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, January 31, 2012


She made it to the coveted "pink diamond" behavior status.

We've been following the hospital's behavior model, a color code system. Pink Diamond is earned by having green level behaviors for both shifts for an entire week.

So she achieved it...and crashed and burned.

I'm not sure what psychological trigger occurs in her head that tells her and now you will sabotage your efforts because if I did, I'd cut that red wire before the bomb explodes. (or is it the blue wire?)

The pinnacle of the crash included her screaming in the shower that she hates that she was born this way, wishes she hadn't been born and hates that she can't change herself (meaning her organic issues.) I didn't respond directly to her outpouring, I have the suspicion that she thinks being in the shower with the water running equates to being in a sound-proof room. I didn't want to embarrass her by letting her know I'd overheard. Instead, when she was dressed for bed, I gave her an extra long hug and kiss and told her how much I loved her.

Then yesterday, she slept through her school day.

*enter the sound of the Titanic hitting the ocean floor*

By the time I picked her up early so she could attend the monthly FTM, she became unhinged in the van. Fortunately, her therapist pulled up to the house when I did. I met her at her car, offering to carry her belongings into the house if she would do crisis management and deescalate Sissy for me.

For now, I'm considering it a setback and not a return to old behaviors. I'm going to remain positive and keep giving her the praise she needs to stay the course. I'm going to hope that this hasn't all been just a remission but rather a genuine positive change in her behaviors. I sent her off to school with, "you can do it! I know you can have another great day. I believe in you. I'll change your color back to green if your teacher gives me a good report for today."

"ok mom"

Then I drove off watching her drag her gray hoodie on the ground, her gray pants barely hanging onto her hips, her gray shirt slumped off one shoulder, her book bag barely hanging onto the other. She didn't turn to wave at me as I drove off like she always does.

Optimism carries us only so far. The remaining distance is covered while I constantly jiggle my legs when I'm seated and as I sleep in the fetal position, hugging myself in anxious anticipation that it will all fade away once more. the red flags are popping up on the horizon and all I want to do is retreat. Curse you PTSD!


beemommy said...

I know with Alex, he would sabotage anything positive because being mentally ill is all he knew. I honestly don't know what changed things for him except they changed the ISST (I still am not sure what that is an acronym anymore, that's how disconnected I was to him after he assaulted me)program making for much less down time (I know, much easier to do when you have people coming in on shifts...not possible to do when you are the sole adult). Being sick is their identity and even as a cancer patient prays for healing, after a while, it has become their normal and leaving that life/routine is frightening. You've got this Jennie.

Ranger said...

Hugs. Much good coffee and hugs {}

Elizabeth-Anne said...

What they said. Our prayers are with you. When you can't pray for yourself, when things are just so f***ed up that it's too much to bear (or just when it hits a low but you're at a low, too), then I truly believe God sends others to pray for you. We love you. We believe with you. We hope for you. (((HUGS)))