On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Monday, November 23, 2009

RTC Day one

We brought Sissy to the RTC today. When the nurse asked her what she hoped to accomplish while at the facility, she said she wanted to "speak better". When the psychiatrist asked her what she hoped to accomplish, she said nothing. When the threapist aske her what she hoped to accomplish she hestiated and then said, "help my inner spirit body" which nearly made the Dad and I laugh, but we held it together.

Here's to RAD kids saying crazy, unexpected things when they are searching for what they think grownups what to hear them say.

We were very pleased with the facility and staff. Of course, our happiness means nothing if Sissy doesn't pony up and do the hard work required for her to accomplish the goals of her prescribed therapy plan. I talked to my RAD mom friend and she said that her daughter, now age 19, is finally showing remorse.

I didn't cry when I left Sissy at the RTC but I will definitely cry the day Sissy demonstrates full understanding of how her choices affect others. THAT will be an amazing day, worthy of lots of tears, hugs and "pizzazz" as Nancy Thomas would say.

Until that hopeful, much anticipated moment in Sissy's life, the rest of our clan recouperates from the past seven months of her rage, violence and suicidal ideations. It's hard to help people understand the reverse abuse RAD family members endure. It's difficult to explain what it's like to watch a child force vomit in response to toothbrushing and then explain that you were unsympathetic, even frustrated instead of nurturing and caring because your child has mastered gagging and wretching on command. Said Aspie Boy when we told him that Sissy would be gone for awhile, "good, she won't be screaming every night at bedtime, I can finally sleep." Said Wonder Girl, "Will she eat?" because of course, RAD kids think that mealtime will NEVER, EVER happen and that they will waste away waiting the intense, horrible, inhumane 4 hours between meals.

Thank God for RAD moms, we keep each other sane in the absolute insanity RAD creates in our lives.


Christine said...

Hi, Jennie! I'm Christine. Consider us friends!

It wasn't too long ago I was sitting on the couth with my daughter. She had been on restriction ... a lot. We had a fairly positive conversation and she was mostly regulated. Then, it was just too much and she started to say, "Mom, can we take those nails out of the walls in my room? Sometimes I like to cut myself with them. And, well, when I'm in there, I also bite myself a lot."

And most moms would freak out. I just smiled, tilted my head and said, "Well, why don't you show me where you've been hurting yourself, honey?" Looooooooong pause.

"Never mind."

"Yeah. Restriction is still in place, but I'll give you an E for Effort." Ah, the RAD. She IS attaching now, but those old habits die HARD. It's not new for her to actually play the "self harm" or "suicidal" card to try to change her circumstances. We've had the barfing and the peeing and the ... you name it.

BUT ... we are actually seeing progress. We really are. She IS attaching. She has started to show empathy. She is able ... in more and more ways ... to actually regulate HERSELF. In other situations, she is now able to let me HELP HER regulate. All new stuff.

As long as they're breathing, there is hope!

J. said...

just this very morning my son had to eat alone and was not allowed to particpate in our family morning routine because he was being a - for lack of a better word - little shit.
He moved on though and apolgised and even though he may not have "meant" it he did it with only a little prompting. A year ago he would have just looked at me an screamed or hit me. There is hope, lots of hope and Christine is right, as long as they are breathing.
And you are so right all these great Mama's keep me from jumping off my roof each and every day!

Corey said...

I always pray that the day COMES when my RADishes come to some understanding of how their actions affect others. And that it means something to them. PLEASE, God.

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad you're doing this blog, sis. Specifically so you can broaden your network and support system of other moms/parents who are going through what you have been going through. so glad for that! you really need some mental/emotional support about this. oxox