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, June 23, 2011

Rule change, Same Results

nope. she's not going to make it. full on rage tonight requiring a call to her IFI team who asked if I wanted to call 911. Then informed me that she almost qualifies to reenter the hospital with her home behaviors thus far.

11 days.

Tonight we decided to quit asking her to be honest and admit to the voices. We're trying a new tactic. We're just nonchalantly and lackadaisically saying, "eh, so you hear stuff and see stuff. No biggie. It happens." Taking a more direct approach of acceptance instead of giving her the option to deny may be more healthy in the long run.

Another new tactic of not engaging. She sleeps to deflect or avoid, we say "you were sleeping" and she rages that she wasn't. Game on.

The No-Engaging tactic.
MOM: You were sleeping. Color change. [1]
SISSY: WHAT!!! No I wasn't!
MOM: (without making direct eye contact or speaking sternly) The rule is, if your eyes are closed, your head or body are down or if you are wrapped in a blanket, it looks like sleeping. So it is.
MOM: You know the rule. (walk away)

If she continues to say provoking statements to try to get me to engage, I just parrot the rule.

Which of course is exactly what happened today. And after I repeated the rule a second time I added, "you supper is on the table, please come eat."

She came to the table and then when she got there began tantruming.

MOM: The rule is no tantruming at that table. Please leave the table and find a quiet place to settle down.

SISSY: WHAT?!? I'm not tantruming!!!

MOM: If you are crying and shouting at me, it is a tantrum. Which room are you going to go to so you can settle down?

SISSY: I'M NOT I'M NOT! (head on table, sobbing hysterically)

MOM: Can you pick your mp3 player, a lovey (stuffed toy), or a blanket?


MOM: I'm sure you have to use the bathroom by now, you can settle down that way, splash water on your face, brush your hair.


MOM: OK, I'm deciding. Please use the bathroom.


MOM: (moving chair she is seated in away from that table but not angrily or forcefully) To the bathroom.


She proceeded to the bathroom clamly, I thought hey, that worked!

Then nuclear meltdown.

one and a half hours later ...

still, the "no engaging" language is better. Instead of calling out her behaviors or her lying, I'm just reciting over and over like a robot what I would like her to do, phrasing it as "rules". I'm going to continue using the no-engaging tactic because it's easier on ME. If she can't deal, whatever. I have to be able to get out of bed the next day and do it all again so the rules of the game have changed. Now it's about how I deal.

And just so my Orlando peeps in my house for 2012 are in the know: if your eyes are closed, your head or body are in a supine position and you may or may not be snuggled in a blanket, I WILL say that you were sleeping. Fair warning.

[1] the behavior model we are following at the hospital. Since sleeping is such a huge issue for her, we are allowing one two hour nap a week and then giving her a consequence for naps after that. It sounds harsh but the bigger picture is that her napping has become a way for her to dissociate so it's not a healthy coping skill. In addition, with so many nighttime issues, too many daytime naps interrupts her ability to sleep at night.


Kristin said...

Does she want to go back to the hospital?

kisekileia said...

Could the sleeping thing be a medication side effect? I also have to admit that I would find it very annoying to have behaviours that aren't actually sleep defined as "sleeping" if I were in her shoes, since I'm 1) on the spectrum and 2) a perfectionist.

If she almost qualifies to reenter the hospital already, how fast do you think she will qualify? Obviously having her in and out of the hospital is always going to be way more stressful than having her permanently in there because of the instability, uncertainty, and transitions involved, but if you can get longer and longer hospitalizations interspersed with shorter and shorter breaks, that at least means more time without her in the home.

Integrity Singer said...

@ kristin: we asked that. Of course she said no but I suspect otherwise.

GB's Mom said...

Love you! Hope this way of handling her is easier on you {{{Hugs}}}

Barb G said...

Darn it! I'm not going to put anything past you, am I? Does drooling while your head is back and your mouth is wide open qualify too?

Love you girl. Praying every day. (((hugs)))

Kristin said...

Self sabotage at its finest. :( You're in my thoughts.