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, May 5, 2011

*sigh* It's NOT over

Kitty apparently didn't sleep well. She took a long time to get moving this morning. Tuesday she and I had sat down and created a schedule, because I didn't want her sitting around all day:

  • 7:15-7:30
    Wake Up

  • 7:30-7:45
    Get Dressed. Put on Deoderant.
    Pick Up Clothes. Laundry as Needed.
    Pick Up Room.

  • 7:45-8:30
    Check in with Mom. Eat Breakfast.
    Take Meds. Brush Teeth and Hair.
    Feed Dogs.

  • 8:30-8:40
    Brain Gym

  • 8:40-9:00
    Exercise - Walk with Neighbor?

  • 9:00-10:00
    School Work - Independent
    with Assistance from Mom
    or Chores - If Have Homebound later(we didn't get Homebound because the psychiatrist didn't call the school in time).

  • 10:00-10:15

  • 10:15-11:15
    Chores (if chores take longer she has less time on the computer - if they take less time she gets a little more)

  • 11:15-12:00
    Computer Time

  • 12:00-1:00
    Lunch Prep and Eat Lunch

  • 1:00-2:10
    Reading/ Quiet Time

  • 2:10-2:15
    Brain Gym

  • 2:15-2:30
    Go to School

  • 2:30-4:00

  • 4:00-4:20
    Go Home with Mom

  • 4:20-4:45

  • 4:45-5:00

  • 5:00-5:20
    Walk in Backyard

  • 5:20-8:30
    Family Time/ TV/ Dinner

  • 8:30-9:00
    Take Meds and Get Ready for Bed

Kitty couldn't get started this morning. By the time we got back from taking Bear his glasses and some other stuff he'd forgotten (if it hadn't been his glasses I wouldn't have bothered), she was already ranting at me about the same old stuff (I won't let her be friends with the boy she fell in love with at the hospital, I won't let her talk to her friends ever again - that's the black and white / all or nothing thinking again.).

Yesterday she lied about finishing her chores (kitty litter) and got on the computer (privilege for completing choresa) without permission, so today her consequence was that she wouldn't be allowed to play on the computer. Hubby was going to disable it before she got up in the morning and direct the brunt of her anger at him, but he forgot. I called him and asked his advice on how to deal with her (after being yelled at for an hour). He decided to come home and work from home.

Before he got home she'd stormed to her room because I told her she'd lost the computer privilege for today. With her black and white thinking she feels that "Not today" and "As soon as you're stable" (once I explained what "stable" meant - I can't believe we've been using that term for years and she didn't know what it meant)... means "Never." I let her go, despite the fact that she might try to hurt herself, because I couldn't take much more.

Hubby went up to talk to her, and she escalated to screaming, being verbally abusive and cussing, threatening us and herself - overdose, and trying to claw herself. Eventually she was begging to go back to the psych hospital to get away from us (although every time I got on the phone today she has freaked out because she's convinced I'm calling the police). Finally I decided to give her a Klon*pin (not that I've seen that they help much) and went upstairs to "rescue" her from Hubby. Basically she was mad at him because he was standing next to her and she wanted me (it's the opposite when I'm with her and Hubby isn't there).

Hubby was holding her hands so she couldn't gouge her skin, and I told her to get him to stop, she was going to have to do some yoga breathing to help her calm down. Breathe in for four counts, hold it for 7 counts, breath out for 8 counts. Because I wasn't the parent she was actively mad at, she complied. In less than a minute I got her calm enough to take the Klon*pin and Hubby was able to completely release her. I told her to come downstairs with me, and put her down for a nap on the couch. I wrapped her in a blanket (compression) and gave her the option of me sitting next to her or just nearby. She chose next to her and was asleep within minutes.

All you single parents out there - I think you are totally amazing!!!!

Now I don't know what to do. It feels like the psych hospital made things worse. She's on a wait list for residential treatment, but that could take months, and I'm not sure it's going to help because so many of her issues are family and school related so they don't see it. First choice is partial day hospitalization (she'd be on the hospital campus from 9am to 4pm - getting school, therapy and psychiatric services and then home in the evenings and overnight), but the only one nearby doesn't take Texas Medic*id. In fact almost no one takes TX Medica*d - this state is one of the worst mental health service providers in the country (if not the worst).

We didn't get the homebound services we wanted because they psychiatrist's liaison didn't call the school back - even though she said she was sure they psychiatrist would give permission. The school's psychologist was against the idea. She was the only one, but without that psychiatrist's permission, she could veto it easily.


Cherub Mamma said...

Wow! You have got to be wiped out!! I'll keep on praying for you. I will pray that you get the support you need as you navigate through this difficult (oh hell who's kidding who?!...nearly impossible) time.

RADMomINohio said...

I hate blogger sometimes. I wrote a long comment and it deleted it! Hopefully I will be able to put my thoughts into words again. But I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you and your family is going through this hard time with Kitty. I feel for Kitty and her pain and fear. I wish that I could transport whatever reserves I have right now to you during this hard time. I'm sure our hill will turn into a valley in the near future as that is always how it works but right now, you need all the support you can get and hopefully you are getting what you need.
I do agree there are a lot of parallels between Kitty and Penelope, even though right now they are at different places in their battle for emotional health and stability. I relate to your blog more so than any others I read and I just want you to know I learn so much and it's almost more theaurapudic then therapy for me. So thank you. You are doing a wonderful job, even though if you are anything like me, you cringe at that statement and think "but what am I doing wrong, what can I do differently, how can I make things change for the better?" And you are. The reason Kitty goes to you when she is a puddle is because you are her rock. She rages at you for the same reason. And you know that and you know what it means.
Penelope CURRENTLY is able to regulate herself more effectively but has the exact same "complaints" and comebacks that you have said. The one that sticks in my mind is her white/black thinking. Her rants about you'll never let her talk to her friends, or get to play on the computer again, etc. Penelope does that too! I'll tell you what has helped with Penelope that her therapist taught me, is during the delivery of the consequence "Because you showed me that you are not capable of finishing your chores completely without being tempted by the computer, I'm going to help you by taking the computer out of the equation." Is to also talk about how she can show you when she is ready to use the computer again. You may have it set that the entire day is out regardless but she has to work towards it again. The reason this has worked for Penelope (besides her owning her behavior) is that when she gets all "now or never" she has confessed to me that the never part is because deep down, (or maybe during that day, week or month) she feels she isn't capable of getting any better/ more stable/healthier than she is so that means she will never get to have the things that has to be earned. The most recent time she got that down on herself, her therapist had her and I discussing 3 successes that occurred that day every night before bed. It was probably helping me not be on her all the time too - which I know I was - I couldn't help it! Penelope was to come up with the successes. It was REALLY hard in the beginning. She was, what seemed like, purposefully not having any successes. So we started super small. "You brushed your teeth today." It did seem to help her out of her hole. But it was inch by inch.
Anyway, you are in my thougths and prayers! Stay strong and take care of yourself!

marythemom said...

Thanks CherubMamma!

Thanks for retyping your comment RADMom, it really helped.

I really like your idea of going over her successes every night. I tend to avoid this because I worry that my kids will assume that because she had one "successful" day that she should get all privileges right then. All those years of "blank slate" training have given my kids an entitlement philosophy (schools and treatment centers are notorious for training kids that "what happened yesterday is in the past and you can start all over again today"). I get the school's reasoning - they don't want the kids discouraged and to give up, but it is short term thinking. I need my kids to understand that the real world doesn't start all over again the next day. I probably go overboard in that respect though and don't celebrate their successes often enough.

I definitely need to lighten up and get more encouraging. Especially right now.

One thing we've done is basically like child proofing - removing even the option of things they're not capable of at this time (if ever)- just remove it so we're not having to constantly say no or worry that they're getting into something that can hurt them. Unfortunately sometimes there are times when they can handle things and times when they can't. Plus, other members of the family CAN handle certain things so it's not fair to completely remove it. That's when things get more complicated.

We're lucky that our kids don't seem to sabotage the successes - well, actually sometimes Bear does, but that's because he doesn't feel safe so he sabotages so that we will put back whatever restriction he needs to feel safe.

I love reading your blog too. Sometimes I end up saving it so I have time to really absorb and respond.


Tara - SanitySrchr said...

Not much to say other than great team work! We're praying!

Anonymous said...

I grasp at straws for you.
Brain Gym. How long has she been doing it? Who decides what she does? My Mr P has had such severe regression from one simple body-movement pattern. It is ASTOUNDING how the "simple" movmenent triggers the body memories trigger the traumatic brain state.
I know Kitty needs brain-work, corpus collosum, etc. But it may be that she is moving too fast, even at 10 minutes twice a day.
You can ask on the NeuroNet list for opinions of others who might have BTDT; some have experience w/ Brain Gym.
I am so sorry it has all exploded.

marythemom said...

STS - Brain Gym, not long. We've tried it a few times in therapy, mostly to "wake her up" and get her contributing to therapy when she was stuck in Puddle mode. The therapist loaned me her book to see if it helped Kitty at school when she was stuck. Honestly it was like trying to apply a bandaid after the dam had burst.

Now that she's a little more stable, I've been letting her move through the schedule on her own - which means we haven't done Brain Gym in a week. To answer your question about who decides what exercises to do - me. Sort of. Mostly I've been just repeating exactly what we've learned in therapy until I get a chance to finish the book and can make my own decisions... but I put the book down 2 weeks ago to move to another that I have higher hopes from, The Explosive Child (I'll be reviewing this one here soon).