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!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Attachment Challenge Day 7, 8, and 9 plus a Makeover

Attachment Challenge Day #7
Kitty spent the night before at Grandma's (a usual Saturday night) so we didn't see her until after church.
Noonish - Kitty came up behind me while I was speaking to someone and draped herself around my shoulders.  Almost a hug.  I snagged a quick and dirty hug back.
12:30pm - The family started a movie while waiting for lunch to be ready.  I was sitting on one end of the couch reading the newspaper and Kitty plopped down next to me.  I sat at one end and she lay on the couch with her head propped against my side. She complained greatly when I set down the paper and rested my hands on her shoulders.
2pm after lunch the kids resumed the movie and I came in late, after talking to Grandma for awhile, so everyone had already claimed a spot.  Kitty had the couch again.  This time she refused to allow me to sit near her head so I sat at the other end, and tried to breathe shallowly because her feet reeked!  She noticed my distress (I really was trying to be subtle) and said I could sit behind her as long as I let her put her head a different way.  She allowed me to put my hands on her shoulders, with less complaint.
No other touching or shared activities for the rest of the day.

Attachment Challenge Week #2
Hubby and I discussed and agreed to extend the Attachment Challenge another week since we hadn't actually achieved even the altered version of the challenge.

Attachment Challenge Day #8
Kitty had to get up early and re-take the standardized state test (Language Arts) that she failed.  When she got home in the early afternoon, I was working hard to meet a deadline so she plopped in front of the TV and I didn't see much of her. That evening we went to an adoption support group, so again, I didn't see much of her.  I still managed to get more hugs from the other kids who were with Grandma all day than from Kitty all last week.  *sigh*

Kitty and Bob have Senior Pictures this week, and Bob has been preparing for them as if they were a professional photo shoot! lol!  She has been gathering photos that are inspirational for a pose or location.  On her recent trip to Spain (an educational field trip arranged through her art teacher) she purchased several outfits specifically to wear in her senior class pictures.  She talked me into purchasing a couple of dresses as an early birthday present, specifically for the photos.

Kitty on the other hand has been ignoring the whole thing and saying she doesn't want to do them at all.  She has however been taking tons of pictures of herself with her new iPod camera (actually very flattering pictures).  I know part of the issue is that Kitty has some self-perception images.  Several weeks ago I decided to teach sewing classes to Kitty and a few other girls, most of which have similar issues to Kitty.  Kitty picked a couple of blouse patterns, and she mentioned that she had wanted to wear the new tops for the photos, but of course we had just barely started the project.

After realizing this might be a fun way to spend some time together, I carefully offered a "makeover" to Kitty.  I told her we didn't have the money to go shopping, but that there were some things we could do to refresh and revamp her current wardrobe and style.  I was trying to be super careful not to imply that there was anything wrong with her, just that it might be fun to do a (gentle version) What Not To Wear style makeover.  She was actually gung ho.

During the sewing lessons we had taken Kitty's measurements, and like one of the other girls, Kitty has a small frame, but larger bust (and belly).  I told her we could take in some of her garments at the shoulders so they didn't hang off her shoulders and that would make them look better.  We also talked about taking her medication to empty the poo from inside, and some natural face cleansers for her acne.

I told her that one thing that they do on What Not To Wear, and one thing I do as well, is wear control top undergarments.  I made sure to mention that she has a cute figure, but if she wanted to try one of the undergarments to see if she'd feel comfortable in them, then I had some she could use and see if they're comfortable (Kitty is very sensitive to textures and pressures).  Kitty not only tried and like it, but was very excited about the 5 inches it took off her waist!

Attachment Challenge Day #9
1:00pm  - One of the girls in the sewing class came over and we took everyone's measurements and started getting the patterns adjusted for sewing.  Kitty tried to play on her iPod most of the time, and the other girl demanded a lot of attention, but Kitty mostly stayed engaged for the first hour.  Using the excuse that she hadn't gone to bed until 4am (so got less than 7 hours of sleep), Kitty kept trying to check out.  I realized that it would be easier if I focused on the other student for the last 30 minutes of the class, so let Kitty "take a break" (she napped until therapy).
6pm  - We started cutting Kitty's fabric, but her poor hand skills and perfectionism made her miserable and she begged to "take a break," almost immediately.  I let her stop when we got to a good stopping point.
8:50pm - Kitty was sitting next to me so I reached over to put my hands on her shoulders.  She immediately protested that we'd already done a lot of "that stuff" today, but I told her it didn't count toward the physical touch.  I moved my arm to her lower back (kidneys), and she allowed it, although she sat up straight - no leaning in or getting comfortable.  At bedtime (9pm) she jumped up and hurried to bed.

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