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!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Where did that come from?!

Finally received Kitty’s neurological test results, yea! They don’t have a summary so I’m having trouble interpreting everything (boo!), but I’ve got a call in to the therapist at the residential treatment center (RTC) that did the testing.

Monday I decided to try going back to work full-time (I’ve been home every day when they get home from school) to help Kitty regulate since her return from the RTC). She seemed calm, past any honeymoon stage, and we hoped it was her meds finally working. Tuesday night though we went to therapy and all the old issues were back (threatening youngest son, hating Grandma…). I kept staring at her wondering where this was coming from! It was as if the last 6 weeks hadn't happened. Well, there was a slight acknowledgement that what she was saying wasn't OK, but it didn't stop her. She obviously believed every word. So today I go back to being there after school.

We have been slowly taking Kitty off Lithium because of the side effects and the fact that it didn’t seem to be having any effect on her. If her behavior improves because I’m home, then we can assume it’s not the Lithium. If it continues to go downhill then we will have to assume she needs the external regulation, and decide what to do from here. I don’t actually do anything with her when I’m home (I sit on the couch and work on my laptop). It’s apparently just knowing I’m there and in charge that comforts her. Also, her little brother is able to stay home when Grandma goes to pick up the girls after their school gets out so our daughter has much less interaction with him, and Grandma doesn’t have to protect him from her – I will experiment later in the week with ways to see if that’s what’s causing the issues and how to fix it.

I also apparently need to be home for Bear too, even though he is never home. At therapy last week, we talked about how much Bear is isolating himself in his room and decided he needed to cut it out. Instead he's arranged to have after school activities every day.

We'd agreed that he could volunteer to lead PT (physical training for us non-military types) for the JROTC after school. It was a leadership position that we thought might be good for him, and we assumed it was fairly well supervised. Now we're realizing that just like at home, Bear assumes leadership means yelling at and telling others what to do, so that lovely behavior is being reinforced, and there doesn't appear to be any/much adult supervision at all. Plus, we assumed it would be one day a week, but agreed to two. Now he's also running a make-up day. So he's not getting home until sometime between 6 and 7 Tuesday through Thursday.

He's supposed to have mid day meds at 4pm. Obviously that's not happening and the other day he forgot his morning meds. When Grandma mentioned he wasn't getting chores done, he was rude to her. When I backed her up and mentioned one thing he hadn't done was make his bed, he angrily said that was my fault because he has no sheets! Excuse me?! How is it my fault? He's NEVER told me he needs new sheets.

Apparently his sheets are "messed up," and when pressed he admitted it was because he was falling asleep with gum in his mouth and it was falling out on the sheets. Have to say I think this is bull. I guess it's time to go search/ organize his room again. I know he's wearing the same 2-3 outfits over and over without washing them. He claims that is because he can't find any other clothes (he's incredibly picky). Occasionally he'll ask me to mend something, but he asks me at 9:15pm (bedtime is 9pm) and needs it done for the next day. So I'm assuming he's wearing them anyway. He layers so it's not like anyone would notice.

One possible reason for Kitty thinking it is OK for her to boss around Ponito is that she sees Bear bossing around everyone, and thinks this is her inalienable right. She would love to boss around Bob, but now that Bob is bigger than her I think she has given this up. I'm not sure how to intervene and let everyone know that Bear's behavior is not OK. When he did it in front of us we let him know in no uncertain terms that it was not OK, but there's not a lot we can do about the fact that he does it when we're not around. Even Bob "parents"/ bosses around Ponito, and he is standing up for himself. This is what makes Kitty think he's evil - he won't let her tell him what to do. He refuses to be her "dancing monkey" like she remembers her younger biosisters being.

To end this on a positive note. Ponito won an award last week at school for being conscientious, helpful, and going above and beyond in his volunteer duties helping kids get in and out of cars before and after school. Kitty won an award this morning for "Performing on Target" (gotta love the No Child Left Behind crud). Not that I'm not happy she won an award, but she didn't do anything! I don't have a picture of Kitty yet (forgot the camera as usual so a neighbor took pictures for us), but here's one of Ponito.

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