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!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Answering some comments

Jennie - Before Hubby, I not only allowed everyone to criticise me I asked for it. It hurt like anything, but I tried to be EVERYthing they wanted (like a personality chameleon). I was the perfect girlfriend, perfect friend, perfect student -on the outside. Inwardly I was beating myself up because I knew it was all a lie, and if they found out they would leave me (which they eventually did anyway or I pushed them away because I couldn't stand waiting for them to do it).

I believe I had/have an attachment disorder, but at the very least I had a severe distrust of people, especially men. It took many years to get to where I could trust Hubby would stay (it still amazes me). It took even more to figure out what I needed from our relationship to be happy (I love Love Languages!). Even those were hard to figure out for me because I had denied my own wants for so long.

Over the years, Hubby has probably inadvertantly criticized me more than I realize, but because I trust him now I'm not as sensitive (I know it doesn't seem that way on my blog!). Just like Kitty's perception issues (if Hubby speaks firmly or even implies criticism she had huge meltdowns because he's "yelling at her") are improving so are mine. Believe me I have a lot of empathy for Kitty in this area, and a lot of pity for poor Hubby because he has to go through it all over again. I guess he's used to walking on eggshells.

Kristina P. - I'm pretty sure my e-mails aren't usually worded in a way that is telling the therapist what to do or what to work on. Most of my e-mails aren't even to the therapist, I merely copy him so he'll be aware of what is going on in Bear's life outside the office.

Honestly I'm so used to having to justify Bear needing services or our restrictions to everyone, that I want to keep it fresh in everyone's mind that despite appearances he is not healed or an adult. The school especially is notorious for trying to put him in the "Least Restrictive Environment" and there is so little that they will acknowledge as justification for keeping him where he is (mostly that whatever it is has to happen on campus and be caught by one of them). So when something does happen (like bringing drugs to school, wandering the halls, trying to get restraining orders on the behavior program staff, or his latest escapade - plagerizing homework assignments), I tend to rub their noses in it.

I'm a firm believer in documentation as well, because I've found that the school is even worse than Bear about blank slates. Every time he changes schools or programs, no one knows his history, and that means that not only does he get a huge opportunity to manipulate and get into unsupervised trouble, but we look like the worst over protective, restrictive and punitive parents. This is NOT good for Bear. He already thinks adults are stupid and there to be manipulated, but he really doesn't need to hear that we're mean, unreasonable parents - he already thinks that.

Bear doesn't get to see my Mama Bear side much because he doesn't see that I'm fighting to get what he needs. He'll probably be seeing it soon, because the school is about to hear from me. His case manager and I talked about my concerns for Bear wandering the school and getting into trouble - our solution was to let all his teachers know to be aware of it. I found out yesterday that the case manager had gone a step further than this and has asked all teachers to call the Behavior Program and have him escorted any time he leaves the classroom. One stood outside the door while he peed the other day. This is the staff he's already paranoid are following him around, AND he was told that this was at my request! Talk about Least Restrictive Environment?! They're going to have a hard time justifying this to me.

Thanks again for the support and virtual hugs guys!! I've really needed every one lately, and if you pray, we could really use a lot of those too. Yesterday was a really tough day that for once had nothing really to do with the kids.


Jennie said...

yes, my personal therapist thinks it is possible that I have some attachment issues myself, or at least had them growing up. It was never safe at home. ever. There were times when foster care was discussed but never acted upon. My mother was and still is, unwell. I'm sad for her but awfully glad to no longer be "under her spell".

Lisa said...

"least restrictive environment" ha!! Why do they not take the parent's input more seriously when it comes to this standard? I am so sick of hearing about what my son is entitled to - he has enormous entitlement issues already, he doesn't need to hear about all the things he should be getting to do when they haven't got a clue. My son needs intense supervision -he's proven that. What about the other kids in school who are entitled to be safe from my son's crazy rages when he doesn't get his way? I sound like a punitive mother don't I? I think it comes from years of watching people make excuses for him (when he can't think of a new one) and dismissing his horrid behavior. I see how it makes him worse and worse every year. Yes, kids like mine and yours need adults to listen to them and advocate for them, but there are limits to my selflessness. I want him to have accountability, even if he doesn't like it (why would he?). I cannot believe how much he gets away with. He'll admit to my face that he asked people for their leftover food at lunch, on the bus, wherever, and the teacher will SWEAR up and down that he had nothing extra - he's really good at flying under everyone's radar.

Anonymous said...

Wow, reading your answer to your first comment was eerie, it was like listening to a description of me! And in the same way, it was my hubby who really helped me gain confidence and be able to relax a *little* more around people in general. Part of why I love him is that he knows the "real me" that it's so hard to let ANYONE see, because I am always trying to be the perfect *insert role here*, and he still loves me. And he's still here. 6.5 years later. Amazing.

marythemom said...

Attachment in adults: I think everyone has some issues with attachment, it's just a matter of how/when we handle it. Even Hubby has some issues, and he grew up in a "typical mid-West, 'normal,' 2 parent 2 kids family, with a dad who was the 'strong, silent type.'"

Least Restrictive Environment: I think this is yet another case of trying to put a square peg in a round hole. I'm (mostly) sure this program helps some kids, but it's just not designed for my kids. If my kids aren't being consistently violent or out of control then it works against them. Of course no one even notices most of their issues because they don't "match the criteria", as you said, "flying under the radar."

The worst part is that as they take steps toward healing they lose their services, so we're being punished for making progress. *sigh*

Mary in TX