Thursday, July 28, 2011

Backing off

   I haven't been blogging lately because I've been dealing with some hurtful stuff. I've been trying to process and work through it and I'm not sure how to feel about it.

   A couple weeks ago Tator went to a special needs camp. It was just the break everyone needed after vacation. It was a special needs camp with foster and adopted kids. They swam, rode horses, sang songs, and had a bible study everyday.

   On Friday when it was time to pick her up a friend of mine, who also had a daughter at the same camp, rode with me to pick the girls up together. When we got there we had to show our ID and then they asked us who we were here for. When I told them Tator they said "oh your going to have a hard time picking her up we all would like to take her home with us." That gave me a really sick feeling in my stomach, obviously she didn't show them any of the behaviors we deal with.

   We went into the sanctuary of the church to wait for the campers to come in. Soon they all started filing in, all with bags of things they had received that week, looking for their parents. My friends daughter came over, hugged my friend, sat down beside us, started talking about everything she had done that week and all the treasures she had received. I looked all over and didn't see Tator anywhere. I sat listening to Z, my friends daughter, talk about her week. I asked her a couple times where she thought Tator was. Finally I saw her sitting way off between 2 of the counselors, laughing and talking with them. At about the same time she looked up, caught my eyes, smiled, waved and got up with her counselor and came over to meet me. She hugged me and introduced me to her counselor. I asked her if she had fun and we chatted for a few minutes, then the director was getting ready to speak. So I asked her if she wanted to come sit with me during the ending program. She looked at the counselor and said " no, I'll stay with her." She (counselor) looked at me then followed Tator back to their seats.

  So the sick feeling i had in my stomach from before now was feeling like someone had punched me in the stomach. I went from hurt to mad. Suddenly her attachment to me became very clear. I tried not to be hurt, but dang! Five and a half years I have been a mother to this child and she's away from me with someone other than grandma for the first time for longer than 24 hours and she doesn't even want to sit by me.

   That weekend was long. As all you trauma mamas know re-entry is the hardest. Getting back into her normal routine was very hard for her. We had the normal two year old tantrums all weekend long. And the whole time I was finding it very hard to deal because I couldn't get what had happened Friday out of my mind.

  The next week we had therapy and when the therapist and I were talking before Tator came in I told her what had happened on Friday and how I was kinda shocked. She told me I shouldn't be and not to take it personally. But it was ok to feel hurt, I am only human.

   She talked with Tator about her bad behavior over the last few months and what had happened on Friday. Tator didn't seem at all bothered by it, her bad behavior or the fact that she didn't sit by me when I picked her up.
   It hurt for her as her therapist talked with her because I realized that she didn't realize she should have missed me. I also was mad because she had no remorse for the way she has been acting and treating us over the last few weeks/months. Her therapist asked her if she realized next time we went on vacation she would probably have to got to respite. She said she knew and didn't seem a bit upset about that.

   The following week we had an appointment with her psychiatrist and it was basically went the same way. He tried to talk to her about her behavior and she just sat there slouched back in her chair, arms crossed across her chest, kicking her feet and glaring at him the whole time. She would just mumble out one word answers when he would ask her a question. She looked like a 15 year old with MAJOR chip on her shoulder.

   He asked her if she loved me or anyone and she just kinda mumbled ya. Saying she didn't think there was anything wrong with her behavior. I told him I was tired of getting hit and kicked every time she got mad. She acted like she didn't really think there was anything wrong with her behavior. He asked why I should be her mom or what she could do to get along with the other kids. She just mumbled "I don't know."

   I tried to figure out if this was all an act, but after the months of bad behavior and her not missing me at all while she was at camp I just started to wonder, what if she doesn't want to heal, what if she doesn't want to be a family girl, or worse, what if she can't?

   The psychiatrist asked her to leave the room, then sat there telling me he wasn't sure if she was capable of loving. He said most RAD kids want to change and you'll see little glimpses, but she doesn't show it at all. I was very upset with her when we left. I did not go to the car acting like nothing had happened, I wanted her to know I was upset. So when she started asking me questions in the car like "are you taking me swimming now?" because we had not gone home the way we usually do. I let her know that I was very upset that she couldn't even tell him why she wanted me as a mom and there was no way I was taking her swimming. Besides she knew it was a stupid question, it was 7:00 at night.

   So the last couple weeks I've been dealing with a lot of feelings. I know not to take RAD personally and I'm not on a self pity trip. I'm just trying to process all the things he said along with her actions.

   I haven't given up, I love her too much to do that. But I have backed off, meaning I'm not asking to rock her or going out of my way, I'm just not pushing anything right now. Which I know is wrong, but I feel like I need space.

   She has been better since that night. I'm not sure why, but I won't complain. She's being really nice to everyone and helping out. I'm going to keep believing in her and that she can beat this. I'm going to direct my anger towards the source of her hurt instead of at her. And I'm going to try with everything in me to forget what her psychiatrist said.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Regression and Dysregulation

    I learned so many new things about Reactive Attachment Disorder on our recent trip to the ocean. That doesn't mean I understand it any better or want to accept it I just got a clearer picture of it.

   First of all, I was blown away by the regression Tator went through on the trip. One problem we had when she was younger was that she would refuse to eat. Not all the time and not the same food.It wasn't like a, I don't like it kind of thing, just a i'm not eating it. On vactaton I made something that we eat all the time at home and she sat and stared at it and then she said, "I don't like it" and continued to pick through it. This was a battle she stood firm on for 24 hours. Until we ended it the following evening by going out to eat and telling her we would be choosing what she ate at the Buffet and no dessert unless she ate it before we went. She then of course could have whatever she wanted at the resterant. She chose not to eat it and let us fix her plate and never asked us for dessert. Ok, so who really won that one????

   She also started talking in the "Me" form "me want this and me want that." I don't think she has ever done that.

   I also saw her sucking her thumb some when she thought no one was looking. Never saw that before either.

   She has a lot of 2 year old behaviors, but these were 3 I hadn't seen in awhile or ever.

   Dysregulation is something I understand, but I was blown away by one very clear incadent that happened on the beach.  One day we had her sit very close to Shawn and I or sometimes between us and play in the sand.

   She would sit there and play, digging and building things, talking in a very normal tone. Very nice play with the other kids, but we would notice her inching away, slowly, a little at a time. We'd have to remind her of where she was supposed to be (yea like she'd forget.)

   For some reason, one time we didn't realize she was inching away and she turned around to talk to us from about a foot from where she had been sitting. She talked in a very loud, fast and baby like way. I couldn't believe it. I told her I couldn't hear her since she wasn't where she was supposed to be and she quickly came back. Then she went right back into that nice, normal tone.

   It was very clear she had some pretty BIG feelings about the beach.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One RADical car ride

   Sorry it has taken me a few extra days to write this. The car ride home from the beach was horrible, nothing like I have ever been through.

   The way things had went with Tator in the morning while trying to pack and having to take numerous walks around the house complex with her I knew things were going to be rough. I decided to sit by her in the car so she wasn't making trouble with the rest of the kids all the way home and that of course made her mad. 

   I can't remember what first set her off, but we weren't on the road that long until we had to pull over because she was so out of control. We made her get out of the car with us because she was throwing things and hitting me so much. She ran around the car so dysregulated, yelling and hollering as we stood and watched her, trying to talk to her but she was too mad to listen.

   Finally she decided she would take a walk with Shawn. After they came back she seemed much better and she apologized to everyone in the car for how she acted.

   I thought things would be better after that, but I was sooooo wrong. Pulling over and getting out of the car was something that happened to us 4 other times on the way home. She was so dysregulated she went from screaming at the top of her lungs, to trying to crawl over the seat and hit the boys or grab their blankets from them to hitting me or kicking Buc who was sitting in front of her. 

   I've seen her have some pretty bad episodes, but this was by far the worst. When she would seem to calm down a little I would watch her as her body jumped or twitched. And she would shake her head back and forth.

   I was beyond being therapeutic at this point we were just trying to safely get home. When I wasn't holding her hands down from hitting whoever she could reach, I was holding her back from opening the door. Imagine driving 70 miles down the interstate as your very mentally ill daughter is trying to open the car door with her hands and sometimes her feet from her car seat. I thought about moving her seat but then she would have been directly behind Shawn(who was driving) so I didn't think that would be a safe idea. I have to admit there were times I was scared. I wanted to cry, all I wanted to do was be home.

   After dinner and a couple Trazod*nes I finally just laid across her lap to keep her in her in her seat. It took over an hour for her to fall asleep. I was past exhausted.

   What should  have taken 11 hours to get home took 4 minutes shy of 14 hours.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 6- Last day at the beach

Today is our last day at the beach.
I got some of the kids up early so we could go look for shells on the beach.

Tator did a little better today. She really enjoyed catching some waves.

Buster enjoyed having daddy pull him around on the boogie board.

That evening some of the kids went for a late night swim and walk on the beach.
Some of them had to long day at the beach and were ready for bed early.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 5- I need a vacation from vacation

   I decided to post this picture today, because I really need to laugh.

   Tator is really having a hard time here and it's wearing on us. I love our beach house, but it's far from the ocean and I'm afraid to go for a walk for fear I'll get lost. I woke up feeling I needed a break and I can't even escape.

   Shawn took Bunny, Belle and Bubbas to the beach when they got up to look for seashells. When they got back we all headed for the beach for a few hours. We had Tator sit close to us and play in the sand and that seemed to help her a little.

   I even went out in the ocean for awhile and floated around. About 5 minutes after I had gotten out of the water  the rest of the kids came yelling someone had seen a shark. We found out later it was only a dolphin. Thank goodness.

   That evening after the little ones were in bed we left Duckie in charge and Shawn and I went to Sonic and got a milk shake, then went for a walk on the beach. I was really nice to have some time alone.

   When we got back the older kids wanted me to take them to the pool for a late night swim so I did. It was a nice end to a very long day.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 4- Garden City Pier

   RAD has taken over Tator today and she's finding it very hard to function. She got up this morning in the same mood as she was in last night when she went to bed. Shawn took her for a couple walks this morning, but we were not able to get her regulated. So she went to the beach today in her clothes and her and I sat beside each other at the back of the beach while everyone else swam and played.

   I talked with her, rubbed her back and told her how much I love her, but it wasn't enough. I think she is just having some pretty big feelings right now and will not let anyone help her. I can see signs she's trying, the way she will run up to me and hug me and then take off again into another room to hide from us. RAD is just getting the best of her. She's sleeping now so hopefully when she gets up things will be better.

   That evening we went for a walk on the Garden City Pier. RAD was still very present so Tator spent the evening walking close to Shawn holding on to the stroller.

Buster is upset because daddy said we couldn't go into Captain Dick's

   Yep Duckie got pooped on by a bird. We were all laughing while he was digging through the diaper bag looking for wipes when we realized we hadn't brought any.
A lady came over and gave him some napkins and told him when a bird poops on you its good-luck. He was not impressed! I can only imagine what this lady thought of us as we all stood around laughing at him. Well not him, just the situation.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 3- A Day at the Beach

We spent the mid morning and early afternoon at the beach.
Sissy loved the water. She kept sticking her tongue out
and laughing every time a wave came.

Belle, Duckie's girlfriend, came down last night
to spend the rest of the week with us.
She had never been to the ocean before.

Buc and Bubbas trying to catch minnows.
Buc did catch a dead crab, but Buster actually caught
a live one. I didn't think to take a picture of
it. I wish I would have, he was pretty proud
of it.

Every time we would bring Sissy back up on the sand
she would turn around and crawl back to the water.

Tator did really good today at the beach, but at supper RAD showed its ugly face. It was really weird, because she refused to eat her dinner. We haven't seen this behavior in years. I think she was just
looking for a fight and she knew refusing to eat would get one.

I'm very ashamed to say we failed tonight and RAD won. What we should have done was said "ok, you can eat it later when your hungry or while the boys have their bedtime snack," but we didn't we said "if you can't eat supper go to bed."

Of course she refused and that brought on what I like to call the wango tango. After many laps around our house complex to get her regulated, she finally gave in and went to bed. So instead of walking on the beach with the rest of the family i'm here blogging while she sleeps. That's ok, we should have been quicker in our thinking.
Sometimes RAD still wins.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 2- First trip to the pool

This morning we decided to go to the pool before the beach. Everyone did great.

Bubbas and Tator enjoyed jumping in the pool together.

Buster enjoyed playing in the kiddie pool with some new friends.

Bunny gave us a break and played with Sissy for awhile.

Buc and Sissy lounging by the pool.

We did go to the beach later in the day, but it wasn't very fun because the tide was really high and the water was really rough.

So we came back and took showers then took the little kids to the playground for awhile.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 1- WIPE OUT!

Today was our first day at the beach. I don't have any pictures because I forgot to put a card in my camera before we left the beach house.
But I had to take this one of Buc when we got back. He was riding his boogie board and a wave threw him off and he face planted on the bottom of the ocean. When he was walking up on shore to us he was covered in blood and was holding his face. We were sure he had broke his nose. Thankfully after we got him cleaned up and he sat out for awhile he felt much better and his nose was not broken.

Everyone had a great time. But RAD did have to come visit us after about an hour and a half. Tator did ok for awhile and then totally lost it. So we came home to eat lunch and take naps.

These are a group of turtles the kids like to feed outside our beach house. So they had lunch with us.

In the evening we went for a walk out on a pier.


Buster was introduced to the leash.

This was the shark that swam around under the pier eating the
baby sharks the fisherman would throw back in after
they had caught them.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Are we there yet?

"Are we there yet daddy?" Was what we heard most of the trip.

We ended up leaving for Myrtle Beach at 11pm and didn't arrive until about 2pm the next day.
The kids did very well on the way there. We stopped at about 1:30am so Shawn could sleep for awhile. He slept for 2 hours and then we were off again.

I had intended to sleep along with everyone else when we pulled over but Tator had never went back to sleep since we put her in the car at 11pm. So there was no sleeping for me. She made it know to me (because I was the one sitting beside her) that she didn't think we should be stopped and it was ridiculous that daddy should have to take a break. I was pretty upset because  I would have driven for awhile if I would have know I was going to be up the whole time. So I sat there for two hours thinking I could be driving but didn't want to wake Shawn up.

Sissy was really excited to get a french toast stick to eat in the car for breakfast. Pretty happy for a kid that never got out of her car seat until we got to our vacation house.

We were coming into Myrtle at the busiest check in time and were stuck in traffic when Bubbas decided he had to pee. This happened with one of my older boys when they were the same age at about the same spot.
Knowing that he would not make it to the house we gave him the option to either pee in a pop bottle or in a diaper. He chose the diaper. What I didn't think about was the fact that 6 year old little boys pee a lot more than 17 month old little girls (who the diaper was made for).
We're not even to the beach yet and we're already making memories.

FINALLY we arrived.
 We took a few hours to unpack and check the place out. Oh and the one that choose to stay up the entire car ride took a nap.

That evening we headed straight to walmart (just where everyone wanted to go before swimming in the ocean) to get groceries. Then out for pizza.

I'm to excited to sleep!

For obvious reasons I did not blog that we were going on vacation last week. So this week i'm going to share my journal of our trip to the beach.
We left late at night so I had some of the kids go to bed and told them we would wake them when it was time to leave.

Bubbas had a hard time going to sleep.