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, December 27, 2011


Release the anger that holds you captive by refusing to bear another's anger burden. ~ J. Smith

Sissy has been home since the 16th and despite the holiday, her approaching birthday on New Year's Eve and the outlook of going to yet one more new classroom next Tuesday, she's done remarkably well. She's had a few minor upsets but so far so good. She laughs out loud spontaneously and this time, it's genuine laughter, not forced. She speaks her mind (sometimes too often), she smiles (the typical all-tooth-RAD-grin) without complaint and with glee. She has followed hygiene protocols without ado and accepted her limits (albeit begrudgingly at times, but hey, who doesn't begrudge their limits once in awhile?) All in all, I'd say, right now, Sissy is no longer captive to the anger that once imprisoned her.

Does that mean she's better?

Define "better"? If you are asking is she healed, the answer is no. If you asking if she's stable right now, the answer is a giddy, yes.

How long will it last?

With no immediate demands on her regarding school, homework or household chores, the prospects are good. We'll see what next week brings. For now, I'm choosing to be verbally optimistic even if my heart is quaking in my boots. I'm not faking anything until I make it there, that philosophy doesn't work for me. Instead, I'm taking it ten minutes at a time. Small increments are much more manageable both for her and for me.

I know that that past month and a half my blogging has been minimal. Life has a way of bending and twisting us into coves, eddies and narrow trickling streams. The past two years have been an odyssey that has held me captive in fear and anxiety for my daughter, for my family and for myself. It felt like an eternity; going over Niagara Falls in slow motion. It's nice to exhale, close my eyes and be gently rocked by the slow moving waters that bubble over smooth river rocks.

In the past month I've gotten to take naps and share a bed with Sissy several times and not feared the retribution when she woke up. Oh, she's been very vocal and fitful in her sleep, has been a bear to wake up and has kept as far on her side of the bed as possible so we aren't touching but ... BUT... she's slept with me and not retaliated.

In the past month I've learned that it's safe to be family; to laugh, to love, to be myself, to get irritated and aggravated and blow off steam then laugh at myself for getting so caught up in the mayhem of parenting.

In the past month I've enjoyed friendship, sisterhood, being a daughter and a mother, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In the past month I've stopped being a captive.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I don't even know that tomorrow will come. I don't know will happen a month from now and I don't know that I care. Right now, I'm bundled up in my old pink hoodie with the diva rhinestones, wrapped up under a christmas blanket, drinking a glass of wine and listening to the sounds of three sleeping children, their music playing softly in their rooms while the wind howls and blows outside. The dog is gently snoring and the clocks in the kitchen are ticking. I have peace in knowing that in the past two years, I've remained a woman of integrity, recounting our family's story as I've experienced it - not exaggerating, or embellishing - telling the raw, honest truth of how one adoptive family can be held captive by the wages of abuse and mental illness and still survive knowing that tomorrow we might be headed for the next colossal waterfall.


QueenB said...

Wonderful. I feel your peace in your words. Praying for continued strength, and progress. Wisdom, and courage. Blessings measured in abundance. You are a very brave woman, and so is Sissy. You are her mother for a good reason; you are the one she needs. Keep plugging ahead!

Kelly said...

So glad things are going better.

Ranger said...

Go the wine and the diva rhinestones, which sound extremely cool! I'm so glad to hear you've got some calm water right now {}

Angela :-) said...

Awesome to hear, my friend. Say, my hard drive crashed at the end of October and I no longer have our house's email addresses, etc... I also need your mailing address again, please!

Angela :-)

marythemom said...

So glad to hear the peace in your tone. Congratulations on the IEP success as well.

I wish your New Year to continue in this more peaceful and supported manner.

Hugs and prayers,