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

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Surrounding myself with love

After the RTC visit yesterday, I connected with Finishing off my family at La Salsa's, one of the many Mexican restaurants one exit up from the RTC. They are one totally cool family! We parted ways with the idea of connecting again the next time I bring the whole family to the RTC, a plan I fully intend to make happen.

It was so refreshing to spend time with smiling faces after being at the RTC and seeing Sissy who is better on the med cocktail she's on currently but who is still a million miles from thinking about or connecting to anyone or anything other than herself. It's very difficult to look in her face and tell myself, remember, you LOVE this child. Find something to love about her if you can't make your heart feel it. It's also a long road trip home and since it was Friday, I knew I'd be stuck in Atlanta traffic so supper with tudusamom was also perfect timing to avoid rush hour.

20 miles up from my exit, I made a side trip to pick up my unofficially-in-my-heart adopted daughter for the weekend. "White Girl" (what her friends at school call her because she is one of three white students) is 18, a senior and extremely helpful with the kids. She's all smiles, cheer and energy. She cleans my house because she LIKES too (I know, weird, huh?)and she likes being here because it gets her out of the sticks and near civilization with working internet. On her cellie I'm "mom in augusta". That makes me smile. Alot. She's just a wonderful breath of fresh air and a ray of sunshine.

Thankfully, White Girl had the energy to get me through Walmart to get some essentials and to energize me enough to safely drive the last 26 miles home. When I walked in the door at 11, I brushed my teeth, used the toilet, put on my pj's and crashed in the bed. White Girl folded 6 loads of laundry. Did I mention I love her?

I had a lot on my mind from the RTC, including the fact that as the therapist escorted me to the office to sign out for the TL she throws out a doozie with no time to discuss it at length because she was off to the next therapy session. Apparently, she requested insurance approval for a 48 hour overnight TL. I believe my mouth dropped, literally. That would be 12 hours in the car in one weekend and an at-home visit. Sissy openly admitted not 10 minutes beforehand in the therapy session that she would still get very angry and frustrated with her brother and that her newly learned coping skills would be hard for her to use with him. We had discussed Wonder Girl's ongoing recovery process from all of the things Sissy did to her and that I will not be putting Sissy back in the bedroom with Wonder Girl. We talked about how hard it is for Aspie Boy to do ANYthing let alone be in a car for 12 hours in one weekend so Sissy could come home and be disruptive all over again. But we're supposed to do a weekend visit at home?!?! Uh... no. Just thinking of the logistics of getting Sissy back to the RTC and all of her screaming and crying about it on the 3 HOUR RETURN ROAD TRIP makes me ill let alone all of the other issues to contend with.

So today The Dad and I took our first solo outing since the first week in November this afternoon, childcare compliments of our "oldest". We went bowling and out to lunch, then browsing in a local gift store so I could drop Valentine's gift hints. The rules were simple: have fun and no talking about the kids. We accomplished both.

When we returned, White Girl had turned the house into a playground of forts using the table and chairs and every blanket available known to man. We played and giggled and had a good time. Then White Girl took it upon herself to cook supper and do the dishes (seriously, I want to squeeze the life out of her, i love her so much!!!!) I bathed the kids and did story time and it was wonderful. Wonder Girl read a story to me, grade level 1.2 and she's just in Kindergarten. I was giddy with pride.

The Dad tried to call Sissy because it was our night to call but the staff said our phone days had been changed. Uh? No one told us and I was just there yesterday. Whatever. It's not like talking to Sissy on the phone is a fruitful conversation. She probably didn't even remember it was our night to call. He's currently in his recliner watching the Hannah Montana movie ... by himself. He said he's enjoying it!ROFL

It's been hard to not think about all of the things that are stirring me up right now. It's been hard to stay in the moment and just love being loved and giving love. It's been hard to not want to cry or scream or punch or kick. But it's definitely easier to stay sane when you surround yourself with love.

White Girl

Wonder Girl

The Dad and Aspie Boy

[aside] I have an old digital camera (I don't really care to tell you how old because you'd laugh at me) so the date feature on the dern widget is defunct. The first two pictures were taken this evening and the last picture was taken two weeks ago.


Jeri said...

Oh my, would White Girl liked to have an Austin Mama? I too love, I mean love, to clean other people's houses. Especially if they are a challenge. My daughter provides me with that challenge when they go out of town and I babysit my granddog and grandcats. It makes me wonder just who in the heck raised her?!

Yeah for you for a.) sticking up for your family to the RTC people b.) going on a date with that good lookin' hunky husband of yours and NOT talking about kids. jeri,

Jeri said...

Oh, and c.) (I knew there were three things) for having a fun meal with Tudu

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Wow! Date night and an amazing fairy-god-daughter who likes to clean!?! You are a lucky woman. Congrats for staying in the moment and ENJOYING your self. Not easy to do. Oh, maybe the RTC staff would reconsider their madness if you suggested they meet you all halfway on the highway somewhere so daughter isn't triggered the kids aren't in the car all day....I'll bet they'd reconsider.

marythemom said...

I started to post a comment then realized I have nothing productive to say. Your daughter's RTC therapist sounds like ours did. Why can't anyone acknowledge us for being the experts that we are?!

Mary in TX

PS Jeri, I'll drive up with you to pick up White Girl if you'll share! I don't have ANYone who likes to clean.

Speaking of which Jennie, if you do end up having to make the drive have you thought about taking a friend on the drive? Jeri and I met and got to know each other doing something similar, and if a "stranger" is in the car your daughter might be less likely to pull anything. Just a random thought, may not be applicable.