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

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Paper Snowflakes

The children's building that Sissy's in is kinda drab. Let me restate. It's institutional-like, as it should be. The children shouldn't get comfortable being there or it won't be worth their while to follow their treatment plan and get better enough to go home. I can just imagine an RTC full of RADishes saying to themselves, "well gosh, I don't have to deal with relationship, I'm fed at exactly the same times every day, I have only to follow some rules AND all of my lovely things are here with me ... why go home?"

The RTCs would stay full forever! lol

But it is a bit gloomy, especially with Christmas fast approaching. Plus, as I sit here with mountains of Christmas stuff around me, I have extra. Let me restate. I have copious amounts of stupid, hideous Christmas decorations. I can spare a few. I have to go there tomorrow anyway for therapy (right, TALK therapy - lmao - THAT's going to be useful...*snort*) so I called her building. "Can I bring some decorations?"

Over the phone the building manager and I discussed what I have and what is NOT permissable. He was imagining what damage these items might do to another patient or the facility when lobbed in anger by a frustrated patient. Or worse, how the items might be broken down into their smaller parts so they might be used as weapons for either personal harm or harm to others.

There wasn't much left to bring. As in, nothing.

So I said, "What about snowflakes?"

He skeptically said, "What are they made of?" I imagined his raised eyebrow as he considered my suggestion with hestitation.

"Paper and glitter?" I offered.


So, en masse, I am assembling pretty snowflakes, enough to adorn the common areas of the building. Some cheer and, my modus operandi accomplished - some of ME in Sissy's daily line of sight. She won't be able to forget about me or pretend I'm not a part of her life when she sees the snowflakes hanging everywhere she goes.

Cheeky, ain't I? I'll post piccies later.


Corey said...

Our boy was in the RTC last Christmas. We celebrated "Christmas morning" with him before he left and he got his gifts from us, which he dragged out to the facility with him.

But then on the actual Christmas, he was INUNDATED with presents that were donated to the facility. It was very upsetting to our other kids (and to me). We give our kids 3 gifts.. just like Jesus got. And our boy got a dozen, easy, and LORDED it over our other kids. And I was just furious that he had hurt our other kids, traumatized our entire family, and now was being so handsomely rewarded! and continuing to make my other kids feel like crap. UGH. Still gets me. (And yeah, blah blah, he's in an RTC, and it's Christmas.. *sob* HE DOESN'T CARE!! He didn't WANT to be home with us!)

Dia por Dia said...

I love your idea! When I met my oldest son he was 7 and in an RTC It was holiday time (Thanksgiving and Christmas). The place was so depressing BUT like Corey the number of gifts that kid got set us up to disappoint him for years to come. It was distressing especially because he destroyed them ALL and came to us with not a single toy, book, etc. except for his new gameboy which he had lost the charger to and expected me to replace because it had already been replaced once while he was at RTC. It is such a double edged sword. I do think that for some of our kids the lack of emotional engagement at RTC is very comfortable. My son didn't want to leave there and for months yearned for it. I think the structure without attachment expectations is very comforting to them and while I provided lots of structure I did also have emotional expectations.

Of course, we have pulled things way back on that level for him and have seen good progress.