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, July 31, 2011

Wanna help write a FAIR Club assignment?

I get to come up with 4 FAIR Club assignments! *sigh*

Background Facts:

  • I was at a seminar most of this weekend and Hubby was teaching scuba, so the kids spent all day Saturday with Grandma and Poppy.

  • We got a Clearplay DVD player for Christmas so I've been letting the kids watch PG-13 movies on the Clearplay, but usually only after I've previewed them for disturbing themes (Clearplay doesn't remove violence or basic concepts - so if the whole movie is about sex like "Easy A" then it's not going to be censored and I'm not going to approve it!) plus there are some concepts that I don't think my kids with traumatic history need to be watching- no matter what the rating!).

  • Kitty went to a birthday party, and the other kids were "bored" (which allegedly justifies the following actions somehow).

  • Ponito just got ungrounded for watching rated M for Mature video games at a friend's house last week and is still not allowed to play at the boy's house because this was not his first offense. Only a few weeks before I'd caught them playing this boy's T for Teen game on our Playst*tion. Still not sure how I'm going to handle this.

  • Hubby had supervised Bob and Bear at the movies that night to watch a PG-13 movie (Bear's treat to Bob for her birthday - yes, very sweet, but it also meant he got to go to the movies with his friends).
The Crime:

This weekend, Bear rented a couple of movies, including the PG-13 movie I Am Number 4 (which has been requested before and I said NO) while the Grandparents were still inside the grocery store. He, Bob and Ponito (who is only 12) started watching it at Grandma’s house while Kitty was at a birthday party.

They all know they are not allowed to watch PG-13 movies without Clearplay. Bob and Bear knew I had specifically said no to this movie (primarily because I felt it would trigger Kitty, but also because I saw no redeeming value in it and had heard it was really violent). Ponito may not have known the rating of the movie when he sat down to watch it, but I'm sure he realized it pretty quickly. Grandma asked if they were allowed to watch it when scantily clad women crossed the screen, but the kids ignored her. (We've had a long talk about "lies of omission" since this).

Kitty got home just in time to watch the violent climax of the movie. She was upset that everyone had gotten to watch it (triggering abandonment/ unloved issues because she was excluded) and asked to watch the beginning, but luckily Grandma realized she shouldn't see it. Kitty tattled to me... probably partially because she was angry they got to see the movie without her, but she also tends to tattle anyway, even on herself.

T was a little disturbed by the movie. I'm not sure about Kitty. Bob said she had loud nightmares in which she repeatedly called out "Mom," but that wasn't unusual so Bob insisted it had nothing to do with the movie. Bob also felt that she and Bear shouldn't be held accountable for Kitty's response, because it was "Ponito's fault" for telling her what movie they were watching (she probably would have wandered off when Bear and Bob told her "nothing" when she asked what they were watching- she's not big into watching TV).

Bear and Bob don’t see why they shouldn't be allowed to watch it, and honestly they have some valid points. Bob has read the book, and I've told her that I'll allow her to watch movies she's read... of course after I've previewed the movie to see if it's appropriate, which of course hadn't happened in this case. She knows that we'll let her watch some movies without Clearplay when her siblings aren't around... but it's Summer and that just doesn't happen often. Of course watching it in front of Ponito and Kitty is inexcusable.

Bear is 18 now, and technically doesn't even need my approval to watch rated R movies. The truth is though that I will continue to hold him to this, because I have no idea what triggers him. All I know is there are time when he is more angry and much harder to live with, and most of the time I don't know why because he doesn't open up about what's going on in that head of his. I have to assume sometimes it's because he's triggered by things that are going on around him, including movies.


So I told the kids they were in the FAIR Club and why, and I thought their responses were pretty interesting.

Ponito - accepting. He's been in and out of trouble for similar issues all Summer, so I think he knew he was in trouble and why.

Kitty - wailing, tears and a minor meltdown, but more upset about being in the FAIR Club than why. She tried to argue me into giving her two weeks of grounding instead.

Bear - At first it was just Ponito and Bob in the conversation with Bear in the other room listening, but not participating. After I told Kitty when she wandered through the room, he tried to talk me into letting him take Kitty's punishment so he "didn't have to listen to her wail all week." I let him know that was part of his consequences for his own actions. He joined the conversation at that point, and argued with me a little (although he let Bob do most of the talking), and didn't shut down as much as he usually does (which was pretty impressive). Mostly he wanted me to assign a writing assignment right then, so he could get it over and done with in 20 minutes.

Bob - my little lawyer. She argued culpability on every point. She tried to manipulate and control the assignment. She told me I was wrong and even if I wasn't I should let it go. It was a 1.5 hour conversation in which she inadvertantly helped me flesh out the concerns I want to address in their writing assignments and some possible options.


Bear wanted a group assignment, but I explained that each child was in the FAIR Club for a different reason.

  • Bear as the purchaser of the DVD and technically an adult now was "Contributing to the delinquncy of a minor."

  • Bob by allowing the younger kids to watch and not telling Grandma it was inappropriate was also "Contributing" and lying by omission.

  • Ponito - was a repeat offender of watching media he knew was against the rules.

  • Kitty - watching a movie she knew was against the rules (will also be working in something to help her get insight into her triggers).

So here are some of the suggested topics that might/should be put into the assignments:

  1. 10 creative alternate activities - one claim was that they were watching the movie because they were "bored" (Bob said they should be "creative")

  2. Contributing to the Delinquncy of a Minor (a Class A misdemeanor)

  3. Lying by omission

  4. How can you "undo" it? (Now that the movie has been watched and if someone was traumatized - how can you undo the damage?).

  5. What effects do media have on people? Just because YOU can handle it...

  6. Effects of media

  7. Doing something you know mom disapproves of

  8. Grandma can't trust them to inform her, and follow, the rules

  9. I can't trust them unsupervised and outside the home (Ponito watching M for mature video games)

  10. How would you have handled this situation if YOU were the mom?

  11. What would you do differently if you could see Jesus in the room with you?

  12. What would happen if these rules weren't in place?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

He's an adult! Sort of...

Bear with his strawberry cheesecake as requested.

Today Bear turned 18! This means he is an adult!! His RAD is miraculously healed!!

I'm so excited.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Denial, not just a river in Egypt.

Bear and Kitty don't actually know what RAD is, and they have very minimal understanding of their other diagnoses either (bipolar, complex-PTSD, personality disorders...) because they are in denial.

They think if you say "NO!!" loudly and often enough then it won't be true.

"I do NOT have C-PTSD!!!"

Adult: "How do you know?"

"I just DON'T HAVE IT!"

Adult: "Testing and your behaviors show that you do." (Actually I rarely argue with them anymore, we just keep plugging along, addressing the issues.

"Well, I DON'T HAVE IT!!! It's my body! I KNOW!!!!

Adult: "Do you understand what it is?"

"YES, and I DON'T HAVE IT!" (actually they don't know what it is)

Adult: "It comes from the abuse that you dealt with when you were younger. It's going to require work on your part to deal with it, but you've already come a looong way."

"I don't have it. I don't need therapy. I don't need to deal with my past. There's nothing to deal with."

Adult: "*sigh*"

REPEAT for EVERYthing, allergies, other diagnoses, bedtime, learning disabilities...

Luckily?! This time, Kitty is right. She doesn't have Celiac disease, but she still has food allergies. I told her this morning that she doesn't have Celiac, but the doctor recommended she stay on the gluten free, citric acid free diet.

Kitty said she'd stay gluten free, but she wants citric acid back. She "can't live" without ketchup. I told her we still had some experimenting to do with gluten (there's a small possibility that we just weren't paying enough attention and allowing her to have foods with citric acid - a really common preservative- even after we removed the more obvious foods. When we had to read labels for gluten free we caught a lot more of the citric acid containing foods. Never occured to me to check her favorite food -- butter!

Kitty tried to bargain with me. "I'll be gluten free, just give me back citric acid." She tried denying the citric acid allergy, but that was much harder since we have lots of proof of that allergy - years of mouth sores and tummy aches.


Thanks for the heads up on the celiac testing. She'd only been off wheat for 5 days and the doctor said that wasn't long enough to skew the tests (but who knows!).

Kitty's celiac bloodwork did come back negative, but the doctor recommended staying on the diet if it was helping (which it is). Still, would be easier if for Kitty to understand this if she had Celiac. Right now she thinks she can bargain her way out of it, and we're already dealing with crying and meltdowns.

Today was Bear's "gotcha" day (officially adopted 3 yrs ago), and we always celebrate with sparkling grape juice... which has citrus. She went to bed early and didn't participate.

There's still a possibility that it's "just" an issue with citric acid, I can't believe how much food citric acid is in! Ironically, even the med I was giving Kitty for her chronic constipation has citric in it! We've found quite a bit of gluten free options in restaurants and at the grocery store, but I'm amazed at how many have citric acid. I've told her one more week of staying "clean," and then we'll try adding gluten back.


Bear turns 18 tomorrow and I've spent most of the day trying to get his paperwork straightened out (18 is the age of majority in our state so they've cancelled his Medicaid because he's now an "adult," but it was supposed to be extended to 19 because he's still in high school and is still receiving adoption support.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Emotional Energy

In family therapy we've been talking about Bear's interaction with women, me in particular. The last couple of weeks we've talked about how he's supposed to be sharing his feelings with Hubby and I in scheduled "one on one" time (scheduled, because he claims we never have time to talk to him). "My" time was supposed to be Friday afternoons when Hubby worked from home and could watch the littles while I went to pick up Bear from work.

Sometimes of course, the logistics of this don't work. Especially with my car breaking down consistently. Some days I managed to be alone in the car with Bear in the mornings on the way to work. I decided to sit quietly and see if he would initiate conversations (since his biggest complaint was that I was unavailable). Usually we end up sitting in silence for about 1/2 the trip. Then I would ask an innocuous question (how did you sleep?) or he would start complaining about something (usually about how I was forcing him to work a job he hates, preventing him from getting a job at a local boot store, and therefore ruining his Summer...).

Hubby has been encouraging me to not let him get away with this behavior, so I've been informing Bear when he hurts my feelings or I feel attacked by his tone of voice and statements. Then poor Hubby has to listen to me vent because I'm so triggered by Bear's behavior.

This morning's argument: Started out with the random comment that he wasn't planning on taking PE this school year. I reminded him that it was recommended to help him with focus. He fussed at me then said he was planning on going back on the ROTC team this coming school year. When I asked him why, especially after he dropped out a year and a half ago when he found out he wasn't eligible for the military, he went on the defensive. Any question, comment, and finally my silence... and he was jumping down my throat.

Conversations with Bear are never about anything but what he's interested in, school, work or something "therapeutic" (his history). I could probably list on one hand the time he and I just chatted or joked around (and honestly I can't think of one). He's been trained by others to ask, "How was your day?" but it's obvious he doesn't want to hear the answer.

In the joint family therapy we started recently I've noticed that both Kitty and Bear tune out if the conversation isn't about them right then. Conversation isn't really the right word. It's more like interviews. The kids rarely speak to each other at all (every now and then they might contradict something the other said, but only if they're paying attention).


Something has to change. I have enough on my plate that I don't have a lot of emotional energy. I need to decide where best to "spend" my energy. Some people I expend energy on give back, like Hubby and Ponito. Some don't give back as much, but I know that my energy is making a difference so I consider it "worth it."

I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to keep focusing so much of my energy on something that drains me so thoroughly, especially while I'm dealing with Kitty's meltdowns too. So I tried to look at this logically.

My biggest concern is am I trying to hold him accountable for something that he's not capable of changing? When we talk about our discussions, he doesn't remember them. I don't know if this is a defense mechanism, if he slips into fight, flight or freeze mode and the adrenaline rush of the life or death feeling wipes his memory, or if his memory issues really prevent him from remembering (object permanence). As Hubby put it, "It's like trying to teach a pig to dance. It frustrates you, and annoys the pig."

Here's some of the options I'm considering:

  1. Status quo- I ruled out sticking with status quo pretty quickly. I think that's the definition of crazy. Doing something over and over and expecting the results to be different. There's a small possibility that it's getting through to him and he just needs a lot of repetition, but frankly after over 4 years of this, with only this much to show for it... it's not enough.

  2. Removing myself from the equation. Not being alone with him anymore. Not allowing him to sit in the front seat of the car if we're alone. Shutting down conversations if they even start to drift in a negative direction.

  3. Confrontation - Taping one of our "conversations" and playing it in therapy so we can talk about what's going on. This is Hubby's favorite option. I think Bear will just shut down and feel criticized. He told me today, the only thing he's "perfect" at is running and fighting. He emotionally shuts down or "freezes" with men, and "fights" with me and other female caregiver types.

  4. Forcing a change by making it no longer comfortable for him to continue (consequences, removal of privileges...). With the focus being "fake it until you make it."

  • Losing privileges until earn trust (have to find concrete ways to do this)

  • FAIR Club - writing assignments and behavior assignments (ex. have to have 10 appropriate conversations, possible with written conversations starters).

  • Scripting - teach him the right words, "Here's where you say ____________."

  • Repetition for tone - have him repeat something until he can say it in a pleasant tone of voice.

  • Have to give 5 positives for every negative comment.

  • Require apologies and other repairs to relationships.

Hubby already sort of started this. He told Bear that Bear's cell phone was in "time out" until Bear had a polite conversation with me about random topic (my experience traveling in Europe when I graduated high school). Bear put it off until bedtime, when Hubby checked in to see if he'd done it. When Bear approached me 30 minutes after bedtime asking to talk to me, I told him this was not the time for conversations. He wandered off, muttering about not being willing to wait.

I'm really tempted to record tomorrow morning's conversation when I tell him he's going to have to sit in the back seat on the way to work because I'm not willing to talk to him in the mornings anymore.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Items of Note

Things I've dealt with in between all the pool table tournaments being played by Ponito and most of the neighborhood kids. Apparently in addition to playing pool, they must drink soda, be super loud and eat tons of candy and chips.

Today Bear decided to bring home his own "crew" so they alternated with the tons of little boys playing pool and PS2. Bear had gotten off work early and started playing with the little boys, but he wandered off (not sure if it was because they were better at pool than him, were teasing him, or if they was just too many of them - Bear's uncomfortable in crowds). Next thing I know he's got 2 friends over and they're taking over the pool table (the littles had all moved upstairs to the PS2).

Kitty giggled, teased and got triggered by the teens. Bob hid in her room talking to her friends on Facebook to invite them all to her birthday party this weekend (she's going to have a Harry Potter Movie Marathon... she's hoping Kitty will want to stay with Grandma instead). Bear is having his own b-day party (which so far he's struggling to get even one person to attend) at the lake with Ponito and Hubby.

Items of Note for Kitty's "team":

  1. Neuropsychological testing - We did get Medicaid to approve neuropsych testing for both kids – thank you all for your help. My apologies for getting so frustrated. Of course after all that work, the neuropsychologist we’d chosen decided Medicaid was not reliable enough about payment and passed. I’ve got a call in to _______________and they will put Kitty on the waiting list for neuropsychological testing, but are still considering whether or not to take Bear since he’ll be 18 next week. Testing wouldn’t start until next month at the earliest.

  2. Sleep Study approved - Kitty has not been sleeping well at night. (On the other hand, there’s been some concern expressed that she’s getting “too much” sleep.) Removing the Clon*dine helped a lot with the daytime sleepiness, but she is still sleepy (possibly an escape mechanism). We mentioned night terrors to the pediatrician who snapped that she’s “too old” for night terrors. I think she’s just not familiar with PTSD (actually I think she's a witchy idiot), but maybe you guys would know. Kitty snores, is extremely restless – sheets are usually twisted off the bed, often talks in her sleep, screams loud enough to wake others, wet the bed until age 14, wakes frequently and claims to be unable to go back to sleep for ½ an hour – she often gets up and uses the restroom and eats.

  3. After the last two days of meltdowns, the pdoc increased her Traz*done (sleep med) another ½ to 1 tab (from 200 to 250 or 300mg), but last night she slept “fine” on her old dose of 200. She claims that it was because she had a shot (she had blood drawn)?! I’m guessing she was tired after two days of meltdowns. We’ll see how she does tonight. FYI, she missed her morning meds yesterday morning. *sigh*

  4. Kitty’s emotional eating is getting worse. Every time I turn around she’s getting a “snack” (a large sandwich, full size serving of leftovers, big bowl of cereal, bag of popcorn, ¼ cup of peanut butter, tortilla pizzas, carrot sticks drowning in ranch…) The food is healthy, but moderation is not in her vocabulary. She’s gained 13 lbs since her last appointment in April.

  5. Celiac testing. Kitty is finally willing to get on board with changing her diet to see if we can get rid of the stomach aches. Removing citric acid helped, but at her EMDR’s suggestion we tried gluten free and her stomach aches are gone. She was tested yesterday for Celiac. She’s enjoying feeling special and getting food that no one else gets so is very compliant… for now.

  6. {Useless CaseManager}, could you please check Kitty’s FIE {school evaluation} on file and see if it has all the pages? The copy I have is missing about half (they double-sided it and only got every other page) and had lots of duplicates. It seems like when we did intake that you guys were going to request the original FIE from the school district (which of course I can’t do until school starts again). We’ll need the full FIE for the neuropsych testing.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Melting in the Texas heat

Yesterday Kitty had a big meltdown in which she was telling me the usual: I hate her, she hates this family, begging to go "home" (back to Nebraska to live with bio mom), threatening suicide ( - by clawing her nails into her neck?!)... the usual. I knew she wasn't going to kill herself so I was cleaning the kitchen and trying to keep her from escalating by my evil presence (ironically I couldn't win this because I was a horrible mom for "not caring" that she was going to kill herself). Frankly Bear had already told me what a horrible person I was all morning, and I was a little tired of hearing it.

So I decided to let her call her useless MHMR CaseManager who had decided on her own two months ago that Kitty didn't need an RTF so just stopped pursuing it. The CM listened to Kitty's side of the story ("Evil Mom wouldn't let her nap, even though she's exhausted because she's not sleeping well at night, and E.M. was telling her she needed to get up and do 20 minutes on the treadmill..." {previously arranged consequence for her defense mechanism of escaping by napping}). The CM tried to confirm Kitty's story, while Kitty was still wound up, which made it hard to concentrate, but I did confirm that Kitty claimed she hasn't been sleeping well, and that we were trying to get her a sleep study (at which point the CM told me that I had to go through Kitty's pediatrician to get this).

Today the MHMR Skills Trainer called to see how Kitty was doing... right in the middle of another melt down . When I called her back I was lectured on how I was supposed to be using the techniques she was teaching Kitty (a gentle exercise routine they "developed together" that Kitty will never actually do, but wouldn't hurt the woman's feelings by telling her that), and I'm supposed to be giving Kitty "more praise since she obviously didn't get a lot of that in her childhood." She also lectured me on how, "It's hard for parents of teens to know when to 'let their kids have more freedom.'" My daughter may be healing from her RAD, but she still has all her skills. She has this woman totally wrapped around her finger.

I'm still fuming, and Kitty flipped her swtich hours ago and is "fine" ...for now. She did let me know (at 5pm) that today's meltdown was because she'd forgotten to take her morning meds. *sigh* The CM called today and said she'd gotten hold of the pdoc and upped Kitty's sleep med (less than a week ago I was told I was letting her sleep too much *sigh*).

Did get an appointment with the pediatrician for Kitty today. Findings:

  1. Blood pressure a little high.

  2. Gained 13lbs in the last 3 months!

  3. They took blood for labwork to test for Celiac Disease. She's been gluten free for almost a week and her chronic stomach aches have gone away.

  4. We got the referral for the sleep study.

To make everyone's tempers sooooo much better, the repairs to my vehicle's air conditioning did not work. We're going to have to take it back in, and probably pay to have something else repaired. The "Service Engine Soon" light is on. *sigh*

On a positive note, I did get a recommendation for a potential job. The person who told me about it said there was only one area where she didn't know if I met the qualifications... I had to have a child with a serious emotional disturbance! Ummm...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Reasons I'm Not blogging much lately

Isn't she cute?! Bob just turned 15! I can't believe my baby is 15! I'm still working on bribing her to get a more current picture. Trying to get ready for her b-day party too. She had so much fun decorating her own cake last year (Runaway Turtle cake).

Bear is still depressed and cranky, but getting a little better (increased his anti-depressant a few days ago).

I need a current picture of Kitty too. She recently got her hair cut into a cute bob (not Bob!). She's been fairly stable. We finally decided to take her off one of the new meds we were trying to see if it would help with her ADHD because it appeared to be causing her to be too sleepy. Something else she is taking must also be helping with the ADHD though because she's not bouncing off the walls.

She also recently decided she was tired of the tummy aches so she's changing her diet (voluntarily because any time I try to restrict her eating habits it triggers her trauma issues around food). We're finally thoroughly removing citric acid (which we know bothers her) and trying gluten free. She loves it because she's getting extra special treatment and food (which means I love her more).

Medicaid is still making it almost impossible to get the kids' neuropsych testing. They've approved the testing, but the provider backed out. She's not getting paid by Medicaid on any kind of timely basis and since she's an independent provider she can't afford to not get paid for testing. She's supposed to be helping us find a new provider.

Of course the biggest reason I'm not getting a lot done is that I'm addicted to Facebook and I've been on a weird cleaning kick. Yesterday I pulled out and cleaned the vent and filter for the stove (did you know you're supposed to clean this often with a gentle detergent?). The dryer vent can also get coated with stuff that makes it not able to do it's job (repels water and clogs so that air can't pass through) so it got washed in warm soapy water too! The kids hate this new cleaning interest of mine to say the least!

Stupid car keeps breaking down. Mostly the air conditioning. Since it's 103 or more every day, this is bad! Gotta find some contract work or something so we can get it fixed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Letter to Bear's "team"

Hi guys,

I’m pretty concerned right now, and I’m hoping you guys might be able to provide some insight. Bear has been in a real “funk” the last few days, and is not willing to share why with us. From what little he has said, he’s pretty much “given up” on everything. He doesn’t want to go to work, doesn’t want to plan his birthday party, doesn’t want to go to the rec. center with Hubby, won’t talk about it (although that’s nothing new)… and is in a worse mood than usual which makes him hard(er) to live with. Honestly I’m getting concerned that he might do something to hurt himself (physically- although he doesn’t appear suicidal… yet?, running away, shutting down, and/or lashing out).

While writing this e-mail I got the following e-mail from Bear's DARs rep.:

COACHING RE QUITTING: Today is the first day of consumer’s
{originally Bear was only supposed to do this job for 4-6 weeks, but they decided to allow a 30 day extension}. When he arrived 10 minutes late his facial expressions indicate that something was wrong (furrowed brows, not speaking, not smiling). During PSAT he keep his head pointing down with both elbows on the table and his fists on his face. When asked a question his tone was low and inaudible. After class trainer asked consumer what was wrong. He said that “he didn’t want to be here.” He reported he did not like working here. Trainer asked which part, consumer reported “all of it.” He reported his parents want him here and that he could be doing something else. Trainer asked what, consumer reported “getting ready for school and playing football.” Consumer seems to think he can get a better job. Informed VRC.

Here’s some of the possible causes for this recent behavior that Hubby and I came up with:

  1. Job trouble – Bear recently got his 30 day Evaluation – I’m assuming his supervisor discussed it with him, and no matter how nice she might have been, any criticism, implied or otherwise, could have triggered a “life or death response” (fight, flight or freeze – shut down). Bear appears to be giving up at work (doesn’t want to go so he’s late and flat out says he doesn’t want to be there). When asked, he claims he doesn’t want to be there because he’s:
    · not learning anything
    · bored
    · this doesn’t apply to the job he really wants (I’ve tried to explain how the retail part he’s refusing to do applies to the jobs he claims to want, but he’s not in the mood to listen)
    · not going to be any good at it (retail) so he doesn’t want to do it.
    · he’s doing things that “people who make $55/hour can’t do and {he’s} not getting paid enough, and that’s not fair.”
    · He could be doing another job that pays better and he likes (including selling water to cars on the street).

  2. Bear was busted with several of his mood-stabilizer/sleep meds in his backpack coming home from work on Monday.
    · Bear hates getting caught red-handed, it’s effects his self-esteem and I think it triggers that “life or death response.”
    · He claims he doesn’t need the sleep so he didn’t take them, but of course he needs more than 5 hours of sleep a night no matter what he claims.
    · Messing with his meds means he’s messing with his body chemistry.
    · It’s possible he’s selling these meds and is upset that he lost his stock.
    · I searched his room (which he hates) and commented on the disgusting spit all over the carpet and walls (criticism can trigger that “life or death response” in his sister and it wouldn’t surprise me in him too).

  3. Traumaversary- It’s slightly distorted, but Bear remembers getting arrested and spending his birthday in Juvie for stealing when he was 10 years old. He pretty much went straight into foster care after that (Mom dumped him there because he was “out of control.” He feels that this bad choice means he ruined his life, and is really down on himself.

  4. Birthday in a few weeks – Bear has always felt that when he turned 18 he was going to be on his own. We’ve assured him many times that this isn’t the case and in his head he might believe it, but this could still be an issue emotionally. He may also feel that he doesn’t deserve good things to happen to him. Honestly I can’t remember a birthday where he wanted a party, but usually he at least wants one friend over and cares about the kind of cake I make him.

  5. Friend/ family/ girlfriend trouble – He won’t talk about it, but he’s still pretty torn up about breaking up with his ex-girlfriend. He claims that he doesn’t know where his best friend is, “everyone” is out of town, he doesn’t want one of his good friends (who is very well-off) to see his house), but I get the feeling that is all an excuse to continue to feel sorry for himself. Sometimes when he gets like this without an obvious reason we have to wonder if he’s communicated with one of his birthfamily recently and been rejected again (biodad in particular will talk to him for awhile then stop returning his calls).

  6. Driving – I think Bear is worried that he won’t be good at it (although he claims he already knows how). He’s upset about the delays while we wait for testing from the neuropsych (which he might also be nervous about) and I think he’s a little mad at himself for spending all his money (he’s already gone through his first paycheck like water).

  7. Drug use? There’s not a lot of evidence for this, but he went through his paycheck awfully fast.

Frankly I don’t know what to do. I think Bear needs to understand that THIS is his job right now, and if he’s not successful there, we’re certainly not going to be driving him to work anywhere else. I have to admit this is why we were worried about his ability to hold a job to begin with. Suggestions?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Ever read the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" or "If you Give a Pig a Pancake"? That's me. The premise is that if you give the animal something, like a pancake, then he'll want something to go with it, like syrup, and while he's looking for whatever it is he wants, then he gets distracted by something else, and so on until the house is trashed with unfinished projects and the pig is hungry again... for pancakes. Aka "But First" Syndrome.

A few months ago, our front door knob broke and I found one on clearance (woo hoo!) that mostly fit, but the back brackets covered different areas so there were bare spots without paint.

It took me awhile, but I finally got the primer out and primed the front door... and some spots where the paint had chipped off the wooden door frame, and under the kitchen sink to cover the stain from a leak in the garbage disposal...

Meanwhile some of the paint on the inside of the door had bubbled and chipped off. The house is 17 years old.

So it took me awhile, but I bought a little can of front door paint in a pretty forest green, and bought a quart of paint that I thought might match the inside paint color for the door. While I was at the store, I found a little Oops touch up paint sample that looked white and glossy and I thought would be good for painting under the sink.

I let Bob paint the door, and it took several layers to cover the white primer, but I finally got the front door painted a dark green. Unfortunately she also dripped it all over the cream door frame too.

Then I discovered that the Oops paint was the EXACT color of the inside of the front door. *SCORE!* So I found a little piece of leftover sandpaper to smooth around the edges of the chips (and also used it to take off most of the splashes of green on the outside frame), and started wiping with a wet rag and some good cleaner... and then realized that ALL the doors(12), window frames(16), baseboards(7 rooms), pantry shelves(only did 4), and railings (only done the downstairs spindles so far) in the house were the exact same color AND really filthy.

So I scrubbed, wiped, and used my finger to apply touch up paint to the whole house... well downstairs anyway. I figured while I was there with the cleaning supplies... I might as well start cleaning walls and light switches...

The next day I bought some wood cleaner and started attacking wood surfaces like the stair rails. I'm making the kids crazy because I'm constantly looking at surfaces that I normally ignore. Hubby is confused and wondering who is coming to visit.

I decided to save the remaining Oops paint for future touch up needs, but still needed to paint under the kitchen sink (by this point, the cleaning supplies normally stored under the sink had been sitting on the floor in front of the sink for weeks!). So I used the quart of paint I'd bought that I had originally planned for the front door. Kitty had been begging to paint the front porch (she wants the money to pay for tickets to the Harry Potter movie), but I didn't feel she could be neat enough (Bob who I trusted, had made a mess).

We've been getting more pressure to let Kitty be more like a "normal teen" so I decided to let her paint after all. Just not the front porch. I decided to let her paint under the sink. She got one side wall of the cabinet done, and stopped because "her tummy hurt." *sigh*

Remind me to tell y'all how the new chore plan is working.

I let Ponito scrub the front porch clean (he had fun with the water). Since the paint can was open, I decided to paint the front porch today, using the quart of paint I'd bought for the inside of the door (the paint I'd actually bought for it was too dark).

So here's what I've accomplished today

  1. Spent too much time on Facebook

  2. Painted under the kitchen sink

  3. Argue repeatedly on the phone with Medicaid and the kids' psychiatrist staff about getting the kids approved for neuropsych testing

  4. Had a useless team meeting with Kitty's skills trainer and even more useless case manager. The skills trainer thinks Kitty's problems are because we let her sleep "too much" and don't treat her like a teen.

  5. Filled out a BASC form (never know how to fill these things out. Ex. In the last 90 days. "Does your child argue with others?" Not at all, Once or twice, Sometimes, Often, All the time. Seriously? How do I answer this? Who is others? People outside the family? How often is often? She NEVER argues with others. She argues with me if I allow it. Most of the time we have her life set up so there is as little conflict as we can arrange.

  6. Avoid filling out all the forms for Kitty's new pdoc.

  7. Take Ponito to flute lessons.

  8. Run to the grocery store while he's there to buy sunflower seeds for Hubby who worked from home so he could attend the team meeting.

  9. Enjoy 2 1/2 minutes of alone time with Hubby (Bear and a friend left the house at the crack of dawn to go to an Open House in Houston for a trade school he's not eligible to attend- although he doesn't know that. Grandma picked up the girls for the afternoon!) Of course Hubby was working. *sigh*

  10. Kiss Hubby goodbye as he leaves to go teach scuba diving.

  11. Paint the whole front porch!

  12. Throughout all of this I'm supervising half the neighborhood kids. Ponito is in and out with his friends all day. Kitty has a friend and her younger sisters come over for most of the evening, but they stay in the back yard most of the time.

  13. Make dinner at 8pm. Ooops! Hubby's home early. Yea!

  14. Bear gets home at 11pm and his friend is spending the night. Got them sent to bed (and Bob sent back to bed - she has a headache and can't sleep).

  15. E-mail, Facebook, blog... watch Who's Line Is It Anyway?

  16. Bed before midnight?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Missing Teen

This mom is a dear friend of mine.

Please read blow. If you see Jesse or someone meeting his description, please call the police right away.

I am sending you this information so if anyone here sees my son you can call the police in your area to report information. Please pass this on to everyone in your address book that you feel could help. The more I can get this out the chances of finding my child will increase.
His name is Jesse McCarthy, he is only 15 years old.

He went missing from 200 Zachary Rd. in Manchester, NH on June 26, 2011 at around 4pm
Most likely he will be in Manchester NH or Concord, NH, but this is only a guess. He could be anywhere, which is why I am searching out beyond there.

He has very short brown hair, brown eyes, fair complexion.
About 5' 9" and weighs about 130 lbs.
He may be traveling w/a girl his age or a man in his late 30's who is very thin, about 5' 9" brown eyes, shaved head and sometimes wearing a baseball cap. This man has tattoos all up and down both arms.

The Manchester, NH phone # for the police dept is (603) 668-8711
The Concord, NH phone # for the police dept is (603) 225-0860

Please, if anyone can help please do. I am petrified and so scared. Finding him is the ultimate goal!

Janet McCarthy21 Concord Gardens #6Concord, NH 03301