Monday, July 5, 2010

Life is good!

I focus sometimes on the things that are frustrating me. I focus on how hard life is right now. I focus on how others have it easier than me. I focus on friendships that hurt. I focus on family relationships that are lacking. I focus on work issues. I focus on medical issues. I focus on the heat. I focus on RAD. RAD. RAD. RAD. and RAD. Not right now. I am going to share with you the good things in my life.

Sit back and think about those things that are good:

1. I am in good health

2. My husband loves me.

3. My children are alive and physically well.

4. I got to lay in bed and tickle my daughters yesterday.

5. I have ears to listen to the giggles and shrieks of happy children.

6. I have a job.

7. The weather has been soooo beautiful.

8. I love therapy.

9. I have two very special siblings, whom I love very much.

10. I have air conditioning.

11. I have many nieces and nephews to love and hug.

12. I love my husband!

13. I live in the USA. I have many blessings from living in this great country.

14. We have an amazing professional support system.

15. We have a great family support system.

16. I have two adorable cats that love to be spoiled.

17. I have a few truly good friends. My circle is tiny but greatly loved.

18. I love my coworkers.

19. God loves me no matter what mistakes I make.

20. God really loves me! Look at all He has blessed me with!

Good Days

This has been a long strange ride. I am sitting in my living room watching my almost 13 year old make her own tuna sandwich. To the outside world I am sure this is no big deal but it is HUGE here. When Rosie is emotionally healthy, she can make her own food and be helpful to us. When Rosie is emotionally unhealthy, she breaks down in fits of tears and says we have no food. Today we are having an emotionally healthy day.

Actually, this has been the first holiday in the four years that Rosie has been with us that she didn't have a complete breakdown! It was also the first holiday that both girls have been home with us since last Thanksgiving. At least one of the girls have been in out of home placements for each holiday since last November.

The stress of raising them can sometimes seem oppressive. I long for respite all the time. Yet when they are away, there is a hole in my soul. I am lost without them. I know I have already covered this in a previous blog but it bears repeating. They have become part of my soul. I didn't give birth to them yet they are in my blood.

I know they have needed the time out of the home. I know that everything I have done for both girls has been in their best interest. I still feel guilt sometimes. I still feel as though I somehow failed them because their needs were too big for me. I also know in my head that isn't the case. I can't fail them when I am keeping them safe and making sure their needs are taken care of. I am their mom...I want to fix it all. I want to make the hurt leave.

Marie was home for a visit this weekend. Marie and Rosie were stuck to each other. So very nice to watch and experience. We had a family get together at my parent's house. Both of my siblings were there with their families. It was the first time all of the cousins were together. My nephews and my daughters. Marie enjoyed the teasing my brother gave her. She was the child we have been raising for seven years. She wasn't the troubled child from the last four months. Rosie was quiet and shy but still sweet and cuddly with everyone. It was just a really wonderful time.

And today is still a great day! She is sitting next to me, eating her sandwich, smiling, giggling and being pleasant to be around. A very healthy day.

May you also have a healthy day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Choosing My Family

We are counting down the days till Rosie comes home.....We are at like 3 days! 3 days! Gazooks!

I am excited! She has been out of the home for five plus months. I miss cuddling with her. She has always been my cuddle monkey! I am hopeful that her time away from us was not wasted. I am hopeful that she realizes that life has more to offer her than the misery of her past. I love her. She is my child, I simply love her. I love her for who she is with all of her promise and her many struggles. All of the good and bad make her the special child she is!

I am indifferent. She has been gone a long time and it has been quiet while she has been gone. I am apprehensive because she is still the same person. No matter the length of time she has been gone....she still has the same personality. Some things are ingrained. I have fear because those primal wounds are not healed yet. There is still the fear of her cutting words and her violent outbursts.

So I sit here trying to reconcile all of my feelings. I go through times where I second guess myself. Other times I make deals with myself in my mind. I scold myself for the not so fuzzy feeling feelings and I scold myself for the very fuzzy feelings. I mean what kind of mother dreads the return of her little girl? And what kind of bafoon is excited about the return of their captor?

The mother of a RADling is who!

These thoughts keep me awake at night. I spend my time to and from work reliving every moment and every conversation we have had. I review the reports in my mind. I know the facts back and forth. I know the prognosis and I know what we are up against.

So once again we welcome her home, praying for the best but realizing that we must temper our excitement with realism. She will have to practice her new skills over and over again. She will mess up. I anticipate she will mess up lots and lots in the first several weeks or months. But I still have Hope and Faith!

Tonight, I am praying that God touch her heart and help her to melt her frozen heart. It is time for Rosie to heal! May God help her to realize that she is ready to heal. She is safe and loved, now it is her turn!

Have a Great Night!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Day in The Life.....

So A LOT has gone down since my last blog entry. Sorry for being so lax but if you knew what had been going on...You would sooooooo forgive me!

Rosie had been in and out of psych facilities since Christmas so we decided at the end of April we needed to open a voluntary case with DCF. It was certainly not our first choice and we were quite apprehensive about doing it but Rosie needed to have one, stable out of home placement with testing. She was placed in a program and testing was done. Wham Bam and 45 days later she is ready to be released.

Marie has struggled since her Psychiatrist began to change her meds back in March. She has really struggled behaviorally with multiple issues at home and at school. In fact, we have had to be involved with the court system, too. Two weeks ago she and I had an issue and she was placed in a program to adjust her meds and complete an assessment.

I never imagined a world where DCF was my friend. I have been completely impressed with their sensitivity and ability to assist us get our children stabilized.

I have been depressed. I have been lost. It seems as though it would be ridiculous that for me to be depressed. I mean...How many times have you heard me bellyache because I had to deal with their issues. I have for two weeks with no children to tend to, no children wreaking havoc on my life, no children hurting my heart and I am heartsick.

I am depressed and traumatized. The reality is, I need them. I LOVE being their mother. I love them! I love their laughter, I love their hugs, I love their whispers in the backseat, I love having them home. I love smelling their hair when we snuggle, I love hearing them yell "mooooooommmmmmmyyyyy"

I started therapy this week. She told me I need to spend some time each day doing something I love. I love doing this! I love to read blogs and be part of the blogging community. So I want to take this moment to Thank all of my Blog Sisters out there! Thank you for sharing your lives with me!

I also want to send a special thank you to my sis and my friends, Jess and C. My sister for loving me. To J for faithfully calling me and checking up on me every single day that I have been struggling. Thank you C for taking me out Friday night. I have been in such a funk and I appreciate you knowing exactly what I needed. Thanks to My parents for hugging me when I needed a hug more than anything else you could have done. Amy, Ali, and Lynne for being awesome RAD moms that I know I can share stuff with and you won't judge me.

If you know someone is struggling, support them! Text them, call them, email them, hug them, just love them. You have the power to make the difference in their lives!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

When I was a teenager and a young adult, the only thing I wanted to be was a mommy. I wanted to have a house full of children. I wanted to sit and hold my babies for hours. I wanted to clean dirty faces and pick up toys and tickle little bellies.

When I was 19, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It has a spectrum of issues associated with it. One of them is Infertility. It was difficult to hear this when I was still so young. I was fairly devastated by this. A shaping moment in my life.

I never thought I would find someone to love me if they knew from the outset that I wouldn't give them children. Beyond the naive assumptions I had when I was nineteen, I knew God would make a path. Side note....Marie was in her birthmom's belly while this was happening to me. My path was made well before I knew!

On my first date with my husband I said to him " I can't have children, I plan on adopting....If that isn't anything you are interested in...This date is over" Honestly, why he didn't get up and leave is beyond me! Here we are ten years later.

Fast Forward Ten Years.....

Here I sit with two children that are in out of home placements. I have two children with significant mental health issues.I have two children that are confused and have a difficult time accepting love from us.

I have been parenting two RADlings for 7 years. I would say I have learned alot from parenting my girls. I have also experienced some pretty harsh realities. I have laughed with my girls and I have shed tears with them. I have also had 6 really stinky Mother's days. Holidays in general stink but Mother's Day is particulary heinous. It is a day that is set aside to be mean to me. We have canceled it most years but still have had the same difficulties.

My little, Rosie, has been in out of home placements for 3.5 months. She should be gone at least another 45 days. Marie was placed in a locked unit last week after her behaviors began to escalate. This week has been a very interesting week. Although, I have had a ridiculous two months so this week is no different I guess.

My daughters have requested that I not discuss much that has happened but believe me when I say...Much more interesting than any Lifetime movie!

I cried when my Marie was placed in a facility. I said to my husband that I didn't know what I would do with them away from home on Mother's Day...and his response..."you are going to enjoy yourself!"

Today is the day before Mother's Day. We traveled to see both of our children. They are placed in facilities an hour away from each other. We decided not to say anything to the girls about Mother's Day. I mean, I didn't need drama to enjoy my day. Well to my wonderful surprise....My beautiful girls gave me cards and big hugs! No begging....Hugs and tears and kisses and more hugs....

This year, I have had the best....the very best Mother's Day. Two girls that told me they hope I get the rest I deserve. This year I got to be a mommy...not the mom of a RADling, not the mom of a kid in a placement....not the mom of a kid that ruined my day....Today I was the mom of two girls that wanted to celebrate me as their mommy!

I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Five Lessons.

I didn't start out with the desire to parent one special needs child...let alone two. I thought I had all of the answers many times along the way and then things would come to crash in my face and I realized that I knew very little. I have learned many lessons in this 7 year journey. I have lived much pain and heartache but also I have felt even more love and joy in this journey.

I have been asked, many times, if I would do this again. And there have been times that I have said no or no way. I have grown immensely as of late and I have now concluded that I would do this again.....OVER and OVER again. I love my children and I am so blessed to have them in my life. Their struggles are painful for all of us but the happiness along the way makes the pain more bearable.

Rosie is in a short term facility for "complications" of her RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) and PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder) This is actually her fourth out of home placement since December. The constant stress has put a strain on all of us.

Marie has also been having her own struggles. Their energy seems to suck the other in to the tsunami of drama. It has become disabling for me. I was consumed in the drama. I also wanted to escape. I couldn't deal with the stress.

About three weeks ago I read something a therapist told a mother of a child with Borderline Personality Disorder and it changed my life. It has given me back my life in ways I can't even begin to explain.( it will be number one on my list)

It made me begin to reflect on the many lessons I have learned through parenting special needs kids. I wanted to share the five best lessons I have learned. I don't necessarily think this only pertains to special needs moms...Some of these are universal...Some aren't

My Five Lessons:

1. "Get Off the Emotional Roller Coaster" I can not tell you the original author of these words but I am not trademarking them or using them as my own so I think I am good. This has totally changed my life. It is such a simple concept but so hard to do. I have learned that I can love, support and help my child without becoming part of their emotional roller coaster. My feet need to be firmly planted on the ground to be of any help to my child. It also frees you from the emotional torment that our children can try to inflict upon us. If we aren't on the ride, we can't get hurt. Try it....Amazing freedom..Joy in the journey.

2. "Someone else always has it worse" Kind of a lame one but true. It is easy to become "stuck" in the drama of our own lives and to feel as if "no one could possibly know how much my life sucks" No they don't know but their life could suck worse. AND more importantly, there is always happiness to be had....we need to spend our time finding the good and not dwelling on the bad.

3. "It wasn't as bad as I thought" My older daughter is very, very impulsive. She is our "runner" So she has pseudo run away several times. She usually runs to the police station or a specific friend. I always know where she goes. I thought that getting the call from the Police Station would be the end of it. I would die of embarrassment. It wasn't the end of the world. Not super fun but I didn't die! I learned a lot about something called Perspective. I am learning to take everything in stride and keep going....It is never as bad as you think it will be. You can survive!

4. "I am a Great Mother" I have to cut myself some slack. My kids aren't perfect and neither am I. They are alive, still in school, and healthy....I am doing A LOT right. Every professional that has worked with our family says that this is one of the most loving families they have met and that as much dysfunction as there is...the unit itself is loving and strong. My husband and I are doing lots right. I need to remember that when the kids are crashing, take a deep breath and keep going.

5. "This too shall pass" We have had one heck of a ride the last four months. I feel as though we have lived two lifetimes in this short amount of time. There have been many moments that I thought I wouldn't be able to go on, many moments when I was sure we were done and ready to quit....but we are still together and in tact as a family. Life has ups and downs. Holding on and finding hope along the way....keeps you going so the ups make the downs less intolerable.

Kids teach us so many lessons. When you become a parent you think of all the things you have to teach them before you say goodbye when they are 18....never realizing the thousands of lessons those little miracles will teach you. I have many many more lessons to share...My ideas are overflowing and my heart is full again. I hope to reignite my blog entries now that I am hopeful and upbeat again.

May you find joy in your journey, too!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The weather is awesome today....The sky is blue...the wind is soft and air is warm....Love these days...I want to take a blanket and lay in the grass (the ground is still muddy from the rain) and just dream...

Friday, March 12, 2010


I have been parenting children (was one child for a while) for seven years. I have been parenting mental illness of seven years now. I have been choking back my own trauma from parenting trauma for seven years now. I have gained about thirty five pounds from parenting trauma and mental illness for seven years now. I have also gained anxiety and PTSD from parenting trauma and mental illness for seven years.

Both of my children have mental illness. I LOVE MY CHILDREN! It is my reality. It is not a reality I knew would be mine, but I lovingly chose to raise my children. I may have been naive to the truly monumental job I was taking on BUT I chose it none the less. I don't need pity. I don't want pity. I don't want people to give me those looks of pity that I am put upon. I am not put upon. I chose my children. My husband and chose to love these children and to give them a chance to flourish with our love. Except, Love isn't enough. Love is not all that you need to help these children.

I was meeting with someone on my daughter, Rosie's team and she said I have blocked myself off. I am dismissive of my own feeling and that I have closed myself off from everyone in the world. She said it is as if I have no affect. I have no reaction to anything. I am doing what I have to do to get through my day, superficially engaging with all of those around me. WOW! I have RAD! It was sobering to realize I have taken on so many of those things from my children.

Of course, this isn't their fault. I don't believe this is on them at all. They are victims themselves. We have now all become victims of their trauma, abuse, neglect and mental illness.

I feel as though I have no support system. I feel as though I am completely isolated from the human race. I feel judged at every turn. I don't trust anyone. I am suspect of everyone around me. I don't even cry anymore. I laugh and make everything a joke. I won't allow anyone to have empathy for me. I won't let anyone close to me. I am so very quick to attack and so very quick to shut them out. I hadn't thought about this ever! This woman has opened my eyes to my own behaviors. I have always blamed their trauma, their mental illness...that was why I am alone in the world.

In reality that is not the case. I don't have a support system right now...but it is because I have alienated them. I have become so hardened and so immune to love and support that I don't feel it. I am afraid to let them in. I can see where I stopped them in their tracks. I am trying to fix this with my loved ones but sometimes those relationships are hard to mend. I am still full of my own hurt and pain...I am not able to reach out, though I know it is mine to do.

I want so badly for someone to come to my house and hug me....Tell me it will be ok and that they love me no matter what. That I matter. And yet...I don't know how to reach out for that. I am hurting so badly inside yet I don't allow myself to feel it. I want the world to see I can handle it all...when I can't.

I said all of this to say....sometimes things don't appear as they seem. People can be hurting so much when they seem so strong. Allow someone a second, third, twentieth chance. Love them wholly and unconditionally...and if you can...go to the person's home and give them a hug....They don't need their life to be fixed, and they don't need pity....they just need to know...They aren't alone and that they are loved....So love them. Hug them tight!

Have a grace and blessing filled day!

Queen Mommy

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Build A Bridge.....and Get over it!

Many people have wronged me in my lifetime. I am sure everyone has had countless people that have wronged them. I would have to say I have matured to the point that I have gotten over most of the crap from my past. I have done alot of therapy work through my children's therapy to free myself to get past things.

I am not perfect and nor do I do it because I am a saint or that the person deserves forgiveness. I forgive and move past this stuff because it is my soul that is destroyed. I am the person that becomes controlled by anger and hatred and I am the toxic person.

With both children having extensive trauma histories, there is alot of built up anger and unforgiveness. Granted in this case, they don't deserve any forgiveness. I spend a great deal of time processing this and teaching the girls to forgive. They don't forgive for the benefit of the other person, they must forgive for their own lives to take flight. Forgiving people frees us of our bitterness and our anger. Our lives become better. Happier....without being attached to the past in a negative way.

Teaching your children to forgive is a hard task. We teach by our example. We have to live our lives with forgiveness to teach it to our children. It can sometimes be hard because we become invested in our anger. We obsess about how unfair it is to be treated that way and that it is unacceptable to be treated in such away. But still we must forgive.

Forgiveness doesn't take the person off the hook. You must use common sense. If someone stabs you in the back or does something awful to you, it doesn't mean you keep going back for more. You aren't obligated to pretend that it didn't happen and you should never forget. If we forget...we may end up in another situation.

I choose to forgive all who have hurt me. I live a much happier life when I am free from the ropes that bind me in anger and bitterness. It takes practice and it isn't always easy but it is always been the best thing I can do. I see that as I live my life this way, my children also become more forgiving and they are able to sort through the past hurts that they have. Which brings them to healing.

I hope that we all can learn to forgive and teach our children this very powerful and amazing gift. It is a life lesson that everyone benefits from.

Please be well!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Love your Boner!

Did that get your attention? I knew it would...It took me a long time to think of it but I knew at least one person would say...."What the ??????" AND get your mind out of the gutter.....

I haven't followed the career of or the lack of a career that Andrew Koenig had. My only reference point for him is that he played Boner on Growing Pains and I loved that show. He was a great character and oh so very loveable in an idiot type of way. I never thought of him a single second after that show left the air until last week when I found out he was missing....and then watched as his parents announced that he had ended his own life.

But his family knew him and his friends knew him. AND they loved him. He suffered from depression. It sounds as if he struggled greatly and didn't see beyond his despair. It is so heartbreaking to me. And it is a fear that I harbor deep down inside of me for my own children.

Both of my daughters struggle daily with mental illness. I often make light of it so that I can rid myself of the heaviness I often bear as I parent them. Their hidden wounds so deep that no one sees the true damage that they carry. And my heart aches for them daily. My tears are full of sadness and fear as I contemplate their paths.

Mr. Koenig was very eloquent during his press conference. I am not quoting him directly because I don't remember his exact words but he said something to the effect that we should not take for granted our opportunities to support people with mental illness. They need to know they are not alone. They need to know they are loved.

It sounds so simple doesn't it? But often people with mental illness make it extremely difficult to love them. They are very high maintenance, they love chaos and they can be very toxic to be around. They are so caught up in what is going on in their minds that they find everything else to be lost. And they need to know that it isn't...there is always a light.

So really, my message for you today is to love on your Boner and love on your Mr. and Mrs. Koenig....They need you to remember them....send them a them up and listen to them ramble ....take them out for coffee....they just need to know you are there and love them.

It isn't going to solve the issue.... But knowing there are others to share the burden can be more helpful than you will ever know!

Love you all!

Queen Mommy

PS....these are my oppinions one relax and just think about it!

Monday, January 4, 2010


I like to think that I am a good mother...I am patient, nurturing, forgiving and loving to my girls. I don't get back at them or allow myself to get so caught up in my anger that I hold onto things. I am always able to get over things quickly and without retaliation.

I just had a moment of sweet revenge. I even high fived myself even though I know there will be definite consequences with Rosie when she realizes what I have done. Yet I still feel a glorious sense of victory. You may find this juvenile so please don't read on if you can't share my sense of joy.....

We were not successful in appealing to the insurance to keep her at her treatment facility for any more time. She will be coming home tonight, despite all of our misgivings about this. The therapist at the facility tried to add time but the fact that she is accomplishing all of her goals there and the issue is with the home setting...the insurance declines a longer stay. So that is that. Last week, prior to the failed home visit, we discussed her going back to school on wed or thurs. So she had a few days to chill out.

She hates school and would rather put it off for another two weeks but she was ok with end of the week. Well after the failed home visit...I contacted the school and she is going back to school tomorrow. She will punish me for this...I know she will....But I felt such victory in something so dumb...Sending her to suppose if she would get with the program, I would be more lenient with her about this...But what has this gotten me with her. Her perception is that I am weak and she can control me....Which isn't the case but it makes life suck...So revenge is sending her back to reality all at once. We know we will be punished for sending her there and for not giving her a party for returning and for making her do chores might as well also get the going back to school punishment done at the same time, right?

These are the little things that get me through. It is a tough road parenting a child that has no inclination, at this point, in investing in our family. She spends all of her time causing chaos and hurt. My little tornado of pain. I know what is behind this, the pain and fear, but gets so bad that I no longer can see that...All I see is my frustration....

I got my two weeks of quiet...Back to reality now!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


So my one and only New Year's Resolution was to write on my blog....Failed already! We are already three days into the new year!

I actually have been debating on whether to share what we are currently going through. Somehow having a child with mental illness or emotional disturbance brings stigma. Well meaning people give you that "poor you" look and pity you. I know they mean well and I know that they mean absolutely no harm by it...But the looks are there none the less.

My youngest daughter is emotionally disturbed. She has RAD on steroids. She completely shuts down in the family setting. It seems to us that she sabotages herself and us constantly. It is frustrating to the rest of us and it is also heartbreaking. I struggle with picking her up and hugging her tightly and just wishing I could wring her neck. I would never in a million years hurt her and I feel quite guilty for the feeling but sometimes....sometimes it is enough already!

Rosie was unable to follow any type of directions and her aggression was out of control. We tried many different things to stabilize her and we were unsuccessful. We finally had to decide to place her in a treatment facility for adolescent girls. At first, I was so relieved because I was getting a break. I could breathe and let my defenses down. Then after I enjoyed it for the first day...I became full of guilt. I felt guilty that I sent her away...I felt guilty that I couldn't "fix it" ...I felt guilty that my daughter wouldn't be with us to celebrate Christmas.

Fast forward two weeks later. She seemed to make progress, she seemed to be ready to be back in the family setting and ready to move forward. We were scheduled to have Rosie for an overnight visit prior to her being released on January 4, 2010. I should have been tipped off the moment she got in our car that she was up to something. She gave me a hard to time about her seat belt. It continually went downhill. She didn't have a full blow out until it was time to shower. Which was one of the big problems before she was placed. Well after that, it was downhill. Her behavior continued to deteriorate until the moment we got her back to the program...She apologized profusely and said she was looking forward to coming home....All I could think was....ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Soooo...tomorrow is the Big Day. She may or may not come home tomorrow. I blew out my ear drum yesterday so I am personally hoping that she is determined unready to come home till mid to late week but I have to follow insurance directives...If you are one who believes in prayers...asking, once again, to remember my family in your prayers.

I so desperately want to have things go smoothly. I want the beast within her to quiet itself and for her to have peace in her mind. We need her to have peace to heal....

More later as things progress!

Wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year....