Friday, October 03, 2008

The Perils of Pauline

A cartoon title I doubt few remember, but it's what popped into my mind this morning as I pondered how difficult it must be to posses Paloma's mental lack of emotional facilities.

She simply cannot get along with human beings. It's as if her nerves are painfully exposed on the surface and everyone else on the planet is comprised of super gritty sandpaper. I had to go to school and pick her up yet again, this time because she alleges the bus driver is picking on her. Always denying being caught in action, "I wasn't talking!" she'll scream vehemently, although everyone in the vicinity had heard her yapping. "You can't MAKE me move seats," she'll scream belligerently at the bus driver, who calls for the principal, who gets blasted just as rudely by a raging, furious kid who's again been accused of doing what everyone saw her doing.

The entire world seems to be in a conspiracy to 'pick on her' when, in reality, everyone goes to great lengths to avoid any encounters with her at all. The self-perceived perpetual victim is the villain in reality. But she has no reality that's real.

"I want you to homeschool me," she screamed yesterday.

Well howdy doody, doesn't that sound like a fun way to spend my now quiet mornings? I'd rather drink ant spray. I must have visibly reacted in alarm, "Girl, you want to be glued to me 24-7?" I'd asked.

Looking emo and totally demon-possessed at the moment, although I know even the demons must fear her wrath, I reminded her that she seemed to have, shall we say, issues with me as well.

"I don't care," she screamed unreasonably.

No kidding?

And there's no medication for caring.

Dr. C told us yesterday, that which I already knew, as I explained the behaviors to her, "Well, no medication will give a child good manners."

Yes, I know that, I thought, suppressing the Big Duh. "I just would like to take the vicious edge off of her. The uncontrollable anger that spills out without provocation. Remember this is a daughter of a female murderer."

We get home to long letters from Pepe, he's advising the kids to 'mind mama because if it weren't for her, he'd have been left in Mexico.'

The world according to Pepe. Honey, that was El Paso, where I did go a week without seeing or conversing with another Anglo, nearly hugging a country black man in the airport rental car return office who spoke to me in a North Carolina drawl.

"Pepe's craaaaazzzzyyyy," she wailed irrationally.

Eleven years old, Risperadol, Lexapro and now a mood stabilizer just to take the edge off.

I'm greatly dismayed at Theresa's predicament out west. BTDT. We adoptive parents again blamed for our children's severely disturbed emotional states when we're just trying to help and nearly ruining our own lives in the process. Please pray for Theresa's family.

My own Teresa, begging for a weekend visit, being faced by us with trepidation, us knowing her issues are unresolved. She's working part-time in a group home setting in the Atlanta area and it's an eye-opening experience for her. An emotionally unattached kid, she's slowly learning that it might actually be beneficial to have had a home base, folks who care,...somewhere one belongs....if only to have a jumping off point to reject everyone. Whatever. We're still here aren't we?

Our defector is sending mixed messages to me. Duh. 'Nuff said.

Tudu's comment about a runner, a runaway, deeply spoke to me.

I have a mile long to do list that I best get done within three hours - get groceries, take recycling, fill prescriptions, clean the house, and do the laundry before driving an hour each way to get Teresa, knowing the elementary school is likely to call me to come get a rager.

I spent two solid, undistracted hours yesterday cleaning the four main rooms only to have everyone come in and sling their stuff everywhere and trash the joint. The story of my life. Sigh. But I'd rather face this doodoo than the stressful yuck out west in Theresa's world, where a loving, adoptive mom faces Hell for even trying to parent a severely mentally ill child.

Sarah blogged again and also pointed out the dichotomy of yesterday's post where I didn't even realize I was doing so. She truly is recreating her past where she and I lived simply and as off the grid as possible. The Mother Earth News life, a sustainable life, that deeply appealed to us both. We were happy and busy, and over the last 35 years we've discussed, fine-tuned, continued, faltered and struggled to keep these principles alive in our lives. We both found God in the early 80s, although later as a college student Sarah balked, but returned to the faith of her childhood, and it was God who loudly called me into this life I'm now living with the rest of my children.

Then yesterday I also pointed out my kids tendencies to literally return to the pigsty and attempt to recreate their pasts, to unleash chaos and turmoil, turning their backs on all of my dumb middle class values. Hmmmm. Even Yolie rebelled against me at one point....that's what kids do.

In spite of appearances, against all odds, I truly and deeply believe that somehow God will heal all of my children of their hurts and emotional wounds. I believe this with all my heart.

I suppose this will be a lifetime of blogging as my experiences, so far, have given me more than enough material about which to write. I had several more thoughts to expound upon, but the clock is ticking and I gotta get busy.


Nancy said...

Always thinking of you and loving your positive attitude despite all the hardships. Keep on keeping on

Coolmom said...


I read your blog regularly, but I rarely post comments. You are doing wonderful things and inspire all of us!

I have learned a lot from your blog. I am very interested in children, and am studying for my teacher certificate in special education.

You also write very well, and have a real gift of being able to share your personality and view on life through your writing.

Amanda said...

I had to smile a bit as I read about your Paloma....she sure does sound like my Rosie! Your comments made me laugh out loud at the thought of drinking ant killer:) So much so that I printed it to take to Scott to read as we have lunch together. Our Dr G told one of our boys a few months ago in counseling "there is no medication to help you make good choices". You reminded me of that comment with your Drs about good manners.

Prayering for you always!

Anonymous said...

[I'd rather drink ant spray]

That made me laugh and then wish you'd been around 10 years ago when I decided to start homeschooling my kids. 8 years of spending 24/7 with 5 emotionally disturbed, mentally ill kids was...interesting, but all in all, drinking ant spray may have been a better choice.

I'm blessed and humbled by your courage to continue.


Anonymous said...

Ant spray - there are days when that thought is appealing. I have to say though that with all but one of mine, homeschooling has been one of the bigger blessings in our lives. Is it hard? Oh yes of course it is. But so is everything else with these kids. What little realtionship we've been able to forge with three of our four RADs I truly believe is perhaps not due to, but certainly has been enhanced by having them with me 24/7.

There are days, sometimes weeks or even months that I gaze longingly at the big yellow freedom train that passes our house each weekday. Then one of them hugs me or better yet connects some spiritual truth learned through our wonderful Christ centered curriculum that shows them without me saying a word just why their response or behavior is inappropriate. Its those lightbulb moments that make it all worthwhile for me. I love homeschooling. The additional time it has afforded me with my children I cherish now more than ever.

BUT, it is not for everyone. It is right for our family. It is also hard. And not everyone is called to it. Indeed there are days that I too would rather drink ant spray.

Praying for you all. Each day brings it share.

In His peace - Cindy
MoM(Mom of Many)