A Pro-Active Therapy Tuesday

I hate Therapy Tuesday. They range from bad to horrible. Rather than waiting to see what goes wrong, I decided today to write about what I am trying to do to improve the outcome.

  • I woke the girls early and made it a really slooow morning.
  • They are wearing comfortable clothes, my choice.
  • After they were done with breakfast, I offered them bananas with chocolate dipping sauce.
  • I had them pack their own snacks for the ride to the little city.
  • I have GB’s iPod and headphones ready.
  • Night time medicine and PJs are out.
  • I am off to call contractors and get started on getting Hope out of GB’s room.

The Beautiful Set of Sky Blue Satin Sheets

The Dad likes satin. Specifically, The Dad likes satin bed sheets. Shortly after Christmas, I ordered a beautiful set of sky blue, satin sheets for our water bed. The timing ensured it was not a Christmas gift, since the Dad and I don’t do Christmas gifts. They came, and surprised him, a couple of days ago.

Yesterday, The Dad decided to put the satin sheets on the water bed. Our water bed mattress is old, almost fourteen years old. When The Dad took the boring, non-satin sheets off, the water bed sprung a leak. Our patch kit still had a small amount of patching material in it. The Dad patched the bed and waited for it to dry. We had decided three weeks ago we needed a new mattress, after needing several patches in one weekend. He had the number to call, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

After the girls were asleep, The Dad decided the patch was set and the new, satin sheets could be put on. At this point I have my pillow and bolster on the floor and am halfway to dreamland. I have viral pneumonia, and really didn’t care where I slept. The Dad had started to put the sheets on when he noticed another tiny leak. He took the last bit of patching material, fixed it, and we waited for that patch to set. I stayed on the floor still dozing on and off.

Sometime later, The Dad put the beautiful sky blue, satin sheets on the bed. I took my last meds of the day, put on my CPAP mask, and crawled into bed. As I am drifting off, I am thinking I wet the bed. I ignored it because that didn’t make any sense, I don’t wet beds. Through my non-thinking stupor, I realized I was really wet. I took my night gown off, which was dripping, and threw it in the tub. I put a dry nightgown on, started back to bed and realized my sheets were soaked. The Dad jumped out of bed and saw the water running unto the floor. The bed had sprung a different leak.

Fifteen minutes later, with towels and blankets soaking up water everywhere, I found the leak. It didn’t look big enough to account for all the water, but that is what we had. What we didn’t have was any more patch material. The Dad pitched a fit, which I silently watched. After a while, he realized that maybe he was over reacting and stopped. We (mostly he) brainstormed about what he could use as patching material. The Dad ended up using the vinyl from the zippered bag the beautiful set of sky blue, satin sheets had come in. I would have never thought of this. 

The patch held, and I, personally, was grateful to climb onto old, ripped, cotton sheets that were dry. Two and a half hours of turmoil and Hope peacefully slept through it. There is a message there somewhere, but I am not currently thinking well enough to find it.

Judgement: If Only It Were That Easy…

Being a Trauma Mama is hard. I am 55 years old and I have done some hard things in my life. I live with constant physical pain. I have lost friends to all kinds of cancer. I buried my brother and father within 2 weeks of each other. I nursed my mother for the next eight months and buried her too. I have started over in places where I knew nobody. I know my sister and I have the same genetic disorder that killed my mother. Being a Trauma Mama is the hardest thing I have ever done.

I love my children. It does not make parenting trauma easier. It makes it harder. Not only am I dealing with the fall out of a child who can’t change his/her behaviors, but at the same time I am watching someone I love in excruciating pain and I can’t stop it.

Most of my family truly don’t understand what my children have experienced before I brought them home. They try to be supportive, but their faces give them away. Children who have experienced severe trauma need a parent 24/7. It takes a lot of experience to change the expectations of a child who already knows parents can’t be trusted. I give up a lot of “me” time. The Dad and I give up a lot of couple time. My children require that each day be modified so that they can experience success. There are many days where my needs don’t hit the radar screen.

I plan time for myself and I plan couple time. Is it enough? No. I am more stressed out then is good for anybody. My marriage is periodically ultra-stressed. I chose this life. The Dad chose this life. We feel called on to help children who have survived things no child should have to survive, heal. We do it with our eyes open and knowing the cost.

It is easy for the outside world to judge us and our children. IRL, people do it all the time. Hope’s new school therapist was sure through September, October, and most of November that we were projecting our problems on to Hope. Then Hope’s honeymoon with him ended. Neighbors, acquaintances, and even people we considered friends are sure if they took my kid for two weeks, they would have no problems.

Then there is the internet. I blog to share what my life is like, so that other parents on this difficult road know other parents share the same struggles. There are readers who judge me lacking. I am far from perfect, so there are times they are right. Then there are those people (commonly known as trolls) who have never tried to live my live, but spew crap all over me. The worst of them hide behind “Anonymous”.
I have had a lot of practice dealing with these people and they rarely get me riled or fuel my self doubts.

It bothers me when trolls and “anonymous” leave comments on other Trauma Mama Blogs and hit them when they are struggling. To all my Trauma Mamas, I want to remind you that people who judge without knowledge, or worse, hide behind “Anonymous” have nothing to give to you. Judgement is never that easy.

*Therapied Out*

Today The Dad and I went for our 4th therapy session with Hope this week. Thankfully, it was better than yesterday. We spoke about “tricks of the trade”. The therapist reminded us that when are giving Hope options, to make sure the last option she hears is the option we would like her to choose. He reinforced that triangulation needed to be avoided and it was worth the extra effort. He included the school personnel !  Hope and I were given HW for the week- she has to teach me to dance for five minutes three times this week. I left not feeling like it was a waste of time, but rather *therapied out*.  Thankfully, next week has only two therapy appointments.

View from the School

The Dad and I went and met with the school psychiatrist and the class therapist today. I really didn’t want to go, since we already saw the other shrink Monday and had Therapy Tuesday. However, one of the condition of Hope being in the class with so much support is that we meet with the therapist and doctor once a month. Since I haven’t met with them since the beginning of November, I felt obligated to force myself today. Doing things you don’t want to do exercises your willpower.

They discussed how poorly Hope was doing. I agreed with them. The psychiatrist said Hope’s behavior was telling us she is scared… afraid of being abandoned. I waited. I was sure there had to be more coming. I waited some more. That was all he had to offer. I go back tomorrow to have a session with Hope and the therapist (darn, the psychiatrist couldn’t make it). I will try to take an open mind with me tomorrow. I don’t know if I can do it.

We Set a Record!

Yesterday was Therapy Tuesday. I never like Therapy Tuesdays because they tend to be miserable. Yesterday was by far the worse one I have experienced. 

GB bumped her head, hard, on the car door on our way in. She was instantly convinced I did it and there was no way to convince her otherwise. She has a big knot on her head and would accept no comfort from me. She just cried and insisted it was my fault.

The Dad went back with Hope. During the session, The Dad and the therapist talked about conditions under which it would be productive for The Dad and Hope to go to Texas to visit her first adoptive parents. They had this conversation in front of Hope. All Hope heard was “Daddy is taking me to Texas”. She was more hyper than I had ever seen her. 

She never did settle down last night. She was wild and totally out there for the rest of the night… no eye contact, giddy giggling, and total defiance. It was after 11:30 PM before she was still long enough to fall asleep. The Dad didn’t miss the State of the Union speech, though. It is good to have priorities.

Hope woke up this morning with great difficulties, still carrying on about her non-existent Texas trip. I feel sorry for Mrs. VY Teacher,