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, October 9, 2010


Today started out with another struggle to keep a panic attack away. I can't keep living every day wondering when Sissy is going to rage again. It's making me very jumpy, irritable, weepy and angry.

I found myself getting very teary a lot but I pushed that away too.

And she was obnoxious, and defiant, manipulative and superficially sweet, angry, untrustworthy, incapable of leaving unattended for 10 seconds, she raged, she told The Dad that she doesn't care about us and then asked about food ... she was Sissy. Why do I bother hoping for anything more than that? It only does her a disservice for me to care or to hope or to love her beyond what she is capable of.

Truth: If we didn't give a flying flip, Sissy would probably manage much better in a home environment.

But how in blue blazes does a mother turn off her "love button" for her daughter? It's not possible. Every time I think I can successfully pull off the I-will-be-the-clinical-robot-caregiver-for-this-child-and-not-expect-love, a part of me dies inside. It hurts SO bad.

I'm not really sure which hurts more,trying to not love her or knowing she will never be capable of reciprocating my love, that my love may actually be hurting her.

So I sat on the back porch and sobbed. Sobbed until I thought my heart would stop. And the anger built because this is so impossibly unfair, mean, cruel and heartless, all of it. Infertility, adoption, mental health issues and developmental delays, abuse and RADs, and a God who seems so indifferent to it all. What I really wanted to do was break things, tear it all to shreds and get a can of spray paint and spray profanities indicative of my pain all over everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING. But all i could do was sit there and cry.

Then i did what any reasonable woman in my shoes would do. I tore up the Prayer of Jabez book. Because like hell does Bruce Wilkinson with his fancy schmancy PhD have any effin' clue what this life is about. Seriously, the Prayer of Jabez is gonna fix this? Prosperity? Reality check - i live in a tiny house that is falling apart. The Dad drives a truck that is as old as our marriage. I've given 100 million percent of my life to Christ's cause and still there is pain in this life I lead. Not prosperity. Pain.

I would have burned the torn shreds but I didn't want to set off the fire alarm and wake everyone up. I thought about emailing Dr. Bruce to tell him what I thought of his stupid feel good philosophy on prayer and self motivation, you know, tell him where he could stick his little book? But I didn't because I wouldn't have come across as a rational woman. It would have just been another "delete this email because clearly this woman is psychotic" message that crossed the desks of some peon that works for the all mighty Dr. Bruce.

I wonder if the pain, anger and tears will ever stop? I wonder if the Dr. Bruce's of this world will ever care to notice that their stupid feel-good motivational twists on some rogue biblical philosophy are empty, mindless drivel that serve only one purpose, to fatten their personal bank accounts?

yeah, and that will happen the day Sissy decides to stop raging and start loving back.


Janera said...

ah, Girl. Sometimes, we just gotta cry it out. Hang in there, you're doing a great job, even if you're not seeing results right now.

GB's Mom said...

Wish I was there for you. {{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}

Tudu said...

I think most of us have been there to some degree. We have to mourn the loss we are experiencing. The loss of the family we had dreams of, the loss our children will experience, everything we sacrifice for them with no appreciation, and the damage it does to our marriages and other children. Most people would never choose our lives. I had some idea what I was getting into and chose it. I still wasn't prepared for the day in and day out lifestyle. You had no idea. You saw this beautiful baby and had hopes and dreams for her. After years of trying, you realize they will never come true. SHe will never feel all you have hoped for her and how much you care for her. The only logical response would be to cry for her and for you. I'm here if you need to vent. You can call me at 3 AM if you can't sleep. You won't wake anyone here but me. It's always OK.

Debora said...

Oh, Integrity, I wish I could take this all away! I wish I could give you a child who reciprocates and loves and is a functional member of your family...who makes being a mom wonderful. Though our eldest daughter doesn't rage every day and cause as much grief as Sissy does, she has so many of the characteristics you describe in your daughter. And I've had to pull away emotionally over the last 15 months that we've had her because, frankly, it is far too painful when I reach out freely in love. I sometimes do it, but then I have to pull back again.

I finally updated our adoption blog (Seeking to Love Orphans) for the first time since we've been home because I decided that people need to know that it's hard. Really hard. And I want to write more. This week was a doozy, and I hope you don't have to go through any of what we just did.

I hope I and others can encourage you, Integrity. We love you, even if we've never met you. I am GLAD you tore up the Prayer of Jabez book. Jesus didn't promise us prosperity and happiness and a carefree life. In John 16:33, He said: "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." That means that we will have troubles and difficulties and pain. Doesn't sound like a rose garden...except for the thorns.

Have you read the eleventh chapter of Hebrews? Read the whole thing. But here's a snippet from verses 35-38:

and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

Boy, that sure sounds like a prosperous, carefree life. Paul details some of his service to Christ in 2 Corinthians 11:23-30 in this way:

Are they servants of Christ?--I speak as if insane--I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.

[to be continued]

Debora said...

[continued from previous comment]

This is so hard to hear! We love comfort. *I* love comfort. I don't want to hear about trials that could come my way, and I don't *want* the trials. I want my daughter to be loving and normal, no raging, no pride and selfishness. But I'm commanded to: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. ... Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:2-3, 12)

This life is only temporary. And it is hard. And it affects our health and our sanity and our joy. But consider it all joy, and cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.* And we'll be here to bear one another's burdens. I only wish I could be physically there for you, right where you are.

Big hugs to you!

*Here's the passage it occurs in. Good to meditate on and remember:
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:6-8)

Lisa said...

Sending hugs your way. I'm not going to tell you it will get easier or that your grief will simply go away, My dd is 17 - she's been ours for almost 16 years and I still cry every flippin' day. The difference is, I have the added burden of feeling like we're running out of time (7 mos. to 18) and that I've made no difference.

I thought it was just me who got pissed off at all of the "feel good" crap we're supposed to embrace and use to get us through. Do I lack faith? Nope, I refuse to admit that. I just think that anyone can write a "make you feel good and pad my bank account book" as long as you associate it with good Christian leadership - who's gonna argue with that? You'd be shunned from your Bible study if you disagreed with anything they said. Point is, i can't even look at those books anymore - they make me furious. They simplify things in ways that are just insane. I have faith that God will heal our children IF HE chooses, in HIS time. I KNOW this is true, and yet I keep asking, "What am I supposed to be learning from this?" because the healing isn't happening so I figure it won't until I learn what I need to. Sucks - big time.

Keep crying, venting, doing whatever it is you need to do to not completely lose YOU in the midst of all of this insanity. You are valuable, you are loved.

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

It's very easy to write books like the "Prayer of Jabez" when we have forgotten what it's like to live in the trench--or have never lived there. Sitting in an ivory tower, watching the world from our climate controlled office . . . has he ever adopted an orphan? Has he ever fed the homeless, and sat and listened to their pain? I hope he has, but when I read his book, I don't see or hear that . . . As for me . . . I choose to serve the Jesus of the Bible who fed the hungry, cared for the children, and lived in poverty. If HE lived that way . . . why should I think that I deserve to live differently?

noniquilter said...

I just want you to know that I am there with you even if it isn't physically. I pray every day for all of you. You are loved and valued. Never doubt that. You have taken on the unloveable and loved without measure. Matthew says to pray for those who spitefully use you and I know that you do with Sissy. Your love is not hurting her she is just chosing to not receive it from you. Don't stop loving her or yourself. I never will. wish i was there to give you a big hug, I will on friday am. Looking forward to our time together at the quilt retreat. oh btw did you get respite for sissy for the weekend?



~Dinah said...

I'm so very sorry you and your family are suffering. I don't know about this prayer of Jabez, but I do know that Christ never promised prosperity and physical comforts on this earth. All the struggles here point us to our eternal, blissful, perfect home in heaven. Parenting hurt children has made me realize just how horribly sin has infected this world -- no child deserves to feel like this and no family deserves to be treated like this. Love & prayers to you and yours!

~Little Wonder

Elizabeth-Anne said...

Isaiah 35 (the same chapter that fortells the lame leaping and dumb shouting with the Christ) verse 8

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.

And I thought about Jesus saying, "Foxes have their holes, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." And I thought I heard God saying, "Wicked fools stay away because it looks SO BAD!"

So, the only consolation I have for you is that I think you must be walking the Way of Holiness. Prayers and ((((((((hugs))))))).


G Mama Love said...

I love you sis

marythemom said...

I know the feelings and it's so hard! It just makes me think of this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSRJbTnADc0&feature=related
It's such a catharsis to tear and rip. I'm glad you found an outlet.

Mary in TX