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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It makes HER feel better

WG is reading circles around herself. They've bumped her up to chapter books, her last benchmark indicating she's above a second grade reading level and this only the 12th week of first grade. I'm so very proud of her and tickled pink that she seems to like math just as much, unlike her two older siblings. AB said last week while attempting his homework, "3 x 4? I don't know." And without looking up from her own math worksheet, WG blurted out, "12." She doesn't look a thing like me but gosh, if she hasn't picked up on some of my personality, likes and dislikes. Truly, if not for WG, I'd lose hope altogether that choosing the path to parent is a worth while effort.

AB is better since his doc increased his wellbutrin. The first pdoc we saw is not Sissy's pdoc and we were irritated with her style and nonplussed when she casually waved her hand and dismissed us saying, "he doesn't need a pdoc, his developmental delay specialist is my friend and managing his care just fine." Only that's not the case. Although his developmental delay specialist is indeed excellent at developmental delays, her lack of training in psychiatric needs and the medications for those needs is obviously deficient. Fortunately, after several months of begging, Sissy's pdoc has agreed to take AB as a new patient but not until March. So we tough it out. PDD-NOS and generalized anxiety have been added to AB's charts as per the once-and-done pdoc but I know the inevitable is looming. AB will get the bipolar label soon enough. However, with the exception of bouts of insomnia, stimming, manic behaviors and ocd tendencies, I think AB's bipolar will be significantly less severe than Sissy's. Of course, AB isn't RAD and he responds much better to medications than Sissy so that helps.

[aside]It does make me think, have the professionals ever considered calling bipolar a spectral disorder? FAS has been changed to FASD and autism is now ASD. Why not rethinking the DSM for bipolar as BPSD? Because clearly, it's spectral. Same goes for down syndrome (and this I know for certain that trisomy 21 does not always occur in every body system - I know because we typed AB for trisomy 21 in all body systems looking for mosaicism) Anyway. Thoughts from those of you that are privy to a life intimately connected with bipolar?

Bit The Dad's head off this morning because he asked a question about Sissy and I displaced my agitation toward him, apologized immediately for my anger and then pondered why I would be so edgy 10 minutes after waking. He made the supposition that if we didn't live in a constant state of stress and agitation because Sissy makes us all so raw, I'd likely never sound off that way. And he's right, but it doesn't excuse my behavior. I'm awfully glad he's so patient and forgiving.

Had a phone chat with Sissy's teacher regarding her week-long manipulation escapade that nearly landed MY butt in hot water regarding what could have easily been misconstrued as neglect about Sissy's medication. Sissy's ruse revolved around choosing not to work so she slept and then let the school believe it was a drug issue (they perceived the switch to geodon as the cause when the truth is Sissy's side effects are nil where as the resperidal had many issues to contend with.) In the phone chat I didn't bother explaining the manipulation games RADs play. I stifled my laughter when her cute little teacher told me how she explained to Sissy that "now she's lost my trust and will have to regain it, that I'm nervous that one day she really WILL be sick and I won't believe her..." because really? Like I've NEVER had the conversation with Sissy before? Like Sissy gives a flying *bleep*? Then, THEN the teacher tells me "last week we had the word 'inspire' on the vocabulary list and Sissy told the class that you inspire her." OK, that one nearly made me puke in the cell phone. I explained kindly that Sissy was talking smack for attention and the sweet little teacher said, "yeah, i kinda figured that was a lie." YA THINK!?!?

The PRTF is nearly finished but knowing what is happening to some other bloggy friends regarding their children being discharged because they "don't show any behaviors" and knowing that Sissy just recently snowed the psych ward with her "excellent behavior" I'm bleary-eyed and bewildered. What's the point of sending a child to RTC if they get sent home without any help for their needs? What's the point of dealing with the transition time back to home? What's the point of continuing with IFI services if Sissy never embraces those therapies to change her life? What's the point of even trying? The therapist said, "Well mom, if she goes and is only gone for 30 days, what do you hope to accomplish?" and it made me mad. Searing anger. What IS the point? I didn't have an answer for her question. It's an unending loop of pain and misery and torture.

Sissy sat there in her session and I told the therapist how Sissy was asking about my "tumor" and then being snarky and feigning ignorance about said conversation. I looked directly at the therapist and said, "She's lying but what's the point. She's ALWAYS going to lie." Sissy has given me the indication that she thinks about me having a tumor, probably tells people that I do. I don't even know what to do with a child that dreams about me being ill when I have bent over backwards to help and still ... STILL!!!...

Demoralized? Yes because in my little world, there is no morality. Furious? There are no words to describe my anger. Grieving? Worse than I've ever grieved in my life. Numb? Go ahead. Poke me with flaming spears. I won't feel it. Nauseated? Gosh, i can't even think about grocery shopping, let alone cooking. Hopeless? The death of our dog Hope was fortuitous of the death of my hope so, yeah. Thank God we still have Grace (who is still very skittish, sad and gloomy since her dog mate passed).

After the therapist left, I got WG to my friend's house, she is so very kind to take WG to and from church on Wednesdays for Cantate rehearsals. I didn't say two words to Sissy the whole drive there and back. And you know how RADlets do. If you're not talking, they are going to ask annoying questions just to get your attention, just to keep stoking the fire. I ignored her. Spoke only to AB. I was focused on the basketball I'd be heaving when I got home.

I went crazy. Literally. All of this, every bit of it sucks. I have nothing. I can give nothing. I am an empty shell. Sissy has pulled the plug on me and drained me dry. "This is not ME!" I screamed at The Dad who came home just in time for my cataclysmic break down. "I'm not this angry person! I'm not this mean mother that has to put a child on restriction for weeks on end! This isn't ME! This isn't who I set out to be when I became a parent! I can't do this anymore, I just can't!" And in between sobs and gasps and choking and squeaking I explained that I can't answer to people anymore, I can't tell one more professional about what I'm doing or not doing to help Sissy. That I choked when the therapist asked me what we hope to accomplish by putting her in RTC. That I can't, I just can't do this anymore.

He astutely said, "we accomplish getting a much needed respite for an extended time. No. Sissy won't learn anything. Who cares. We'll get to regroup."

Later I sobbed again, "and then she'll come back and it will be more hell to pay, more IFI, more therapists, and sure, we'll have gotten a break. We'll have had the chance to see how our life COULD be like. And then we'll return to hell again. It's torture. It really would be easier to never know that my life, our family, our home ... could actually be nice. That no, I'm NOT this way, that it really isn't ME. and she'll come home again, and be worse."

All she has to do is make the choice. It's the easiest thing in the world. Choose not to lie. Choose not to rage. Choose to use the therapy tools. Choose to obey. Just choose, damn-it! But she'll never choose it. She'd rather choose to make us all live in hell because that makes her feel better.


kisekileia said...

WG sounds like she might not be that far off needing a gifted program. Is her teacher able to give her work that's at her level, so she's not complaining about things being too easy?

Also, a little bit of sunshine for your life: http://www.theittybittykittycommittee.com/

Barb G said...

(((((Integrity Singer))))) I'm sorry.

Johanna said...

I came here from "Watching the Waters" and I'm full of empathy for your pain. I don't have a RADlet. Mine is bi-polar and adopted but anxiously attached. Even still, I have had those moments where I've despaired - it's never going to be better, he's never going to care about us. I'm sooo sorry. I'm sure you are remembering to take care of yourself, but if you have let that slip a little, go back to it. I don't know if you have a therapist, but having someone to talk to about you is always good. And I took anti-depressants for awhile, which really helped to dampen down the despair. Take the relief you'll get while Sissy is gone and try not to think about the future too much. Oh, how parenting can break the heart! I'll keep your family in my prayers.

Debora said...

Dear, sweet I.S., I am experiencing your pain with you! I am so, so, so sorry for what you are going through. Does Sissy know the gospel? Does she know that because of her sin she is under God's wrath and will be separated from Him for eternity? Does she know that Christ loves her so much that He paid her penalty and if she trusts Him and repents that she can live forever in Heaven with Him? She has a choice to make, to trust Jesus or not. This I pray for her above all else. This I pray for our adopted girls, too. They have made some doozies of poor choices, and I wonder why God had us adopt them, but I know that if He had us adopt them solely for them to hear the gospel over and over that it was worth all the pain and anguish we've gone through with them. It doesn't make it any easier...but it gives me hope and helps me get through.

Big hugs to you! I so wish I could come and help you by taking Sissy.


Debora said...

Oh, and I wanted to say also that I am so glad that WG is a ray of sunshine for you. At times our younger girl is fun to spend time with and is a pretty good kid...but I often wish I had one who was a ray of sunshine like WG. Embrace her and your relationship. :o)

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Holy smokes. Your husband is on target with RTC at least giving you time to catch a break to regroup and just breathe. 24/7 x 52 is wayyy too much time w/ Sissy and wayyyy too much stress to have to handle. Maybe go back and read over some of the old posts from last time Sissy was away at RTC and think if those more relaxed times are worth the aggravation of dealing with the RTC thing. Hugs. Please come to Orlando.

marythemom said...

I agree, if nothing else then RTC is a good respite.

I hate the person I have become around my RAD son. I have cried the same thing, "This is not ME!" We just keep hanging in there, and looking for support.

Please take care of yourself.

Mary in TX