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!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

End of a long week

Friday I took Bear to his intake appointment at the local MHMR. Kitty's appointment was an hour later and I'd arranged with Grandma to bring her for it and pick up Bear. I was going to bring Kitty to Grandma's house when her appointment was done and then go to work. Needless to say that's not how it worked.

Fifteen minutes after Bear's appointment was supposed to start, the receptionist said they thought Kitty would be there too (I'd told them I might have to bring them both), and that they wanted them at the same time. I assumed that meant that they would be in the same room which I wasn't really happy with, but hey they slotted us in two weeks early so I can't complain. I called Grandma and asked her to bring Kitty.

Luckily, Grandma got lost (Ponito was her navigator!) and didn't get there until right at her original appointment time (good thing I'd asked them to come early!), because they'd planned on having two separate intake workers work with the kids which meant I either had to be in two places at once or one child had to do this on their own! Not a viable option. As it was, the worker had Kitty for about 10 minutes without me, and I think she realized the mistake. My kids know very little about their diagnoses and needs, and almost no idea why we were there (Bear knew it was to get a new psychiatrist for med management, but that's not even a big component of what they do so they wanted to get him other services).

Bear of course shut down as soon as we walked in, because they were asking him questions. He hates being asked questions. He mostly just said, "She can answer that." (That's my name by the way, She. Both of them call me that most of the time, especially when they're upset. They will clarify that they mean "my mom," if asked, and they call me Mom to my face, but put them in a therapy session and my name becomes "She" or "Her.")

I think it irritates Bear most when I'm there because he can't lie, or conveniently forget stuff. His life is absolutely perfect and he has absolutely no reason to be in... counseling, ARD meetings, meeting with intake workers.... He also knows that I will not allow him to run away (dissociate, distract the listener, pretend nothing's wrong, shift the blame to others, claim his labels are wrong...) and that I will hold him accountable - and it makes him mad.

In most cases, I cannot allow him to pretend there is nothing wrong, because it means he won't get the services he thinks he doesn't need. I've mostly reconciled myself to the fact that this means I will always be the bad guy. If he can't trust me enough to love me then at least I'm still fulfilling a purpose (advocating for him when he can't advocate for himself). Maybe someday he'll see that I do it because I care.

The caseworked asked him some questions that I could not answer, mostly about whether or not he is suicidal or taking drugs. I have no idea whether or not he answered them truthfully, but I doubt it. I think it's pretty much a given that Bear will get in to the program. Which means not only psychiatric care, but transition and independent living training (he's almost 17) and case management. I'm a little nervous about the case management - that's one reason we proceeded with adoption even though we weren't totally sure, because we wanted to get CPS (Child Protective Services) out of our lives. we've been burned by CPS, but hopefully they'll be trying to help him and not trying to prosecute us for BS that never happened.

Kitty's appointment was not as cut and dried. Basically she's fairly stable, we're able to handle the behaviors/issues she's exhibiting, she's not quite old enough to need independent living training (15, but only going to be a freshman in high school this year), she has a wonderful counselor and really all we need is med management. They don't provide only med management, so we'll see if they decide to make an exception in our case.

By the time we finished the kids' appointments it was almost 1pm. I took Kitty home to the other kids and Grandma, ate some lunch and fell asleep (I'm still having troubles with insomnia so the night before I hadn't gone to bed until 4ish). I didn't go to work at all which did not make Hubby happy.


Saturday Bear had therapy and the therapist really seems to be digging in. He's not focused on Bear's past at all and doesn't seem to be trying to get Bear to do any Cognitive Behavioral Therapy changes (which I don't think would work for kid's with Bear's issues anyway). He seems to be focused on getting Bear to accept accountability for his feelings and behaviors. He kept Bear talking through his agitation instead of shutting down, so that's definitely a step in the right direction. Maybe this therapist will work out after all.

I've discovered that therapists who answer crisis calls and provide parental support are rare so apparently I've been expecting too much. Maybe the MHMR caseworker will be helpful in those areas. This therapist has always had one or both of us parents sitting in on Bear's sessions, with never a mention of individual therapy, which is good too. He mostly talks to Bear, but we can participate and contribute easily.

Hubby was teaching scuba this weekend so it was just Bear and I at therapy (Bob was stuck sitting in the lobby because she did not want to hang out with Grandma at an Art Class). Bear did get thoroughly agitated during the session, so between that and the MHMR session he was pretty much a grumpy pill all weekend. I got to tell him he was not allowed on the computer, because we had evidence that he'd gotten yet another e-mail account (he's only supposed to use the one we provided so we could check up on him). He denied it of course, but he'd made the mistake of printing out and leaving the confirmation stuff on the printer. I also thwarted his plans to hang out with a friend and get that friend to give him a back pack. To the extent of having Grandma take her phone off the hook so he couldn't speak to the kid after 9:30pm.


I did not hear from our sales guy regarding any new clients bringing us money (in particular the big client we were hoping to hear from) so I have to assume they have not contacted us. This means I have no idea what will be happening to the company. Hubby has pretty much decided that no matter what happens with the potential big client he does not want to give up, so if anyone can continue to pull us through by sheer will power I guess he can (he's done it for 2 years now). I'm even more focused on/enmeshed in dealing with the kids now, and the economy doesn't really seem to be picking up any time soon, but God has surprised us before.


Gonna try to catch up on my blog reading now. I'm down to only 200 posts behind! If I usually read and comment on your blog it's not because I don't love you that you haven't heard from me lately! I'm just horribly behind. I really need to stop reading so many, or just hit "Mark All As Read," but it's like giving up friends!

Hugs and prayers,

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