Thursday, December 06, 2007

Shut the Windows First


My information from the detention center in which Joey is incarcerated is three times removed. A friend of a friend told their mother who then called me apologetically wondering if I even wanted to hear this, which I did, that Joey is murderously threatening the guards there.

I don't doubt this one bit, his severe bipolar mood swings prevent any reasoning abilities from appearing for any length of time. He'd written me a beautiful letter that was mostly untrue.

In the nine years that I've known him, very little time has been spent constructively. So did I fail in my parenting? Was it a complete waste of my time? This is where my faith sees me through. I know that I was meant to be his mother, if only to get the word of God in him.

So many adoptive parents live with very dangerous children, facing all the fingers unfairly poined at them and their parenting. Left unsaid, "if you parented him better, then this wouldn't be happening," forgetting the genetic mental illness components. Accusations hurled with great injustice at the only ones who've ever even attempted to love these particular children.

I'm very fortunate in that my constant searching has resulted in a great deal of mental health resources. Even with all the psychiatric help that's been provided though, the very deep, severe mental health diagnoses can't be, and aren't, "curable". That has been the source of my deepest sadness.

I look at Joey's two brothers, now nearly 12 and 14, struggling with their own stuff, very minor in comparison to the severity of Joey's challenges, and their RAD sister who is seemingly without conscience...do I believe I'm divinely guided or not? Duh, yeah I do, this is the path down which I've been led, no one promised PhD candidates to me.

And how bright am I? I'd carefully shut my greenhouse doors last month when our first frost came, only to realize too late I'd not shut the dern windows. The tomato plants shriveled, but oddly enough I'm still getting tomatoes, every time it seems as if I've consumed the last delectable one, another one appears. I think I'm down to the last four tomatoes as I pulled the plants yesterday in anticipation of another challenge and possibility - planting lettuce, radishes and collards directly into the ground that shouldn't ever freeze as the brick walkway absorbs heat, releasing it slowly at night, and anyway those varieties can withstand some very cold temps.

Our wind chill went to 24 degrees last night although the actual temperature only went to 30, it'll be 72 this weekend...how do plants survive the fluctuating excesses of this state?

Grandma is successfully growing broccoli in our drought. I'm telling you it's the woodchips, conserving moisture since watering is out of the question.

Grandpa fixed my beloved wheelbarrow yesterday so today I'll haul wood chips to warm the roots for the winter.

Edgar came by last night, throwing down layers of my fire hot pepper sauce along with Carolina's flaming version, not flinching one bit, speaking to Dr. Mandy who was dealing with JoJo, the tiny me version of Edgar. JoJo has struggled so much emotionally with Edgar moving to town. Edgar had provided JoJo with love and security all his life, thankfully Miriam is still living with us or JoJo's loss behaviors would shoot off into the stratosphere.

Carolina warned Edgar that he'd be hollering, "Mama!" this morning when all the peppers went through his system. Jose's employees were here also, hardly an available parking space out front, still I got the kids to church and back and finally settled down for the night, JoJo snuggling with the puppy that he wrestled from Chuy's grasp. Pet therapy at its best.

4 comments:

karayainaru said...

Do you wish ever rethink or wonder about having adopted a child with bipolar?
I ask because, there's a child that I've been involved with for over a year who is bipolar and he is soon to turn 17, adolescent male. Currently in juvenile correctional facility, depending on his behavior until nearly the 2nd quarter of next year.
I've retained contact with him, even when advised it might be best for me to cut the relationship with him. I have two children placed with me permanently, who are challenging but neither to the degree he would be. Somehow I'm considering making him a part of my family despite his diagnosis and past behavior because something tells me it would give him hope. I wonder and have been praying about it.....any thoughts as an experienced parent of a child with bipolar?

Thanks,
KarayaInaru@aol.com

Cindy said...

I think about it all the time. I wonder if I did ANY good in and for him, I wonder if I simply wasted my time and frustrated him with all my attempts at behavior redirection. I do know that my son, to the best of his abilities, is bonded to us, he is glad I adopted him yet I don't know if I'd advise anyone to knowingly try and work with a bipolar child. I just don't have the answers for you, I suppose you'll need to do what your instinct tells you to do. It's a tough decision with very far reaching consequences for everyone involved.

MoM(Mom of Many) said...

Oh boy, what a loaded question! Let me see if I can weed through the seeds of bitterness and frustration and give you an answer which would actually be helpful. Oh I know...run for your life while you still can. I have 3 RADs, a borderline and my Bipolar/RAD and a few other things. The rest of my kids just have low level dxs like conduct disorder, adjustment disorder, ODD, ADHD, FAS, MR/DD that sort of thing.

Of all the dxs we deal with the one I'd trade in would be the Bipolar. RAD I can deal with. Scary but I actually think their thought processes make some sense in an strange sort of way. Give me a RAD and a situation and I can pretty much tell you how they'd react. A bipolar kid - I have no idea.

I once heard someone say that a RAD will rage and threaten you but cling to you for dear life at the same time. A bipolar kid will hurt you - no kidding.

And if they ever do get stabilized then they think they're cured and quit taking their meds. Then the vicious cycle begins again of testing to find the right combo.

My bipolar daughter has been in and out for 5 and a half years now. In that time, she has had 4 hospitalizations, 3 long stents in residential, and four therapeutic placements. She's been back home for 3 months now. Last year when I was fighting cancer was more peaceful and happier here than the last three months have been. Unfortunately I'm not kidding or exaggerating. Childhood bipolar; which BTW, looks entirely different from adult onset is really awful.

I'm sorry - I know this isn't a positive response or uplifting in any way. I wish I could find a positive, but I really don't know of any. Its so unfair to the child I realize but if you have other children you are putting them at risk by knowingly taking on a bipolar child. Again, I regret that I can't offer you some positive hope on this.

In His peace - Cindy
MoM(Mom of Many) - and ????

Karaya said...

Thanks to both of you,

KarayaInaru@aol.com