Not just our children…

We had an amazing thanksgiving but now as the calendar counts down to my mom-cation the anxiety level in our home has increased. The kids are clingy, whiny, and soooo naughty acting! Like trying to pierce their on ears and carve on the table and write on the wall behaviors. Logically I know that this is trauma related behavior. My first big trip, the holidays, break from school (oh goodness don’t get me started on school!). There is so much going on. Last night I just lost it. The kids were acting badly at the dr, being rude, telling me all the things I “need” to buy them, and how horrible I was. I lost it. Not my proudest mom moment, not at all. I know all moms make mistakes but I worry that with my kids the mistakes are more costly. I yelled, took away things kids weren’t being safe with, cried (a lot actually), and said some things in the heat of the moment that I regret. My issues were really with 1 child, and the others were feeding off her behavior. I let that child know in no uncertain terms the effects of her behavior on me, Joel, siblings, school, future, ect. And I felt no better. And neither did the child. Even being as mad as I was I could not let the night end there. I just couldn’t leave a child feeling unwanted (didn’t say anything about not wanting her but any negativity leads to that feeling).

So I went back to her room. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. Was I looking for more arguing or for her to suddenly change and express how sorry she was and tell me how right I was. I ended up just asking her why she was staring at me. She said she heard me talking upstairs (which I knew, she’s not sneaky). I told her that I didn’t say anything upstairs I wouldn’t talk to her about. She was sure (I believe) at this point that we were ready to send her back. She was being SUPER unsafe so we bluntly told her if she continued to be unsafe and we could not help her calm we would take her somewhere they would keep her safe until she could calm down. She just kept pushing the safety limits. I knew she was trying to get us to take her somewhere (she didn’t even know where) so I sat her down on her bed and blunty (I was not feeling tactful) told her that I am not, and never will be birthmom. I will never get rid of her no matter what, but I will keep her safe even from herself. I told her that while life may be easier without her I would always choose her. That I would help her make good choices if she let me but in the end she needed to decide if she wanted to work on making good choices. I told her I would be her mom and love her not matter what her behavior is but that doesn’t mean there is no consequences. That even if she needed to go somewhere to stay safe everything would stay the same, her room, our relationship, her stuff, ect. I told her that we will get a fresh start tomorrow.

Today I woke up to an anxious girl “cleaning” her room to make more space (as if less things will lead to no using things for unsafe reasons). Today the principle pulled me aside after school to talk, about something that happened the day before.

Today I’m starting to put the pieces together. Today I’m realizing that all the stress and school is too much. Today I’m fighting for what she needs at school. Today I’m keeping a CLOSE eye on her. Today I’m at a loss of what to do. I cannot shield her from stress and changes and stupid pre-teen school drama (oh how I hate drama). Today I can’t make her believe me when I say I will always be here. Today I worry that last night set us back a ways. Today I’m stressed about what will happen while I’m on my mom-cation. It will either go great or bad (there is really no in between for our family). Today, most of all I’m resting on something Joel told me yesterday. That these are not just our children, they are our ministry. Today this reminds me that it’s not on my shoulders to make them make good choices but to love them no matter what. To be honest and real and let them deal with the effects of their choices. To point them towards the One that heals the hurt so deep in their hearts. To be there whenever they are ready for the love we offer.

Today I worry about the future, about what will happen if things keep being so hard. About what school and home life will look like. Today I want to shout from the rooftops that things are already too hard and need to change. That I don’t want to try another half-assed intervention when she is VERY clearly telling us she can’t. Today I want to cocoon the child that is driving me crazy and not make her go into the world. Today I’m torn between making the world fit her and making her fit the world, knowing I can realistically do neither. Today I’m thankful that I’m healthy and getting healthier so I will be around for her (and all the kids) for a while.

Today I realize that this will probably be a pretty minor screw up if I look back at the end of my life. I’m sure I’ll mess up more, but that’s real, what is good is that I’m showing her in still here after. I really wish I believed that would be good enough

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2 thoughts on “Not just our children…

  1. Oh dear. Lots of hugs and prayers to your family, Ms. Katie and Mr. Joel. Do you think that one particular child will need to be placed on a psych hold or eventually residential treatment? Does she have RAD? I hope she doesn’t develop Borderline when she gets to the 18-19 year old age. I hope things become more manageable with that particular child and that she will know in her heart that you will not abandon her. Was she used to being punished with bio-mom? Is that why she acts out, to test the limits and see when y’all will break? The whole, “you say you won’t hit me/hurt me/take away food/send me back, but what if I do this! or this!!! or THIS!!!!!!” type of situation where after unsafe behaviors she kind of looks at you and gives you the daring, “so what are you going to now?” look?

  2. Sending lots of love and encouragement your way, Katie! Our son was notorious for turning holidays into horror-days. At times we could have sworn that he was intentionally sabotaging the holidays, but our therapist helped us see that Silent One’s big feelings just got too overwhelming when special days rolled around. So we learned to do things a little differently. My fav was changing Mother’s Day brunch to Mother’s Day outdoor picnic so I could have my special meal and he could run around like a maniac.

    Well, I talk a big game, but I was just blogging (thebeautifulopportunity.wordpress.com) about my worries about bring a foster kid into our family over Christmas. It’s one thing to understand poor behavior’s origin, but it’s another thing all together to try not to let it ruin the holidays! So wish us luck and say a quick prayer!

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