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!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kitty hates men

I almost forgot to go to Kitty's therapy tonight (had just taken Ponito to the doctor for the second time in 3 days, needed gas, was running to the pet store for dog food - Bear didn't tell me they were completely out so they didn't eat this morning!)! Luckily Hubby reminded me about therapy before I got too far into my errands.

We only have one car, which I had, so Grandma took Hubby and the kids to drop Kitty off at therapy. Kitty doesn't go alone, so Hubby stayed. I arrived about 5 minutes late and saw Grandma leaving. Everyone had forgotten that I had Ponito with me.

I decided to take advantage of this opportunity for Kitty to work on her issues with jealousy about Ponito (and our biokids in general) and/or her issues with Hubby (and men in general). Ironically Kitty tried to say she didn't need her "tappers" (EMDR technique which helps her remain calm).

Ponito wanted to go home, but sweet kid that he is, he hung out quietly. The therapist started by asking Ponito how he felt about things in our house. He thought about this for a little bit. During which time Kitty started talking about herself and being noisy. The therapist told her she was trying to bring attention back to herself and needed to stop. Kitty argued. The therapist asked Ponito another question along the same lines. One of the issues that comes up in therapy alot is that Kitty feels Ponito gets special treatment because he's younger. Ponito of course denied that he gets special treatment.

Kitty finally managed to bring the attention back to herself and started arguing with Hubby. The therapist told her it was not OK to be disrespectful in her house (we often do therapy at the therapist's home office). Kitty got more verbally abusive to Hubby and told him he was a mean man and she hated everything about him (she gets a kick out of not getting punished for things said in therapy). She told him the only thing she liked about him was that he let her go to public school. He got upset with her, but never raised his voice. She continually argued, but denied it, saying she was just stating how she really feels, not arguing. She cussed and yelled. Hubby and the therapist redirected her.

Kitty got more and more activated and abusive to Hubby (rarely bringing me into it - which I've noticed more and more lately). She accused him of expecting perfect behavior and always putting her in the FAIR club if she did even one little thing wrong. Hubby and I both pointed out that while she has been verbally abusive and threatened self-harm to the point of having to be hospitalized, she has not been put in the FAIR Club even once. She then switched to accusing us of putting her in the FAIR Club for "little" things not big things. I didn't really understand it either. We haven't put her in the FAIR club in almost a year, although we do threaten it occasionally when she is particularly disrespectful.

When Hubby pointed out that Kitty had a thing against all men not just him, she responded, "So?!" He tried to explain to her that our reason for pushing this was to help her in the future. He talked about the women he had known who were afraid of men so had married boys. Boys are not respectful and immature. They end up in jail, abusive... and the women end up divorced or worse. This is what happened to my sister although Hubby didn't mention that.

At one point the therapist intervened and asked her what she wanted to win out of this argument. She told Kitty it looked like she was trying to be removed from this family. Kitty jumped on this and said, yes, this was exactly what she wanted! The therapist pointed out that foster care would not be any better. Kitty stated that she wanted to be in foster care because I wouldn't give her cute clothes so she could be popular. She wanted to be able to dress like Bob who was popular, and I was treating her differently from the biokids. Hubby and I are "cruel and unusual" (her phrase - she always leaves off the punishment part).

We tried pointing out the flaws in this argument. Please do not take offense at any of the arguments you are about to see here!! I do NOT think all foster parents are abusive, poor, and dress their kids in rags. We were merely trying to point out that the grass is NOT greener on the other side of the fence and needed extremes to be able to reach her!! - Not that it worked.

1. Bob is not popular. She is pretty (so is Kitty), and she has friends (so does Kitty), and her clothes come from the same place as Kitty's (thrift stores). We started to talk about reasons Bob might have more friends, but it was a tangent we decided not to travel.
2. I let the girls pick out their own clothes. Yes, I reserve the right to veto anything I consider inappropriate and yes, I am picky and do not approve tight, short, sexy clothes. By the way, Kitty's outfit tonight was totally adorable and hand picked by her. It was very trendy and still appropriate. It was in no way ugly, unflattering, or obviously bought in a resale shop.
3. Because Bob is 5'9" and a size 16, if anything she has MUCH less in the way of "cute" clothes.
4. Foster parents usually have very little money to spend on clothes for kids. My kids have tons of cute clothes.
5. She is assuming that we are poor. Most foster parents have a LOT less than we do. She has her own room and lives in a nice, safe neighborhood.
6. Foster parents can be abusive, and not put up with her behavior. She could get hurt - she of course insisted that she would fight any men who were mean.
7. If she's removed she'll go into TEXAS foster care. She has no way to return to Nebraska. Even if she could figure out how to hotwire a car (yes, she's threatened this many times), she has no money for gas (no, she can't steal our credit cards, they don't have any money on them), and would be picked up as a runaway almost immediately.
8. She'd have to change schools.

Kitty insisted that foster care was better because her last foster mom bought all her clothes at WALMART! She wanted clothes that came from a MALL! She didn't like it when I told her that her clothes did come from a mall - originally. They are very high quality.

Basically it was Kitty getting a chance to yell at Hubby without consequences. Poor Hubby. He left therapy a little shell shocked. It is NOT easy to deal with Kitty on a tear and stay calm. I don't know how he stands being hated just for being male - he's had to deal with this a lot more than any man should have to! I had major abandonment issues and issues with men, our first dog was terrified of men, my sister is afraid of men (and she lived with us for several months), psycho ex-employee, and of course Bear and Kitty.


Tracey said...

I just read the sentence at the top of your blog...your my hero...I've adopted one and will go back to work in a week and don't know how I'll do it all...I'll come back to see how you do it.

marythemom said...

I have to say having an amazing supportive Hubby has really helped. Plus a huge support network - lots of forums, list serves, good therapists. If you want real inspiration check out lisa at Life In The Crazy House - she does it all as a single parent - and is my idol!


Anonymous said...

Mary, what a hard week you've had... both older kids giving you grief and the stomach flu, to boot.

I was really hoping things were improving w/ Bear, but I guess you can't rest on your laurels, can you? I know you'll figure this all out, and just keep loving him in the meant time.

As for Kitty, that poor girl has such a lifetime of pain ahead of her... I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if you hadn't rescued her. That bio-mother of hers... what a piece of work! I just hope that in time she'll grow to trust and love your DH as much as he loves her.