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

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Not gonna lie

I'm not going to lie. I'm nervous about Sissy coming home next Friday. Our family session yesterday only emphasized the reality that she's still not cluing into the reality of her actions and the consequences for them.

Thursday night she was given the opportunity to go off campus and drive around the community to view the Christmas lights. The hospital is in a great area of town, lots of students, doctors, professionals, and the like in addition to having many older homes that have unique style. A drive to see those light displays would have been awesome.

So Thursday morning I called the unit to talk to Sissy - wish a happy morning and that I was really rooting for her that she would get on green level behavior status and get the reward of going on the outing. She was currently on yellow.

I called that evening and she said she was still on yellow and didn't get to go. She told me she didn't know why they kept her on yellow, that they didn't tell her. All of which is bogus because mid-day the unit meets for group therapy and the residents are told their level status, why it had been changed and if it was lowered, what action plan each patient can make in the future to alter their behavior for the positive.

During family session, the unit director explained that Sissy had to be carried out of the cafeteria by a male staff member and taken back to the unit while she kicked, screamed and tantrumed. Sissy's explanation? "I was only crying a little."

The unit director redirected Sissy to the truth, which she would not acknowledge. The unit director spent a great deal of time talking about what is expected of a child in a home environment, what behaviors are acceptable and which aren't and that in order to get discharged, Sissy would have to start proving that she was ready to accept those limits. (The hospital has not yet alerted Sissy to her discharge on Friday) Then we concluded the session with Sissy agreeing that she would have a "gold star" weekend [1] to prove that she was ready to do what was expected of a child living in a home environment.

Then last night Sissy called her grandmother and said the outing was switched to a theatrical production of The Nutcracker instead of viewing Christmas Lights and that she wasn't disappointed about missing that outing because she'd seen that production while she was in a different facility two years ago. Her color? Still yellow.


This morning at the elementary school's "breakfast with Santa" event, the school counselor talked to me privately. Apparently WG had been in her office on Friday to talk through her fears and anxieties that had crept into her school day. WG confessed that she was nervous and scared about Sissy coming home.

Me too, WG. Me too.

AB's perspective? He says maybe Sissy will at least be good for Christmas Day and her Birthday because she likes them and she might try harder on those days.

Best Christmas present ever? Sissy truly knowing and accepting that what is expected of her at home is reasonable and that she has the strength and self-will to comply without self-harming, threatening or violent behaviors. I'm not holding my breath for that gift to be wrapped up under the tree on Christmas morning. One way or another, the rest of us have to survive her trauma-induced anger and dysfunction. If I hold my breath in hope, I'll die.

Well, that's enough of that for today. WG's Brownie troop is going to the nursing home to deliver lap blankets and Christmas bracelets that the girls made on Thursday. But WG is mostly excited about singing carols to them. I love taking the girls to these types of events, we are blessed to have such a giving, kind-hearted troupe. Truly, all of our girls are super super sweet. And AB? Eh. He'll tag along, pace, whine, stim and be generally miserable.

It's going to be GREAT!!!!

[1] weekend staff apparently have a reward system for the top behaving residents - an effort to get them to behave accordingly in the less structured weekend environment. A Gold Star is awarded to the residents that "accept limits" and "do what is expected without tantrums or disrespect".


Becky said...

I started stressing over my sons potential discharge the third day after he was admitted (and this is a long admission) LOL.

DD17 has seen her brother once in about 6 weeks. He was great during that visit (for him). The visit gave her an upset stomach due to the fear: "He had that dead look in his eyes again mom and that means you don't know what he will do..." Being in a public setting with her mom RIGHT there and plenty of other people there to call for assistance if needed... was not enough to help her feel safe.


Barb G said...

Hugs and prayers, my friend. Hoping for the best for your family. (((hugs)))

Ranger said...

Argh. Hugs to you, how very stressful. Just as a thought - I know logic is not these people's strong point and will gladly accept a shrug and rolled eyes as answer - if she DOESN'T manage a gold star weekend, and still presumably she will get discharged anyway no matter what kind of weekend she had, how does this give her any kind of coherent message about expectations?