Friday, May 5, 2017

Still sliding...

Oh the drama.
Still sliding out of school.....all of them....it is C.R.A.Z.Y.
the stuff happening and conversations with our kiddos.
It will end soon and a slower, relaxed, fun
summer pace is what I'm looking forward to.
Pray it comes.
Meanwhile, I shared this with my children as a reminder.
If they could live this, we'd all be OK.  
Just be the nice kid.

Be the nice kid.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Domestic Violence - not what you think...

Domestic Violence – the purple ribbon.  
Married over 33 years, survived infertility, cancer, domestic violence.  If you, like me think that happens to OTHER people, and usually the husband beating the wife, classic alcohol or drugs involved.  Let me share a nasty secret with you – we’ve been living with it in our home for 8 years from a child of ours.

When we adopted after 16 years of infertility, so happy for two boys, then 10 years later we added two girls, an infant and 10-year-old.  We knew the going would be rougher with the older daughter, given her past.  Our ideals of “love conquers all” have been dashed, but it hasn’t stopped us from trying to stop the train either.  Mental health supports up the ying yang, church connections, positive mentors, medication, psych testing, love, grace, 70x7 – we’ve done it all – reading books, listening to parenting CD’s….you name it, we’ve battled this demon of violence to the point we have seriously lost the ability to parent this child.  Manipulative, controlling, unwilling to obey the simplest of parenting requests like “brush your teeth please.” Nothing.  UNLESS she is in the mood.  Moods.  We are controlled by them.  And victimized by violence with anger.  It sets off at any time, unknown to us what tiny thing is the tipping point.

Scars on our bodies to show the pain we’ve endured, silently feeling like failure parents. Verbal abuse abounds on us emotionally as well.  Unable to find any discipline that works - time outs used, doors off for slamming, consequences for actions – some natural, some applied when we are able, lost privileges….   Nothing has beat this demon.  Christian boarding school – only to be expelled for – guess what – violence to staff.  This was a turning point for me as I realized it wasn’t just me.  I took on so much blame for not being a good enough Mom.  This time, it wasn’t me being physically hurt – yet emotionally saddened that she continues to harm others besides us – worry for her future relationships, children…..how do you stop a moving train?

Studies on RAD, lower brain stem rage, PTSD, we know it – but it doesn’t stop it.  She’s had 10 years of therapy – she knows WHAT to do, but if you don’t use it – what good is it?  The skills knowledge is there for her, she knows it – but refuses to use it when needed.


So, welcome 18.  She’d been told what would come if she continued with her ways.  A hurt adult, chairs thrown, pictures smashed and knocked over furniture,….the 911 call that changed her future came.  Jail time.  Bond.  72hrs away.  Felony or Misdemeanor still to be determined….court date.

We’ve always had a safety plan for the other children to get them away when the violence comes.  We try to get away, often trapped or having to intervene to get the others safely away from harm. They know what to do – where to go.  The boys get so angry at her and want to “get” involved, we’ve remained adamant it doesn’t and can’t involve them – get away, keep the little one safe. Our youngest cries and doesn’t understand and this last time cried when she knew she was coming home and wanted to sleep in our room to feel safe.  For one of my sons, I see the quiet way he deals with his anger, getting back in unhealthy ways we’ve had to counsel as well.  It isn’t easy on the other children either.  They too are victims.  It is hard for us as parents who are still trying to make a difference!

It hurts when people say to me how they just don’t see this in her – she is such a sweet nice girl, they “can’t imagine”, implying we are liars and she doesn’t act that way with them…..walk in my shoes people. It isn’t just us – we’ve learned this.  History speaks for itself. She won’t just show these demons to anyone.  It is like two or more different people live inside her….

So, we are committed to seeing her through school. One more year after this one.  She is in this hard time of spring with year end which causes her such instability.  She is confused and doesn’t know what she wants to do.  One day she is running away, the next day she talks of future events with us.  We never know…..but one day, she will fly on her own and we will restore peace…one day, I pray her demon of violence leaves her and this last jail stay will be her only jail stay.  One day. So, pray with me.  I’m so tired of this journey, but I’m committed despite feeling hopeless and wanting to give up like everyone in her past did….I find my courage and go again…praying this time, the violence stays away longer, and longer until it is no more.  

Idealistic to the end.  John 1:5




Friday, March 10, 2017

Reading. The Struggle is Real.

LD. Learning Disabled.  The label. The problem:  Reading.  She is SOOO smart, sensitive, caring and bright.  But READING is her most difficult task.  I must admit, this one gets me, I ache when I read with her – listening to her dissect EACH word, struggling so hard.  I die on the inside because I just want to help, but I know I can’t….giving her the words is the “cheat” she looks for me to do….I have to bite my tongue and NOT give in to the easiness of doing that.  She must learn on her own – how to break apart the word, and say EACH syllable separately to bring the word together.  It can happen quickly or agonizingly take minutes which feels like foever.  She can know it on one page and struggle with it a few sentences down…..the struggle is real.  This journey she must take, but sometimes I wish it was a little more fair and that she could read with fluency like she wants to soo bad. 

We’ve completed months of vision therapy, it has helped, but the corner isn’t turned completely – so we work on and on. 

So, doing nothing to help her is the hardest thing I have to do as a parent.  I sit there, and bite my tongue to not give in to telling her the words.  This, is our reading world with this precious child of God, created by Him – beautifully 9 and 3rd grade….

I pray for the patience to keep pushing the right amount – to wait and watch, hoping for that day she can sit and read a chapter book to herself like she sees her big sister doing…..and know that her love for books can be attained by her reading to herself.  Her night time ritual is Daddy reading chapter books to her – she demands it, waits for him if he is late….it is a ritual she has had for years.  Then I swoop in, read a short devotional to her and get all the cuddle, snuggle, tucking done…..my baby, my little girl is growing up…..but the ritual stays the same.  We've read to her since she was a baby....daily.

So, pray with me – lift her up as we work and work on the reading piece in her life.  The teacher / para support is awesome at school and we’ll hire the summer tutor again as well – time, practice and patience as it comes slowly…..God’s timing – always perfect, right?

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