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 28, 2011

Counting my Blessings

If you haven't seen this post A letter to Grandparents of Children with RAD over at Welcome to My Brain- (the blog of an amazing therapeutic parenting guru who has made some therapeutic parenting videos not to be missed) then seriously, go read it. Then know how blessed I am because my mom aka Grandma is just like the grandma who wrote this letter, only mine takes my kids for respite almost every Saturday afternoon and keeps them until she feeds us all lunch Sunday afternoon, and comes over and watches them while I attend therapy with Kitty, takes us all out to dinner every Friday night, in past Summers she's taken care of all 4 kids all Summer! Her wonderful husband, Poppy, is equally amazing (more on Poppy in a minute).


Christine from Welcome to My Brain is also the creator of the Parents of Trauma Map - so we know We are NOT Alone! Please go add your pin to the map and look to see who is near you. I'm hoping to see all the moms from Parents of Children of Trauma there! I want to see Central Texas solid with support because I know there are lots of moms out there.


This week I finished up my NAMI Family to Family class. I learned quite a bit, and I made some really good friends. I highly recommend this class to parents with adult children and those with spouses or other adult family members with mental illnesses. The best part is the support groups. I'm hoping to finish the NAMI Visions for Tomorrow class this week - which is for parents of young children with mental illnesses. I've offered to do a lot of volunteer work for NAMI, but I'm still waiting to hear back.


Saturday I got to go to a great workshop sponsored by the Council On Adoptable Children (COAC) about caring for the caregiver this weekend with a bunch of adoptive moms and it was so invigorating to hang out for a few hours with a bunch of moms who "get it." The workshop had a lot of good information too. Sunday we found out the hard way that Kitty has not been sleeping well.


I let my World's Meanest Mommy title slip and let Kitty and Bob attend a birthday slumber party on Friday night. They stayed up talking until 3am and woke up at 6am. They got a brief nap Saturday while I was at the workshop. Saturday night Kitty and her siblings spent the night with the amazing Grandma and Poppy as usual, and she claims she didn't sleep well (although Bob says otherwise).


When I arrived for lunch at Grandma's (Hubby was teaching scuba diving all weekend) Kitty was in a good mood. She and I even made a lemon meringue pie together (from scratch!) after lunch. It was a little soupy, but yummy! All seemed fine. Then we got home and I made the mistake of asking Kitty to do her chores. I told her she could not get on the computer until they'd been checked (by Daddy when he got home) . She wouldn't get off the computer. I finally threatened her with not being allowed to use the computer for a week and she got off after 15 minutes.


Then Ponito got home from a playdate. I told him he needed to get his chores done quickly and we were going to watch a movie. He claimed all his chores were done (he's been lying a lot lately though), but refused to empty a trashcan I told him to empty. Repeatedly. Defiantly. Then he suddenly announced he had homework... and got on the computer.
******************************* This was the final straw for Kitty. She started screaming he should be punished, and was breaking rules, and I treated him special, and she hated this family, and she wanted to die. I got triggered too and finally told her to go to her room immediately, do not pass go, do not argue and if she did as I asked then she could come down in 5 minutes and watch the movie. ******************************* She pushed the ottoman away from her so hard the cat flipped off (which she felt horrible about), then banged her way upstairs. She was hitting walls and doors so I followed. Flash forward 30 minutes and dinner wasn't made, the movie was started without us, and I was still too triggered to calm down enough to help her emotionally regulate. She finally appeared to calm down a little and agreed to make dinner with me. ******************************************** She got angry again when she realized I was following her. She stormed upstairs and of course I followed (she was still making threats). 1/2 way up she turned and told me to leave her alone or she was going to hit and kick me. I got nervous because I didn't want either of us to fall down the stairs, so I was focused on that. She surprised me by hitting me in the face! Scared her half to death and she turned and ran and locked herself in the bathroom. Thank goodness she hits like a little girl and caught me on the fleshy part of the cheek. It's a little sore and swollen, but no bruising. ******************************* After last Tuesday's suicide threat, it felt like everyone was questioning me about why we hadn't called someone, so this time I dialed 911 and asked for the mental health deputy to come out. When Kitty realized I had actually called the police she ran out of the bathroom, right past me and downstairs to the kitchen where she pulled out a butcher knife and held it to her wrist. Unfortunately I couldn't hang up with the police officer to calm her down and talking to the officer made her worse. Finally she left "Fight" and "Flight" and moved into "Freeze." That's where she stuck. ************************************* The police said because she hit me they had to file charges of domestic violence, whether I wanted them to or not and she had to leave the house. She could go to jail or a psychiatric hospitalization depending on the verdict of the mental health deputy. Luckily he chose to believe that she was suicidal and chose to allow her to be hospitalized. The charges don't disappear, but she doesn't have to go to court or anything. ************************************** Unfortunately the nearest bed open was a 2 hour drive away! Luckily Hubby got home from teaching scuba diving about the time we were leaving so he could watch the kids. He was too tired to drive though. Wonderful Poppy was willing and able to drive the 2 hours there, wait 3 hours to get her admitted and 2 hours home (then another 15 minutes back to his home). Since he'd been up at dawn as an emergency responder for the Capital 10K this was even more amazing (he had grabbed a nap earlier in the day, but still pretty impressive for a 70 something year old man). *************************** The good news was because the traveling and waiting time was so long (5 hours total), that during the ride in the uncomfortable hard plastic back seat of the unmarked police car in the dark, late at night after a major outburst, Kitty slowly calmed down and was finally able to reach out to me. By the time we got there she was snuggly and able to accept reassurance and comfort from me. She gave me (and Poppy) a big hug at 1:30am as they led her off to finally sleep. Poppy drove me home and was safe in bed at home by 3:30am. ******************************** Sweet Hubby tried to let me sleep in this morning, but the psych hospital doctor called early to talk about meds, and I've been on the phone and e-mail ever since trying to get stuff settled. I've been hearing good things about the psych hospital. *yea!* * ************************* Visiting hours are late evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, but we had the option to have family therapy in the morning so we can see Kitty then and she won't feel abandoned when we don't come to the evening visitation session (my last NAMI Visions For Tomorrow class is Tuesday night and there's a parent support group meeting the rest of the family is going to). ************************************** I was told the average stay at this psych hospital is only 3 days so we fully expect Kitty home this weekend. I wasn't happy about what the hospital's pdoc said, but I talked to Kitty's regular pdoc and I think we're going to finally make some good progress. Kitty's revision ARD is going to meet early in April to start the school testing needed for her new FIE (Full Individual Evaluation).


Cherub Mamma said...

Oh my! You've been more than busy. My prayers are with you and yours!

Last Mom said...

Your mom sounds AMAZING!!! You are so blessed and I am so jealous (but happy for you!)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm really sorry this is all happening!

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

I am so far behind. I'm so sorry all of this happened. I'll keep reading to catch up, and will provide more intelligent feedback.