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.