oh my, I am exhausted. Emotionally, mentally and physically. I know I've said it a gajillion times but good god almighty, that road trip to and from Atlanta is a brute. It is God's grace and favor alone that got me home safely. I walked into the house and flopped in the bed. No tooth brushing, no hair brushing, no change of clothes (gracious me, I slept in my bra. THAT is miserable.)
Sissy's weekend went poorly. She didn't waste time. She went straight back to her behaviors. Lying, sneaking, stealing, manipulating, crying jags, unwillingness to own up to her poor choices when we attempted to talk through them with her, anger, unwillingness to use her coping skills, lots of glowers-of-death directed at The Dad and I...
Did I say I was exhausted?
I think the biggest "tell" for me was when The Dad asked me to rub his back (he has degenerative disks) and my attempt to meet his needs was immediately thwarted by one more issue to fend off with Sissy so that 45 minutes later, exasperated, I got up to do something and The Dad said, "but you never rubbed my back" and I nearly cried. Because here was one more thing proving that Sissy steals ALL OF MY ENERGY so that I can't take care of the people the reciprocate in relationship, the most significant being the loving relationship I actively chose, my spouse! Then at the end of the day, Wonder Girl and Aspie Boy had practically put themselves to bed when they said, "mom? can you read to us?" and I realized, with the same level of frustration and exasperation that Sissy's antics had stolen my time and energy with them as well. I succeeded but with effort to read to them without crying because I felt so bad, because I felt so powerless to avoid Sissy's energy drain traps and that 24 hours in, Sissy had returned us all to exactly the same pitiful family dynamics we suffered from before her placement.
90 days. 90 DAYS! she's been at RTC for her very first weekend home to experience ALL of her old behaviors without any change. I give her 3 weeks home after discharge before it is fully escalated back to the same level of crisis she was at before placement. If that long.
Right now, other than exhausted, I feel so powerless and even more inadequate to help her than I did before the weekend. She is a black hole that sucks the life out of everything that comes in her path. She does not give ANYTHING back. I kept looking for something, any sense of her giving back, even in a minuscule way. But I couldn't find anything. Aspie Boy, for all of his issues, gives back. Heck, I've talked to parents of adult non-verbal autistic children that still report the positive affirmations they receive in that parent/child relationship.
And all of her crying jags? every single episode was a manipulation. She was able to produce tears in one second and then in the very next second be perfectly fine, requesting that we do one more thing for her. Talk therapy? Pbft. She just tuned us out. Like a switch.
I don't know what to do. She's 10. I've lived this hell for 9 years with no change in her behavior, no DESIRE to seek that change, no effort to form relationship, nothing at all despite the enormous efforts and lengths we've gone through to help her, to change ourselves, to learn how to meet her needs. Her future? Right now, if it stays exactly the same, Sissy has no meaningful future. And neither do we.
As I typed this, insurance called. "Mrs.S, how did it go?" I told her everything I just typed in this post. She said, "well, I'll call you in 10 days."
So I guess I just bought us 10 more days from insurance?
I feel so trapped. 10 days will not exact change. 10 days is just a prolonging of the inevitable. Sissy will come home and our brief respite from hell will be just that, a mere glimpse of how happy and healthy our family life can be in the absence of hell and terror.
I doesn't get any more real than this, folks.