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

Monday, April 19, 2010

cluing in

after another rousing, ear-busting introduction to my Monday morning, my compliments to Sissy, I have come to a conclusion.

See, after she does all of this crap, I try, as per the recommendations of the therapists, to have a regulated conversation with her about how she can navigate these pitfalls better. (and when I say "pitfalls" I of course, mean the very troubling, often horrible and despicable practices of changing her underwear, brushing her hair and her teeth. I know. i'm a horrible, horrible parent. I can give you the number to my local social services office if you need...)

ANYWAY (i dont' have much time today but I needed to get this thought on the page)

I was therapeutically parenting, or at least hoping to. Sissy said she hated her self, and I waited, hairbrush poised over my head to listen if she'd say the next big phrase, i want to die because I'm waiting for that ball to drop. You know? I know it's coming. Told her therapist last week it's only a matter of time. but she didn't say it this morning. *phew*

So I seized the chance to talk her out of her tree. We came up with three-sentence coping skill phrases she can say to herself when she starts to escalate, an attempt to retrain her brain and to redirect herself back toward positive thinking, etc. etc.

It wasn't going very far so I told her, "we are not your enemies!" which made Aspie Boy laugh and giggle. Then *pow* it just came to me. I turned the paper I was writing on, over and wrote this:
Dad is Hagrid (Dad is VERY tall so this made her giggle. seriously. he's a giant)
Mom is Dumbledore (because for the RAD, mom has to have all the wisdom and power)
Aspie Boy is Ron
Wonder Girl is Hermoine
Sissy is Harry Potter
The Smiths are Griffyndor.

All of these characters get mad at each other some time or another but they always resolve it and remember that they are working together toward one cause, destroying Lord Voldemort.

Then I flipped over the paper and reviewed the coping skill phrases we worked out:
#1: Anger is Ok
I need to be SAFE in my anger
I will use a coping skill [1]

#2: This[2] is what I need.
My family wants to help me
I can stop screaming

and after all that, we were nearly late for school. But I sent Sissy off to school imagining she was Harry Potter (I know, feeding that RAD psyche, maybe not a good thing but hell, sometimes a girl has to get through one morning a week without crisis, you know?)

Then I returned to the house and stopped cold at the sink.


and that's the cruxt of it. Even if I was a trained therapist, getting a 'real time" internship, living on the job, it still would be too big a task. Therapists don't spend 24/7 with their clients. They get one hour and then they write crap down, regroup, breathe, use some of their own coping skills, refer to their colleagues, etc. etc. RAD moms?

you see how that works out.
we dont' even get a pay check.
and honestly? This little chat session was good, on the fly, might be useful for half a second. It's all I've got and to be really real without bragging, it's a heck of a lot more than what the trained therapists have. hands down.

it's too much.
I'm just cluing in.

[1] we have a list of DBT coping skills Sissy learned at RTC and with IFI posted on her wall

[2]because this RAD language (as per Nancy thomas) applies almost every time Sissy has a meltdown. It is 99% of the time over something that she needs that she rebuffs us for because she doesnt' want to be told what she needs


J. said...

your right, therapists get down time, we don't. It is really hard to be a theraputic parent all the time.
You are right though to try something new on the fly, soemtimes those are the best things. May tomorrow be a rageless morning as well.

GB's Mom said...

Good to hear from you. Sounds like you were awesome this morning! :)

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

Yes, we do the work, with none of the glory.

And mostly, it's OK, because we do it for love--and/or sheer determination.