Saturday, March 30, 2013

Home Visits

Things have started to settle down a lot now. I am healing up. Darling is getting better every day. We have found little boots that help stabilize her feet so that she can walk for a bit longer than without them. Which is great! 
We have started home visits with Sweetie last weekend and then again today. We celebrated Easter today. We decorated eggs, had an egg hunt and had a nice dinner with Sweetie, my brother, sis n law and niece.
She did better than I expected. I really anticipated her having a problem with having my niece here. But she did well. It was a good day. Sweetie said it was a day full of good memories. That makes me happy.
Sweetie's therapist at the PRTF is stating she is not getting anywhere with her. As I already know she is able to distract and totally run her therapy sessions. The therapist has decided it will be best to work more on Sweetie bonding with me, than in trying to get Sweetie to work on her issues. Because Sweetie's defense mechanisms are so developed and so strong she knows that they will most likely not be able to get Sweetie to a place that she feels comfortable enough to process any of her trauma while there. Her hopes is that we can create a bond strong enough between Sweetie and I to help her feel safe enough to work once she comes home. Our hope is the structure she is living in will break habits that she had that made it unsafe for her to be home. Our plan is to try to keep things as structured as they are at the PRTF when she moves home and slowly ease back the structure over time, as she can tolerate it. 
I am beginning to be hopeful that being at the PRTF will help Sweetie get to a point where she can work with me on healing. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Drifting...blessings when you least expect it.

Just when you think you have hit the bottom, the bottom falls out. The last time I wrote I was in a pretty bad funk. Honestly the lowest I have ever felt. I remember thinking "God, I can not handle one more thing!".
Then the world crashes down around you. Last Friday while my husband was in Ecuador I was involved in a major car accident. One of those ones at rush hour that messed up everyone's commute for hours on one of our cities major highways. Totaling my car and the car I hit. I had just picked up my dogs from the groomer and was talking to one of my best friends about how frustrated I was with Sweetie. She had been particularly mean to me the whole week and had hung up on me just an hour before the accident. I got off the phone and was getting ready to merge into an exit lane. As I looked over my shoulder to make sure no one was in my blind spot as I was merging right the car in front of me slammed on the breaks. Simultaneously, my dog was trying to jump into my lap, I pushed him off me onto the floor just as we collided with the car in front of us. My car spun completely around, all airbags deployed. My poor dogs were thrown about the car. I wish I could say that I pleaded for God to save me, but I actually said the F word and waited for the second impact to come. But it never happened. It was a miracle that the young man driving behind me did not collide into us. As soon as the car stopped and people started to try to get me out of the car I immediately started accessing my dogs. Hunter was on the floor and seemed ok, Oakley was yelping as if he was severely injured and Darling was just laying on the floor in the back behind me, not making any noise. People kept trying to open the doors. I was yelling at them to not let the dogs out. Noone would help me with the dogs. The police and firemen wouldn't and I wouldn't get out of the car without knowing they were safe. I didn't even realized that I was hurt myself. I remember someone yelling at me to turn the car off because gas was leaking and the car was smoking. Finally this young man (Ryan) comes to the car and asked if he could help. I asked if he could put my dogs in his car until I could get some one to come get them. He was able to move each of the dogs to his vehicle and then I moved to his vehicle as well. I know Darling was separated from me for a few minutes. I knew she was hurt badly, but did not know exactly how bad. Oakley looked Ok even though he was still visibly shaken. Hunter was just looking out the windows of the car watching everyone. I called Shelli and Megan to come meet me at the scene so I could get the dogs to the Emergency Vet and get myself to the emergency room. I refused to go in the ambulance because I needed to make sure my pups were ok.
When Shelli got there and she tried to pick up Darling I could finally see how badly hurt she was, her back legs completely flopped underneath her and she was paralyzed from her lower back down. Shelli had to park on the other side of the highway because there was no way she could get to me on the side of the road I was because of the back up. Ryan drove me and the pups up the highway a bit to be equal to Shelli's car and helped us get the dogs over to her vehicle. From there she got me up to a road where a police officer could get my statement and then he was nice enough to take me to the next exit where Matt and Megan met me to take me to the hospital. The vets at Carolina Veterinary Specialist evaluated all three dogs and cleared Hunter and Oakley but the verified my fears of Darling being paralyzed. And there it was the new lowest moment in my life. I was about to lose my dog too. But then everything started to fall into place. Friends helped arrange a way for us to pay for Darling to have surgery, she was being transferred to a neurologist in Matthews and I was being taken back to be treated at the hospital. My PA ended up being someone I knew and she took great care of me. Darling was able to have surgery on her back and she is slowly recovering.
With all of this on top of the stress I was already dealing with I very well could have just gave up. But I didn't. In my greatest moment of weakness and need, I felt peace and I felt loved. I have been blessed by so many who have taken care of me and my dogs. Shelli, Megan and Matt took care of me for days. I have received several meals from neighbors. It has truly been amazing the amount of generosity and love that has been pour upon us. I can honestly say that this accident could have been so much worse, but I feel I was protected. And for this I am grateful.
As bad of a day as that was we had an equally good day with Sweetie this Sunday for her birthday. We had beautiful cupcakes and decorations and gifts at the PRTF. Everyone there participated. It was a real nice time. Sweetie had a nice 13th party.
It took these negative events to make me see the true blessing that I have received .

Thursday, March 07, 2013

I Want You Here

  The last 12 days have pretty much been a blur. I have been trying to stay busy, so that I can't sit long enough to really process that Sweetie is not here right now. Having my birthday without her here really made it so real for me. Then Cris left for Ecuador for 12 days. Leaving me home alone, which is the last thing I want to be. I don't really know what I was expecting it to be like when Sweetie wasn't home anymore. But,I do miss her so much. I still know that she is right were she needs to be. Knowing that does not make me feel any better. She is starting to come out of her "honeymoon" phase already at PRTF. She is starting to be very rejecting toward me. I visit about 3 times a week. This week she has started her control things again. Yesterday I went for a long visit. For over 2 hours she refused to interact with me. I tried to get her to go for a walk with me, she jumped on her bike and rode 200 feet in front of me, not looking back. I did this for a while and then turned around and started walking back alone. Eventually she looked back and I was far away from her so she caught up and wanted to go back to her cottage. From there I tried to get her to do different activities with me and she refused. She wanted to watch a movie so I agreed. She would not sit near me and she piled up pillows between us on the couch. If I tried to touch her she would quickly move away. Her therapist came in just to ask basic questions and she refused to answer her and kept saying to ask me. They were questions about what she felt were her favorite things about herself, her strengths, what she likes to do, what she would like to accomplish during her time there. The therapist also told Sweetie that she had to spend quality time with me when I am there. She said she didn't have to. Eventually I left because she was having a hard time staying regulated. When I left she went back to being sweet. Within 10 minutes of leaving she called me to apologize. Then today on the phone she was back to refusing to talk and then she hung up on me. She called an hour later and asked if I was mad at her, I said I was not mad, just hurt. I asked if she had anything else she wanted to talk about and she asked what I wanted to talk about, I told her I didn't really feel like talking after being hung up on. She just said goodbye and hung up again. The therapist had told me she is starting to show her attitude and is having a harder time keeping herself together. I am sure that it will not be long before she has one of her major tantrums. I know in my head that she will get worse before she can begin to work on healing, It is one thing to know it will happen and another to actually experience it. With my husband being in Ecuador I have been home alone a lot. I am trying to stay busy. I have made meals for people, painted the bathroom, painted the hall, read books; but I can't get away from this sad feeling. I have always been such a strong person. I never really thought much about it. As my mom recently said "through all those life experiences you pulled yourself up by your boot straps and kept on going". This year has by far been the most challenging of my life. Losing Leah was probably the single toughest event of my life. I know that legally she never became mine, but in my heart she was my daughter. I can truly understand how girls years ago felt when they were forced to give up their children for adoption. To know your child is out there being raised by someone else. Always wondering where she is, if she is safe, if she is being taken care of. There is not a single day that passes that I do not think about her. And now with Sweetie not living at home I feel as if I have lost both of my girls.I have gotten so good at just keep going on. Then again there really isn't an alternative. I continue to believe there is a reason for all of this and that there is hope. There just has to be. I just downloaded the latest Plumb CD and this song really captures how I have been feeling lately.