Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I have been so lax in the last several weeks. So very sorry about this! We have had a lot going on that really doesn't seem to have amounted to much. As most of you know, we had a horrible Ice storm on Dec 11 into Dec 12. Alot of people lost power for a significant amount of time. We were lucky and only lost our power for about 36 hours. As luck would have it, my husband was bowling at a tournament in VT that weekend so we got to have a road trip with him.
The girls revolted! They don't travel well when they are prepared for the trip. And Rose hates hotels. I won't get too in depth about her reason but her mother exposed her to many inappropriate things in hotels. Thus she rebels against any fun we try to have in hotels! Marie for the most part is past her issues with travel but it seems as though when we travel she is more easily persuaded to be sucked into Rose's drama. Fun times for everyone.
So thankfully we weren't forced to stay in a hotel for long. Where was I going with that line....hmmmm.... nevermind ...I forgot....Marie and her twin bro are hanging out playing Guitar Hero....Actually they are briefly playing every Wii game we have....ADD....lol
Then we have been passing around repiratory and sinus infections....Fun times!
We are all getting better...with the start of the new year! Yay us! So now I am revved up again to blog...I will try very hard to blog more often. My goal is daily...So cross your fingers.
We have had a great week. I have most of the week off and I have enjoyed being with my family. For the most part the girls have really made an effort to fully engage us. Which I think is excellent. I would have to say this is the first Holiday that was completely enjoyable. I mean, of course, there is always drama! I know that is not possible to escape from that while raising my RADicals!
As the new year starts, I want to remember that there is good and fun to be had with my Radicals. I am hoping God will fill my mind with the fun we have had this past week when I am struggling with them. I hope the same for all of you, too.
I am also wishing you a year full of successes and fun!
Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Today is Christmas. and for my RADtastic household it has been a good day. Marie is a trooper and she has been doing great for awhile now. I am so proud of her. She seems to be learning to self regulate herself. Rose had been doing so very well all day. She was accepting limits and she was thankful and respectful and so very fun to be around. Well that was until I started this blog....lol...she has a sixth sense or something about making sure I have something to write about.
I am so thankful for my family. They aren't perfect but they are mine. I love them very much and I wouldn't trade them for anything....Even though there are days that I may think twice about that....hahaha.
I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Merry Christmas. Even though, we are facing challenges now that the let down after the fun has started. This was a wonderful Christmas Day with many very pleasant interactions. Perhaps the best holiday I have in the whole five years I have parented my RADishes. I am grateful that God has given me this. My husband and I deserve it!
So do you! I wish you a wonderful day also.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We are home, warm and at peace. I will write more tomorrow...
Keep warm and be well!
Monday, December 8, 2008
BUT I have these kids...These kids that I am lucky enough to parent. These children that God gave me to mold, teach, love, and help heal. And they do stuff that becomes bigger than what my agenda is.
As I told you the other day. We have recently reintroduced Rose to her biological grandfather and his wonderful wife. And there was a lot of apprehension on our part. Not about his appropriateness or whether he would be bad for her. I have emailed him daily for almost five months, we talk on the phone several times a month, and we have seen each other a couple of times. I am a great judge of people when I meet them. No psychic powers or anything. I am really good at telling whether a person is for real. I can tell phony quite easily. I watch body language....Words are easy to fabricate but body language gives you away every time. I even venture to say most moms that have children with special needs have this gift. It is a gift to read your kid and know that there is more than meets the eye there. (Can I hear an Amen...lol)
Our apprehension was more because we didn't want to perpetuate Rose's fantasy of her birth family "fixing" her life. I also was worried that my child who already refuses to be part of our family would "check out" for good. Here is where I have to walk the tightrope....I don't want to sound all polly anna because eventually the other shoe will drop....BUT...right now....I have been pleasantly surprised. She isn't as far removed from us as I thought. After our visit...she came home and cuddled with me for awhile. She laid in my lap limply, clinging to me. I was astonished....I AM HER SAFETY BLANKET! Me....For months, years even I have felt there was no connection....that she was the ice queen...not the case...at all! She has come in to my bed every morning and she has willingly cuddled with me. She has been helpful and loving. She has(dare I actually say it aloud) been fun to be around!
This whole time we thought we were giving her grandparents and her the gift of a relationship but I am also getting a gift. The gift of hope. I am sure you must have read in my blogs the level of exhaustion and frustration I was feeling. I was at the end of my rope...the very difficult to admit to word, disruption, had been bantered around. I have felt hopeless and isolated...And devastated by those feelings...But I have been given HOPE back again! God knew I was in need of this boost. My little child that I had lost hope for....is much healthier than I supposed...I am not saying she is by any stretch of the imagination Healed...but perhaps she isn't as "broken" as we feared.
Does this make sense to anyone?
Daniel Hughes also said he can't predict the future so there is no child he has ever given up hope on. Some kids don't seem to figure it out till their 30's but they would never have figured it out if hope was lost....So I can't lose my hope.
I am going to take the giggles, I am going to take the REAL hugs, I am going to relish the kisses and snuggles...and I am going to treasure them all.....Because I am sure there are a few more "I hate you's" in my future.....=0)
Be Well....Thanks for not giving up on me!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
'Tis the season to be jolly....falalalalalalalaaaaaaaaa....
Ummmmm....apparently this song was not written by a family with RADicals.=)
I didn't realize how long it has been since my last blog...sorry.....Truly do apologize. Don't worry....It hasn't been worse...Just constant...It has almost become a routine...Albeit a routine I don't like....Tantrums have become part of our routine. (((sigh)))
Yet this isn't going to be an entry of bummers...=)
Thanksgiving was difficult. Both girls were "off". Unless you have out of sync kids, it is hard to describe what that means. It doesn't seem that far off to most of the viewing public...but it is like their brains were shaken up and now they can't figure anything out. I was becoming increasingly agitated. Hard to believe after weeks of nasty behaviors...it wears on a girl.=)
Now what I did next is not something that I neither endorse as therapeutic or recommend unless the situation is appropriate. I know my next step is not the norm and it certainly isn't something that will work for all families...Or perhaps many at all.
I also will not go into huge detail about certain things. It may actually not make much sense when I omit some details. But I have to remain respectful of everyone involved. (did you notice I have way too many sidebars...but it is how I really talk)
Back in the summer, I made contact with Rose's biological paternal grandfather. He was not part of any of the trauma history of Rose. I was actually searching for her biological mother but he was the only name I knew for sure. He is a really neat guy and so is his wife. He and I have maintained a wonderful relationship since then.
Next, Marie's older brother is 18. A week before his 18th bday he leaves his residential program. We found out that he has moved in with his biological mother. She is still clean and seems to be doing very well considering how things used to be. I am proud of her.
Soooo, back to my story! They were completely out of sync and their behavior was getting worse and worse as the day progressed. I knew it was because of their hurt and loss of birth family. At another time, I will go more into this loss. Although, from living with it...I am sure that we all know that.
I was becoming more and more frustrated so I decided to take drastic measures. Here is the part that I am sure you will gasp at...may even question my judgment. I got out my cell phone and I began to call Rose's grandfather. She was in utter disbelief. Her tongue dropped to the floor. He wasn't home sooooo I had her leave a message. Then I called Marie's older brother and her birth mom answered. Sooooo we had a very short and appropriate conversation. Marie cried but smiled as she heard her birth mom's voice for the first time in 7 years. Later, Rose's grandpa called back and she also smiled as she spoke to him for the first time ever. The last time he saw her she was too little to speak.
My theory was that since they were having the issues anyhow....why not allow them what they truly wanted....contact....with their birth family. Their past....
To make peace with the past, they have to have all of the pieces. ( I heard that line from the show on WE called the Locator~a man helps reunite people) I am aware in most of our cases, this is not really appropriate or feasible for most families. In our case it was worth a try. Life is complicated and I don't know all of the answers. I probably can't give you even a few answers but for me it was worth a try.
Birth family issues have arisen most of this last week. A lot of clingy behavior and a lot of trying to control everything. But not one tantrum! Not one. Although, issues have been arising...it was bound to come up again. Why not now? Now is as good a time as any. Maybe now we can get to the real root of the matter and we can get working.
I have more to tell you but I am beat! I saw Daniel Hughes speak this week. I want to really discuss this because I found it to be a life changing two hour lecture. He wrote "Building the Bonds of Attachment". If you have not read it...it is a powerful book. He has also had 30+ years of experience dealing with children with Attachment Disorders. So that will hopefully be tomorrow.....And he gave me my hope back....Awesome!
Also, we had a visit with Bio grandpa on weds night. I want to tell you about that too....Also, a wonderful gift to be thankful for!
So Much to catch you up on! I missed you guys!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Soooooooooo, my peeps.....I read me some nifty blogs....One I love is Torina. The other night I was reading her blog. She said her family would make a great comedy. I, myself, think I would be a dramedy...Too much wailing and gnashing of teeth at my house to be a comedy.....lol
I have a friend that fosters. She always has something fun going on at her house. She graciously watches my daughters until I get home on the nights my hubs bowls. She is truly good to my girls. She has a newborn and a 15 month at her house now along with her own almost 3yo daughter. Rosie tends to parentify herself with younger children. My friend and I have discussed and agree on the rules about her little ones. Rosie can talk to them and play but she can't physically touch them.
This really pisses her off. I know it does. I can see that it does. I have explained to her and we have discussed at great length that she is a kid and she is lucky enough to get to act like a kid. Marie is a teenager and has taken a babysitting class. She does not try to parent the children and therefore my rules don't have to be as strict with her.
Guess what? Do you see where this goes since my friend babysat for me tonight?
We live in an apartment complex. She was quite verbally aggressive with me. Not good after a long day at work...hehehe....I let Marie into the house and locked the door. I sat down in front of the door and laid my head against the door.....She demanded that I let her in....I calmly (yay me! The pills are working...hahaha) told her that when she was able to respectfully speak to me, we could go inside. She stood over me and told me she thought she was gonna puke.....I told her she had to do what she had to do....(in my head, I just pleaded with God to help her control this urge...because I would be puking too if she did that!)
God hear my cries....She relented because she didn't want the neighbors to know we travel on the crazytrain! I have to say...my older daughter has bipolar along with her RAD and when she is having an "episode" (our special word for her manic place) she doesn't care who is there to experience her train ride....Rose on the other hand, is ridiculously aware of what other people appear to think. It really can work in my favor. I know I can run errands with her no matter what because she doesn't want anyone to know about the crazytrain!
I don't like Ozzy Osbourne's music. To be honest, I have never really listened to his music. He has this song called "Crazy Train" in the chorus he says "i am going off the rales on a crazy train" Sometimes....I feel as though that is my life....so I made it my ring tone...Please, don't write me and tell me how horrible that song is....lol...that is the only part of the song I have ever heard....and the only part I plan on hearing AND it feels like me right now...hahaha...clearly the meds need to be upped....lol
She chilled long enough to get in the house and shower....She began again after that so Marie was already in bed so I shut my bedroom door and let her do what she had to do until she fell asleep.....She went to sleep quite quickly....Man, I know if I were her, I would be exhausted....She puts so much effort into pushing us away from her. Poor kid....She really is a sad little girl. I feel so badly about the fact that she is so dedicated to pushing us away....Lucky for her...I don't ever give up easily! I am nothing if I am not dedicated! I may stumble and I may royally screw things up sometimes....But in the end...I am totally dedicated to this family!
Lucky for all of you, that means tons of blogs to come....hahahhaha...If you all excuse me..I have to go watch TLC and the family with two sets of twins and a set of sextuplets! And I think I am overwhelmed!
And in case I don't say it enough or well...Thank you to all of my family and friends for your love and support! My mom, dad, sister, both bro in laws, sis in law, father in law and J, my brother and M, J and D, M.L. and the list goes on! Thank you all for what you do for us! And Thank you to my blog family...I love you all too!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I have been struggling with a very depressive state as of late! The stress of caring for her has really done a number on me. At first, I wasn't going to say anything but I decided....It is what it is and I can't be embarrassed or ashamed for what is going on.
For the short term, I have chosen to use medication. Although, I don't advocate medication as the "cure all" for life's adversity....It seems to be helping me cope. I was truly struggling with panic and anxiety. It was becoming debilitating in how it was affecting my life.
I think part of it is going through the stages of grief. Which I am not sure I have ever done before. I guess I never thought I had to...But I think that I am ready to now....Or maybe I was in the Anger stage for a very long time...Now I am in the depression stage. I know that you don't go through the stages in order and you can revisit one stage many times.
I never thought of this relationship with Rose as causing me to make this journey. Her constant attacks and her trauma has been difficult on our family. I have had to reevaluate how I feel about this situation. It isn't that I don't have hope, it isn't that I don't think she can heal. I have hope, I know she can heal. The frustrating thing is that I feel that she is purposely not. I don't know why. I don't know if it is fear on her part or she isn't ready to move past her anger. I don't know...I don't need anyone to explain it to me....I have been in therapy for a very long time....
Today's blog is about me...not her. I don't want an explanation of her. She is who she is. And right now that is all I care about. I am doing the best I can for her. I have put my own health and emotional well being on hold to deal with her shenanigans...AND I WON'T DO THAT ANYMORE! I think as a society, moms are told we must sacrifice everything to be a good mom. AND that simply is not the truth. If you are compromised in some fashion, you can't give your children your best. Your children don't need all of you...they need the best you can give them.
This may be too personal but I am going to share it anyway. Saturday....I didn't get out of bed till 5pm! That isn't too unusual over the past couple of months! My husband had arranged for us to go out to dinner with friends. I didn't want to go. I didn't want to get out of bed. My wonderful husband is so dedicated to me. I am so lucky to have him. He has taken such good care of me including taking care of the house as I have been going through this. I did get up and I went out with our friends. It was then that I realized how bad it had gotten. I also realized how important it was for us to go out without our kids.
My friend babysat for us....and you know what...she did a great job! She handled them quite well and was even able to deal with Rosie! I felt so relieved that I have another person I can trust with my children. I also have a friend who fosters that is great with my kids...but she is busy with her own brood. My sister and my mom have always been the only ones I trust with my children but they are both in college and very busy so I feel guilty asking them to help me...they have their own stuff! I don't want to bother them with my "stuff".....
My husband enjoyed having me to himself so much that he and I have promised each other that we will have more date nights!!!! Which we need....Our marriage is the most important relationship in our home!
Ok....so I am off of my pedestal! I just had to unload some stuff.....I am feeling great today! I am coming out of my cave and ready to tackle whatever the future has for me! Including more battles with Rosie.....What would life be if I didn't have that adventure to look forward to!
Also....If I haven't said it enough.....I have the most wonderful husband on the earth....Thank you, Honey! I love you!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I just saw that someone quoted my blog....That is so cool...I never thought that I would get to say that ....Nice...Thanks....by the way...Love your blog, too...But I am blog dumb and don't know how to add links...I will figure it out though!
My little Rosie is challenging if she is nothing else! I feel like an old record because I think I say that a lot. I must sound as though I hate her. It isn't that at all...I love her a great deal. But she pushes my buttons like nothing I have ever seen before. Holy Cow! She knows how to get under my skin. This as much about my reaction to her as it is truly is about her pushing me.
I am coming to a realization right now. I have a few medical issues that are completely stress related. This is documented by actual health care providers...not my guess...hahaha...And I realize one issue in particular is out of control. I am a high strung person to begin with...so this isn't all due to being a parent! But I have realized that I really need to rethink my reactions....they are going to kill me.....I work in the health care field(not as a dr or nurse but close enough to know what is going on) and I see the issues stress can cause. I never thought of myself as one of "those" people but then one day I turned around and BAM...that is me!
I know I need to relax...I know I need to take care of myself...I really know all of this stuff...BUT I really find it hard to do....My personality seems to be impeding my own ability to do this! So I am purposely standing back ....AND.....taking a chill pill...I know I have said I need to do this so many times....BUT I am serious!
My daughter has a classmate that just lost his only parent. My daughter was quite upset about the whole situation. Not that I am on death's door or anything BUT my children need me to be healthy...They need me to take breaks and they need me to be healthy....Otherwise I am not there to terrorize them for the next million years!
So I have to relax....So tomorrow...I am relaxing...I am not doing any errands...I am going to sit on my big fat butt and watch the Anne of Green Gables movies! I found all three of them in one set....(i thought this was a major score) I will let my husband manage things on his own...AND I will eat cheetos and reese cups until I puke if I want to! Most likely I won't do that...But I also may just shower and put clean pj's on...Not even getting dressed...hahhaha...Yeah me! I am so thankful that I have a husband who agrees that I need this! I love you honey!
Here's wishing you the break you need and deserve!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
When she first got home last friday....we had a horrible time. She was angry with us for having her admitted...she was still angry about her birth family....and now she had to return to school which made her even more angry...I had a very angry kid at my house.
She seems to be quieting down over the last couple of days....So that is good!!! So very good....AND this weekend my friend and I are going to see a musical! I soooo need a break....and how awesome do you feel after a musical.
I promise that I will write longer soon! I just want you to know how much it truly means to hear that you are thinking of us and praying for us....It is truly powerful!
Have a Happy Friday!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thanks to my fans...I am soooooo psyched I have followers!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The great Yoda is responsible for that quote. I personally don't have any feelings either way for Star Wars...But even if it is from a movie...I think it is unbelievably profound.
We went to the rtc today and they have decided that Rose is appropriately stable and she is able to come home on friday.
I am having many mixed feelings about this. I have not blogged much because this all has taken an incredible toll on me emotionally. I have truly sat on my butt for the last two weeks and taken the time to breathe. I haven't cleaned my house in two weeks, laundry isn't folded, and I need an oil change....Any volunteers to come help me? hahahahah....I needed the time to baby myself. I have had to learn to allow myself to relax....Which took a long time. My own defense mechanisms had been so strong that it took me a good 8 or 9 days to take it down a notch. I am a very high strung person so that is a big deal for me....hahaha....
Back to Rose coming home. When we had our meeting this morning....services available to us....none really.....beyond what we are already accessing...we are doing everything correctly....we provide her with love, nurturing,and safety....It will just continue to take time...(sigh) Hard to hear this when you feel as though the process is never complete. We love her but we find her behaviors challenging...
Back to Yoda.....I find that I fall into the "try" mentality.....I need to just do it or not do it...I am wasting my life away just trying.....
My commitment to Rose is worth more than just giving it a try....She deserves my doing it or not doing it....So I am doing it...I am committing to her coming home and our family healing....I am doing my best to make sure that happens...Trying implies I could fail...Doing implies I will succeed....Talk about power of positive thinking.....
I am convincing myself as much as I am convincing anyone else.....At least you all know I will have more blogs...I am guaranteed that this roller coaster ride will continue for a long time!...Might as well sit back and enjoy it....
Thursday, October 16, 2008
When we were in the ER having the psych eval done...Rose was having a blast. She was holding court and the room was full of nurses that were more than willing to be her jester. At one point they asked her if she wanted juice and cookies. I softly declined on Rose's behalf. The nurse looked at me in disbelief. Her face looked as though I had asked her to euthanize my child. She said to me " you know that I will have to write on her chart that you have refused her food and drink?" I said "yes, do what you must but she doesn't need to be given juice or cookies. We aren't here to have a party. I have water if she truly needs something" I was surprised that she felt that it was horrible to say no to juice and cookies at 9 pm!
When the clinician said he felt he could make a case to have her admitted, Rosie said "Do they have stuff for me to play with?" And when the ambulance driver took her by the hand to the ambulance, she happily went with her. I told her that I would be following with daddy behind the ambulance and she barely gave me a second look. When we entered the facility, they told her she would be going to bed. She hugged us and left the room....Never looked back...When she found out we couldn't visit till the end of the week she said it was not a big deal...she had her stuff but when we came, could we bring her snacks.
If my heart wasn't broken, there are many stories about this that are kind of comical. We are working with the staff to set up services for her when she leaves the program. We are hopeful that something beneficial will come out of this. I am still praying that she will have the "ahhh haaa" moment where something clicks and she is able to do the work that she needs to begin the healing process.....
As long as I keep up my hope...I am able to get up and be the productive mom of RADishes....
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I am still exhausted today. My theory is that I have been hopped up on adrenaline for so many months that as I relax alittle....I am crashing....so I need some sleep.
I have a few funny stories from our trip to the ER but I am falling asleep now....I just wanted to let you know I am still here and I will be blogging through my new adventures!
Monday, October 13, 2008
I will write more when I have a few minutes...
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Me: I love you
Marie: UMMMMM, Ok
Me: Marie, you haven't done the dishes
Me: You are late for your curfew
Marie: UMMMMM, Ok
Me: I think that the sky is blue
Marie: UMMMMM, Ok
Me: You need to stop
Marie: UMMMMM, Ok
Me: Do we really need to have this conversation while I am upset? Or would you prefer when I am ready to have this conversation.
Marie: UMMMMM, Ok
Do you get the picture?
I just had to share this. I know she is a teenager...But it really gets on my last nerve when she says this with that condescending, "i am way smarter than you" tone that she gets.....I want to rip her cell phone in half and scream "I am smarter, I am an adult for godness sake! Stop talking to me like an idiot!!!!"
Does anyone else relate to this?
I know we all have bigger fish to fry than something this petty...But today I feel like being petty...... UMMMMM, Ok
Saturday, October 4, 2008
So this picture will be code for a RADical Day.....
At this point, I am still exhausted from dealing with my RADicals. I truly am in awe of those of you that have more than two children. Especially those of you that have more than two RADicals....I have to admit that I am all filled up with Drama with my two RADicals. They are more than I can handle some days and I am in awe of and somehow jealous of those of you that seem to be able to juggle more than two! Hats off to you! I truly mean this is the most sincere and inspired way! You are truly my hero.
Marie is failing two classes at mid terms and her way of handling it was to not tell us about the Progress Report AND to try to be out with her friends as much as humanly possible. I even told her if she continued to bully me into letting her to go outside, I would not let her "hang" with her friends the rest of the week. She readily and contritely agreed....Should have been my first clue that she was hiding something. And just for kicks, the classes she is failing are the easiest classes on her roster and she is failing merely because she blows them off.
Rose continues to attack me every morning. I have to be honest, after five weeks of school and her constant attacks for those said five weeks...I am no longer impressed=)
So here is where we are. Where we are living now.
We went to WalMart this afternoon. The girls wanted a special treat from Dunkin Donuts, so we let them go get a treat. Which gave my husband and I a very special few minutes to talk and be alone. (Take it where you can get it!) Soon, Marie is storming towards us. Some crazy story includes an accusation of Rose calling Marie fat. Which is a buzz word for Marie. She is very sensitive to such issues, as most teens are.
Well, Rosie is no where to be found. We can't find her. So we pay for our stuff and sit up front on the benches. I am so glad WalMart cares for comfort. Rose shows up about 15 mins later and is astounded that we were sitting up there. Didn't we care for her at all? So I asked her why she wasn't with Marie, as she is supposed to be. Well, Want a suprise? She had a completely different story including Marie victimizing her...Shocker....
Marie at 15 and much closer to being healed, usually tells the truth with a slant towards her being a victim but the truth is there. Rose at 11 and not close to being healed...Her stories rarely if ever contain the truth, just a story of her victimization. So we spend way too much time trying to get the truth. Finally, Rose concedes to most of Marie's account but insists she didn't call her fat. Now she says she called her "the B word". She was appalled that we thought she would call Marie fat. It is beyond me why in her mind the B word was more acceptable than fat but I am beyond figuring that out. It boggles my mind!
More hemming and hawing commences. We stopped at a Sub place to get dinner..It was getting late and I couldn't be bothered. There was a State Trooper there and I made some comment about his cool undercover car. The girls were afraid of him and I told him that it would be a good idea to be on their best behavior. He would not be impressed.....The girls sat down and waited while we ordered. He turned around...He was aimlessly taking a look around the sub shop and must have caught a glimpse of Rose and nodded at her. When He turned back around...She slinked up to me and whispered in my ear.." Mommy, I didn't call her the B word...I called her fat...I just wanted you to know the truth"
Man I wish I could have a State Trooper with me every day!
PS....Here is a shout out to my Followers...That is awesome...I love that! Also I used bad grammar a couple of times on purpose....so there....
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
My frustration is like the ebb and flow of the water. Sometimes, she is particularly toxic and it feels as though I have been engulfed in a tidal wave. Then, she gets it together and the water is gone. I feel peaceful and serene. I truly think in these times, God gives me the gift of memory loss.
I am not sure if anyone else ever feels this way. When she is raging, I feel as though I could drown and that it can never get better. She overwhelms me with her rage. But when we are in our good times, I am able to sit back and see the bigger picture. God grants me the grace to "forget". Of course, I don't really forget. I know what has happened and I remember how painful it was. But I am able to let go of it and I allow myself to feel HOPE again!
During Attachment Therapy, they always encouraged Cuddle Time. A time when I am supposed to hold Rose like an infant. It creates intimacy between us. She fights it most of the time. She is rigid or screams till she goes limp from exhaustion. The only time I can coax her into it is when I bribe her with M&M's or pudding or a sippy cup of chocolate milk. Otherwise, there is no gain for her.
In the past, the only time she asked for cuddle time was when she knew we had a good snack I might ply her with. And she only wanted it for as long as she thought I wanted to get her something she wanted. Needless to say, this constant manipulation makes me less than thrilled when she approaches me. My issue not hers. But still it strains the situation sometimes.
Then the water goes back out to sea and she asks me tonight for cuddle time. She had already had snack. I said yes. She laid on my lap and snuggled very close to me. She looked in my eyes and she was less rigid than usual. She never asked for a goodie. She held me close and she felt so very close to human. (does that make sense?) A little victory. Small but powerful.
These are the times that I know we can keep going. We can keep trying to create a healed family. We aren't going to be a war zone forever. Thank you, God, for my renewed hope!
Her therapist is gone for two weeks to get married and go on a honeymoon. Really, is this fair? She did offer to take me with her so I could have a break. As tempting as a trip to Hawaii is, it would be a romance killer for her. The hubby won't be so thrilled. =)
Have a great night and Be Well.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
We chose a local charity named Warmer Winters, that knits/crochets clothing, blankets and toys for the local homeless and poor. They also teach them how to knit and crochet, so that they have a skill to also provide for themselves.
Well, Marie decided to donate her half of the proceeds also so we donated all of our proceeds from our stand to WW. We actually did very well so I was very proud of Marie. Rose had been sick that day so she wasn't able to help. She did help me package all of the baked goods a few days before. My husband did the hot dog and ice runs to the local grocery store....soooo it was really a family project.
Yesterday the woman that runs WW invited us to visit their location. We brought her the check and saw all of the wonderful clothing that is waiting for those who need it. What a neat experience and the woman was truly touched by the donation. She offered to have the girls come to their next knitting night so that she could show them how to knit.
She took her picture with the girls, gave them each a pin to wear and warmly hugged them. She was truly appreciative. My husband and I were truly moved by what they are doing. She gave us local statistics about poverty and homelessness. Marie was also touched by the experience.
We went out to the car and asked the girls what they thought. Marie thought it was neat that they made all of the clothing that they had(over 800 pieces so far) and wanted to learn how to knit so she could help them. Rose said...."it was nice but I wish that they had offered to let us have something"
I laughed, what else could I do? The lesson was there....just didn't quite connect....
That is my story and I am sticking to it!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
So here are my Hoorays....
Rose-following directions and we have had Two( yes folks count them, two!) days without a morning fight! Yay us!
Marie- There has been some serious drama happening at the high school and she has not felt the need to run and hide her head in the sand. She has been brave and trusted us to keep her safe
My husband- he just totally rocks all around....
Me- Reacting less to the behaviors...big deal for me
Have a great night!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I have spent the better part of the last five years in therapy. I have spent the better part of the last five years reading books. I search websites, I go to a support group, I do...blah blah blah blah....I know what I am supposed to do. I know what the experts say. I know why the kid does it...I know that this is typical for a RAD kid...I know I know I know....But at the risk of sounding like a victim....it doesn't change the fact that it sucks sometimes! =)
I am trying to do what I want my children to do. I am trying to enact a concept that my oldest daughter learned in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). The concept is Radical Acceptance. It means to accept one's reality. You may not like that reality or agree with what is happening...but you have to accept it. My youngest daughter is challenging. She is who she is. I must accept this. This is our reality. Together. I am not saying that I am resigning myself to allow her the ability to be disrespectful and I am not accepting the bad behaviors.
But I must accept her. I must quit hoping for things to change that may never change. During Attachment Therapy, the therapist said something that I kind of blew off but now after so many months and years...I must do....I must accept her where she is. I am learning to do this.
It must seem so weird to hear this. How can she not accept her child? I love this child. I love her and I want the best for her. I want her to be successful and have a wonderful life. But I also spin my wheels trying to change things about her that I don't like. But that isn't truly accepting her. There are things about her that are just her. They aren't her RAD. They are how God made her. I have to ACCEPT those things.
So I am learning as I continue to struggle...I am learning that I too have many lessons still to learn. I want my children to learn Radical Acceptance of their own past so that they can move forward. I must also learn that same acceptance so that I can move forward with my children.
I think it is truly a gift that as humans, we have the opportunity to always change. We can choose to change our path with every decision we make. With every moment we live, we can make things different....make things better.
Today I choose to accept this adventure that I am living. I choose to accept my daughter and I choose to accept her flaws. I choose to stick by her and continue to do everything I need to do to get her healthy. I choose to change my reactions to her behaviors...
See what a little sleep does for you? It Changes your whole view......=)
Thanks for your comments. I truly treasure hearing your support and knowing we all have common ground to meet on.
Thank you once again and Be Well!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I think it is something I have always struggled with while parenting my children. Sometimes, it isn't RAD. Sometimes, it doesn't mean they will grow up to commit heinous crimes. Sometimes, it doesn't mean they are doing drugs, having sex or committing crimes. Sometimes, it isn't the end of the world.
I also think, I am oversensitive to everything my kids do...What does that mean? Why did they do that? Did you see her say that? Look at her eye movements...What is she saying to me?
Sometimes she is just a moody teen or tween. Sometimes she just wants to hangout with her friends. They just want to be with kids their own age. Sometimes she just thinks I am an idiot because that is her age. Teens suck....lol...Sometimes an eye roll is just an eye roll....
Sometimes....I have to relax and let them enjoy being a kid. Because sometimes....that is just what it is....her being a kid and figuring it all out....I need to chill out!
I may write another blog...But I had to remind myself...RAD is part of my life....Not our whole life.....
Sunday, September 21, 2008
We have done as much as we feel we can do to help her heal. In the last month, we have increased therapy sessions. She refuses to be part of therapy 90% of the time. Luckily, her therapist is wonderful and is committed to helping our family. Unfortunately, I think her resistance to therapy goes beyond fear or trauma. It is more of a genetic imprint. I am sure someone will gasp at my theory about this but I am with her, I live her wrath and anger daily.
I will also add that I have successfully parented another RAD child. I am a great mother with solid parenting knowledge. One that is very attached to us now and has made the decision to trust. She has made so much of herself by allowing others to love her and to love others. I do know that healing can happen. I have experienced it. Marie's current issues are more due to being a teenager and the impulsivity of her mood disorder and less about RAD.
Rose is very different. She purposely chooses to be harmful and toxic to everyone around her. We went through attachment therapy with a very well known and successful attachment group. She was willing to do what she needed to do so that she didn't have to sit in their waiting room for hours each week. No real work was done...Sadly she has no interest in buying into it. There is nothing of value to her. Nothing. Nor does anything gain any value through lessons. Consequences mean nothing to her. She will do what she has to do to get through and begins her plan for future revenge. She thrives on the toxicity she spews. Everything is a game. Everyone is her pawn.
This week she did major damage to a main door in the complex we live in and in the process injured my hand. I am fine. A small injury but an escalation in her behavior. I am becoming more frustrated with the situation daily. Her therapist has suggested having her assessed through a state Risk Assessment program. The risk with this is obvious since she is a past foster child. Although, I am starting to feel as though her only help will be a residential placement. I am very conflicted. I want to keep her safe and protect her. She is so cold and hard to this. Her walls are so thick and they seem too strong to penetrate.
I still have so much hope for her. I still want so many things for her life. I still pray that somehow we can break through her walls. I just am not convinced she wants any of those things to happen. I feel so frustrated.
I am still plugging on....I am still parenting her the best that I can....I still have hope....God has to do the rest.....
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I think on multiple layers, I am frustrated. First, I am frustrated that I had a long meeting with her teacher regarding her scams. I gave her the Nancy Thomas letter for teachers, which I highly doubt she actually read. She announced that she was very aware of and adept at dealing with a RAD kid...Apparently this isn't true since she has already sent my child to the nurse! She seemed like a smart cookie when we met with her. She seemed to be tough but fair, so we thought that we might actually have a teacher that could deal with this kid and not get sucked in. Literally a week in and Bam the kid wins!
I am also frustrated because the school system has rules that are set up for "normal" kids. Granted, I understand the rules and why they have them. I concede the need for them. But they are very frustrating to me as the parent of a child that uses them for evil! She knows the vomit=home rule so she did it where the teacher would hear or see her, then (this is my favorite part) tells the teacher I will punish her for going to the nurse. What kind of harsh mother am I?
As far as the teacher...she has been warned...If she gets scammed, it is on her. She suffers a bad school year because of it....
The school nurse was great. She explained that they need a note from some practitioner saying this is all psychiatric. The therapist was hesitant to write a letter due to the legal implications but she called her. The nurse said that just because she had to go home, didn't mean we had to hurry. So the day she went to the nurse, my husband picked her up five minutes before school ended. And she said she is happy to call me and send her back to class since she knows it is bogus. Finally, a person with reason...AND she didn't give Rose the sympathy she wanted.
Sooooo...I am a horrible mother right? Hahaha...Of course I am not! I am the voice of reason and one of the three people on the face of the earth that she can't scam. Yay me!
ON a bright note, Andrew McCarthy is going to be on Regis and Kelly. My all time favorite movie is Pretty in Pink. Of course, I am sure that has nothing to do with his visit....But I still love him.
Gotta take happy moments when you can! Be Well!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
My husband has a toothache. He can either have 3000+ dollars worth of work done OR he can have it extracted...Guess which he chose...So he is having it done under anesthesia....Can you say behaviors? ahahaha
Second, yesterday during therapy we had Rose read a letter from a member of her bio family that said that she was really going to live with us forever...Devastating but very much needed to dispel her fantasy of birthfamily reunification. Plus she is having testing done at school. So she is back to her old trick of throwing up so I had to have my yearly argument with the school nurse about not being sucked in AGAIN. Of course, everyone is now an expert on RAD so they don't need me to explain anything....As far as I am concerned...as long as she is at school...if they won't listen and are so stupid..they deserve to be scammed... I know that isn't therapeutic and I have to do more work at home BUT really, if you educate them and you try to warn them and they disregard everything you say....they sort of deserve to be suckered....So now I have to go down and have the "no Rose can't go to the nurse unless she is dead" conversation with the principal again....
Marie, is mostly doing fantastic. But it is beyond me why she gets sucked into the drama that Rose starts when she knows she lies more than she breathes....lol...I mean really....you can only help so much...they have to learn on their own!
Fun Times!!!! Super Fun Times!
On a very bright note...I haven't lost mind, I haven't opened fire on random groups of people, I haven't jumped out of the window..AND most people think I am way more sane than I am! So today Rocks....hahahahahah
Life is less about what you are going through and more about how you react....SOOOO..
I am choosing NOT to be bogged down in how much it sucks...And I am choosing to be thankful for the fact that with RAD kids, it could be worse!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
so I decided to share my smile....My little victory....you may not even find it amusing but it makes me smile and makes some unbearable moments...bearable for me...
My kids love love love to bully me. They truly feel that the best way to get their needs met is to force my hand....So now whenever they bully...I sing that fantastic oldies song...."you don't own me" I sing it with gusto and all of the out of tune muster I can get together...I sing whole heartedly and as cheerfully as I can possibly be...."you don't own me....(mutter some other words that I don't know)...don't tell me what to do...don't tell me what to say...please don't try change me....you don't own me..." and on I go repeating the words and I sing with gusto....generally giggles ensue...and I help things move along...and they think it was their idea...winner winner chicken dinner!
Okay, that is my story and I am sticking to it!
Be Well, Queenie
Sunday, September 7, 2008
When any parent sees their child for the first time there is an incredible welling up of emotion. You see that beautiful child ( no matter the age of the child) and you know that it is your child. It happens to varying degrees, I am sure depending on the situation...But you do KNOW they are yours. It doesn't matter their past, it doesn't matter the way they came into this world...You just know that child is yours. You know that you are meant to be together. At least, that was how it was for me.
My youngest daughter...I think today was the first time she has truly broken my heart. She can be brutally mean when she speaks with me. That doesn't hurt me. She says, on many occasions, that she hates me. That is certainly not hurtful. She will scream that I am a horrible mother. Still no pain going on. I know that her words come from pain.
We were in the car today...She told me that she doesn't think her biological sister looks anything like her birth family...I told her that they both ook just like their birthmom. She sat back there and repeated to me that she was the one that looked just like her birthmom. I agreed. ( I hate these conversations but they don't bother me...It is something that I have come to accept. ) At this point she became angry with me for not...Oh I don't know...not saying my words in the right tone...I have no idea.....I asked her why, if she knew she looked like her birth mother, did she need me to agree with her. "Because if I look like her, everyone knows that I belong to my real family".
I know it is only semantics and I am not into the whole politically correct adoption language that everyone wants us to use in our feel good society. But I truly hate that phrase. REAL FAMILY? The real family is the family that loves you, takes care of you, keeps you safe..all of those things that we do.
Of course, I (once again) explained to her that she could use the term birth family or bio family ....but we were her real family....your real family is the family you have!....So she said to me....You aren't my real family...you are the family I have to live with ....not my real family! Ok...you probably don't see the big deal...but even in parenting a RAD kid...they usually try to lie or sucker you....She is beyond doing that....I don't think anything she has ever said has ever had the same effect.
I will be fine....This isn't the end of the world..In the grand scheme of things, it is just another blip...But Parenting isn't for cowards...and I just needed to tell someone out there....today, it sucked....=)
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I have spent the majority of the last month surviving skirmishes with my wonderful Radishes. I really do try to be therapeutic with them. But I must also be honest and admit that isn't always the case.
Obama and McCain have both latched on to this idea of "Change" Brilliant concept that it is. If you don't like your outfit, change it. If you don't like your shoes, change them. If you don't like your shampoo, change it....I need to remind myself...I can do the same with my negative attitude and my negative feelings. I don't have to stay as I am just because that is how it has always been. Doesn't that sound easy...
It feels much harder to do than doing this. But is it really? Is it really harder than just merely choosing not to make the comment, not to entertain the thought...is it really harder than just being a better wife, better mother, better employee, a better human. I am going to be a movie quoting problem soon! but in the movie "Peaceful Warrior" there is this brilliant quote.....(paraphrasing here) There is not start or finish....there is just doing.... Just choosing to change the negative this or that....so that is what I am choosing to do....I am doing it...I am not going to start or finish...I am merely going to do it....
I wish I could find a successful way to teach my children this lesson. They are so fixated on "starting to be good" or "stopping the tantrums".....I find myself quoting the movie here too....Don't say you are going to start or stop....JUST DO IT! I find that this is such a hard lesson to teach them. But I feel that this is an important lesson for them to learn...If they don't learn this lesson....they will be spending their entire lives accomplishing NOTHING.....Never experiencing the most important gift we have....LIFE!
Hooray for my kids!!!!
Rose- faced with a chance this morning for a massive explosion....She chose, with very little prompting, to express her feelings. She also decided...I could be trusted with the control today, without a struggle!
Marie-She has started her first on-going babysitting job...She was responsible and respectful to her new employer and was quite wonderful with her new charge! She did a good job!!!!! YAY FOR HER!
Friday, September 5, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
My challenging, potentially sweet, younger daughter who seems to get away with murder. She seems to be able to scam every single adult she meets (her therapist, her dad and me not included) into doing something for her....Had a terrible day....and then when we went to therapy....she didn't want to participate there either!
As those of you that read my blog know....therapy work equals chinese food afterwards.....usually we feel bad and get her a little snack even if she doesn't do the work...but we have finally decided this is not working out for us....so tonight...we went out, had dinner and sat and socialized at the mall with my sister and her hubby....as Rose starved to death...Did I forget to tell you she had a snack right before therapy at 4:30 and it was only 7:15....We came home, I had her shower and put pj's on, then I gave her a pb&j sandwich and a group of grapes....what kind of mother are you? she said...I looked at her, smiled and said sweetly...."A good one".....
Of course....still not making the headway that we wish we were....but I am still a good mom...no matter where she is....she makes her choices....and her choices show me where she is....right now....she isn't in a fantastic place....but ...she is only 11.....she still has time....Moms tell me she still has time=)......
And the therapist is so impressed with how hard she is pushing us away right now...that she wants to spend another hour with us each week....Bonus!
Have a great night....I am not sure where I went or if I even went anywhere in this blog...but that is where my head is....
And my sister and her husband rock...because they are learning how fun the RADical life is and they don't run away, gnashing their teeth....lol....I love you guys....
Saturday, August 30, 2008
It is time for me to get going today....I can't stay in bed all day, can I?
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Ok...so positive things....
Rose: Admitted to lies and showed respect during the conversation about her said lies.
Marie: Pulled my husband and I closer by being helpful even after a major behavioral blowout!
Small strides....I am still thankful for the small strides.
The girls are quite emotionally raw this time of year so it is hard to blog with all the drama...I promise I will be back full force when they are back in school...Sept 2....YAY!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I titled my blog "I don't know....." because every time you ask my radishes any question they answer with " i dunno". Please tell me I am not the only one that hears this.
I have this little book called "99 Ways to Drive Your Kids Sane" I forget who the author is but I will print it because this book is great. Anyone that has a Radish should read through this book. So many great little things that can make things easier!
One suggestion was if you ask them a question and they say " I don't know" then you say....
"Then who does?"... My daughter says "huh?" So we say ..."who knows the answer if you don't...does McCain? Does Obama? Does Hannah Montana? Does Britney Spears? who knows the answer if you don't?" Mind you, you can't have this conversation with any sarcasm or nastiness. It has to be a sincere question and expecting a sincere answer. I have to tell you once they are no longer solely concentrated on being "stuck", they think about it and they can answer the question.
I do find that we have the most success when we find ways to break the "anger" or "stubborn" circle that they so easily get stuck in. It doesn't seem to be the "normal" way to parent. Of course, we are all aware that there is nothing "normal" about parenting our kids. One of the greatest lessons I have been humbled to learn is....parenting my kids isn't always a matter of me being right or having the most power. It is more important that I do what they need me to do to get them healthy. I can get what I want in many ways, not just my way. I am a very tough cookie....I am brisk and can be quite bossy. My kids says that I am tough as nails. OH yeah, and I am a super control freak....so these lessons....are lessons that I, just like my radishes, have to learn many times.....
The great thing about being human is.....everyday is another chance we have to reinvent ourselves and change those things that we need to change....Everyday is a blank page just waiting for us to write our future on! So there...I got to be sentimental and philosophical....and perhaps a bit of rambling to go along for good measure....
Be well, my lovelies!
Here is another bridge picture! I wanted to thank all of you that have sent me such wonderful comments. They truly are like a bridge over stormy waters to know that there are many of us out there in the world and we can find each other and boost each other up! So thank you for your boosting! I also want to thank those of you that I know personally! I know it can be difficult to be on this roller coaster with my family...But we love you and appreciate you!
Much Love, Me
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I am sure a couple of you have noticed that I haven't written a new blog in two weeks. I guess I needed a break from all things RAD...I am sure you are chuckling...as I am chuckling...I mean being the parent of two children with RAD that is quite impossible.
My mom's birthday is August 3. My nephew's birthday is August 6. Marie's Gotcha Day (the day she moved in) is August 8. Rose's birthday is August 10. My birthday is August 29. Busy Month, right? Plus, school usually starts at the end of August. Oy vey!
I am sure most of you know how our children react to holidays or birthdays or other significant dates of the year.
Marie usually loves her Gotcha Day. She looks forward to it each and every year. We have our annual discussion of her first visit to our home. We talk to her about when she arrived with her social worker at our house for her first visit, we were surprised when she brought FIVE trash bags full of her stuff over to move it in. We relive the months of visits leading up to her moving in and finally we relive the excitement of her actually moving in. Remembering how exciting it was to say good bye to the Social Worker that day and not having to return Marie to the group home.
And this was her Fifth Anniversary. I thought for such an important anniversary we would plan something special. Two days after her Gotcha Day is Rose's birthday. So I THOUGHT ( this is something I seem to continually do wrong.....) we would take a Family trip. A family celebration to celebrate two big events. I know it seems so now but at the time it seemed like a great idea. Both girls felt slighted and did spend a large amount of the time showing me with their behavior.
Actually, I have had this entire week off and they have shown me with their behavior that I made a bad decision. Never take a trip that is associated with an important day.
Do you realize how many rules there are when raising a RAD kid? I can't keep up! I really wish there was a rule book that you would receive when you bring them home...Actually, I wish they came with computer software. For instance, the software would ask you a group of questions related to your child's temperment, behavior, emotional and physical states. Once you had answered the questions, it would tell you the best way to deal with your kid....Wouldn't that be awesome? Of course, it couldn't fix the problem but it would be nice to be sent the right road the first time!
So as of now...I am writing my own handbook...Although by the time it is finished...My kids will be grown. And when I adopt again, they will have to have their own owner's manual. Maybe I will take my own advice and strap on my seatbelt and enjoy the ride.....
I also have to take a step back and not be so hard on myself. I am not a perfect human being. Nor will I always get it right. I am a fairly experienced RAD parent, but I can still make mistakes. And no the world doesn't end if I mess up! Hard lesson for me to learn. I want them to have the very best lives they can but I can't fix it all overnight. I have to be committed to the long term and forget the short term failures. Big Picture, K....Big Pictures..... It becomes a tight rope act to be happy with the small short term successes and remember that it is the Big Picture that benefits. And by learning this, I am able to not get so stuck in the bad times...I can focus on the good times and move on.....
On a side note, I was searching for my daughter's birth mother and contacted another member of my daughter's birth family to find her. This member of her family was so touched to hear from me and we began to correspond. I met this person and their spouse. They are very lovely and were not part of any of the "bad stuff". We are going to keep in touch and they want to help us anyway they can as she grows up. I was so touched that this person is so supportive of our family and has said they will do anything within their power to support the health and continued emotional healing of my family. A true blessing. I had to share it with someone!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I am stealing this in total from another blog. She has already given me permission for this but I am also linking to her because her blog amazes me.....She is awesome!
Good Things about my kids.....
Marie: Totally blew off her 4pm curfew AND when she came home she was calm, apologized, made amends and accepted her consequences.....Strides have been made!
Rose: She and I were able to complete an activity without her commandeering control. She "Let" me take the reigns.....Strides are being made!
Me: I didn't go nuts today....hahahaha....AND I maintained patience with the other! Both things I struggle with.....
I wish you a good day also! I love those feel good moments!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I think that my kids have no idea what true love feels. They are terrified of trusting someone that much. To allow them to be that close to them. I am going to try something new with them. I just spent time explaining this Bible verse to my daughter. I guess I don't really have much to talk about today.
But as over used as this passage is, I think it rings true for every type of love relationship that we have as humans. We had this read at our wedding. I know that is probably read at alot of weddings...I know I know... I think that it is something to read to our children, too. A simple lesson on what LOVE truly is. In concrete, understandable terms.....
I Corinthians 13:1-13
13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.I am actually going to CVS tomorrow pm and I am going to get poster board.....I am going to break the passage up into easily digestable phrases and I am going to hang them around the house.....
In their bathroom, I have small phrases about their positive qualities posted on either side of the mirror. and in their bedroom, I have taped on the wall, promises that we have made to them...i.e. we promise to love them, to keep them safe, to feed them, keep them warm, laugh with them, have fun with them, and be their family forever.... It has seemed to work so far....they get upset anytime I have said I wanted to take the curled up pages down...So I think I will try this again....after all.....love....believes all things.....A lesson for me, too....
Have a wonderful night......Be Well.....
Friday, August 1, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
One of my children displays extreme behavior on an almost daily basis. We finally spoke to her therapist about a note that we could keep with us in case some misguided do gooder calls the cops because they are freaked out by her shrieks. This letter doesn't eliminate the behavior but for some reason I feel safer knowing that the note makes it less likely that her shrieking will end in deep trouble for all of us. ( Don't gasp with horror....Again, unless you have lived with a violent child, there is no way you can understand to what measures you must go to keep your child safe.....)
I told the story of one of my trips to Target and another blogger shared her trip to WalMart, those stories bother me. I know that I have done nothing wrong...But those around you don't when this little angelic face is puffy and red from her desperate screams.....It is sad that you need to be so careful but the world is different now.....
Watch out girls......I am going to go full circle....Guess what on earth is the reason she has these crazy, rageful tantrums.....You have it! The trauma of her past....The neglect, the separation from her birth family AND the way her mind processes all of it.
Our family is a work in progress. I truly believe that even though our successes seem limited, we are having successes. Even when I am at my wits end and I feel the lowest, we are better today than we were yesterday....AND That is awesome!
Have a fantastic evening! Be Well!.....
By the way.....my girls are going to my inlaws tomorrow night...So I get to have DATE NIGHT with my wonderful husband!....SO there will not be a blog tomorrow night!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Girls were in rare form today.....More meltdowns than if we had 8 toddlers!
When we got back from Therapy, I had the girls get ready for bed and we were having a family meeting in the living room.....After a long period of time, we met back in the living room. Marie said that she was feeling very sad today and asked if we could do the "Five Things" game.
The "Five Things" Game is where each person writes down five positive things about all of the other members of the family. The rules are they can't be non specific things like "she is a good person", it can't be something like "it is funny when she/he farts" or anything else that is really a put down and it can't be a physical attribute. Tonight, I added a twist. They also had to list five good things about themselves.
Marie is very quick and always proud of her answers. When we do this exercise she is quick with her answers and they are always good things. I enjoy the fact that she gets into this stuff. She loves to contribute to our family in a positive way.....She loves to give and receive compliments. Which is just really a joy!
Rose really struggles with this entire exercise. Which is very telling as to where her mind and heart are at this point. She has no self esteem or any sense of self worth which led to her having a very difficult time with giving and receiving compliments. It breaks my heart to watch her struggle with a seemingly simple way to bond as a family....
Even with Rose's struggles, it still remains a very fruitful exercise. It is a break from the seemingly endless train of tantrums and rude comments. We all get the opportunity to sit down and remember the wonderful things we all bring to the table. It is a way for us to feel good about ourselves and to feel good about our fellow family members. Yay me for the idea!
During therapy today, Rose's therapist said we are really doing everything that we can do to help her, it comes down to her willingness to get better. She really isn't there yet.....But on the bright side....her therapist is young and said she will be around for many years.....HAHAHA.....so we have years to deal with this stuff.....it felt good to know that someone else thought we were doing the right things.....It always makes me happy to know that the issue remains on Rose's end and it isn't our lack of parenting skills. We just continue to pray that she has the "Eureka" moment and we can collectively begin to heal as a family.
My husband and I truly enjoy our time alone when the girls go to bed. It is our saving grace. We are so blessed that we have this time alone to enjoy each other and share our quiet times together. I am truly thankful that we have each other on this journey. It is a great comfort to know that we are stuck here together for this grand adventure!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Have a great night Be Well!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Ok....so here is a sticky subject for our families! I am not sure what happens in anyone else's family but Birth family is an ever present part of our lives. My children came to me at older ages. Marie was 9 when we met her and she moved in and Rose was 8 when we met her and she moved in. We met both of them after their birth parents had their parental rights revoked.
Both girls had lived with birth families until they were around the age of 5. They both have family histories that are complicated and I won't discuss because I do respect their most personal information. Again, full disclosure, they do know I am writing a blog regarding their birth families. I have promised them what I will and won't share. I love and respect my children and we always discuss these things....NO Shame in my house!
My husband and I read part of a book this past weekend that discussed an adopted child's lack of self worth. Many of them have self esteem issues that begin on the premise that they are unloveable because they could not stay with their birth family. In this book, the author discussed an adoptive mother that gave her son a letter from his birth mother saying that she loved him, thought of him, was proud of him and was really happy that he was being raised by a wonderful family. In the book, there was an amazing ending to this story. In reality, I am not sure that the ending will be "perfect".
I have been thinking about this. My little one, more than my oldest, struggles with those feelings of worthlessness and that she is not lovable. I have decided that perhaps we try this. I mean, we have tried so many other things! We have attended Attachment Therapy, she has been in a psych facility, we go to therapy every week, we read the books, we have done diet changes and vitamins, we say all of the right things, we respond the right way(most of the time!), and we still have this incredibly heart "sick" little girl in our home.
I contacted bio family members tonight. One by email and two by phone. Just so you know, before either of my children moved in, I met their birth mothers. It was my own rule. I always felt that the devil that I do know is better than the devil I don't know. Turns out that they were more sad and pathetic than horrible. I am finding it hard to navigate this part without becoming too personal so I will have to defer this to a later time.
Needless to say, I am truly hoping I will be able to give them these letters and perhaps quiet the beast in their belly. Both girls have deep pain from the loss of their birth family connection. Although it can be challenging and painful to us, I truly feel that they need some sort of closure with their birth family. A letter may not fix anything, it may only create other problems but we may have to navigate more pain to find healing! And that is what we are looking for! To have our children healed!
I want my children to grow up to be secure in themselves and to know what true, unconditional love is. Not only to know what it is but to experience it personally.
Today, after one of my conversations, I have great and wonderful hope for my girls. I wish you the same hope for your own families!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
My wonderful, patient husband lost his mind this weekend. The girls were off their rocker when I (gasp) laid in my bed and didn't get up and get dressed.....It was the end of the world when we didn't go anywhere.....Today, my husband came into the bedroom and said "so when are you getting up?" I said I don't feel good and he looked at me and said "so when are you showering?" I have to admit I was so upset. My husband is so great and does so much for me but the girls were so wacky that he was done for the weekend.....He is ready for work tonight.....
Needless to say, I felt so bad that I did in fact get up and get dressed...I am still grumpy and I still don't feel good but for some reason, the fact that I am dressed some how makes them feel as though I am healthy and that I am able to keep them safe.....It marvels me how their minds work.....
ON the Bright side....The cherubs have gone to bed.....My hubby and I get to have some time alone and I can climb into my bed and snuggle!
I really really need to get back to so many things on my blog...patience my friends....patience! This week I will try to cover things....Plus our 5th Gotcha Day (the day my Marie came home) is soon upon us and we have a birthday (Rose) two days after that! And just for good measure the first anniversary of our beloved cat's death is the day in between the other two events....So yes it is that perfect storm in a RAD home.....Could it get any more fun....Oh yeah....camp is about to end, too......Yes! I love my life! When I was single I was always afraid I would have an uneventful life...>HAHAHHAHAHAH.....now I pray for nothing to happen......How our lives change!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
My husband was reading a book earlier this week, the author was talking about his 30th High School Reunion. He then started to count how many years he has been out of high school. 19 years.....19 years and next year would be 20 (like my math skills?). He contacted a woman from his graduating class to see what was planned for the momentous year. God clearly knew what we needed!
His classmate is someone he has always been fond of and apparently with good reason....She is now one of my favorite people, too! (J-sorry for sucking up, but you don't realize the gift you are giving us!) J* has a motel on Cape Cod. She has kindly offered us a room at her motel. The Cape is a hopping place during the summer and for her to offer to make sure we got a room during the "In Season" rocks.....
The summer can be such a long and trying time for RAD families. Our kids struggle a great deal when there isn't strict schedules that they have to adhere to. My kids hate not knowing what will happen at 11:37 am everyday. During the summer, there is no way to guarantee that the same way they can when they know exactly where their behind will be sitting at 11:37 am once September comes.
So sometimes it is nice to really throw them off and go away for the weekend! Every April we go to Vermont on a long weekend. It is so much fun but even in that we have tradition. We go the same weekend every year and every year we go to Vermont Teddy Bear Factory and the Shelburne Country Store. Every year we get a teddy bear when we are at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. Every year we buy "penny" candy at the Country Store. And Every Year we swim at the hotel swimming pool and stay at the same hotel. Every year we stop at the same mid way pit stop and we get gas as the same gas station. We even play the same get a dollar if you can name the Vermont state capitol. They Love it and it makes things less anxiety ridden when we have a "routine" for that trip.
When we offered this opportunity, I wasn't sure at first. But I decided that we need a break. Perhaps we will have great success and we will have another safe place to get away....Plus now I can be like everyone in Massachusetts and I can answer the what did you do this weekend question with "oh I was on the Cape" Sometimes I need "normal", too!
I was reading another mom's blog today....She is really neat! I am thankful that she found me....I have her listed in the blogs that I read (her blog is "Living with RAD"). Actually, I think every blog that I have listed is fantastic...I am sure if you enjoy mine, you would find enjoyment in theirs too! Oh yeah...about her blog....every weekend she lists something positive about her kids...I think that is such a fantastic thing because it takes the focus away from the hard times....so I am hoping she doesn't get upset but I am going to do the same.....Thanks, Brenda!
Marie: She is such a positive kid. She is extremely helpful and I enjoy all the times I get to share with her.
Rose: She is extremely good at doing chores! She excels at organizing things and folding laundry! I enjoy watching her be so exact with the folding of my clothes. She is very earnest with showing us that she can do a good job and she does!