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

Friday, June 18, 2010

Raging for The Dad

Every time I have to leave the home without Sissy, she gives The Dad serious crap. I always walk in the door to another crisis or crisis averted. Her biggest issues when I leave are lying or flat out defiance. Many times we end up having to call the crisis team to deescalate. It gets old. It gets weary. I hate that I can't go anywhere for any length of time without knowing that I'll return to Sissy's rage ... again. I don't ever feel guilty for going anywhere, I just get exhausted of it all. It would be nice to walk out the door and return again without chaos meeting me in the face the very second I open the front door.

OK RAD moms, dissect. Why is Sissy doing this? Is it payback for me because I left? Is she trying to drive a wedge between The Dad and I? Is it anxious attachment: is she feeling nervous BECAUSE I'm gone?

What recommendations do you have to prevent these episodes? Her IFI team's initial thought was that we plan exactly what Sissy will do in my absence so that she doesn't have a chance to have free time to wobble in her mood, triangulate, manipulate or whatever other crap she wants to try.

It's been two full weeks of Sissy's hell so I'm done, cooked, wasted. I've got nothing right now. Respite tonight, thank GOD. We're celebrating 14 years of marriage and we have NO idea what we want to do beyond escaping this hell for three hours but now I'm thinking my respite is going to bite me on the a$$ if the IFI team doesn't deescalate Sissy when I return. No point in having a respite if Sissy's going to undo it all 10 minutes after I get home.

Talk to me.


Kerrie said...

Huh. Princess is the opposite. She'll be completely foul for me, and Josh will come in the room and she instantly starts the Happy Happy Yap Yap. From what I know, raging for Dad is atypical. If it were Princess, I'd look for connections regarding men from her previous "life." Sheesh. Good luck.

beemommy said...

IMH opinion, I think she's trying to control you...make it miserable enough for Dad to cry uncle and you will stop going out. Is she aware that it's a control tactic, probably not...more comes out of fear maybe? If she was abused in her first home by a male(s), then she could be projecting her anxiety onto your husband. Does she rage for the respite workers?

GB's Mom said...

Maybe you could get them to come the same time as you are planning on getting home. Tell them your sanity is on the line! when we had those sort of services for MK (ours were called CCS), an honest statement of my needs always seemed to work best.

Tudu said...

I have the same issue with Ruthie. It's horrible. I take her with me. Everywhere. I make sure it's no fun for her. I make it clear it's because she can't handle staying home. I do something small for the ones at home. It's not a great plan because I do not get any time for myself. If she does act up, she has to make up that time to me.

Little Wonder said...

happy anniversary!

It's so hard to DEtach from these situations when we are trying to teach our children to Attach, huh? Hang in there!

wilisons said...

My RADish is this way too. Thankfully her meds are really beginning to help her attach. Last week she was in camp. That was fine, she had no issues with being away from me. It was essentially "her" choice to be away.

This week (and next) I am in a class all day and she and her sister are home with a sitter. Monday was he** when I returned. She was in complete meltdown mode and nothing was getting her back. She finally hit it with, " and N didn't want me either, I am just not wanted." So thankful that some of the BLL etc. tactics are coming in to play and she is talking about what is going on in her head. We were able to discuss how much I want her and she told me she needed to talk to me so I "didn't forget about her all day."

That night I spoke to the sitter and let her know the amount of structure this child needs in a day. She needs to know what happens next or at least that there is a plan for the day. She doesn't need to make the plan just to know it is there to reduce anxiety. In the morning, I sat both girls (age 3 and 7) down and we made some house rules. We shared them with the sitter so more structure existed in the house (headed off manipulations) etc. and then the sitter shared the plan for the day with the girls.

I called as requested at my first break. The sitter carried through with the laid out plans. When I got home we cuddled and sat together for a while. Much smoother day!

Little one does not have attachment issues but I can tell you that if I am away from her all day, no matter the situation-school, sitter, etc. she has a need to talk non-stop until I say to her,"hi Little One, I know you are here. I love you and want to be with you." After hearing that, she can calm down and stop the continual talking. Saves my sanity and her sister's as well.

Hope some thoughts help. I know it is so hard when you feel you can't win. I rarely go out because of the payback but I am hoping we are beginning to turn a corner.


J. said...

Calvin does similar things, I make P toough it out because me rescuing him does not help build their relationship at all. Good luck.


Have you read The Explosive Child? I'm lovin it so far.

Bren said...

Happy Anniversary...you know "happy marriage" and RAD do not mix....I have been married 31 years next month and in the first 22 we NEVER spoke of the "D" word....I have planned out my divorce many times since RAD entered our lives. Now I won't allow that because then RAD wins!!! Just sayin.
C is the complete opposite. When the Dad is here she is perfect. He has NEVER seen a rage, never seen her attack me, never has she allowed him to see that side of her. For the first 5 years, when she heard the garage door go up, her voice changed. She became the sweetheart. For this reason, I looked like a nutcase ranting and raving about how this sweet little angle beat the crap out of me....granted I had the bruises to prove it, but still.....
She has let her guard down over the years and though she no longer rages or attacks (EVER) she is a known liar, manipulator (though no one "sees" it when it is happening but me), and food thief...ya know this is so long, I think I will post on "the Dad" aspect too. I just took a 2 day trip away (I go once a year) and I came back to neighbors sending me emails about what an incredible helper my daughter was to them!!!!!! (she was also gifted ice cream and cake, which I would not have allowed) YEESH! How come she isn't that way for me???
Now as for your situation, I am going against what everyone else thinks and I *truly* (if I could make that word bold I would) see this as her being a nervous wreck when you are gone. It is something she can not handle at this time and I know you are gonna HATE me for this, but maybe she should go with you more. I KNOW the need to get away from these kids, and I am not saying not to do that, but make it less often and when you do, maybe spend some really good time with her when you return....let her KNOW what will happen when you get back before you leave. Maybe have her spend that time getting the game ready you will play with her, or picking the movie you will watch....somethng that will focus on when you get home....give her a specific TIME you will return and then make sure you are ON time. Call her from the phone and let her know you are 1/2 way through your time away...."Only a half hour til I get home Sissy. Can you get the snacks set up for us so we can start the game when I get there....." You get the idea. Will it work. Of course not completely, but it may suppress some of her anxiety. She feels safer when you are there. I think she goes into survival mode when you leave. Just my humble opinion.