Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Negative Trip

I'm drawn to write, but sadly, I can't be too thrilled at the content of our life at the moment. What's there to say? Sometimes I wait for something fun, or light, or positive to share.... but sometimes life is hard and made of grit and grunt, and that's pretty much it day to day.

I'm struggling with Missy. She's been on a downward spiral, and we've been desperately trying to stave off the ultimate smack at the bottom. We'd like her to hit "smack" somewhere sooner than the bottom as a wake-up call, if that were possible. Yesterday, I spent all day trying to give her that opportunity.

I'm struggling with myself, with my lack of desire to continue trying. . . It's not good when you dread weekends because there is no school, dread crawling out of bed in the morning because it's a fight to get her to school, and dread 3 PM because that's when the bus returns her from school. It's bad when you dread the Sabbath because there WILL be a dreadful, horrific, all-out-rage just before you leave for church, just because.

The battle to delay getting on the bus in the morning, and the sure, all-out tantrum when she misses it in her game of chicken has reached a zenith.  Her mouthiness, whining, faultfinding and brutal arguing from dawn till dusk has us all on edge. The self-pity is never ending. I rue the days we made so much effort to teach her to talk.

 We walked all over the countryside yesterday. She missed the bus and the spewing was bad. So bad I put a end to her right of free speech until Friday. She is allowed to say "yes mom", "thank you" and "please". Keeping her to it is harder than you think, but I hold up a hand and say, "You want to go for another hike in the deep snow?"  She doesn't. According to my fitbit, we walked 28 thousand steps (around 9 or 10 miles). She arrived at school by 2 PM. She raged. She spewed. She pushed. She bullied. Sometimes I was patient. Sometimes I wasn't. I sang. I told stories. I recited scripture. I even yelled, "STOP! Just STOP your mouth". I prayed out loud, and I prayed silently with tears. Once or twice, we made a breakthrough and hugged with tears, but the commitment to love never lasted more than 5 minutes. We kept walking until she decided to get her attitude together. We had arrived back home through the orchard in the deep snow around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. I made her a raspberry, almond yogurt shake and had her change her wet socks and boots, and we started off for the school again. This time she kept her tongue in check long enough to get in the door.

I had been communicating with the school all morning. They knew what I was dealing with. I put in a plea for help - for tips, suggestions, anything...  I don't know if they understood my need to break the chain of negative speech or my bid for respect, but when we arrived at the office, little Miss met a scowling secretary who took her to the teacher who got in her face just a little. When Missy arrived home, she came in the door, looked at me, and said, "My teacher was really MAD at me". Then she burst into wailing, picked up her cat and went downstairs to have a good cry all by herself (phew! genuine tears and real emotion!).  I picked up the phone and thanked the school for finally making it clear that it's as important to them as it is to me that she gets on that bus in the morning. (Enough of that syrupy voiced, "Oh, sweetie, we are so glad you finally arrived. We missed you!" stuff.)  They said, "Tell her that we don't really want her to have to go to third grade again next year, but if she misses much more class-time it is a real possibility (kind of a mystery to me as she is not 3rd grade material to begin with), and tell her the next time she misses the bus someone will be showing up on the doorstep to get her."

This morning she did not miss the bus. It's a good thing. The school called early to find out how it was going. They were prepared to take action - As in, sending someone out to physically take her to school.

She did manage to make the bus driver mad though. Sigh. "Get off the road kid, and stand where you have been told to and not in the middle of the single lane bridge over the irrigation ditch putting you and the bus in danger on the icy roads."

There's a reason we are in this fire. Whether for her or us or both. It's kind of hard to say in the midst of it, but here we are.


Kelly said...

I completely understand and I am so very sorry. Prayers for you all!

Oldqueen44 said...

I think, as long as she can't be a productive and kind part of the family she should stay in her room. She can eat in there, play in there, no chores, nothing but potty breaks.
Maybe she will decide she likes you guys after all.
Probably the wrong approach for RAD kids, but she is not the only member of the family. Everyone else should be allowed to enjoy their home once in a while.
Maybe kitty can't go in her room with her either. Just her and her disposition.

acceptance with joy said...

people have been suggesting that. There's a couple of problems with it though. She doesn't have her own room right now. She uses the walk in pantry as her changer room and it has her dresser in it. She sleeps on the spare bunk in her brother's room. The foster children are in her room at the moment (for 2 more months). I chose not to put her in with her older sisters because she rifles through their things if I do. She cannot actually be allowed in a room by herself at this point. I need to get one of those video baby monitors because what happens when she is alone is NOT good either.I really have to have her in my line of sight.

Mandy said...

I feel your struggles. I can feel the weight of your words as I live them at times. Stopping now to pray for your situation.

schnitzelbank said...

I would do what you can for yourself right now, if you burn out completely, everyone will suffer. Put in some earplugs or headphones, and crank the happy music over her griping.
As a thought, does she feel embarrassment over her fits-- like if you offered her a choice to either stop, or continue on-- and you'll videotape it and bring it to school-- would that stop her in her tracks?

ErinL said...

I really want you to know more than anything that I understand this post completely. You are not alone. Can you get respite for her? I will tell you that when we were in the worst of it a wise friend, who is also a counselor for troubled teens, told me that her mental health can not trump the mental health of the rest of the family. I realized then that is exactly what was happening and we were going to sink quickly if we didn't get help. Does she see a psychiatrist?

acceptance with joy said...

Thank you all.

I know there are several of you are there, or have been there....

I can get emergency respite and I am on the list to get regular respite, but it might take awhile. I have a friend who will take her on weekends sometimes, but she does not live close enough to the school to watch her other times.

Yesterday was good. All day. Of course, they had a big event to go to and she handled herself even better than James did. His anxiety was touch and go for a bit.

If we can have a few days a week where she is cooperating like today and yesterday then we can keep going. I'm being very strict on the talking... jumping jacks and push ups for pouting and sending them outside for anything else.

Julie said...

I have no wisdom, I feel like I did everything wrong when we were in the trenches. I just wanted to let you know that I was reading, praying, and feeling it with you, if that makes sense. It's one of those things that once you've experienced it, you can so related and be in that moment with other mothers in the trenches.

Anonymous said...

Our days are much like yours. No breaks, no respite, no emergency team tho adoptions DID promise us one. I get it: the dread to wake up, the overwhelming disrespect and disobedience, screaming, yelling, and violence. I often wonder what this crazy looks like in Heaven- what the Lord sees. My friends and family think I am foolish for loving and housing this child. What does God think, though?