Thursday, September 27, 2012
Me Again Changing
I've been slow to start up this week, draggy and droopy, not so much motivated, and with the advent of slightly cooler weather, I'm neither invigorated nor raring to go.
I know I'm recovering, I know that nonstop, never ending, increasingly violent trauma 24-7 for a solid 17 years, has taken its toll, I know these things, yet feel powerless to steer myself towards healing quick enough to satisfy the demands I place upon myself.
I overheard a social worker trying to explain to the therapist at a mental health residential facility that just because a kid is doing better there, it doesn't translate into success back at home with an adoptive family. The family expectations, no matter how minimal, are often still way too much for RAD children, or for severely emotionally challenged children.
I already know all this from long, dangerous experience, and this eavesdropped remark had nothing to do with me at all, yet it set my heart back to slamming within my non-curvy chest, see above photo, fear bubbling up within me in response, as I remember how many times I'd have to try and keep our family safe from one who'd been deemed "fixed" by those who'd never lived as we'd lived.
I can only wish that all social workers would have to live like that for a month or so, just to begin to comprehend the dread, the terror and the paralyzing fear of living with someone who'd seek to do damage just to make themselves feel the relief that it'd momentarily bring to one who can't rationally channel their rage.
And then try and imagine how on earth one can possibly work to keep all the others safe?
I'm just happily surprised that we weren't injured more than we were.
I'm not at all angry with the ragers, I truly believe they couldn't help it, I saw it firsthand, I saw their own fear within, at their own completely out-of-control behaviors. I'm still irked though at those who didn't comprehend the level of danger that we, a scrawny old lady and young kids, lived in 24-7.
That no facility will now take one who's over the age of 18 should indicate a level of his difficulties. They have PRN shots to quell a rager, they have big burly men who haven't been able to stop him from attacking others over the last several years, yet there are those who wanna condemn me for 'quitting'?
But see? My own trauma surges within at even the mere memory of all this. Again last night we went peacefully to church, to our Wednesday night services, without the ones who'd once rage just to see the disappointment on the faces of the others who had innocently wanted to go. But I'd neither be able to leave a rager unattended, nor take those who wanted to go. We were controlled all the time by irrational and very violent acts.
I remember some of my bonded, normal kids acting happy for any reason at all only to have their possessions destroyed by those who just didn't want anyone to ever be happy for any reason.
I'd be helpless to do anything about it because a rager would then attack humans, necessitating in a call to law enforcement, who'd also be powerless to protect us, and the rager would smirk, "HA! See? I can do what I want!"
A perpetuated cycle of violence. These ragers have not been charged with assaults within the facilities further justifying their inner thoughts that they'll get away with violence. I'm scared for their future choices.
If I'd disengage, the irrational one(s) would always escalate their behaviors by viciously attacking someone, knowing I couldn't just stand by idly and wait the explosion out.
I took Hell from ragers, and then from those who felt I was abandoning a rager by insisting they be in a facility that could help them. I've had about a half a dozen completely unsafe children over the past 17 years, two that ended up in prison, another who has been arrested countless times after six years of mental health hospitalizations, and four teens in juvenile facilities. I've even lived unsafely with those who weren't mentally ill, but were just severely violent and aggressive, resulting in many arrests.
Who lives like that?
For way too long.
Thus my trauma, while not greatly erased, still haunts me, still affects my every move, thus the warranted diagnosis of PTSD, better described by another mother as Daily Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It takes a monstrous toll on a human being.
I force myself to pray, to breathe slowly and deeply, to shake it off the best that I can.
No wonder my faith is so deep and unshakable, I've seen the pits of Hell. I prefer the obvious choice of Heaven.
Even now I wanna change the subject because I feel all this fear surging up again through my veins, damaging cortisol flooding my adrenals.
I'd had a spark of intuition yesterday, thinking I best call and confirm my appointment an hour away with Dr C. ... Come to find out, they claimed they'd left a message, but my phone held no record of it, of changing our appointment. Oh my, if I'd taken the guys out of school and driven all that way, I'd have had an inner fit.
My apologies in advance to the future mate of one of my sons. "Take your soccer stuff off in your room," I'd barked after a game, as he was flinging his sports paraphernalia all around the sofa.
"I will," he insisted, me knowing it wasn't gonna happen.
"Do it now," I nagged, "I don't wanna have to pick it all up again."
"Why do you ALWAYS BLAME ME FOR EVERYTHING?" he hollered. His entire sibling group always felt if they screamed loud enough, they'd have thus won an argument.
I disengaged, knowing he'd not hear my words at all. It's pointless to argue. I've, at least, learned that one thing. Facts don't, nor won't, matter. I best walk away and just concentrate on our relationship, minus his negative actions. It seemingly goes against all parental instinct, but ten years of therapeutic counseling has taught me that the traumatized kid doesn't comprehend consequences, deeply believes that consequences are arbitrary, further complicating the mishmash of emotions and neurological miswirng which then only results in a complete misunderstanding of firm and logical parenting.
This guy is not a danger in our home, he's difficult, he's severely oppositional, diagnosed with a conduct disorder (duh) and challenging certainly, requiring the services of a psychiatrist and a psychologist, but we are safe, and that means a great deal to me.
Sho' nuff, he walked off and left his mess...but not on purpose. He simply can't follow through.
It just is what it is.
I can show him this photo, proof of his stuff left out, indeed I already pointed it out to him, to which he screamed back at me, "I didn't DO that, someone jacked my stuff, there you go again Mom, always blaming me."
See I can't "win" this argument. Facts don't matter. He just needs to know I love him. And I do love him.
"But Mandy," I'll wail in a therapy session, "I love him too much to see him ending up being arrested because of his zero impulse control."
But zero impulse control and Oppositional Defiant Disorder can't be fixed, at least not to the extent I'd like, this involves neurological miswiring, not behavior choices.
I can't fix this, but I can let him know I love him, thus the disengaging and picking up after him.