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

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What I have to say

You might think that after 250 posts I've already talked a lot about what I think and feel about our situation. The truth is, I hold a lot back.

The irony of this blog is that I started it so that people directly involved in our family's life could read it and stay on the same page: so I didn't have to call or email or contact everyone every time something changed with Sissy's case. It also prevents those but you told "susan" xyz and told me pdq and now we're all confused. what's the REAL story? conversations because let's face it, as hard as we try, humans can never tell the same story twice. But alas, for my best intentions, the people this blog was initially intended for don't read it. Yet I censor what I say here anyway.

I censor myself because there are a mess of thoughts, emotions, truths and issues that if discussed openly would cause my lynching or thereabout by some purposed readers. I'm not really looking for a mob scene or for spilling ugly truths publicly. Over time the censorship became one of protection from the lurkers that think they know a thing or two about what they believe to be true in our RADical homes. Although I've not personally contended with malice, many of my blogger friends have. So I step lightly.

As a result, over time I feel like my posts have been superficial and not really expressed the depth of despair and loss I suffer from. Many of you tell me how much you appreciate my honest, bare-bones, raw approach to what happens in our family's daily life. I have received those praises with a grain of cynicism. Really, I'm not being as truthful as I could be. I restrain myself out of fear.

The truth is, I'm in no way leading the life I thought I would be. You know those conversations we had when we were kids what do you want to be when you grow up? All I got for that is "#$@& that Pollyanna #$**"
The truth is, that makes me spitfire angry; grind-my-teeth-to-nubs angry; punch-holes-in-drywall angry; go-to-the-firing-range angry; drive-off-and-never-come-back angry.
The truth is, I have allowed Sissy's crap to usurp my very being, everything that I am and hold dear.
The truth is, I'm an amazing woman but I don't know it because every day I'm confronted with an alternate truth that I'm a despicable, vile woman, the opinion of an 11 year old girl.
The truth is, I struggle to call her "daughter".
The truth is, I don't care that I struggle to call her "daughter" nor do I care that if Sissy knew of my struggle it could possibly hurt her feelings.
The truth is, it probably wouldn't.
The truth is, I keep hanging onto the sliver of hope that she might care.
The truth is, I don't see the point of carrying on this facade anymore.
The truth is, I don't have a choice.
The truth is, every day is a struggle to get up and try again.
The truth is, it doesn't make any difference to Sissy whether I do or not.
The truth is, once upon a time I had potential, vivacity, hope, joy, vigor, vitality, exuberance, selflessness, kindness, endurance, courage, determination, drive, and tenacity.

Now I have one dark, dismal day after another.

Raising a RAD has stolen it all and I'm terrified I'll never get it back.

November 2008 - the last time we had a family photo
At Demonstration Day for AB's Hippotherapy


GB's Mom said...

All of those qualities are still there. Use them with AB and WG and NOTICE when you use them. When MK was at her RADishest, not only did I pretend she wasn't my daughter, but I even referred to her as witchie-poo when she wasn't around and "your father's daughter" when she was. It helped to treat some of her sh*t more objectively. It is much easier to be objective when talking about "witchy- poo".{{{hugs}}}

Kelly said...

I won't pretend to understand because it is not possible. But I would like to say I am so sorry. Not that it makes any difference but I really am. Anyone who opens their heart to a child that is not born to them does not deserve this life. Period.

I do have a question for you though. Has Sissy always been like this or at what age or during what event did she turn into this person? Was there a noticeable change in her where she began being so outwardly hateful and rageful or has she always been this way? She looks so different in that picture than in the pictures of her of recent. It's her eyes I think.

Debora said...

I.S., my heart hurts for you so much. I pray whenever I think of you. I know your good qualities are still there...there are times when I feel like you do about Sissy, and I have to attempt to remind myself that I'm a nice person who actually likes kids. :o) Thank you for being as real as you dare here. I really wish I could help somehow, practically. So until that time comes, I'll continue to pray.

Hugs to you!

Lisa said...

Sending hugs.

Kristin said...

*hugs* I don't have much to offer, but I hope knowing that someone is reading, with sympathy and compassion, helps.

Lisa said...

I always think you're talking directly to ME when you post things like this - and today is no different. Sure, you censor yourself, this life has made you feel defensive. Sure you hold back, you've learned that not everyone gets it and understands if you're being sarcastic about Sissy's behaviors. I do the same thing. Whenever I do vent, I swear I either see the person's eyes glaze over, or I end up regretting the vent because - while I desperately need to unload - I feel like I've subjected the person to things no one else should have to know about, and I feel guilty about it. I wish I didn't know what a RADish was capable of. I wish I didn't feel the daily rejection or worse, the veiled threats that my whole world will be turned inside out if I don't do what this person says or what someone else deems best for my child. It makes me furious to see someone joke around with my child and believe that I just need to give this child "more" in order to have a good relationship with him and her - and tell me that in so many words. I grieve for the life I'm supposed to have and the joyous childhoods my younger kids should be experiencing. My youngest turned 7 today. He got a 17 yo sister screaming that we do not support her in any way and that she wants to take a bunch of pills again and a 16 yo brother screaming and raging because someone was "trying to get him into trouble" who had to be sent to bed at 6pm because he couldn't/wouldn't calm down. We had to force ourselves to sing to our darling boy and try to find a moment of normal for him to enjoy his day - the other two kids were determined to ruin it for him. He keeps reassuring me that "it's ok, mom, next year I'll have a better b-day". I can't stop crying. I cry every.single.day. That is the reality of trying to parent a child who refuses to be parented. Not only refuses, but is determined to make you pay for loving them.

I wish we lived closer - I would keep Sissy for you on weekends and tell her what an awesome family she has.

Integrity Singer said...

@ lisa - which is exactly why this year WG specifically requested to celebrate her 6th birthday without Sissy. And I agreed wholeheartedly. Sissy makes it hell. And WG says the same stuff,"its ok mom" and I emphatically say back, "No ma'am. It is unequivocally NOT OK!" (yes, i really do use big words with my kids, SpEd, RAD, 6 or 11, I use big words. How else will they learn vocabulary?)

my life as yo mama said...

You are so right. The truth is..... wow, it's so hard to even know what truth is after parenting these kids, isn't it. I totally understand the complete loss of self. I totally understand the love we "normal" people can't help but have for our RAD kids. I totally believe that we develop or own attachment issues because of parenting these kids. We become so cynical, so distrusting, we have to put up our walls to protect ourselves- so like them. Difference is, we notice. They don't. It's ugly, but like them, it's our coping skill to deal with them. screwed up, huh! Our lives become about surviving with some sense of sanity. Hopefully we can come out the other side having only used that wall of protection against the specific ones that need it. (does that make sense?)

I got attacked in a courtroom (rad kid started stealing cars at 12 yrs old so we ended up in court) because of my blog so I get the censorship, but I also get the need to "vent" and be able to be honest. My blog was started for the same reason you started yours and I find myself frustrated with how "honest" to be with my thoughts and emotions.

I also have a "normal" daughter who's 11 and has had to "see it all". (the youngest of my 21 kids) She shocked a psychiatrist the other day because of her knowledge of meds.
She, also, is very "over forgiving" - tries to make everything alright like Lisa is describing her son. It certainly has had an effect on her.

Sincerely Mama said...

I imagine we all censor ourselves to an extent, but I do understand where you're coming from, as you know. I'm still praying for you and waiting for that day when you can finally do what you have to do in order to save yourself and your family -- and that includes Sissy. God bless you, Friend.

marythemom said...

I started my blog for the same reasons you do. I censor what I put in my blog for similar reasons. I'm sure I have similar feelings about my RAD son as you do about Sissy, and I don't share much about my lack of feelings for him for the same reasons. The other kids feel the same way about both of my adopted kids.

In other words, you are not alone, and that's why I read your blog - so I remember that I am not alone.

Thank you for blogging.

Hugs and prayers,
Mary in TX

FosterAbba said...

Having been a blogger who was harassed to the point where group of people made false allegations about me to the Child Welfare folks, I completely understand the need to censor what you say.

But I also realize that it doesn't really matter if we censor our blogs, because that false allegation is still waiting out there, somewhere.

It doesn't matter if you say nothing on your blog, because there could be a teacher, therapist, neighbor or "friend" who decides that your parenting isn't adequate and then the investigation ball gets rolling.

What I do recognize is that even if you only reveal a small portion of what's really going on, it's valuable, not only as an opportunity to vent, but as a warning to others who might be considering going down this road.

Tara - SanitySrchr said...