Friday 27 April 2012

Archived Post 2012 - 44 months and a ball.

Randall has been my son for 44 months which is about 1341 days or 32 184 hours... that's a lot of hours.

For the first 38 of them he merely tolerated my presence in his life. I was not the Mom he wanted and there was little I could say or do to make him change his mind. In many ways we tolerated each other, he tried to make me miserable ( succeeding frequently) while I tried to make him love me. Although I did make some progress ( in the processing of teaching him to trust me) I really felt like was rowing backwards at the edge of a waterfall. He did come to me for comfort on occasion, he did occasionally reach out to me, there was a part of him that wanted to be loved but the walls he had built around his heart where solid and very, very high.

He let Jack in first and as a result for a long time Jack did much of the parenting of Randall on his own. I met his day-to-day physical needs but when it came to handing out consequences or dealing with big issues Jack handled it. I supported him as best I could, I participated and Randall knew we were in this together but since he was so very good at making me crazy it was easier to step away and let Jack deal with it.

There were so many days when I felt as though nothing was ever going to change and that I had to be ok with that. He might never attach to me, it may always feel as though he is someone else's child and I am just taking care of him. I began to accept that he might never heal in the ways that his brother had. In many ways I had given up hope that anything was ever going to change. We were destined to tolerate one another's presence, nothing more and as heartbreaking as that was for me I had accepted it as best I could.

( please excuse me while I now compare my relationship with my son to a baseball game)

Then one day in October, literally out of left field there was a ball, he threw it to me and I caught it. It was a small ball, a little tiny piece of love thrown from him to me. Slowly but surely he started to throw more and more tiny little love balls in my direction. Weeks passed although he was still throwing little love balls my way he was also throwing great big huge balls that screamed you don't love me enough to keep me. As he threw those huge screaming balls he tested out how he could make me stop loving him. Catching those huge balls as they screamed toward me was infuriating and hopeful at the same time.

This past week he ran out of left field, circled the bases and met me at home plate. He ran straight into my waiting arms. I think he might be here to stay ( that doesn't mean he'll stop testing but he believes me when I say I love him) and it warms my heart to think that maybe, just maybe he might let me love him the way he deserves to be loved.

He is a fabulous kid with a compassionate and loving heart and I am so glad that he is finally trusting enough to let me take a little piece of it and keep it all for me, his Mama.

Thursday 12 April 2012

Archived Post 2012 - Dear Kate

Dear Kate,

A month ago you moved into my home and found yourself a little corner of my heart to call your own. Learning to parent a daughter has been amusing to say the very least, you like dolls, tea parties and lip gloss. You are definitely nothing like your brothers although you can hold your own with them as though you had lived together your whole lives. You love to read and would love to play Candy Land or Snakes and Ladders all day if I was willing.

You inspire and infuriate me on a daily basis.

Your resilience and desire to be a member of this family inspires me. Your understanding of your needs and your ability to express them make me wonder if you are really only 6. You can tell us why your make the choices you make, you can spout therapeutic language like a professional and you know that what you really need is to learn to trust that we are going to love you and keep you safe. You are working on learning to trust us, I know it will not happen over night and in the mean time your ability to infuriate makes me crazy.

On Saturday in about 30 minutes you figured out how to use an adjustable wrench to loosen the bolts on the poles for the safety net on the trampoline causing them to fall one at a time as your brothers jumped on the trampoline. I was less than impressed. You can push your brothers buttons in a way that only younger sister can.  You behave poorly with other kids when you feel stressed so that adults will intervene and help you regulate your emotions. You ignore our rules and try to get away with murder when ever you think that you might be successful. You break toys and steal things you want to have.

And yet when you get busted, you always come clean in the end. You lie first, again and again you will lie and then eventually you come clean. Your guilt takes over and you come and tell me. Sometimes I knew you did it and other times I had no idea but I can't let you know that because if I did you might never fess up again.

Your desire to become the child you were meant to be inspires me to keep going, inspires me to keep pushing ahead even when it seems as though you have done your very best to push me over the edge.

You are a scared, traumatized kid trying to make her way in a world that has taught you that you will not be safe if you are vulnerable child.

Kate, it's okay to be a kid, I will keep you safe. I promise.


Wednesday 4 April 2012

Archived Post 2012 - Wash, Rinse, Repeat

I have had a day, actually I have had a week that would roll my socks if I thought about it for to long and it is only Wednesday.

We will survive.

At one point tonight I had 3 kids having epic meltdowns because the behaviours of their siblings were triggering them and thus everyone was freaking out. Jack was not home from work, the phone kept ringing and my wine iv was not yet inserted ( that part is a joke, you need not worry or report me). I survived it all though and I must pat myself on the back and say that I did it very well.

Yesterday one kid had therapy and we pushed him really hard to work through some tough stuff that he does not want to work through. One kid got sent home from school, well actually I pulled him out because they called me as he was non complaint and the ridiculous staff could not get him to be complaint... if they had asked the right staff member he would of turned it around but that did not happen and I had to go to the school at which point I just took him home. As I had one kids in the car and was heading inside to get the other their older sister T showed up. They have not seen T in months ( long story). She goes to school around the corner and has run into me there before. We have been meaning to get together since I found her a couple of weeks ago but things have been super busy. I think she was waiting to see if I showed up that day and lo and behold I did, with her brothers in tow.

Awkward barely begins to describe the boys interaction with her. None of them know what to say to one another and she was really parental and rather critical of both of them. They both laughed off what she had to say but I think that they were both hurt and reasonably uncomfortable. She is really struggling in her own life and I am just not sure what to do or how to help her.

I spent some time tonight, 24 hours later comforting Kevin over the tragedy that is not having his sister involved in his daily world. I can only begin to imagine how hard this is for him, he longs for her and I rarely even know where she is or what she is up to because the system is bent on protecting her privacy even if that means not having her siblings involved in her life. This angers me but I am helpless to change it. My boys hurt though and it makes me angry that the system is not willing to help them maintain a relationship that is so very important to them.

Today I also had the privilege of  walking Randall through dealing with an old trauma trigger that reared its head and that he felt helpless to deal with. He had skills and tools and did not use any of them. To say I was frustrated barely begins to cover it and although he was triggered and scared I had to keep leaving him to deal with his siblings who were melting down in a much more spectacular fashion elsewhere in the house.

And there is my Kate, my girl who has lived in my home for not even 30 days and is working so hard to do the work she needs to do. I was in awe of her today and she trusted me with even more of the horrific story that is her trauma and that asked me if I could keep her safe, if we could keep her safe because she is so very scared of being hurt again.

She is 6.

There is not a six year old in the world who should ever have to ask an adult if they can keep them safe. As Kate cried in my arms in a parking lot at the drugstore I assured her that I would keep her safe. That we would keep her safe, that is what families do.

We picked up her brothers, we went to library, we came home, all hell broke loose. I was not surprised that she was unable to hold it together after our afternoon. I was not surprised that Kevin lost it when Kate began talking about T and then he made threats when she would not stop talking about her. Randall did not shock me with his choices either as we talked about all the things he could of done instead of the doing what he did.

Jack came home with a roast chicken and box of wine. I was grateful.

Kate made some interesting choices both during and after dinner and thus was in bed early. Once she was in bed the boys and I finished game of Ticket to Ride because one of the most important things I can do for them right now is to spend time with them once Kate is in bed. They need time without her pushing their buttons and they need to do things that are just for them.

Once they were all in bed Jack and I took some much needed time to talk and decompress, it was a really long day. I worked hard, I heard a lot of hard things and as we talked I was reminded that if I am feeling this way how must my kids feel. Healing from trauma is hard work for them and helping them is hard for us.

If anyone has an inside line on  never ending patience I would appreciate being connected, that or the wine iv I mentioned earlier...