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 6, 2010

why am I not sleeping?

LONG day.

Sissy has only mildly shown her RADical behaviors but boy howdy, she was not pleased to be greeted by an IFI team member not 2 hours after we got home! But I gotta give her props, she didn't hide the anger, she just let it hang out. That's progress, right? I mean, as opposed to her playing the cute little doll that is happy go-lucky and acts like she doesn't understand what's wrong with her seething parents?

PH (personal hygiene) this evening went mildly well with a few reminders that I was ever vigilant and wouldn't be playing her game. but oh, she tried.

I think in total, there were 6 looks of death, four trumped up crying jags, two attempts at manipulation and 10 deliberate "i'm actively ignoring you" moments. On day one. well, 1/2 a day because we didn't get home until after 2 and they were all in bed by 8. What's your bets for full-on rage? By next Saturday?

On Thursday my therapist asked me to be prepared that Sissy might actually do well. She said, "what will you say if Sissy DOESN'T show the behaviors you're anticipating?"

I replied, "then you can call me a monkey's uncle."

I'm not scratching my butt and hanging from trees yet but I'll wait until Thursday to let her know which way the jury votes.

My therapist also asked if I would be doing anything for "welcome home" kind of celebrations for today. I hadn't really thought of it. Not necessarily because I wasn't ready for her to be home but mostly because my brain just doesn't go there. Social conventions like that escape me. So my therapist recommended I make an attempt. Choosing to obey her, I asked Sissy what special dinner she wanted when she got home, some favorite food she hadn't eaten the whole time while at the RTC. I was REALLY hoping she wouldn't say something like lasagna and pumpkin pie because gosh. Cooking that after 6 hours on the road? I don't think so. Thankfully, Sissy wasn't thinking make mom miserable with that opportunity. We had chicken nuggets, mac n cheese and vanilla ice cream for our "welcome home" dinner.

Sissy and I also had a mom/daughter lunch at a cracker barrel about halfway home this afternoon. I was in excruciating pain (chronic back pain) and my eyes were dizzy after 4.5 hours of driving. Sissy wanted McDonald's but I needed a sit-down/waitress meal. Someone remind me next time that taking RADishes out to restaurants is riddled with potential for embarrassment. I should have just toughed it out at McDonald's. At one point in our meal, I glanced up to survey some of the other diners hoping they weren't too annoyed with Sissy's loud talking and smacking lips and oh... the mess on her face ... and I saw a family with a challenged adult daughter. Their daughter was sitting so sweetly , not talking, not being a pig, not looking like she just escaped a psychiatric facility after 100 days and I thought sure, her impairment is visually obvious and at first, startling to see, but I think i'd take parenting THAT challenge over this one! But I haven't walked a mile in those parents' shoes so maybe I'd say otherwise. Today? Not so much. Especially when I suggested she wipe the strawberry jam off her cheeks (really, she looked like she dove her face into a pig trough) and she wiped it and shouted loud enough for her words to echo, "Hey! It looks like BLOOD!" *sigh*

good god almighty, this is going to be one long miserable week that ends in me buying a fresh bottle of brandy, isn't it?

ANYWAY ... *rolls eyes at self*
I finished my behavior plan and some of you requested seeing it. It's in a microsoft docx format and isn't copy/pasting well on the blog so if you want to see it, email me direct (see my profile page) and I'll be glad to attach a file for you. If you have a microsoft version older than 2007, you will need to do a patch so you can open the docx file. i can send you that linkeroo too.

In other news:
Wonder Girl is expressing her concerns, anxieties and fears about Sissy's return. She's had tough behaviors at school this week and has acted out her thoughts and aggressions by role playing with her dolls. (she bound up one doll super tight like a mummy because the dolly reportedly left her room at night without permission and Wonder Girl wanted to make sure she couldn't escape again) Seeing that doll last night, I opted to break our rule and let her sleep with me. She held my hand the whole night. Every time she turned and was no longer making physical contact, she woke herself up and reached for my hand again. It makes me cry even now, thinking about it. She's currently sleeping on our bedroom floor. The IFI team said this evening that they will make a plan for Wonder Girl too. It just makes me so mad, you know? She's my only child without a diagnosable issue. I don't want the trauma Sissy causes to give Wonder Girl an issue!

IFI team member Ms M is such a doll, I really like her. And guess what? I asked her if she would like a link to Nancy Thomas' website, especially the therapists page and Ms M was all over it. Sweet! I'm not really interested in educating the IFI team about RAD and my therapist has specifically recommended that I not take on that responsibility, but I figured I could at least offer an olive branch in the form of a URL, right? I'm so glad Ms M reached for it!

OK, peace out. Sissy is sleeping for now - all hail prescription drugs!


Linda B said...

You're giving her all the way till Saturday for a rage? I'd say sooner, but of course you know her and I don't. I never thought about a welcome home celebration either. That's kind of sad after DQ being gone for so long. I think it's been so traumatic to have them home it's not even on our radar. Still sad. The anger of affecting a well adjusted sibling? We've got one too and I hate that she now has issues because of DQ. Hoping today goes smooth for you.

jeri said...

Jennie, maybe Sissy can begin attacking those dreaded loblollies? Wondering if you could talk to someone at legal aid about writing up a promise to sue your insurance company if Sissy harms any of you? I'm so sorry you're going through this...it very well may be you're living now my future a year from now. I honestly think that our daughter would demand to live in North Carolina with her older sister if Alex were coming home. Hang in there and make it peach brandy,okay?

Little Wonder said...

Hugs & thoughts coming your way!