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, March 27, 2010

Ready to rehash

So, I've stopped crying and I've played the conversation with the IFI team over and over again in my head and I'm ready to put it here so you can help me sort it through or commiserate with me. Or both. BTW, your comments and support have been so wonderful and many of them have made me cry too. I don't cry this much, like, ever. So maybe it's just the antibiotic? lol

But fair warning. This conversation isn't pretty and if you're already emotionally charged, this just might push you over the edge.

We'll start here. Someone on my other blog asked me what IFI stands for. My answer:
IFI = intensive family intervention

which to wit, actually means, Intensive Sissy Intervention because her family is full of sh!ts that don't know how to help her psychotic behaviors so the therapists have to set them to rights while Sissy smiles glibly with a "see, I told you they were awful to me" look on her face
We got our butts dragged through the mud this week by the IFI team who claim that Sissy escalates to violence against WG because we are triggering her by not applying the correct parenting techniques and because we address her lying, manipulation and sneaky behaviors instead of ignoring them and because we have to actually "PARENT" her and that requires saying, "no". (IFI woman actually said, "Mom, why does it trigger YOU when Sissy lies? Why do you feel like you have to do something about that? You need to investigate what is wrong with you that makes you want to address all of her lies") O.o

Oh, and this one was fun:
"mom, why do you care if Sissy goes to school with the wrong shoes on PE day and her hair unkempt?"

"it doesn't. Although I am worried about her being picked on but i've learned it's not a battle worth fighting. However, then I'll get emails from the school saying Mrs. S, Sissy was not dressed appropriately for PE, please make sure she wears sneakers or Mrs. S, Sissy is coming to school with sloppy appearance What do I do about THAT? If I don't fuss over Sissy's hygiene and dressing habits, I have to deal with the school wanting to address it"

And IFI woman said, "Why does that become a reflection of you being a bad parent? You need to figure that out."

And I said, "It's not. But what do i tell the school then?!?"

"then you tell US to talk to them."

"But you only give us THREE HOURS A WEEK"

"that's an insurance issue I can't fix"


We told the IFI woman that the psychiatrist said that some people, no matter what you do, will be sinking ships. At that point, as parents we have to decide if we're going to let our whole family go down with the ship or cut ourselves off from Sissy who is bringing us down. The IFI woman got mad and said to The Dad with a stern tone, "He's a PSYCHIATRIST, Sir. All THEY do is dole out meds. I'm a THERAPIST"

yeah, because her education is ... superior with her master's degree to his PhD/MD?

Oh, and then she said, "it's OK if Sissy forms an attachment to me. We'll worry about her forming an attachment to you later, when she's ready."

What!? I've been trying to attach to this kid for 9 years! She's not forming an attachment to the IFI woman, she's friggin' triangulating! And here's proof:

IFI woman met with Sissy alone for 40 minutes and THEN she met with us. (I specifically told the team from the staring gate to NEVER do that) IFI woman leans in over the table and sets her beady eyes on me, "Mom. Can you tell me what WG was screaming about in the van today?" And her tone was accusatory.

I sat up and scrinched up my nose. "Huh? what are you talking about? WG wasn't screaming.... I'm confused."

"well, Sissy told me that the low point of her day was that WG was screaming in the van. Can you explain that?"

"Uh... she's LYING?!?"

"So WG wasn't screaming in the van?"

"NO!" and then she asked me to explain exactly what all of my parenting skills are when it comes to riding in the van with children so she could analyze whether or not it was sufficient .... *bang head on table!*

all because Sissy lied. And then she says "Mom, you can't address this lie with her because she told it to me while we were in therapy so it's client privilege."


But it's OK if she pulls the carpet out from under ME?!?

And this one was fun:
IFI woman says to me, "The problem is you're TOO educated. You know too much and that makes you resistant to any suggestions I give you. It would really help if you didn't know as much as you do so you'd be compliant."


And then she added (because I didn't actually say the words i typed here but something along those lines) "BUT this is not the same therapy, you've never had an IFI team IN YOU HOME and we are going to get ALL UP IN YOUR BUSINESS." (yeah, she actually said those words)

And I quipped back, "in three hours a week?"

And she got mad and said, "Well, that's an insurance issue that I can't help"

So in three hours a week I'm supposed to completely alter my parenting skills to be exactly as they suggest so they report me in their records as being a compliant parent and then Sissy won't escalate, voila! magic? boy of boy. I must be stupid. Why the heck hadn't I thought of that before the SIX FRIGGIN' YEARS I INVESTED AND THE COUNTLESS BOOKS I'VE READ?!?!?

when I asked her to address the violence, which she had evaded thus far, she said, "well you should have known a traumatic event like WG getting injured would escalate Sissy."

And I said, "I DID! I called the other IFI team member FROM THE ER!!!!"

and she got huffy and said, "Well, I'm sorry! I was out of town!!!!"

so it's my fault that WG's incident escalated Sissy AND it's my fault that NO ONE FROM IFI came to the house FOR A WHOLE WEEK to help Sissy navigate the trauma AND it was COMPLETELY MY RESPONSIBILITY to help her navigate so she wouldn't escalate to violence against WG BUT I DON'T HAVE THE APPROPRIATE TOOLS because I'm too educated and I'm not willing to listen to IFI's Suggestions, suggestions they gave me AFTER THE VIOLENCE, the violence THEY NEVER ADDRESSED?!?!?!?!?!?

Am I the only one that is missing this? Someone help me out here.

Oh, and here's the kick in the pants that IFI woman took the time to explain to us:
If Sissy escalates to violence again so that we need to call the police, the police will say to IFI, "what are these parents doing to prevent the violence" because they'll be thinking report the parents for failure to protect and if we haven't followed IFI's plan to the letter of THEIR law, they'll say to the cops, "well actually, these parents have been noncompliant with our suggestions"

blammo. I get not only WG being injured and potentially removed to foster care because I'm an unsafe parent but I also get a criminal record.

And you want the sock in the gut now?
The IFI woman NEVER ADDRESSED SISSY'S VIOLENCE OR MADE SURE WG DIDN'T NEED THERAPY OR HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The person in the home that is being injured is being NEGLECTED by IFI but if I continue to let Sissy escalate, I'll be the one that GETS IN TROUBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No amount of telling them that Sissy's illness is progressing four years earlier and faster than Birthmom's who is now considered schizophrenic is helpful to our cause. No amount of explaining that while Birthmom exhibited violence in the home, it was always toward adults, never YOUNGER SIBLINGS matters. No amount of crying desperately that Sissy wears down my resolve so that I might start out each day appropriately managing her issues but by the end of the day, 16 hours later of non stop lying, sneaking, screaming, violence, anger, manipulation and triangulation my resolve to therapeutically parent is destroyed wins a sympathetic ear.

I need more time. Insurance won't give it to us.

I need more help. No one can supply it.

I need respite for myself. I get crickets chirping.

Apparently, I'm to operate as Sissy's 24/7 therapeutic drone care giver, unflinching, stalwart, ever present, 100% of the time. Oh, and be a wife, and mother to two other children, one with special needs diametrically opposed to Sissy's so I have to accurately apply a completely different set of parenting skills with equal determination and skill while helping the youngest overcome her fears and anxieties created by the violence that has been done to her from the eldest, unstable, psychotic child. Oh. And take care of myself. And have a life.

It's impossible.

but no amount of explaining that to IFI helps. It'll still all be my fault, apparently because I'm NOT a drone.

So yeah. I've cried for two days. And of course, that has made Sissy perfectly perfect.

Oh, and Ms T has yet to respond to my email (two days now) and Ms M will be here in an hour to have a session with Sissy. *flat, robotic voice* I'm so excited.


FosterAbba said...

I wish I knew what to say. Of course this echoes our experiences with state-funded therapists as well.

It's always the parent's fault. Even when the kid is adopted. Even when the kid has mental health and behavioral problems that stem from bad genes, abuse and neglect.

J. said...

I have no words, clearly she is cracked.

Corey said...


I think things are going with IFI about how you (and everyone) expected them to go.. a disaster. It's not going to work. It's a broken system. So the question becomes, how do we work the broken system so that it collapses inwards on itself and gets YOU what you need? Right now they are working you to your breaking point.

What if you switch tactics? What they WANT (it sounds like) is a dumb, compliant mom. So, what if you try being dumb and helpless? What if, every time Sissy escalates, you call IFI and say she is out of control, you don't know what to do, how should you handle it? Just make it ridiculous.. Sissy is lying, what should I do? Sissy won't brush her teeth, what should I do? Sissy is raging, what should I do? Sissy is threatening someone, what should I do? Keep emphasizing that you want to comply with IFI, but you are just not sure how they want you to handle these behaviors, what do they recommend? And just be doe-eyed and innocent about it.

Maybe they will get so annoyed that they will increase services (because clearly 3 hours a week will not be enough.. you'll be on the phone more than that!).. and they can't argue that you're not complying, because you'll be looking to them for every little thing..

If nothing else, it might be fun to jerk THEM around for a while...


lovingmygirlsalways said...

Oh Wow... you poor thing. I am so sorry about all of this. Some people just think they know best and they don't. Heck sometimes you don't know either you are at your wits end but you do know what is best at least for her and your family. I wish hope the IFI team pulls their heads out of their butts and see the real things that are going on. Until then I would do like Corey said and just over kill it. Give them a taste of their own medicine I guess? They want a dumb parent that knows nothing, give it to them. Until then good luck and I am sending happy thoughts and prayers your way.

GB's Mom said...

Still praying for federal medicaid. In the meantime, Corey's idea has the potential to be fun. You could use a little more fun!

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

WOW. This is all makes me glad (to no end) that we have never involved anyone professionally with our Dd's RAD issues, other than an occasional call to our SW. Granted, her issues weren't so big as your Dd's currently are, but I can easily see how they COULD have grown to monster proportions had this kind of baloney been going on. Anyone who is very familiar with RAD knows meeting with the kid alone is a VERRRRRYYYY bad idea . . . that the kid attaching to YOU is a VERRRRRY bad idea (they need to attach to the parent, NOT you) and on and on. I'm so sorry you are going through this.