Sunday, November 11, 2012

Just when you think it will all be ok...

There are times that being the mom of a kid with a severe case of Reactive Attachment Disorder sucks! There I said it! It is exhausting, trying and most of all it is heartbreaking. You lose everything that you hold close to you. This week it was one of our dogs who paid the price. Sweetie was outside with the dogs and the kids next door were outside. She asked one of the girls if they wanted to pet our dog and lifted her up over the fence. That is when their dog jumped up and latched on to Darlings paw. It's owner had to tackle the dog to get it off. While they were trying to get the dog off Darling she bit Sweetie and the neighbor in the hand. Sweetie's injuries were minor as were the neighbors. Darling was not so lucky. She has broken bones and the paw was almost torn off. Since Wednesday we have had to keep her pretty sedated and on multiple pain medications. She had to go in 3 times so far for procedures. They were finally able to suture up the site yesterday. We now have to take her back weekly. She will have to wear the splint for at least 8 weeks.
To most they see this as an accident. To us it is a symptom of the much deeper issues of Sweeties Reactive Attachment Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. First, the incident happened because she would not listen. My husband told her 5 times with in 5 minutes of the incident not to pick up the dogs. The neighbors told her not to put the dog to the fence and then she lifted her up over the fence. Sweetie does what she wants to do because she can and more so because you told her not too. She has no concept of what she did as being wrong. She also has no empathy or sympathy for Darling or for Cris and I. It is really hard for me right now to still love her unconditionally. I have to remind myself  that she does not know of empathy because no one showed her any. All of the years of abuse and neglect and no one cared enough to do anything about it. How do you learn right from wrong when those that are suppose to be protecting you are hurting you? We have had to make some major hard choices around here. With the direction of our attachment therapist we are removing our dogs from the home temporarily, to give them a break from Sweetie. She torments them daily. She chases them, yells at them and now this. This is awful for me. This is the hugest sacrifice of my life. I love my dogs as if they are my children. The worst of the consequences of Sweeties actions came today when animal control showed up because our neighbors reported Darling for biting the neighbor. ( I know messed up right...). They informed us that she needs to be quarantined for 10 days away from other animals,kids and anyone she does not already know. Then we realized the worst, Darlings rabies vaccine had just expired while we were going through all of the stuff with Sweetie at the behavioral health hospital. The law states if the rabies vaccine is not current that she would have to be quarantined at Animal Control. This broke my heart. I am serious. I have not sobbed this hard since Leah was taken from us. All I could do is pray. I knew that there was no way that anyone at animal control could keep up with Darling's care for her injuries at animal control.
God answered my prayers and the officer came back to say that because of her injuries and medications they would allow an in house quarantine. Shelli has agreed to take her for the week.
So for the last night Darling is here with me as I type this blog. She is heavily medicated with pain meds and a sedative. I am praying for God to help me forgive Sweetie for this. I still pray for her healing. I pray for her to feel our unconditional love and start to believe that we are not going to fail her like everyone else has. For her to believe that she does not have to control everything to be safe. That we will take care of her and that she only has to worry about being a kid. We need her to feel that it is ok to follow what we say because we will not put her in harms way and we are trying to protect her. I pray for her to really feel for others. We are working on trying to help her be a family girl. But it is uncertain if she is capable of living in a family. Our therapist believes that residential may be the best for her. The program that she recommends is an attachment program that has weekly family therapies and works on teaching her to be a part of a family. There is normally a long wait for this program, however there is an immediate opening now. I am so torn on what to do. I did not spend almost 2 years fighting to gain a daughter to just send her away. But I do not know how much more to take. When is it too much? I do love Sweetie in a deeper way than I have ever love another person. I just don't know if that is enough. Part of what weighs on my heart so heavily is that this is the holidays. Our first holidays together. She already knows due to the vet bills that will be well over $1000, Christmas is going to be very slim compared to what we had planned. But this is also our first Christmas, the first one I would have my own family for. Am I being selfish to want to have this? Lord knows that Sweetie will most likely sabotage the holidays because she does not feel worthy of having such good things.I will wait and see how things play out.
The harder it gets the more I know we had to do this for Sweetie. We were right to adopt her. She deserves to have a family. She deserves to see right from wrong and most importantly, she deserves to be loved, no matter what.
I am sorry if there are a ton of typos, I have only gotten a few hours of sleep in the last week and I am exhausted. I wanted to make sure I got this down in my blog. I know there are many of you who follow along, but this is most importantly a place for us to go back and see where we were. We can see how far we have come! At times I need to look at that. We have come far! The last few days have been tough on Sweetie. We now do line of sight parenting as you would a 3 year old. She has to have permission to do anything at all. She has had to talk and talk and talk some more about the events of Wednesday. She is not allowed to touch the dogs if they are in the house. We have had to become ultra strict with her. And she has not had one tantrum. I am proud of her for this. It is not in my nature to be overly strict, but we need to be. And she seems to be responding well to it. So, if you see me with Sweetie and think I being harsh, please know that right now she can not handle extra excitement or a ton of gifts. We are concentrating on things that do not involve gifts. So,this holiday season we will be working more on traditions and on giving to others.

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