Saturday, October 31, 2009

Danger, danger

I'd gone up to the mountains yesterday on a grey, drizzly day to visit Pepe who was turning 15, surprising him with my ability to pick out clothes he actually liked from Rugged Wearhouse. We had a good visit, but his anger at the world, his weird fixations on sneseless power struggles, and his inability to comprehend decent behavior - as in not wanting to bully others - all combined to make me very grateful that he's in a residential placement. Three assaults on people, on me, Chuy and a camp counselor, have left me very wary about continued interactions. Both Chuy and I have been injured, the counselor just merely alarmed, but they did press charges.

He doesn't understand this at all. He think that dominating people earns him respect, there's zero comprehension in his mind, that normal folks don't ever attack others. He thinks all attacks are justified, for so little as they looked at him wrong.

His many diagnoses, and his continued inability to not attack when denied his way have all combined to cement in my mind, a refusal to ever allow him to live with us again. I deeply regret that I didn't stand my ground about Joey many years ago, dumb gullible me, thinking he'd changed because I'd been told so by officials, it was certainly not true, and resulted in way too much damage on us all.

Pepe was happy to see me, we had a good visit, but his counselor tells me he always refers to me as That B%$ch. Wow, because I tried to hold him accountable? Because I provided for him? Got him to school, church, soccer and other activities? I'm very, very weary of the resentment dumped upon me, for all the misdirected anger. It's taken quite a toll on me after all these years, leaving me wanting to have as little as possible to do with the human race, fantasizing about being a hermit someday.

I've attended hundreds of counseling sessions over the years in which the kids blame me for their behaviors. The very behaviors they were diagnosed with long before I even met them. The kids are very convincing actors, having learned early on to manipulate the system, leaving me having to constantly verbally defend myself.

Good therapists, such as Dr. Mandy, Dr. C, and Dr. G, all understand the dynamics in the adoption of older children, but other therapists that we've encountered in various programs? Their emphases come from working with dysfunctional birth families that produced screwed up children. Sorry, folks, that ain't us. Then I just look pissed off, feeding into their 'hostile mom' approach to everything. Ya wonder why I'm burned out? How about a little support from folks who should know better?

Another child, diagnosed with schizo-affective disorders early on, attacking three different policemen over a five year time span, I kept hunting for help for her, in spite of professionals wanting to return her home, I'm so very glad I stood my ground as now that she's an adult, her behaviors are no less bizarre and dangerous both to herself and to others. I am in touch with her fairly regularly and I'm glad for that connection, but I do not want to ever attempt to live with dangerous people again.

A long drive involved, blessed time for me to be alone with my thoughts and in listening in peace to my Ipod, a sermon by David Cooper, later sending seven kids to the high school football game, allowed me to put the younger children to bed and watch a show I'd taped on PBS, The Botany of Desire, which was incredibly well done, saving it to watch again late one night when I won't be able to sleep.


deana in taiwan said...

sometimes reading your blog I feel encouraged, yet discouraged. Encouraged that our foster kids were NEVER like that (ok....shouldn't be encouraging, but still), maybe the Chinese kids are just less violent? But discouraged at myself for my lack of patience and love many times towards the kids, especially the boy we have now.
Sam is 15yr old, but my bio 11yr old is as tall as he is and Sam is about as mature as my 7yr old. There are days when I wonder WHY WHY WHY!!! there are days when I say "today was a good day."
I want to thank you for your bluntness on this blog. Our foster boy will probably be leaving this summer. He doesn't like female figures telling him what to do and is very obvious about it.
Well....just wanted to say thank you from Taiwan.

Cindy said...

Deana, You're very welcome and thank you for encouraging me to be blunt. In real life I'm fairly easy going, but here I pour out my frustrations regarding the ridiculous challenges. I fret over my negativity at times, but want to paint a very fair picture of what I endure.

Tudu said...

I can completely relate to your statements about other therapists that are unfamiliar with adoption dynamics. We have that problem with the partial hospitalization program several of my kids have attended. They force us to participate in "family therapy" where they pick me apart and I become frustrated when they have no ideas to help. The last time, they brought me in to help another family cope b/c they didn't know how to stop this adoptive family from disrupting.