Friday, June 20, 2014

Middle of the Storm

 It has been just 3 weeks since Sweetie came home from PRTF and it  is 100% obvious that she is not ready. I feel as if we have been stuck inside this violent thunderstorm. It is relentless and we are being beaten down with hail and blown over with winds. There is a constant tension on the air, like electricity. I have heard that your hair stands on end before you are struck by lightening. I feel like mine is stuck like that. The constant booming of thunder keeps you vigilant for the next lightening strike.
Sweetie's transition home has been pretty rough. That is putting it nicely. She does not want to be part of our family. We are constantly rejected by her. Sweetie has an awful sense of entitlement. This is common with children from hard places. It is almost as if she wants us to make retribution for the things that other families did. If we are not purchasing her something, she simply has no use for us. We got tired of being her giant walking wallets, so we made a decision that we would not purchase her anything unless behaviors were significantly better. But they have only gotten worse. She cares not for consequences or rewards. Praise doesn't work, redirection doesn't work, prize boxes no longer work and consequences don't work. Giving her what she wants doesn't work. Firm structure causes tantrums but if she gets what she wants she is happy for a moment, but tantrums even bigger later. The only thing that seems to keep the peace is if we completely ignore her and to find outside ways of controlling the environment indirectly. Example: If we say you can watch tv for 1 hour. After the hour she will refuse to shut the tv off and argue. Now if turn the wifi off so the Netflix doesn't work she doesn't think anything of that and she just turns it off. That will only work for so long before she catches on. And this just keeps her from blowing. It does not help her or us. We just walk on eggshells trying not to set off a time bomb. Name calling, property destruction, lying, manipulating and general aggression have picked back up and I am honestly to the point of burn out. I am stuck in a constant state of  being in defense mode. My body can't turn it off. Behaviors have been so rough for so long that even in the moments where negative behaviors are not present, I find myself anticipating when the next ones will occur. It is so hard because you never never know what the trigger will be or how far the tantrum will go. I find myself trying to avoid Sweetie. My husband lives with his headphones on just blocks out everything.
For those on the outside, they see this sweet beautiful girl. But at home and also with her therapist she shows her intense rage and hatred. Rage which once starts quickly blows out of her control. We are working with so many different mental health professionals and they all become less and less optimistic about her future. 
My husband started seeing a local therapist who specializes in Reactive Attachment Disorder. This has been helpful for my husband to be able to talk things out and he seems to actually be understanding what I have been trying to teach him for 2 years. Unfortunately she is also believes Sweetie would be best out of the home. Every mental health care professional we have dealt with in the last year says the same thing that Sweetie may never be able to successfully live in our home. I mourn this. All we ever wanted was to be parents. We never had and still do not have expectations for a child to be perfect. We expected challenges and hard times. But we also expected some times of joy. And we never expected to be physically and verbally abused in our own home. I have been working so hard on forgiveness. It is so difficult when the injuries continue to be inflicted. She finds joy in inflicting pain on us.  Earlier this week I cried for the first time in front of her. Out of pure exhaustion and frustration. Her response was to laugh at me and mock me. And for the first time in 2 years I yelled at her. All I yelled is " I am f***ing crying, cant you for one moment just give me a break!". She laughed more and told me what an awful mother I am. That is nothing new, I am often told that and called many other flowery names. I had to leave the house or I was going to say many things that would have been very damaging. For the first time I felt like I can't do this. I feel like a failure. If I can't do this, who can? I have been doing everything that anyone could do and she seems to only get worse. 
We are strongly considering following recommendations and placing her into a therapeutic foster home or group home. It is against everything I have been working toward, but we also need to be safe. And right now, I do not feel safe. She can handle living in an environment where there is no expectations of emotional involvement. Ultimately she will probably be happier that way. As exhausted as we are, I can only imagine how much worse it must feel inside her body. She is the one living with the demons of her past. We only get glimpses of what slips out. My heart breaks for her and my heart breaks for us. It is a lose lose situation. If she stays we are prisoners in our home. If she goes we lose our daughter. Or at least the idea of a daughter. 
I have often said I can be Sweetie's mom where ever she lives. But, if I am being honest with myself and all of you, that is not true. In  theory yes she will be my daughter, but the longer she is out of our home the further away she will grow from us. 
In addition, while in this place of limbo, we can not adopt any more children. This is another devastating blow. We want lots of children. Now we are facing having none in the home. 
To add another layer to our stress, we have some legal stuff involving Sweetie being contacted inappropriately online by an older man. Luckily I caught it as it was happening, but this has become a case that the police and child protective services are involved. I can not discuss the details because of the investigation. 
Now add on the fact that Sweetie is scheduled for her tonsils to be removed Wednesday. 
All of this together has created a situation that is well beyond my ability to cope effectively. 
All I have left is my belief that God will see us through this. I still hold on to hope for Sweetie to heal. I am grasping at that, but the hope is still there. He is the only one who can open her up to wanting to accept healing. At her age she has to want to heal in order to be healed. It can not be forced. I can not make her want something she does not want for herself. I have nothing else in my bag of tricks to help her heal. I just have me, my love and my prayers.  I pray we are making the right choices. I have nothing else I can do but just Hold On

I am holding on to you.
I am holding onto you.
In the middle of the storm O am holding on to you.