Sunday, April 20, 2014

Coming Home

Like I have anticipated Sweetie's authorization is expiring at the 6 month mark. Sweetie is doing remarkably better, but she is not ready. She even says that. She is to a point where she wants to work on things, but doesn't know how to. This is where the problem is in the 6 month limitation on a PRTF stay. Just when she is feeling safe enough to do the work, they push her out. So, we are looking at Discharge possibly being May 12th when the authorization runs out. This would not be a good thing. Sweetie is scheduled on May 14th to get her tonsils out. I worry that she won't be able to take her medications because she can't swallow and that will cause her to completely dysregulate. The plan for surgery had been to have her come home for 2 days and then go back for the worst part of the healing. Which is days 3-5. During that time she will be in the most pain and that is also when the scabs form on the back of her throat. If they come off too soon (like they were picked off), she could develop uncontrollable bleeding that would require another surgery. The PRTF has 24 hour nursing and people who can watch her 24/7. I alone could not do this. In addition, I can not take 2 weeks out of work to stay home with her. So, I have asked if we can hold off until May 30th for discharge. That would give her chance to heal before coming home.
Once she is home, I will be cutting my hours at work so I can be home when ever she is. Our plan for when she does come home is to have her go to a Day Treatment Program through the summer, until school starts in the fall. In addition we will start therapy weekly with the therapist she has been working with since February. She is the first person that Sweetie has began to work on her trauma with. I like Mrs. Nicole, she is firm and also not easily manipulated. And most of all she works with us as a whole. We are fortunate that she has left the PRTF and is actually going to work for the same company that runs the Day Treatment program. In addition to that, we are going to go back to see Mrs. Dana, our family attachment therapist. She has cut down her hours significantly, however she is keeping us on as clients.  I am very encouraged by the team I am piecing together.
I meet with the  Exception Children's Director for Sweetie's school this Wednesday to discuss transitioning her back in the fall. We are going to have to redo her whole IEP, because things have changed greatly.
I will be honest that I am nervous about having her home. The recommendation has been to transition her to a group home or therapeutic foster care. Neither of these are options for us! The group home would introduce her to even more criminal behaviors from the peers there. And she would be able to manipulate and triangulate majorly in a foster home. If we placed her in either she would feel like we had given up on her and have sent her away. This would destroy the last 2 years worth of bonding.
This road has been tough, but she Has bonded to me. She Does know that I love her. That in itself is huge progress. This is a girl who started off feeling that she was not lovable and that she had to take care of herself. Over the last 2 years I have showed her time and time again that I am here. I am sure I will have to show her over and over again, probably for years before she knows with all her being that I will love her completely and unconditionally. That I will love her like God loves us all.
It was perfect to have her home for a long weekend this Easter weekend. Friday evening we went to the Tenebrae service at our church and then we went to Easter service this morning. Both services are always beautiful and moving. But this year it was especially powerful. My girl was with me to experience this. She was there protected in my hug as we listened to music and spoken word that ushered us through Jesus' last moments. She was there this morning to celebrate that he has risen. I was so glad she could be home with us to experience these services. I hope that they bring her great hope. God was able to take despair and turn it into the greatest source of hope imaginable. A hope that will help my daughter to heal completely. I believe that she can be healed and she is finally beginning to believe that herself.

Monday, April 07, 2014


The last month has flown by. Filled with high highs and low lows. Pretty much like the rest of the last 2 years. It started with a beautiful 2 page letter telling me how Sweetie appreciated how I have stuck with her through all of the hard times and how she really did love me. It was the most touching thing I have ever received. And I believe it was genuine. It was a huge step for us. Then in typical RAD style she flipped the complete opposite way. She started having tantrums again and started with more frequent inappropriate behaviors. We go back to court tomorrow to see if we get her stay at the PRTF extended another 30 days. A month ago, I thought she was able to come home, but now I am more hesitant. The PRTF is strongly recommending a group home or therapeutic foster care again. And again I am very uneasy about either choice. Either way she will decompensate and will feel completely abandoned by us. We have been able to get her enrolled in a Day Treatment Program or when she is discharged. It is a great program and they run year round, they pick her up in the morning and drop her off in the afternoon. It also gives her the opportunity to catch up on her education.
With her recent decompensating behaviors I am really pushing just to keep her in the PRTF until we can transition her home. Sweetie's  therapist agrees. Unfortunately, Sweetie knows how to do exactly what is needed to get through her program. And she does well as long as things are going her way. But the minute they are not, she loses it. She has began threatening to blow if she doesn't get her way.
As hard as that will be we need to not let her get away with that. It is not that we are afraid of her tantrums, we just get to tired to deal with them at times. Being Sweetie's mom is exhausting.
An average Saturday goes like this... Sweetie gets up before 730  and starts slamming doors to make sure we are awake. There is usually some kind of yelling or arguing by 8:00. By 8:30 or 9:00 she is begging for forgiveness. I make breakfast, which she complains about what ever I make. Then the nonstop nonsense chatter starts and goes for hours. When I try to either shower or go to the bathroom she calls out for me repeatedly and with more urgency until I finally respond ( usually without a shower or getting to go to the bathroom). Then she jumps into my bathroom  ( that she is not allowed to use) and starts another argument. As soon as she is done she begins to tell us what we are doing for the day. If we don't go along with her plan we get another tantrum or argument. Arguments are one sided. She makes nasty comments, yells and storms off. We just bit our tongues, trying not to engage.
If we are lucky she takes a nap. But as soon as she wakes up the routine starts again. She refuses to do anything by herself and also refuses to participate in any activity we plan unless it involves spending money. Games, crafts, drawing, video games, going outside, boxing, walking, hanging out with friends. She rejects everything. Dinner time is more complaining and that is usually when she starts being nasty to Cris. If she pushes hard enough she knows he will isolate himself in his man cave and she can have me all to herself. Usually once he is not around us she is pretty happy. Until it is bed time and then she goes back to the calling me over and over again. Like a young child that doesn't want to go to bed. She goes to the bathroom multiple time, gets water, needs 100 different things. I know many young children do the same thing. The hard thing is this is happening at 10:00 at night and continues until about 11:00. And I still have to clean the kitchen, do laundry and what ever else needs to be done. Do this a few days in a row and you get beaten down and you just start to give in to her just to get a few moments of peace. In addition, it really is nice to see her appear to be happy for a few moments. Even though it is a superficial happiness, it still feels good to witness her happy.
She has suffered so much in her life, I just want to make her feel better. But when we do make her feel better we are the ones to pay because she doesn't feel she deserves good things. It is so hard to see how unworthy she feels. To be honest it is something I personally battle with myself. I find that I feel bad when good things do happen for me. My life has always been a challenge and when things are going well I feel I don't deserve it. I look forward to the day that Sweetie can freely accept that she deserves good things. I also want that for myself and that is something I will continue to work on in myself.
So for now, I continue to pray and continue to hope for Sweetie's complete healing. I pray for her to feel safe enough that she can realize that she doesn't have to play these games in order to control everything. I am also praying that I can show more grace to Sweetie and more to myself. I pray that Sweetie will feel God's grace for her.