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!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mama Bear

in response to a comment on my last post:

I admit I'm in a bad place right now, and "broken" was probably too harsh a word to describe my kids, but they are definitely seriously, permanently "damaged." I don't know if acknowledging this harsh reality is "cursing" them, but if it makes any difference I would never say anything to this effect in front of the children and I rarely say it at all. I consider this a "safe place" to vent.

I/we have struggled for every tiny bit of progress and now that they're so close to the point of launching into adulthood I sometimes despair that they've made enough progress to be able to successfully navigate this transition (it's hard for everyone, but especially for kids who have so many strikes against them).

You hear inspiring stories every day of people who overcome major tragedies and issues to do great things, and I seriously pray for this for my children, but I'm also aware that my kids have SO many serious issues that overcoming them is not very realistic.

As for the kids' biomom, I take great pains to NEVER criticise her in front of the kids, but I do have to try to explain and help the kids understand her actions WITHOUT feeling they are to blame (biomom made it very clear to the kids when she dumped them in foster care at age 9 and 10 that it was THEIR fault they were going into foster care). I do not respect biomom, but I AM sympathetic to the difficulties and issues she had to fight. They were similar to those with which my kids also had to deal.

Bear and Kitty came to live with us 2 years after they entered foster care and had had some of the "rough edges" smoothed off, plus we had a lot of resources... but they were still almost impossible to handle. I can't imagine being a single parent of 4, dealing with the domestic violence, her own mental illness, and possible drug and alcohol issues... and dealing with mentally ill, defiant, suicidal, traumatized children. I know the police and CPS were in and out of her home too. She has my empathy.


On another note, Kitty is back in the psych hospital again... for the 5th time this year. She wasn't even out of the hospital for a month.

She was already having issues, but called BioGrandma today and found out her sisters had been visiting. The biograndma was talking about how sweet Kitty's 3 year old little sister was, and how she'd told her Grandma that she loved her. Kitty was sad that she's never met this little girl, and wished that she was the one getting the love, but mostly she was upset because she couldn't be there to protect her sisters.

Recently Bob has begun texting a boy she knows from church, who is also a friend of Bear, and who graduated early this year - so is 17 and in junior college. *EEK!* Today she invited him over to watch a movie with the family (15 is too young to be dating without line of sight adult supervision). Unfortunately, Kitty's meltdown happened right in front of him. Luckily we were able to get her moved to another room, but it was still hard for everyone to cope.

After quite a long conversation, the crisis counselor we called (who arrived minutes after the boy had left), seemed about ready to leave. Kitty was calm, and not actively suicidal or homicidal anymore. When she asked Kitty if she could contract to not hurt herself, Kitty didn't think she could make that committment, and Kitty asked to go to the hospital.


Whenever Kitty goes to the hospital she is automatically disenrolled from her regular school district to the school district in which the hospital is located. Her school still has to provide schoolwork, and tend to ignore this technicallity, but it's still a reality.

Big problem: Kitty has an IEP meeting on Thursday. The big one for which we've hired an advocate. This will only be day 5 (possibly 6 depending on how you count it) since her admission to the psych hospital. She may not be out of the hospital yet (although she almost certainly will be by Friday). We may have to delay the IEP Meeting. *AARRGGH!* Will be talking to the advocate in the morning.

Friday morning she gets the results of her neuropsych. She's supposed to be there for that because I wanted the neuropsych to get to give Kitty the information so she can't blame me. (Yes, I acknowledge that she will anyway, but a girl can dream right?!)

1 comment:

Lulu McCabe said...

Hey Mary. Just catching up on your blog. I'm sorry things have been so rough! Can I offer a few words? (Forgive me if they are just annoying.) I know how much we can want to see "progress" in our kids. But sometimes it's just not there. And at those times, maybe it's enough to know that we've made it possible for them to fall apart in a home where someone loves them and understands their pain. That is sometimes all we can provide, but it's a huge gift.

I hope you get Kitty into residential treatment, and that you get a break. You need and deserve one. I've been there myself - it can really feel like the chaos is taking you down with it. Good luck.