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 7, 2010

Drained Dry

Not only am I being told I'm wrong, more importantly no one is telling me I'm right. Much as I want to, I can't move everyone who is working against me out of my "circle of concern." I'd run out of people. At this point I'm so drained that the relatively mild comments on here feel like personal attacks.

RADMomInOhio suggested I sound like I need/want a plan. She's right. I need a plan. I've always needed at least an outline of a plan. I'm totally OK with my outline changing as we go along, but I need at least a direction to move. I can't defend myself against people saying I'm wrong, or ask anyone to trust me to know what I'm doing, because I no longer know what that is. I've been told I'm wrong so many times I feel like I'm out of options.

Over the years I've gotten better about protecting my emotional energy from others. I was a rescuer for a long time - to the point that I would completely drain my reserves. I finally got to the point where I still help others, but not to the point that I was hurting myself... except for my own children. They needed me. They deserved all I could give. I felt I couldn't/ shouldn't put up boundaries for taking care of them, and most of the people around me were telling me the same thing (not Hubby, Grandma or most of my family, but everyone else). Case managers, social workers, the schools, therapists, pdocs, all the books I was reading about RAD... everyone else.

Then I hit the wall. Bear and Kitty drained me so fast I just couldn't give any more. I went on anti-anxiety meds, went back to therapy, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, read more books, searched out support groups and sites, quit my high-stress job... and kept finding and draining reserves.

Bear went to residential treatment and I got caught up again, but I was no longer "happy." I don't sing any more (nothing professional - just around the house). I don't decorate (I used to be addicted to interior design). I don't sew (I used to be a professional seamstress). I don't make costumes or throw theme parties...

Some things are better. I'm calmer when it comes to dealing with discipline (good timing since Bob was totally able to push all my buttons when she hit her terrible twos - age 17 mos to 4 1/2 years and now of course she's in her teen years). Kitty is attached. I have a job that can take care of itself most of the time. The kids are old enough to help around the house so we're not living like total pigs. I have this blog as a creative outlet and for support. I have a (usually) supportive therapist. If I thought they would make a difference I could start back on the mood stabilizer/anti-depressant meds.

I'm just tired, and drained. Tonight I had a small breakdown. Hubby feels sorry for me.

We're going to try to make a plan tonight. Wish us luck.


RADMomINohio said...

I wish I could give you a huge hug and give you any reserve emotional energy to soften your pain through this hard time. I hope I didn't say anything hurtful in my comment, I'm just frustrated for you with your lack of support by the professionals. I'm thankful for you that you have Hubby and Grandma. i could never do this without Papaw, my Dad. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

marythemom said...

Thanks again RAD Mom. No you didn't say anything hurtful, and really no one else has either. I just don't have the ability to hear anything but positives right now.

Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated. I don't know what I'd do without Grandma and Poppy (my mom's husband). Last night Hubby sat down and we talked about a plan. Didn't solve anything, but it was nice to finally have someone to talk about it with. This morning he made a nice comment about my outfit!


Mama Drama Times Two said...

Could this be perfect timing or what??? You said you need a plan and a little break and we can't get away and catch a break (because of our kids' needs- which is why I've hardly been blogging) We have two paid for tickets to Women of Faith in San Antonio for end of Oct and were flying down by ourselves but are seated in the Alamodome as part of Annieology's group. Sadly -we can't use our tickets. We were willing to fly across the country just to renew our emotional and spiritual batteries...just thinking you and a gal pal might enjoy the benefits of our missed opportunity. Email me at either way.

Susan from the Pacific Northwest said...

I read some advice on another newsgroup that made sense to me.

You do the best you can under the circumstances.

You may not be able to predict what Bear will do or need. You may have run out of energy. You might not get the cooperation you need from the parties involved.

So you take what you have and you do the best you can under the circumstances. It might not be ideal, or perfect, or even good.

But you do the best you can under the circumstances.

Really, that is all you can do.

Best wishes and thoughts!!

Anonymous said...

I really like what SSR said. If you do your best who can fault that? Even under the *best* circumstances parenting is a gamble. If you were raising begonias it would be different. Plants don't have free will and thought. But as long as we're raising HUMAN BEINGS there's always the element of "crap shoot" involved.

Try to FORGIVE YOURSELF (my biggest personal challenge) and accept that God gave you this life, in this time, in this town, with these people and He believes in you.

And in measurable, tangible reality, no matter what you do in parenting Bear, it's better than the life he had before or the life he would have had if he'd never come to you.

Forgive yourself.

Jeri said...

Not a lot to add because the previous comments are such good ones. Ditto...someday they WILL thank you. It may take quite a while for them to see it. Hang in there. To begin talking about a plan is the first step. Keep it up.