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, February 1, 2011


Sissy was OK this past weekend. This after the shitstormcrazypsychoasscrap nonsense of the previous two weeks, perpetrated specifically from the respite.

Currently discussions about respite are on hold with the exception of the Orlando weekend but gosh, it's going to be HELL when I come home...


Anyway, so she had a decent weekend and we're all wickety wacky loo loo because she spun her little head off like Beetle Juice for two straight weeks and I really should have hauled her butt to the psych ward last Tuesday and then like a switch, suddenly she's all fine. So the rest of us are like "wait, WTF?" and "ok... so she's being nice for THIS ten minutes but what about ten minutes after that?" And that's how the rest of us spent the weekend as we watched Sissy be all normal and such. (Well... normal for Sissy, which isn't actually "normal" for an 11 year old but whatevs, we're over that expectation.)

Sunday night rolled around. Shit. Sunday nights. because what she's really thinking is "OMG I HAVE ANOTHER WEEK OF SCHOOL!!!" but what she does is "OMG MY FAMILY SUCKS RANCID OSTRICH EGGS!!!" and all we said is "Sissy, go take your shower and get ready for bed."

crap crap crap scream scream scream


REALLY tired of this, just sayin'.

Somehow she got into the shower, the water was turned on and she emerged wet in a very short amount of time and not necessarily smelling cleaner. Mommy radar went off she didn't bathe and I said to myself say NOTHING or you will DIE!!! so The Dad bathed AB and WG showered herself and while WG was in the shower Sissy was sitting all high and mighty on the recliner, her dripping wet hair ruining the brushed suede sofa (you know how they do when the RADishes think they've gotten away with something) and I pretended I was fussing over the laundry. "Sissy, I was just wondering," i ventured cautiously, not making eye contact and talking very nonchalantly. "What is it about shampoo and soap and bathing and wiping and washing hands and all of that hygiene stuff that bugs you so much?"


I feigned surprise. "What's wrong? why are you hollering? I was just wondering is all. Just curious. Because I don't understand and I just want to understand."


And I was like GOTCHA YOU LITTLE TERD! but I didn't flinch. "I'm not saying anything about your shower. I am just wondering why bathing and shampooing and all of that is such a big deal."


She was reading a book and so she stuck her nose back in it to say EFF you mom, I'm not listening. So I took her cue and sat next to her, taking the book out of her hands very calmly and quietly, making sure she could see that I marked her place. "Hey. HI. Can you look at me for a second?"


"Just trying to understand, kiddo. Can't help you if I don't know what you need. Can you tell me what it is about soap and touching your body and all that that makes you so mad and not want to do it?"


I waved my hands in front of her blankly staring face. "Hi. Over here. Can I have your eyes for a second?"

I got her eyes and said, "So... what's the deal?"

"It's disgusting."

"What's disgusting?"

"Everything. Soap. Bodies. Shampoo. It's gross. It makes me want to puke!" this last part she spat out at me angrily.

"Oh. Ok. That's good. Glad you told me. I'm not sure how to help with that but I'm glad you told me. Can we tell your therapists? They might have some ideas."

*grunting" "YES!" she growled to her lap.

"Ok. Great. Here's your book. You can finish bedtime routines when WG comes out of the shower, ok?"



I'm glad she told me but gosh. How DO you help that? Soap is disgusting?!? Her body is disgusting?!? How about dirt, germs, grime, poo and pee...

Sometimes mental illness makes me really confused. I know it's the sexual molestation from early childhood, that this weird psychoses about hygiene is classic for sexual abuse but really, I'm stuck. I've got no clues. Lord, help me. She'll get a period any day. I'm gonna have to put her in Depends and follow her to the toilet, maybe even don a bathing suit and get in the shower with her. God, it's nutso.

And that's all I got about THAT.

And... she had three good days minus the whole I-told-you-i-bathed-but-i-really-didn't thing and this morning she was an angry hornet for no good reason. Plus, after a month hiatus, all the sleep walking, sleep talking, difficulty falling asleep and night-time wakefulness has returned despite the PRN meds. ugh. I pick her up in forty minutes and I'm just waiting for the hell, cause it's gonna be BAD tonight.

Rehearsing it already in my head:
911 state your emergency.

My 11 year old needs a transport to the hospital for psych eval...

Is that her screaming I hear?

no shit sherlock


Foster Ima said...

I have no words of wisdom, but can I just say I LOVE the phrase "rancid ostrich eggs"? I mean, I hate that you have the occasion to use it. But it's a great phrase.

Integrity Singer said...

@ foster ima - LMAO! it's good, ain't it? Well, the phrase, not rancid ostrich eggs that is ...

GB's Mom said...

I hope you are WRONG- BUT IF NOT {{{{HUGS]]]]

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Ok this is as good as Essie's cussin': rancid ostrich eggs???? shitstormcrazypsychoasscrap! Bahahaha. Has she ever washed your hair and styled/brushed it for you??? Maybe it wouldn't be so gross if she did it for someone else? Sugar scrub and rinse and dry your hands and rub lotion on them? That sort of thing..if it is too gross to "clean" her self - maybe her taking care of you would be less gross and a bonding thing...or try it with WG for the pure girly pamering?

Integrity Singer said...

@ mama drama - good suggestions. Have tried these before and it is VERY hard for her. She gags, wretches, fidgets, loses interest, gets angry, it's too hard. And she has been so dangerous with WG that the girls can only do that if I'm supervising. Period. Her therapy team even thought a pampering day would work - mani, pedi, hand massage, etc. She nearly fainted at the thought

FosterAbba said...

I gotta say that I completely understand your worries with regards your daughter's impending puberty. We had many nasty messes here, when menstruating young ladies refused to take care of their personal hygiene.

Here's hoping that Sissy improves before the fateful day.

Cyndi said...

Puberty really is nasty with these girls, been there and can not tell you how bad I feel for what you will have to endure.

Julie said...

Oh man, thinking ahead to puberty. Any thoughts on putting her on that Pill that only has the ladies cycle once every quarter?? It will make for a heavier flow on that month, but it will give you three months of no mess/no hormone fluctuations. And seeing as Sissy might not be making the best decisions anyways, the Pill might not be a totally bad idea...

In regards to the showering stuff, I got my arthritic 90 yr old granny one of those spin brushes. It's a battery-operating spinning loofah on a stick. Maybe if Sissy didn't have to touch herself as much, it would be easier for her to stomach the hygiene routine?

And one more thought. When I have to do something I hate, something triggering or upsetting (a mild example, smashing a 2" cockroach in my living room last night) -- I distract my way through it. Sing or count really loudly?

OH, let's just say I have one more thought. With all of Sissy's rages, have you ever tried to encourage her? Have you ever tried telling her, "Yes! Let it all out. Can you scream louder? Yes, that's good. Get out all that rage. Here, smash this for me... good! Now smash it to smaller bits..." I wonder if agreeing/"siding" with her would take the wind out of her sails. Your thoughts??

Integrity Singer said...

@julie - most of those birth control solutions exacerbate manic. it'll be a catch 22 when we have to cross that bridge (but we've been having doctor/parent discussions about it for two years now)

have encouraged her screaming, tried screaming along with her, it makes her angrier and more violent in unsafe ways

i like the sing-through-the-anxiety idea though. that might work

Anonymous said...

Have you considered a copper non-hormonal IUD? Some of them are effective for 10 years and she can be sedated for the insertion.

kisekileia said...

Copper non-hormonal IUDs make periods heaver though. Mirena might be better--its hormones aren't that strong and it makes periods lighter or absent.

kisekileia said...

Also--do you think there's any chance that Sissy will get better on the hygiene thing when she gets a little older and realizes that clean = pretty = sexy? I mean, obviously it won't really be a good thing if she's trying to be sexy at 12 or 13, but when she realizes that she has to choose between being attractive to boys and not cleaning herself, which do you think she'll pick?

Integrity Singer said...

@kisekileia - no i don't think so. not if her birthmom is any indication of lack of motivation for personal hygiene in adulthood

Integrity Singer said...

@ kisekileia - unfortunately, mentally ill people usually shag with other mentally ill people who are equally if not more filthy than themselves. nature of the beast

Cyndi said...

If you are interested in the ins and outs of birth control etc email me privately piglet@hickorytech.net we have been through all of it with our two special needs girls.

kisekileia said...

Ah, okay. I wasn't sure about that.

(I'm also a bit uncomfortable with your using "mentally ill" with no qualification to refer to people who don't keep themselves clean because of psych issues. Lots of people with mental illnesses do keep themselves clean.)

Integrity Singer said...

@ kisekileia - true,. let me restate: persons with mental illness that also do not care about hygiene. I guess some of the concerns about my word choice might be that I am generalizing and my mental picture is actually of dually diagnosed persons that borderline MR. Where as the term "mentally ill" is an all encompassing term that includes any manner off health issues. agreed, I err.

kisekileia said...

Yeah, I get a bit weirded out by your using 'mentally ill' with no qualifiers to specifically describe people like your kids. It's because I have several psych diagnoses, and I'm super high-IQ (SATs were Harvard-calibre and could very well have been perfect across the board if I'd had disability accommodations--I maxed out the SAT 1 verbal as it was), no psychosis, etc. (You read my LJ, you get the picture.)

It's understandable, though, that you use the term that way. It's a convenient descriptor--it's just sometimes a little more general than you mean.

s5 said...

Might it be that she was also abused with oral sex as a baby and that the consistence of (liquid) soap inconsciously reminds her of semen?

It is so hard to deal with a child that was abused so badly that early in life. I suppose this is an age where you can't go back to conscious memories, because the baby brain does not yet think in the same terms as bigger children. So I suppose you also tried EMDR and Trauma therapy, but it did not help.

The risk of all these trauma therapies, which try to bring up the negative memories in order to evacuate them, is that they also might create false memories...

How do people really deal with children who were abused that early?