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, November 8, 2012

Four years

I didn't mean to.  That is, I didn't mean to neglect the blog for a month.  I'm going to blame it on my laptop.  The 'r' button is sticky and won't cooperate so I type and retype and retype a third time just to get the 'r' to work. My left pointer finger is sore.  *holds it up*   Kiss it?

Blame.  That's an easy trap to fall into. No one wants to take ownership for their failings. It goes against human nature - probably a prehistoric genetic trait initially developed for survival of the species when primates eeked out a miserable existence.  Now it just makes the evolved human irritating to deal with.  I envision it as a de-evolution with eventual destruction of the species.  Much like the unused appendix in modern man that could kill us today if it ruptures but at one time was an evolutionary adaptation necessary for digestion.

Yesterday the therapy agency closed Sissy's case.  "She can behave at school, " they said, "so she has shown that she can use the therapeutic tools she's been given.  It means she chooses to behave poorly at home."  Thus, it is no longer a mental health issue.  It's a DJJ issue.  Should Sissy decide to toss her crap because, oh, taking a shower is such a hideous expectation, so hideous that I should be imprisoned for the rest of my earthly days, then I call the police on her.

Here's your hat, there's the door, what's your hurry? 

Alone I stand again, parenting my challenged children without support systems.  The years it took me to get support for them, the phone calls, the hours of talking to people, the mountains of paper work, the countless times I retold our family's story all of it for me to come full circle.  And Sissy's behaviors not much better than before we started.

The only difference is I grew a set of shiny brass balls in the process. 

Four years ago, when we elected a new president, Sissy hadn't spent one day in a hospital.  She was attending only a one hour group support session at the psychologist's office.  Four years ago I didn't know about RAD moms and support groups for me.  I didn't know that RAD was incurable.  I didn't have the slightest clue that I would need brass balls to weather the storms of life. 

This week we reelected the same president and it was but a blip on the radar of my life.  I know, there's lots people have to say about the election and the results and I should probably care at least some.  Truth is, no president has come to my neck of the woods, knocked on my front door and offered to listen to my family's plight, let alone lent a helping hand.  They haven't restrained a nearly 13 year old Sissy when she's been in a full rage, naked, in the bathroom and screaming at eardrum shattering decibel levels that she can't shower until she knows she'll get 11 minutes to do it instead of 7.  (She COULD spend seven minutes screaming about it though.)

I try not to let the hardness of my heart show on my face or in my posture.  I choose to let every day stand alone and speak for itself.  Because who knows, maybe the next 24 hours will be beautiful.  Hell, the next 10 minutes just might bless my socks off.  Wouldn't want to miss that precious 10 minutes of loveliness.  I roll my head on my shoulders, stretching out the tension in my neck.  I play uplifting music on the radio.  I laugh heartily every chance I get.  I remind myself to receive and give physical affection.  I make a concerted effort to text or call one person a day to ask how she is doing.  I use aromatherapy at bedtime to relax.  I watch old reruns of relatively "clean" sitcoms.  I hand quilt and english paper piece hexagons into dainty little flowers.  I pet the dogs and soak up the autumn sun.  I breathe in the crisp smell of dry leaves, then intentionally kick them up with my toes because the swishy sound of their crunchiness makes me giddy.  I sip coffee while playing mindless computer games in the few minutes each morning I have to myself.  I feed an old, blind Tennessee Walker that is recovering from colic.  I brush the dirt off the winter coat of his barn mate, a quarter horse that gives me hugs... when he's in the mood.

I'm not dancing.  I've forgotten how.
I'm not carefree.  Life is unpredictable.
I don't play.  There's no time. 
I won't sing.  Don't ask me.
I don't dream.  There's no point
I can't hope.  I have no reason to.
I don't blame. Truth is deliverance.
I won't recover.  I'll move forward.
I will survive.  I choose to.

I pray. That the next four years won't be as hellatious as the last four for distinctly different reasons than the conservative republican voter is praying.  Four years from now Sissy will be nearly 17.  I have a sneaking suspicion that whichever political party is seated in the white house as the head of the executive branch of our national government will still mean precious little to me.  Here's hoping my brass balls won't be sagging lower than my boobs by then.