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, August 7, 2012


I didn't fall off the planet.  I thought about it but decided access to oxygen was paramount to my survival.  So I succumbed to gravity and kept my feet on the ground.

Although there have been days I have begged to get off!

Sissy is back to full-on nonsense.   Her CAFAS is just shy of meeting hospitalization requirement but wait, what's this?  That's right.  Apparently she's capped out in medicaid for PRTF and IFI services.  Still not sure how it's possible for a disabled child to cap out of services.  Still too dizzy from that recent revelation to take the time to start digging and researching again.

Mostly, I've spent my time being an effective single parent.  The kids are all processing the divorce in different ways and like myself, it varies from day to day.

AB has grown so much he is just three inches shy of being taller than me.  Sissy is the same height she's always been and WG is catching up to Sissy, much to her big sister's dismay.

Today the kids went back to school, Sissy and AB getting on the bus a full hour before WG had to leave for school.  She and I were quite pleased to realize that we have the next three school years of morning time alone; the kids won't be at the same school again until WG is in ninth grade.

I've been thinking long and hard about returning to blogging.  After the blog was used as an attempt to prove that I'm unfit as a mother before a judge, it became very difficult to return to my openness and honesty about how raising challenged children impacts an entire family.  At the hearing in June,  I asked if I would be legally prevented from blogging and was told that there is no legal jurisdiction to stop me.  Then his lawyer provided her own opinion about blogging suggesting that if I thought about it, I wouldn't want my daughter to know that I speak about her issues in a public way.

But that's an opinion, not legal advice.

Let me tell you what Sissy has to say about herself and her issues:
ME:  Well when you grow up you'll need to be prepared to take care of yourself
SISSY:  I don't want to live without you, even when I'm grown up
ME:  You might change you're mind when you're grown up
SISSY:  No.  I won't.  I can't do this by myself, it's too much.
ME:  Do what?
SISSY:  All of this.  My medicine and my doctors and ... all of it.
ME:  OK.  Then you can stay with me.  But I still think you'll change your mind later.
SISSY:  I won't.  I can't do all of this.  I need help forever.

In another conversation:
SISSY:  I wish I wasn't born this way!
ME:  I'm sorry, I wish I could change it for you.
SISSY:  I hate my illness!
ME:  I understand, it would make me pretty mad too if I were you.
SISSY:  It's not fair!  Why do I have to be like this?
ME:  I don't have an answer for that.  I can only tell you that everyone has SOMETHING they have to deal with.  No one's life is perfect.
SISSY:  Not like ME!
ME:  Actually, there are LOTS of people with mental health illness.  Do you remember what the bulletin board in the nurse's office said?
SISSY:  One in four people have mental illness.
ME:  Yup.  And when you turn 13, you'll be old enough to attend the NAMI support group.  You'll be able to talk to other girls with the same issues.
SISSY:  And the same meds?
ME:  Maybe.
SISSY:  You take meds.
ME:  Yup.  I have thyroid disease and ...
SISSY:  ... and you can't eat gluten and you can't have children ...
WG:  And you have panic attacks like me!
ME:  Yup.  See, everyone has something to deal with.
SISSY:  Can I have a hug?

The long and the short of it is, although I may be more open than most bloggers about our family's situation, I believe my raw honesty is justified in the sense that in order to demystify mental illness, assuage stereotyping and support our loved ones that suffer these brain disorders, it begins with education.  And who better to educate than the families living this life day in and day out?

I could pretend to be anything or anyone with any situation. I could create a completely false picture of how our family copes with supporting and providing care for two disabled children but who would benefit?  Not my children.  Not me.  Not my readers that are walking this road with me. Not the people that aren't aware that such challenges exist.  In fact, NO ONE benefits if I remain quiet.  So blog I will.

There's been lots of changes the past several months.  Stay tuned!  Same bat time, same bat channel.


Ilsa said...

Welcome back to blogging, I've missed hearing from you :-) And I continue to pray for you & your family.

Last Mom said...

Love those conversations! We have similar ones. Enjoy your quiet mornings with WG! (I know you will!)

GB's Mom said...

Love you!

Ranger said...

Happy to see you back! I read your script of conversation with Sissy and thought - wow, am I imagining the attachment in some of those statements? I cautiously want to cheer for you, just hoping it's not too naiive of me!

Blogging.... as I read blogs by moms figuring out together how to help their children (and I began with you as the first blog I found for help, so thank you so much for that), my thoughts have been that blogging, venting, thinking aloud, sharing ideas and having a safe space to be frustrated and fed up when you have to be positive with the child, comes across as endeavour to go on doing day in and day out the best for children who need exceptional parenting. Rule one of helping a child: Mom has got to survive this! As an adult, to find a blog that represents years on the part of your mother to understand and meeting your needs and find services and figure out how better to help you - what powerful affirmation that as a child you mattered and were thought about and cared about.

Pam S said...

I have missed you...so glad you are back with all of the spit and vinegar! I am thankful for your honesty. It helps me get through my day!

robyncalgary said...

Thank you <3

Integrity Singer said...

*squee* LOVING all these comments! :) ya'll are awesome.

Kristin said...

I missed you. <3

QueenB said...

Glad to have you back...glad you are surviving, and sharing with the rest of us in the trenches.

Becky said...

Yes, glad you are back! About the capping out on PRTF -my son did the same thing. Our next step was state hospital placement - which isn't bound by that cap. In our situation, the state hospital was WAY better than the private sector PRTF. Something to check into as to whether your state offers this option.

Anonymous said...

I missed you! Welcome back!!

marythemom said...

Missed you! I too recently had the choice as to whether or not to continue blogging (when my son found my blog and I found out my kids' biomom had been reading for years). I'm glad you decided to continue blogging openly. Your reasons for continuing are similar to mine.