Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Square One

We are back there as far as the morning and catching the bus goes.

The charts are no longer having effect. Consequences mean nothing  Screaming and crying and throwing tantrums that escalate to  rage is happening daily.   I'm struggling to connect on any kind of level with either of them. There's no honesty so we're trying not to ask anything. Very little is done correctly. Coats are thrown behind furniture. Boots are thrown helter -skelter. Teeth are not actually brushed, drinking water is dumped, timers are set short, skip counting is in vogue, chores are half done, stories are made up. It's constant.

It makes me so sad. In a way I'm defeated, but in a way I accept it as "the way it is".  However, they are hurting themselves and they're my children and I can't help but be heartbroken for them.

{ But I can thank God
I'm not tired or depressed.
I'm getting the upper hand on my bronchitis.
I'm enjoying the season.
I'm walking every day and I've dropped a couple pounds.
I'm not completely overwhelmed, even though I am not at all successful in my parenting of the twins.}

Oddly, the kiddos seem to know and have a conscience about certain things. They don't steal. They don't falsely accuse people of things (which usually goes hand in hand with the other behaviors we see).

Here's an interesting story. When the twins were at our friend's house Thanksgiving morning she was looking for something for them to do so she could get some cooking done and after trying a couple of ideas she landed on putting in an old video. An Andy Griffith show... I don't know what it is personally, but she said it was an old time family movie of some sort. The scene was of a school teacher getting frustrated with her class of unruly boys. James was beside himself that she was yelling at the children and at  the way things were playing out in the story to the point the friend had to turn it off before it hardly got started. He was very upset with the behavior being exhibited,  and said it was "wrong and disgusting". (Part of that I attribute to him not being desensitized to TV as we do not do movies here, but he knows... he can point out inappropriate behavior.)

He knows. He absolutely KNOWS right and wrong,

but . . . .  absolutely devoid of the power. (About as powerless as I feel in being able to help these kids).

And that has got to eat away at his heart. At times I know he thinks, "what is the use?"

 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. . .


Anonymous said...

I think that this is all good in a way. You have to remember that his connections are faulty, but they are not completely broken so sometimes the right current is getting through and I believe that once connection is made, each time it is reinforced, progress occurs.

Can I suggest something? Quit thinking of it in terms of square one. If you are running a marathon and you fall down, do you go back to the start line and begin again or do you dust yourself off and start again from where you fell?

I think you heed to look at this in terms of how Christ sees us and not be sin focused. Let me explain. Do you do things constantly that are sinful? Yes!!! We all do, whether it be thinking something prideful or judging someone with a haughty spirit, or walking in fear or anger or lack of forgiveness, or using a harsh word when we should remember a harsh word brings wrath.... We all fall so short. Jesus doesn't throw His hands up and condemn us, He wraps us in the cloak of HIS righteousness, wipes our tears with mercy, and soothes or wounds with grace, and supplies His strength for the next part of the journey. If we are looking at just correcting behavior we are focused on the letter if the law and not the spirit.

acceptance with joy said...

I agree.

But it's also very difficult for the Lord to wrap his rope of mercy, grace and righteousness around me if I'm still standing back and not allowing connection and screaming in His face that I hate him. You know?

When there's a struggle to make emotional connection with a child and they keep reverting back to their old ways it's hard not to picture them back at the beginning of the marathon . . .

I don't know who you are and if you have any experience with this? If you do then I'm sure you can understand how hard it is not to be able to build a genuine, meaningful relationship with a child who trusts no one but themselves.

acceptance with joy said...

I'm sure it seems to some readers that we focus solely on behavior. I'm sorry it's so hard to portray what it means to live in this house. It's easiest to write about outward appearances. . . and a lot of times I don't write anymore because of that.

momof4boys said...

keep writing! It's a blessing! I have a suggestion though. If James was so affected by an Andy Griffen show (Which I remember very clearly, because it was Mom's favorite show and we sometimes watched it at Memere's),I wonder how he would react to seeing himself in a movie on TV, acting out such "wrong and disgusting" behavior? The other day Jacob could have sworn up and down that he speed skated in the right position and with all the right technique. There was no arguing with him at all. Then during the time trials, Art took a little video of him and he was appalled at his complete lack of style and finesse. We didn't have to say anything at all. videoing your morning routine rituals would be quite a movie for them to have to watch, wouldn't it? I think your kids might also gain some insight from my little Helen Keller DVD if it where she is a constant "temper tantrum" and Annie Sullivan is calm and strict as can be. In the end, Helen Keller because a beautiful person because she learned that it was only through obedience and good manners that life became beautiful for her. It is animated and I'm willing to share if you would like.

Preacherstribe said...

I'm glad you are not discouraged or depressed. It isn't really your problem, it's theirs. All you can do it help them. All the benefit they experience will be in proportion to what they do with the help given them. Do your best, trust God. Rest.

Mama in Uganda said...

I'm reasoning, crying out, and trying to rescue you from eminent danger--sin leads to death! Whew, it exhausts, but it's part of love--with nothing in return. God give me Your strength.

Julie said...

Sorry, I answered anonymously earlier because Google has been a bit contrary with me earlier. I do have experience with thus and my son that struggled with attachment and trauma issues is now 21 and our relationship is broken. If I could go back and reparent him I would have cloaked him in so much more grace and fewer rules, especially until trust was established. I know, trust me, I know the games, the rebellion, the triangulation, it is so exhausting. I can't tell you how many times I was terrified I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately, our son became a real physical threat to our little ones and the stress of trying to keep everyone safe and dealing with his stuff drove a wedge between us and rad won. ( Julie

abrianna said...

Also keep in mind that holidays usually bring about trauma reactions for many adopted kids with trauma/attachment backgrounds. Other moms call it holiday h e with double hockey sticks as behaviors tend to ramp up around this time.

Mandy said...

I love the camera idea. It reminded me of what I did when a couple of mine started on trauma behaviors. I picked up my phone and started recording. I played it up and asked for more feeling for the camera. They were so shocked they stopped. I also use it with my teenage girls performance group. There is no denying the camera and they step it up after viewing the video.

Emily said...

So many good comments here. I love the video idea. I have tried it with my kids--Jackson and Lexi in particular. Jackson gets totally embarrassed. He stops right away when I even bring out the camera. Lexi gets mad, but it also usually makes her stop. I wonder if it would help James! It's worth trying. I continue to pray for you guys. I know it's hard. Even though you feel like you're going back to square one, you know you're really not. Remember what square one was when the twins came to you. You're definitely not back there!!! You're not as far down the road as you want to be either, but you are making progress. Baby steps right now, but still creeping in the right direction. Don't lose heart. Love you!