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, August 24, 2013

Kitty vent - feel free to ignore!

Warning: vent to follow. Please feel free to skip!

 My patience is just so thin right now! I need to get away from Kitty and all this mess, She and I disagree on what she should do next (and now that she's 18, "legally" she has a huge say in everything, even though emotionally she's only 8). It's hard enough living with an emotionally disturbed, mentally ill child, but everyone is feeding her all this entitlement  and she's loving it. I'm so tired of being the Dream Killer (my official title).

We decided not to pursue legal guardianship (can't afford it and it's too late now to effect her senior year - which was one of the biggest factors), so everything is focused on what SHE wants, and what she wants is typical for a young child.  In other words, everything I suggest sounds boring - she wants the fun job instead (that triggers her issues and/or she doesn't have the skill or aptitude for) - the equivalent of a kid wanting to be a firefighter, ballerina or rock star. I need the school to give her some vocational skills she can actually use when she graduates (because despite what they've told her, she really isn't college material), which they didn't do for Bear, but all they do is ask her what she wants to be when she graduates, and then help her create goals to achieve that - which would be great if the goals were attainable - but they don't have to deal with that.  They just have to get her though the next year and then they're done.

When I suggested to Kitty that we find a job that better fit her needs for the new school year, she flipped out. She's afraid of change, so she wants to stay at the job they found for her at the beginning of the Summer, despite it's many issues for her.

We told the school she needed a job with very little noise and chaos (which is documented to cause her severe processing issues to kick in - dropping her IQ below 65 - which is considered intellectually disabled/ mentally retarded)... so they got her a job working in the game room/arcade of a huge entertainment center!    She works with a lot of teens - trigger, and drunks - trigger, who get rowdy - trigger, tease her - trigger, and break the rules - trigger. She's also expected to use computers and do math (her learning disabilities cause difficulties, which causes even more stress) - trigger.

School starts Monday and she doesn't have a class schedule (Bob got hers on Tuesday, but Kitty's was blank). Kitty  was freaking out and requested at least some information from the principal of her special school (very proud of her for being proactive and doing this independently!), and today (Saturday - they start school Monday - he sent her what little they had).  One of the few classes they have given her, isn't actually right for what she needs. They told her that instead of going to the special school while they figure this out, they want her to go to the regular ed high school, where the chaos of over 3000 students trying to figure out their schedules, see all their friends, and get their own needs met is sure not to give my daughter any anxiety at all!

At this point, all her developmental stages are tangled up (developmentally at 18 - she should be striving for independence - which is what the school and others are encouraging, but the reality is that emotionally/socially she is only 8 and is still very much needing a mommy.  So between gaps and delays and areas where she's actually on target -she's a chaotic mess. 

One RTC said that they'd never before met a child who was aware enough to know she was being treated differently, but didn't have the corresponding insight to be able to self-help using DBT.  So I live with a child who wants to be treated like her neurotypical peers, but doesn't have the abilities to handle it, is told that she deserves all the privileges of her peers, has a distorted sense of reality (due to her many mental illnesses), and blames ME (due to her attachment disorder). 

So we'll see. Part of me wants to step back and let the school realize that this kind of stuff is what sends her to the psych hospitals (after our family deals with the fallout for months), but since it's happened before, and they refused to acknowledge it then... I know that all that's going to happen is that she and our family are going to be dealing with the fallout while the school is totally, and deliberately, clueless. Since this is her senior year, by the time she surrenders to the stress - she'll almost be out of their hair, so they just don't care.

To top it all off, she apparently used the vacuum to clean the cat room (which is tile!) and now it's dead (I discovered this as I cleaned it out - now I know [i]why it smelled like burning ). My son was vacuuming near the bathroom when we discovered the issues so I assumed the smell was coming from there (it actually was - she'd left poo all over the toilet last time it overflowed). I did make her clean the toilet, sweep up the cat  I pulled out of the vacuum, and take out the bathroom trash. She is now "exhausted" and grumpy from all the chores I inflicted on her. *sigh*

In therapy all I hear is "What's the point, " when we talk about wanting her to isolate less, participate with the family more, talk to us about random things so it doesn't feel like the only time we talk to her is to "kill her dreams"... all she says is "I give up," "What's the point?" and "You want me to go back to the psych hospitals!"  She claims that when she used to try to talk to her about her complaints, we just said, "Deal with it."  Honestly, we had many more in-depth discussions than that, but the reality boils down to choice.  She can choose to focus on the negatives and the unfairness of life, or she can accept it and move on.  We try to "fix" what can be fixed, but as for the rest... yeah, she's just going to have to "deal with it."

I'm assuming she's depressed, but she knows if she goes back to the psych hospitals she'd have to go to the adult side, which, rightly so, scares the snot out of her, BUT at the same time who wants to live for another 5-10 or more years with an angsty "teenage" child with entitlement issues!  NOT ME!!

Kitty claims that we're rubbing Bob's achievements in her face, but the reality is we downplay it too much.  It's not fair to Bob that she can't talk about her life (getting a driver's license, going to Spain, going on college visits) - she deserves to be CELEBRATING!  It's her senior year and she's worked HARD!!  Yes, it sucks that Kitty isn't a neurotypical senior with no issues, but THAT'S NOT MY FAULT!!  It sucks even more that we're going to be going through this exact same thing in another year when Ponito starts getting his driver's license and talking about college.

I just want to enjoy what little time I have left with Bob before she goes to college next year and Ponito who's starting high school this year.  I hate that both of them spend so much time isolating in their rooms to avoid Kitty drama.  I hate that Bob hates her sister.  I hate that Kitty wants everyone to be as miserable as she is, to prove that we care about her.

I just want to be able to celebrate the achievements of all my kids (including Kitty), for my kids to be, if not happy then at least content, with their lives, and to maintain my joy.  Is that so wrong?!

OK, vent over.  We now resume our regularly scheduled joy.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, you should definitely adopt another child. Or two.

Lisa said...

It is very hard to maintain joy when one of the people you love is spending all their time making sure you are as miserable as she is.

I could have (almost) wrote this entire post on my daughter who just turned 18 in May. I pulled her out of high school because of the exact issues you have with Kitty - because the school was NEVER going to get it. We decided she was done with homeschool at age 18 - regardless of her educational status. She just got a job (alleleuia!) last week. She loved it. She was over the moon happy. She thought she'd stay there forever. The just fired her last night because she wasn't a "good fit" for their staff. She was working in the arcade/bowling ally at a local entertainment center (blissfully only a mile and half from our house so I was transporting her or she rode her bike) too - but her dream is to own her own daycare someday -eegads, not a great idea for so many obvious reasons. She was/is devastated. She will never "get it". She seems more outgoing than Kitty sounds, but to her detriment - she never stops talking and teasing and bugging the crap out of everyone so I can pretty much guess why she was let go. I know my daughter is attached, but she's still doing the whole pity party deal and blaming everyone else for this outcome (a co-worker hated her, wah-wah-wah). I feel so bad for her because she really liked this job and I really needed her to be GONE from the house once in awhile to give us all a break.

You need to celebrate Bob and Ponitos accomplishments - even if its taking them out to lunch without Kitty or spending as much time as you can with them while Kitty is at work. They deserve time with Mom and Dad without all the drama. It puts you in such a bad place, but sometimes we just have to do everything we can and then hand it back to them to save our own sanity!

marythemom said...

Lisa - have you checked out vocational rehab for people with disabilities in your state? (This link says it's for deaf and hard of hearing, but the links tend to work for all people with disabilities. If you're in Michigan this is what you'd use I believe,4562,7-124-5453_25392---,00.html

Ours helped us with testing, job skills, resume writing, finding a job, job coaching... paying for anything needed for employment (community college, hearing aids, driving lessons...).

Since Bob and Ponito hide in their rooms a lot, it's not easy to celebrate without Kitty around. I do go shopping with Bob sometimes without her.

marythemom said...

Nice, Anonymous, just because I'm having a bad day I would be a parent?

Don't worry though, this did make me feel bad if that was your goal.

Angel The Alien said...

You have my sympathy... anyone who is trying to raise three teenagers all at the same time deserves an award, and with Kitty you are dealing with way more than what parents of "typical" teens deal with!
Don't feel bad about what "anonymous" posted... some people don't realize that they're talking to a real person, not some sort of character from a reality show!

marythemom said...

Thanks Angel! I needed that!

Unknown said...

Ohhh we go through this daily of the 7 year old trying to make sure it is all about her and her negative attitude or her fake sickly attitude. It has come to the point that the other 5 kids rarely play with her. She had apologized at one point to the kids for lying and hurting them. Then a couple days later I find her older biological sister yelling at her to knock it off. The 7 year old was circling her outside with a pool noodle,slapping it into her open palm like people in movies do. Gee,intimadtaion much?She is 7 her biological sister is almost 12. (emotionally 9 or 10). 7 year old is not even allowed in the living room anymore for fear she'll hurt the baby.

Johanna said...

Oh, I wish I had some magic words - but we fight the same battle to make our family life be about more than just managing our difficult kiddo - and he isn't even presenting a tenth of what you are dealing with. Hugs!