Monday, January 14, 2013

Hearts a Mess

When all you know from the time you are born is adults hurt you, how do you ever trust anyone? Could you live 12 years, 144 months, 4380 days of not having your basic needs met, being abused, being lied to, being tossed around, not being loved? The trauma of Sweetie's past is so hardwired into her brain that it is a part of her. At her core she is stuck in fight or flight mode. I can't blame her. It is because of this that she is alive today. But the same defense mechanisms that she has been using to survive are now destroying her. These mechanisms will not allow her to really attach. She is doing what she is capable right now. But the trauma of her past is so awful that it her mind will not even let her access the memories of many events. She can say my dad abused me. But when asked to talk about it, she simply can not. She becomes agitated and angry. My little girl has a million ways to distract herself and anyone else from seeing the mess that is locked in her heart. Until she can trust and be able to process that pain she will keep everyone locked out and use any means that she needs to in order to protect herself. 2 months ago when we had the Darling incident (where she put my mini schnauzer over a fence to be attacked by an aggressive dog, we started the process of having Sweetie evaluated for additional service. These services could be one of the following: 1. Intensive Home Therapy, where they have a team of 3 come into our home 3-5 times a week to work with Sweetie and us as a family. 2. Day Treatment, where she would go to school at a special school for kids with emotional/behavioral issues. 3. Residential Care, where she would move basically a boarding school for children with emotional/behavioral issues. We would only get to talk to her and visit her when they said we could. We would attend therapy with her weekly. Sweetie's evaluation was this past Friday. It is times like this that I can see how truly sick she is. A mentally healthy child would be on their best behavior during a visit like this. But not my Sweetie. She was acting out more than normal. The evaluation was a 3 hour interview, that could have been done in an hour if we could just answer the questions. But each time I was asked a question and I would start to respond, Sweetie would cut me off, argue and say I was lying. That was over the minor stuff. Like dates of events. According to Sweetie, Darlings incident was over the summer and that is why we sent her the hospital. She does not remember the events that sent her to the hospital. The fact is she was in the hospital in September and Darling was attacked in November. She showed no remorse and said she doesn't understand what the big deal was. At one point she picked up her chair and was lifting it up over her head. The psychologist seemed most interested in Sweetie's response when the psychologist asked me if we planned on adopting any other children. My response was yes, when either Sweetie is old enough to live on her own or healthy enough to handle it. Sweetie blurted out "Well then, I will just stay sick". The psychologist asked if she would stay sick even if that meant hurting us and she said yes. She then asked if Sweetie would stay sick if that meant hurting herself and her future and she again said yes. Soon after that the psychologist wrapped up the testing and gave us her opinion of what she was recommending and that was residential treatment. Her feeling was that Sweetie has been in therapy for so long and has not benefited from it, she felt she needed more intense therapy than what can be offered outpatient. I want her to talk to Ms. Dana our attachment therapist. Up until last week we had been discussing the need for residential but have been doing everything we can to avoid it. Last week she said she didn't feel it would work for Sweetie and that going to see Dr. Gregory Keck in Ohio would be the best thing for her. He is one of the leading authorities on attachment. However we would be looking at $10,000 for 10 days. That doesn't count the money lost from time out of work. So unfortunately this is not an option. My husband is completely checked out of parenting Sweetie. He lets her do what she wants and eat what she wants because it is easier than fighting with her. So that leaves everything on my shoulders. I really do not want to send Sweetie to residential. I worked so hard for so long to have a child and now they expect me to send her away for 9 months-a year. Is it my own issues that are stopping me from sending her? Am I being selfish? I do worry that she could learn worse things there. I worry she could be mistreated. But mostly I feel she will feel we have abandoned her as well. That we are indeed like everyone else, we couldn't handle her and we sent her away. It is not like she has been with us for years. Do I wait for another big incident? But how big of an incident is too big? What can the next thing be? Each big incident seems to get more intense. Even though Ms. Dana is not a fan of Intensive Home Therapy, I want to try that before we consider residential. She does not qualify for the day program, because she holds it together in school. I will wait until I talk to our attachment therapist Ms. Dana on Saturday before I decide on anything .I pray I make the right decision. The wrong decision could jeopardize her metal health for the rest of her life. I wish I knew in my heart and mind what the best thing to do was. What I think is right changes several times a day. I cannot put her there if there is any doubt in my mind and right now there is doubt. I wish I knew how to help fix her heart.

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