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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Living IS possible

She cried a little, but mostly out of habit. I sent her to her room to think about it while I showered and then had her help pack. This was different than November 2009 when I packed her and piled her into the van, drove her 3 hours to the RTC and told her after intake that she was staying. In that instance, it was the best option. This time?

This time after she had a 10 minute pout session in her room she was smiling, singing, happy, relaxed and content; the most contented I've seen her in months. She's actually at a hospital this time and it is an hour closer with in-person therapy sessions only mandatory once a month.

Sissy ... is gone.

I met a few of her floor mates when we were in the clinic doing vitals. Oh yeah, these girls are her speed I thought. I met the therapist and M.D. briefly. Oh yeah, these women know their stuff. No triangulation happening here. A much more appropriate placement providing significantly more clinical care.

Sissy ... is gone.

I spent the night with my cousin who lives just a 45 minute drive away. It was nice to crash. I'd driven straight home from Orlando, repacked my bag, refueled the van and departed 12 hours after I'd returned home. My eyes were wiggling in my head from all the road time. And let's not discuss my achey-breaky bum.

This morning I returned to the hospital to do a two hour intake on Sissy's social history. I spared nothing and the therapist only flinched a little when I told her about the dissociations, multiple personalites and schizophrenic activity we'd seen in the last six months. She didn't screw up her nose when I told her that at this point in the game, I educate the professionals. She chimed in, "which confounds your struggle because we're the ones that are supposed to help. and we can't."

Wow. Yeah.

I explained that at discharge, they will send Sissy home to a vast wasteland; unsupported, no respite, no therapy, nothing. I told her how we are washed up, at the end of the road, that the only choices left are to consider placement of some form. She still didn't flinch.

This chick's good I thought. she's seen crap.

She was impressed by my ability to assume just a caregiver role and to be emotionally OK with that. She was glad to hear that we've already processed so much of our grief about Sissy. She was ecstatic that I'd just come from a weekend with other women that have kids like this (RIGHT? Because she has NO idea how awesome it is to be with women that have BTDT. She can say all day how awesome it is but she doesn't KNOW know.)

She even admitted that her role as a professional never compares to a parent's role because they are staffers with hours and can tap out when a patient is overwhelming them. She understood that being "in it" 24/7 is a whole other ball of wax.

Sissy ... is gone.

How long? The next huge question on everyone's lips. AB wouldn't quit asking until I'd given him a number. I don't really have a number. The issue becomes just how hard Sissy plays the "perfect patty princess' card. No behaviors = no treatment necessary, regardless of social history. The therapist knows this is how kids do. It can't be helped. Sissy can't be forced to show her crap. And Sissy knows how to hide it, has the patent on how to hide one's mental illness crap.

Driving home was euphoric despite the deluge that forced me to get off the interstate twice. Picking up WG and AB was exciting. "Oh dear!" I pretended to be worried, "I forgot to bring Sissy home!" WG looked puzzled at first and then as if on cue we both shouted, "because she's at the HOSPITAL!" then squealed and laughed and giggled and hugged and kissed. So much fun.

Sissy ... is gone.

Ten tons has been lifted off my shoulder. I have insane amounts of energy and time as if an hour has been elongated to 120 minutes. I had no clue how much Sissy's issues were stealing and oppressing. Such an eye opener.

Sissy ... is gone.

I can't even fake sadness. I haven't been this happy in a very long time. WG and AB were delighted. The Dad came home to super on the stove and coffee in the pot. No one was screaming. I wasn't stressed. Homework was done. AB and WG were engaging in free time activities. Magic.

Living is possible ... if Sissy is gone.


Kelly said...

Live it up, while you can!!! :)

Heather said...

I will keep praying that she shows her cr*p in the hospital. It's the only way she will get the help she needs!

You've been in my heart the last couple of days, and I'm so glad you have this time of peace. Thanks for posting an update!

ali said...

reading you is meaningful & helpful. meeting you was wonderful! DEEP BREATHS, my friend. one day at a time.

FosterAbba said...


Sarah said...

You are amazing! Here is hoping she shows them just as much crazy as she shows you.

Bren said...

C's one and only incare was almost a disaster...she was behaving perfectly. She was only 5, so it was easy to tell them how to trigger her behaviors....take her dessert off her tray just as she is about to eat it. She went from a sweet faced little girl to a devil in a split second. Of course it took 2 days to get the staff to actually do this...they didn't want ot be unfair. I am praying Sissy is triggered very quickly!
Take time to take care of yourself for now.

the cavclan said...

you are an amazing woman....and YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! :)

Lisa said...

There are no words to express my happiness for you. I understand about the energy - I haven't felt it in a very long time, but I know it's in there - waiting to burst out of me when I finally put down my load as well.

Cyndi said...

It`s about time!! I hope for all of you that a long term solution will be found soon.

The Other Mother said...

Deep breath and use this time for YOU and your the rest of your family. P.S. Awesome meeting you in person!

Elizabeth-Anne said...

Praying for BEHAVIORS, BEHAVIORS, BEHAVIORS! Praying that Sissy will crash and burn in front of someone who can actually HELP! Praying that such a person actually exists in the world and happens to be where you need them! Praying for rest and refreshing for YOU and YOUR HUSBAND and YOUR OTHER TWO PRECIOUS CHILDREN!!!! And praying for LAUGHTER and more LAUGHTER and more LAUGHTER!

Ashley said...

Love you, love you love you. Wish I'd gotten to hug you properly last week. Living is possible. Soak it up