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, September 23, 2010

Borderline Sucks!

Bear and Kitty want to do stuff - like sleepovers and going to the football game. I don't think they're ready.
They insist.
I say no.
They want to know why.
I give them concrete reasons (because they don't understand the abstract ones. Plus, if I give too many reasons they have a meltdown because they're overwhelmed).
They argue.
I say no.
They fixate on one concrete reason and somehow manage to improve it (for Bear it was his failing grades, for Kitty it was the fact that she was refusing to do chores - actually it was the constant meltdowns most of which were provoked by chores, but like I said they fixate).

Now I have "no reason" not to let them go.

So I remind give them another concrete reason. I have to meet the parents and kids first.
They argue ("but Mooom, you did meet her and her mother. Once. A year ago. At a school event. You did talk to her, you said, 'Hi.' You would too recognize them.")
I say no.
They argue ("but Mooomm, you can talk to them on the phone.")
I said No. ("but Moooommm, you can talk to them when they pick me up.")
I said No.

"You never listen to me."

Me: "I listen, but the answer is no and you don't want to hear that so you keep asking me over and over."

"Mumble. You hate me. Mumble. Everybody hates me."

Me: "Hmm? Were you talking to me? Sorry I couldn't understand you."


Me: (If I bother to answer.) "Sorry, still didn't understand you."

I ignore them a lot too, usually because I don't want to answer the question (or I already have a hundred times). If they persist, I'll eventually respond, "Hmm? Were you talking to me? Sorry I assumed you were ... talking on the phone (Bear loves to talk to me while he's on the phone, he has no consideration for the person he's on the line with)... talking to the cat (Kitty loves to mumble in the cat fur about how nobody loves her)... talking to yourself (both kids like to mumble nastiness to themselves and Bear seems to enjoy snapping at me that he wasn't talking to me anytime I ask him to repeat himself- so I might as well take advantage of it).

I'll admit sometimes I get tired of repeating myself and I do cop out and say things like, "I'll have to talk to Dad about it." or "We'll talk about this later."

Bear loves going to dad to see if he can get a different answer. Tonight Hubby called him on it. Bear insisted that I hadn't ever given him an answer. Luckily, Hubby knows BS when he hears it. I think it's interesting that both kids called him tonight. Usually it's the kids calling me when Grandma is watching them. I guess that's part of the "grass is greener" philosophy they tend toward.

Friday Kitty wants to spend the night at a friend's house and Bear wants to go to a football game. Friday night I'm getting together with a group of RAD moms in a nearby city and Grandma is out of town so Hubby has all 4 kids. Usually the rule is we don't do much when we're "single parenting." Especially not things that probably wouldn't happen on a "normal night" anyway.

Saturday morning Bear is getting some dental work, we're helping my sister move, and Bear has therapy in the afternoon. Grandma is out of town so we can't drop any kids off at her house (normally we do this so Hubby and I can both go to Bear's therapy). Sunday is church and unloading a semi full of pumpkins at the church. This is just a crazy busy weekend.

So when both kids started asking to get to do stuff like sleepovers I just said NO. As you can see- they argued. A lot. This made my PTSD flare which makes me less tolerant. I don't yell at the kids, but I also don't back down or help them regulate. This has been happening more and more frequently with Kitty and I need to find a way to stop it, because this makes her meltdowns worse. Tonight she escalated past screaming defiant cussing to kicking things (nothing broke) and threatening suicide. I put her on Soup Kitchen and invoked the Four Foot Rule.

While she's screaming and begging on the floor, Bear starts up again. One I can handle. Two, not so much. I gave him some straight talk and told him some things he didn't want to hear (Basically it boils down to - I don't trust him.). He stormed out of the house. I called poor Hubby - who'd already had to talk down both kids once, and told him I needed him home now.

The good news is, everyone is fed and in their rooms. We didn't start dinner until 15 minutes before bedtime, but we all ate (I think. Bear was insisting he wasn't hungry so he could escape to his room, but I believe Hubby made him stay and eat). Kitty had soup. I had coconut shrimp and quiche (long story!). Bob and Ponito had leftovers (which they could have had at a decent hour. *sigh*).

Gotta put the food away and go process with Hubby. Night all!


Miz Kizzle said...

Have they ever done the things they want to do? Specifically sleepovers and going to a football game?
If so, how did they handle it?
I can certainly understand you wanting to meet the kids and parents who are hosting the sleepover before you let Kitty go.
My daughter started going to sleepovers when she was eight. She's 16 now and a sleepover veteran but I still insist on meeting the friend and the parents when she's invited someplace for the first time.
I am most concerned about whether there are guns in the house and the presence of alcohol. My hubby and I also want to know everyone who will be at the house on the night of the sleepover. We live in an upper middle class community where crime is virtually nonexistent (except for the white collar variety) but if the homeowner has guns or alcohol I want to be sure they are kept somewhere that is inaccessible to the kids.
It won't be much longer before my daughter goes to college and I want her to have fun but I also want her to be aware of danger and be able to look out for herself if need be.

marythemom said...

Kitty has gone to sleepovers before, with her sister (who does not know this friend and is not invited). It has been rare though because until fairly recently she still wet the bed. My biggest concern is that I don't know this family (unlike the ones the girls have gone on in the past) and Kitty takes major meds which would have to be supervised by the parent. Plus, she is much more stable than in the past, but still pretty emotionally fragile and while I'm sure she would handle herself just fine at the friends house - we'd be dealing with the fallout at home. Especially if they don't sleep and the girl does anything Kitty feels uncomfortable about. Emotionally Kitty is only about 6 so she can't handle a lot in the way of normal 15 year old entertainment. Plus she's a total follower so she'd do whatever the friend wants to do.

Bear has had a couple of sleepovers with family friends and even though the friends are well aware of his issues he's still gotten into a lot of trouble. (For example, one boy gave Bear a toy air gun to "fix" - which Bear promptly converted to look like a weapon and tried to trade it for drugs).

At dances and basketball games in middle school we found out Bear was leaving campus and wandering down to the local convenience store where he "acquired" things he wasn't allowed to have at home.

We live in an upper middle class community too, but Bear still manages to find stuff to get into (drugs, alcohol, sex, gangs, violence...).

The boy from the special school Bear attends that he wants to spend the night with lives in a not so great part of town, and although the boy's mother is well aware of Bear's issues (she works for the MHMR and is our family liaison), she has a different level of trust with her child than we do. Her son is 6'3" and reminds me a lot of "Big Mike" from the movie Blind Side. People just don't mess with him too much, and he doesn't seem to attract trouble like Bear does. Bear apparently has a neon sign advertising for trouble tattooed on his forehead. His friend wouldn't start the trouble, but he'd get involved to stand up for Bear, because he's "got Bear's back." Which would probably make Bear feel even safer about starting stuff.


RADMomINohio said...

What about having the kids stay over your house instead? Or for Kitty, having her go over until late but tell her she has to come home because in the morning you have to blah blah blah - reason she can't stay over. That way their is a comfortable amount of control and it limits the time they are in that mindset they get into when with another child. I know for Penelope, she can only handle so many hours with a friend before her anxiety and hypervigilence is off the charts and it's like pulling a cat off a ceiling to get her to calm down and come back to reality.
Also, just a suggestion - when Penelope argues with me about "why? but why?" not accepting "no" for an answer. Instead of repeating yourself over and onver, say "That is a great question that I already answered. If you are looking for different answer, please write me a one page paper letting me know why you can't go and we will discuss it." Worth trying..

marythemom said...

In reality the answer is because being with the friend is not the point, it's being away from the family and getting to do things they're not allowed to do at home (like watch inappropriate movies). What they'll tell you is that there is "nothing to do here."

It won't work for tonight because Hubby is "single parenting," but definitely something to bring up! See, that's why I bring this stuff to you guys!

Plus it means an extra good house cleaning cause you can't have friends over when the house looks and smells like it does.

Cool! Win/win.