Friday, August 10, 2012
Dysfunctional Members of a Functional Family
But when Paloma later crows to him, "Mom came and took me out to lunch," he's gonna be aggravated.
Paloma and I had one of our nicest conversations ever in the last ten years. She verbalized that she feels she's doing better there because it is not a family, which can certainly hurt a mom's feelings, but I do truly understand.
Yolie rephrased it later, "Well she doesn't function well within a family, yet she has a family, and this is how she works best."
Several of my older children just like knowing they do have a family but they're not inclined to socialize all that much within it. Several of my grown children rarely make friends outside of the family, knowing the family is a built-in security system for them. I just wanna be what each kid individually needs me to be.
Palomita still has many dysregulated moments though, she'd become angry at another resident just the day before, punching a wall in response. She's up and down, as we'd also observed her here at home, yet a revolving staff there, with all sorts of physical help, is better able to properly and safely manage her behaviors.
Every time I see her, I'm struck by her beauty. An older birth brother though is worrying her, right here before his 18th birthday, "I wish he'd just get arrested for any one of the many crimes he's getting away with so he could learn a lesson," she told me, oblivious to her own propensities for the exact same behaviors.
She herself rarely understands consequences of her own behaviors, yet looking at him, she knows that a consequence might teach him something.
Like an idiot, I tried relating this theory to her and her own behaviors, but she looked at me as if I just didn't get it at all.
There was once a time when I'd have stood my ground and done my level best to help a child understand. Decades later I've learned that wasn't the point to the child at all. It was either a control issue or a genuine miswiring within the brain, and it would've been impossible for the child to comprehend the obvious point.
Again it should be about the relationship. Dr. McCreight had again explained it here recently.
We aren’t genetically constructed families. We are socially and legally constructed families. We aren’t the same. We have other issues to contend with that most genetic families never experience.
There was once a time that I would've resisted this, it took me 39 children to comprehend this truth.
So – who decided that if we just achieve attachment then all will be well? What research indicates this? I know my very attached Jason was either in jail or on probation from age 13 to his mid 20′s. All of his probation workers and many judges commented on our close relationship – but hey – did that fix the parts of Jason’s brain that can’t link behavior to consequences? or that couldn’t delay gratification? or that controlled impulses? or that could consider anything beyond the moment? Nope – he didn’t have attachment problems, but he still had criminal behaviors.
As a parent of regular children we should stand our ground, but the way I'd once parented Sarah has absolutely no bearing on parenting traumatized or troubled children.
I want to quote her entire post, it so hit home. Us adoptive parents gotta give way to other parenting methods. The normal model doesn't work here.
We'd had another wonderful thunderstorm yesterday evening, it drove Tabby's soccer evals indoors, and I pitched a fairly rare fit over 82 year old Grandma going out to eat with even older and infirm friends. She cancelled, even after getting all dressed up, because she was the driver and was concerned about getting her less active, or less able friends, to the front door of a restaurant without one of them keeling over. It was thundering and lightening awesomely.
Again we got to see Daniel, this was the last time until September drills in Elberton, which makes us a closer stop than when he's in Atlanta.
Since I'd made the nearly 200 mile round trip yesterday, I have to make up for it today catching up on chores.
Yesterday evening we'd learned of a reported suicide of another teenager, the second student known by CW in hardly a year, my three 11th graders peripherally knew this young man. It makes me so very sad. Late last night, I discovered I knew the grandfather...I'm technically CW's grandmother anyway, and my heart broke badly for this family. I wanted to sob into my pillow on their behalf.