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!

Monday, March 9, 2009

PTSD Update: Saturday Evening


So Kitty excitedly showed Dad her new shoes. Hubby, knowing the story behind the shoes asked to see Kitty's old shoes (the ones that were "ruined.") Kitty showed the minuscule separation of the sole from the shoe that was so big she could "fit her finger in it!" Let's just say the shoes were not ruined, and when Hubby mentioned this, the meltdown started.

Long story short - shoes are apparently more important than anything. Hubby told her she would not be allowed to keep the new shoes because she lied about her old shoes. She started screaming, cursing, and continued to escalate until she eventually had to be restrained. *sigh*

The grandparents came and picked up the other children to take them to spend the night. The kids were happy to get two pieces of candy before they left -one for tolerating all the hassle Kitty had caused in the car and one for the evening's continuing episode.

Friday evening at Kitty's therapy session that Hubby and I go to now without her, the EMDR therapist brought up residential treatment (RT) for Kitty. I know it benefited Bear so much, but I still feel that the only reason it helped him was because he finally got a correct diagnosis and medications. The therapy seemed useless. He had never bonded to us, but was impressed by the fact that we visited all the time and had never given up on us. Whereas Kitty is anxiously attached to us, and I'm pretty sure of the accuracy of her diagnoses and medications.

I feel that Kitty's biggest issues right now are with her diagnoses that are least effected by medication - Complex PTSD and Attachment Disorder. RT just doesn't seem right for Kitty, but Hubby and the therapist are right too, she is getting steadily worse and it is effecting the quality of life of the whole family.

Hubby dealt with the brunt of Kitty's rage on Saturday night. He talked to her calmly and was firm, but actually got her to calm down instead of escalating. After an hour and a half of meltdown, Kitty made a comment about not deserving a family. Hubby questioned her on this, and didn't allow her to change the subject or deny she'd said it (not an easy task!). I did clarify that she knew what deserve meant, and she did. She eventually admitted that she did not "deserve" a family because she is a "horrible child." That a family did not "deserve" to have her inflicted on them. I asked her what made her a horrible child and she said "me, my personality, that's just who I am."

Kitty was obviously exhausted, and we think her true emotions were allowed to slip. She almost instantly began denying she said anything like that.

My poor baby. This made my heart break (and still makes me cry just thinking about it). She believed every word of it too. With the kind of deep down belief that defies logic - like trying to convince an anorexic person that she's not fat.

I think this might be the root of her issues. When we first took Kitty to attachment therapy the AT asked her why she went into foster care. Kitty said it was because she threw a chair. It's very common for kids to believe that this is their fault. The AT and I worked for a long time, trying to convince her that it was Biomom's poor parenting skills and issues (without putting down Biomom), that caused Biomom to feel unable to parent Kitty. I would guess from Kitty's statement Saturday night that although Kitty heard what we said, she didn't internalize it.

Kitty has always been "shut off" in regards to most of her physical and emotional feelings. She is not ticklish, she does not appear to feel physical discomfort. When she is afraid or upset she tends to dissociate. Over the years we have learned how to draw her back when she gets into the "Fight, Flight or Freeze" mode. We have been holding her accountable and not allowing her to "forget" the past or things she doesn't want to deal with.

We started EMDR therapy in July and at first she trotted out all the "mean men" stories that I had heard many times before. Then she refused to talk about her past at all and tried to distract us with rages against Grandma, teachers, siblings and of course Hubby. When I tried to bring up the past again, and was consistent about it, not letting her off the hook. She claimed nothing had ever happened and she "didn't remember" - not even the old standbys she'd told over and over. I think we'd started getting too close. That she was afraid we would discover what a "horrible" child she is.

After about 3 hours of raging, and one hour of talking, Kitty was finally calm and able to go to sleep. It was 11:30pm. So much for Hubby's and my date night. We sent her up to put on her PJs, and Hubby and I processed for a few minutes. Then I went upstairs to tuck her in. She was very cuddly and let me sit next to her and even kiss her hair (small token protest when I went for the cheek as usual, so I kissed the top of her head instead). Kitty reminded me that I had promised to tell her how to have good dreams. So I told her and then tucked her in. I'm sure she was asleep in minutes.

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