write a book. I love my daugher. She's not my first experience w/ RAD as we have fostered before (we had one for 3 years that nearly brought us to our knees!) but even having some measure of experience it was incredibly hard on us (still is...what parent doesn't want to be loved back by the know) so know that you are not alone.

For many years I didn't write about it on my blog (now defunct) or share it much w/ those who were not close to us because I knew people didn't understand..."couldn't" understand...she 'seemed' so normal and all so they all chucked it to "kid stuff" - Things are different now but it was darn hard
"training" my mind to not expect more than what could be not expect any of my "talks" and "sermons" to finally click in her brain. Mine will smile and nod or sometimes just numbly stare at me and then go back and do what she wants's hard but again...if misery is company then there are others out here that "get you!LOL"

hugs...take care of yourself, walk away when you need to, lower your expectations, regulate your own emotions and reactions (this was the hardest for me...I had to learn to not raise my voice and just give short commands...hard I tell ya!LOL) and know that you are doing an amazing job just keeping it together.

marythemom said...

Thanks guys! It helps so much to hear from others who "get it."

Zunzun - you have my total understanding in regards to your daughter. It is so hard to have the whole world thinking you are insane and mean to this "totally normal sweet child." Kitty is my child that no one can believe has rages and issues - she's so sweet and quiet at school.

We do try to have time for ourselves, but it's so hard!