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, January 5, 2012

How is Kitty doing?

The holidays were laid back and quiet (a refreshing change!). We pretty much decided to keep Kitty’s world as quiet as possible before Kitty left, although it was tough to keep her from raging and overreacting. She did finally admit the meltdowns were because she was scared we were going to leave her at the treatment center, and not because we were doing anything inappropriate (two meltdowns over me helping with her laundry and packing, lots of accusations and moaning). With assistance she was able to keep from escalating to violence or hospitalization.

When we got to the treatment center they kept me busy with paperwork and so there was a lot of time when Kitty was just standing there and I wasn’t able to comfort her. We had to leave and go find a specific pharmacy which took over an hour because Poppy (my step-dad who drove Kitty and I), got lost. When we got back they almost didn’t let us see her again. She clung and begged and bawled, but was compliant when they told her it was time to go after a few minutes.

Kitty and her family therapist called on Christmas day, but it was much earlier than it was supposed to be, so the family was in the middle of opening gifts before the grandparents had to leave. I had to balance her needs with getting back to Christmas and finishing unwrapping presents (which sucked!). She only wanted to talk to me and Ponito. She did ask Hubby to come to family therapy so he worked extra hard so he could go (he does contract work and we can't afford for him to miss hours so he worked 11 hour days). Bear asked me to tell her he loved her and missed her, to which she responded, “Yea, right.” Gotta love that black and white thinking. She refused to accept that he could love and miss her after he was mean to her earlier. She cried and begged to go home. She promised to “be good.” It was heart wrenching.

The following Friday, Hubby and I attended family therapy. The family therapist had at least skimmed the 50+ page life history document ( I later e-mailed her a cleaned up version with a table of contents). We talked for awhile about Kitty’s need to work on her trauma, which I reinforced with Kitty when she got there (that the stuff she needs to work on is that with which she least wants to deal). Kitty wasn’t crying and begging (much), but she has obviously regressed (and we were told she’d behaved this way the whole time she’d been there). She came in wrapped in her new Tinkerbell blanket and carrying stuffed animals (all of which she got for Cmas). She had her fingers all twisted and was chewing on her ring finger a lot (something she’d started during the last hospitalization, but hadn’t done during the 2 days she was home – with the occasional reminder to quit from me) and now had broken skin on the finger. She quit with redirection from me, but the minute she walked away it was back in her mouth.

Apparently the day before family therapy, two girls had gotten into a fist fight in a hallway (right next to Kitty) and at least one of the girls ended up in juvie. All the girls were told to go to their rooms when it had started. Kitty said she ran into the nearest room, curled up in the fetal position and hid. She was still obviously freaked out by the whole thing.

She was excited about getting to wear her own clothes when she reaches a certain level the following week, and being able to have visitation and make phone calls. When those start we’ll be able to talk to her on the phone on Thursdays and only be able to visit for 1 ½ hours on the weekend and no more than 2 people at a time. We’ve already decided not to bring the kids for a little while. There’s group therapy on Wednesdays, but we can’t make that many trips to the nearby Big City (3.5 hours one way).

After therapy she gave us hugs and walked away.

Hubby and I are going for family therapy again this Saturday. Afterward we’ll be able to stay for visitation. It will just be Hubby and I this time. Kitty's therapist can’t meet the following weekend, and we can only afford to travel to Big City once a week so I’m leaving it up to the family therapist as to whether or not we should call in family therapy on Tuesday and visit on the weekend so it won’t be so long between getting to see her.

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