Sunday, June 21, 2009

Patience sucks

Sometimes I can wait out the fear in the trauma, and I can totally see past the behaviors and I'm so very lah-dee-dah.

Not so much this week.

When you have some good days, even good weeks, you already know the next really bad patch is going to test your patience. I guess we get a little spoiled. We get a tiny sense of normalcy and we get in a groove and KA-POW!

This week has been a recipe for disaster. A trip away from home. Going to VBS every day at an unfamiliar church. Attending a wedding for the very first time (followed by a very loud and very crowded reception and lots and lots and LOTS of sugary treats and sweets). Watching your dad drive away to go back home to preach ... on Father's Day (nah, that doesn't screw with a traumatized brain). Oh, and did I mention that Mom and Dad are leaving the kids with a grandparent Tuesday night so they can shack up in a hotel ... for the first time since two of our kids joined their forever family?

I sang some love songs. We had some spitting (a favorite). I thanked them, scooped some up with my finger and rubbed it into my face. I asked them to spit again because it made me feel so close to them. They didn't.

More singing. Added some Dixie Chicks to my repertoire.

My child finally asked if we could sit up and talk (we were in more of a hug than a restraint, but I was sweating and it was terribly uncomfortable).

They talked a bit, but still didn't work through the craziness of the night before, and let me help them through the very obvious terror they were facing. I brought them some lunch. I made it quite yummy - even put some mini-marshmallows on there. It's good for me to do a little extra, especially when I'm WAY not wanting to be patient ... ya' know ... at all. When I came back in to collect their plate, the water had been dumped all over the carpet and peanut butter smeared in there, as well.

We went to pick up lunch for everyone else. When we were at Sonic, I gave them the option of walking around outside (there was a large field next to us). "Well, I know the way back to Mamaw's. I could just WALK!"

"Yes, sweetie, you certainly could. You're barefoot, and you're in the city and would not have me there to protect you. I'm not sure that's the best idea."

Sure enough, they started trucking across the field, back toward the grandparents' house. Would have easily been a 20-30 minute walk. It was 92 degrees with about 478% humidity. Wasn't surprised about ten minutes later when they came walking back (and YES - TEN MINUTES AT SONIC - WTH?). Was never out of my sight. Took advantage of the cooling off period, but stayed safe.

A few minutes on the porch to calm down after we got back, as things ramped up a little as soon as we walked in. EVERYTHING was a trigger. Then, we started talking. They were regulated. You could see it, hear it. That's when they got to the heart of it - the root of it all: Dad and I are leaving on Tuesday for a whole night away from the kids. We're leaving them with their grandmother. My kids loves this woman, but still ... what if she becomes violent when no one is around?

"I wondered if that was the biggie in all of this. You were trying to keep us from leaving."

My child concurred. Well, that, or was hoping we would take them with us! ha! No ... like ha! ha! ha! LOLOLOLOLOLOL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL

They apologized to the grandparents. Apologized to me. We had a talk about why I trust them to care for my children and reminded this child to watch their brothers and sisters ... who HAVE stayed with them before. Note their trust.

Yet, we acknowledged a little visit at the kitchen table does NOT remove the fear. I wrote our cell numbers for us on lots of little pieces of paper. I let my child practice using their grandparents' phone to prove to them it really would ring our cells. They could stash those numbers in secret places so they are always available. In front of EVERYONE we talked about how we take care of each other. Gave them the freedom to sleep alone or with their older sibling while we're gone - whatever they decided they would need. Talked about what we would do to defend ourselves and one another if we ever were threatened by a dangerous person. I explained how I would throw down and destroy any person that ever tried to hurt one of my sweeties. :)

Yes, it was worth it to stay with my child today. I did not want to.

Come ooooooooon, Tuesday!


familygregg said...

We call it whiplash...those "not so much moments."

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Holy Smokes!!!! What a day. I hope someone is going to sing you some soothing songs (even if they are from the 80's) to balance out that stressful day you had. YIKES.
Stay strong.

Hannah_Rae said...

I just don't know if I could rub spit into my face. I just don't know. :)



Christine said...

The whole spit rubbing thing works much better when you use a cognitive behavior therapy approach ... for YOURSELF - "I am strong. I will not dry heave."

denie said...

you are one awesome woman. i love the spit thing. i am learning so much from reading your blog. i have a grandson who is bigtime RAD. i have been a pastor's wife for 38 yrs, and i honestly believe that the pastor's lifestyle creates some opportunities for RAD to flourish. daddy's always going away. special days are always second to whatever is going on in the church. your life as a child is on display to so many people. it's hard. we raised 4 kids as PK's, then MK-TCK's. but it's good to observe your journey. mar is one fortunate cookie. and you are even more fortunate- look how God is shaping YOU in all of this.

Thankfulmom said...

We also had a terrible day yesterday after a few good ones in a row. We set ourselves up for it, VBS, late nights, but the clincher was Russ leaving for Boy Scout camp on Father's Day. With two girls having issues, I wasn't sure I would make it through the day. Lots of deep breathing going on here.

I just found your blog and will be checking back.


Kerrie said...

I've used your spit idea. What keeps me from dry-heaving is the amusement at how much MORE they are grossed-out by me doing it.

Mamita J said...

I'm new to your blog. I found you through the Livesays.

All I have to say is, "HOLY COW! Did you look through my windows?"

Seriously, the scene described above could take place on any given day at our house - except my little one will not yet talk about any big feelings.

Isn't it sad that on the days when our patience is down, their fear goes through the roof? How old is your fearful one and how long has she been home?

I pray that your night away would be refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable.


Babs said...

tears in my eyes again as I read your beauty
while my little one pouts on the couch
not because she wants juice and I won't pull out the juicer (she is more than welcome to, but I am done for the day)

but more than likely because yesterday was father's day and although she loves her step dad and he loves her much so they don't use the word "step"
mention of her biological father came up and I know it stirs in her.
I don't think leaving him was a bad idea
but I also don't ever expect her to stop loving him
even though there are days she hates him
and I make myself remember, that when i'm tired and don't have patience for the "expectations" she puts on me...there is a positive intention behind every behavior

enjoy your Tuesday!

Emily said...

Wow. What a mom you are. Really, I admire your strength and patience. I know things are tough, but I'm just continually impressed with how well you handle 'the RAD'.

Christine said...

mamita j,

Why, yes, I HAVE been looking in your windows. I'm really creepy that way. :)

Mar has been with us for just over a year. She and her brother came to us from a disrupted adoption. They came to the states from Haiti two years before that.

Recovering Noah said...

Dang, your posts exhaust me, Christine. I need another cup of coffee now.

I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful time shacking up in that hotel tonight. No talking about RAD - you hear me???

P.S. Sim and I broke down and hired a babysitter for the FIRST time in 7 years so that we could have a date night tomorrow. Headed to the movies to see Hangover. I hear it's hysterical. We needs lots and lots of laughter. ;-)

sandwichinwi said...

Well, it's Tuesday night so you are doing all sorts of romantic things. I hope you have a great time and enjoy every blessed second!

You are such a blessing to so many parents. I wish I "got it" the way you do. I need to read more books.

Meantime, I'm inspired by you every day.


Rita said...

You are an amazing person to be able to do this and change your thinking for your child. When you think your days are to hard sometimes, they are. Just know you're doing a good job.