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, April 13, 2009

Oy Vay what a day!

Happy Easter!

Our Easter present was getting our girl home. We were told to be at the hospital at 9:30am. Luckily all the other kids were farmed out so we got to sleep in a tiny bit. I hate going to church on holidays anyway - it's so crowded and emotionally unconnected.

We met with the social worker to finish a Safety and Crisis plan form with Kitty. That was actually kind of interesting.

She had to identify her stressors:
-- someone telling me "no"
-- people getting things I don't have or I want - jealousy
-- certain movies
-- people bigger than she is, particularly men (but Bob is included in this)

She had to note how she could prepare for the stressors:
-- take deep breaths.
-- have other people remind me to stay calm and take deep breaths when the answer will probably be "no."

Some things she could do to reduce stress and help her calm down:
-- swing
-- walk around in the back yard
-- use mini tramp (we'll have to get a new one, ours broke)
-- listen to music in her room
-- have someone to help her, that is listening, being calm and helping her feel safe

One answer I thought was particularly interesting was who her support people were. At first she listed biofamily in Nebraska, but I nixed that. I told her it had to be people here. She avoided choosing Hubby or I, even though she was told she could pick us. Finally she chose me (but I was her last choice). She also chose Grandma and I told her to choose one person from school so she chose one of the behavior specialists.

Support people help her by:
-- talking to her
-- listening
-- pulling her out of the situation (class, the room... away from whatever/ whoever is triggering her)

Safe places she can go:
-- her room
-- the backyard
-- her teacher can call the behavior specialist to pull her out of the classroom.

This form took us about 15 minutes to complete. The psychiatrist was supposed to be there at 10am so we could talk to him quickly about the possibility of pulling her out of school. Kitty had also had some lab work that came back a little off so they wanted her to be assessed by the doctor before she left (she has a slight bladder infection).

The psychiatrist didn't show up until almost 11 and then had to go straight into an intake meeting with another family. When he finally finished we discussed our ideas about school being such a huge stressor for Kitty. This is the second time in 3 months she has been hospitalized. He agreed that pulling her from school sounded like a good idea. Hubby mentioned that he didn't think her staying home with me was a good idea.

The psychiatrist mentioned partial day hospitalization. We'd looked into this for Bear, but he'd been too agressive and unstable (this was just before he was admitted to residential treatment). We had talked about it, but were concerned Kitty would be exposed to kids who were very mentally ill and this would scare/stress her even more. The psychiatrist assured us that this program was designed for kids who were leaving residential treatment and that kids who were aggressive or severely ill were disenrolled. The program goes on through the Summer if needed so it sounds perfect.

The psychiatrist told Kitty that she would be pulled out of public school. I thought for sure she would pitch fits (she'd wanted to be in public school so badly when she started mid January), but once she determined she didn't have to wear a uniform she seemed fine with it. We'd known the honeymoon period was ending, but hadn't realized she had already started to flip to hating school. Today I'm trying to arrange an intake assessment. We saw the school when we were considering putting Bear there, but Kitty hasn't.

12:30pm - 3 freakin' hours after we arrived we were finally finishing up the paperwork and able to take Kitty home. Only 20 more minutes to get her suitcase "out of hock, " and we were on the road headed to my sister's house for a family lunch. Delicious!

Kitty was very huggy and came to check in with me several times. She mostly played quietly by herself. (My nephew and Ponito are 6 months apart in age and thick as thieves. My 6 year old niece adores Bob and the two are inseperable. Bear played Wii and had warned us the day before that he was going to be bored.)

I tried to fill Kitty's prescription for her antibiotic, but the pharmacy was closed for the holiday. We ended up at Wally World looking for birthday cake, cranberry juice, and Benadryl (found out the hard way that Bear is allergic to fire ants - and bee stings). Came home and watched Bedtime Stories (cute, but not as cute as I thought it would be).

Bear's current girlfriend and her sister came over and later in the evening my dad, step-mom, and sister and her crew showed up for birthday cake (which everyone was still too full from lunch to eat much of). Kitty liked her gifts (Heelys, a watch and a bag from us, a nice card from the grandparents and $20 from my sister to spend on her wardrobe).

After bedtime (8:30 for Kitty, 9 for everyone else) Bear of course tried to start a conversation. That just irritates me no end! I know he doesn't go to sleep in his room, but parents deserve some downtime. He wanted to complain about his girlfriend being jealous of the girl Bear dated while still in Nebraska 3 years ago (who has since moved to Canada). He wanted to let me know how bored he is going to Grandma's house because there's "nothing to do." He almost demanded to have Grandma watch them at our house (so he could hang out with his friends/ girlfriend).

I gave him a little relationship advice (which was mostly - you're only 15, remind the girl that neither of you are ready to get married to each other) , and told him tough toenails on the Grandma thing. She is wonderful for watching them all day for free (and has been doing so for years) and I am not going to make her do anything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it's hysterical that you used "Yiddish" (oy vay) to describe Easter Sunday. :)

BTW, I agree w/ DH. I don't think homeschooling Kitty will do you any good.* If you're looking for an excuse to not go to work, get a different job. Even flipping burgers would get you an income right now, and mindless, repetitive work would be much less stressful than your current job.

*I think staying home with any kid would drive me crazy; as an educator I know my limits, I could never homeschool my own kids.