Thursday, September 23, 2010
I Still Don't
The MAPP class blog post prompted a social worker, with 30 years experience, to ask my readers, in the comments section, if they have any suggestions to better teach the MAPP class. I, for one, do not. That's my entire point, I have no answers. I'm as buffaloed as anyone. But please, use your experiences to respond to her, or him. I don't know who it is.
My own excellent MAPP class, taken some 20 years ago, was taught by very knowledgeable folks who laid it out reasonably; the good, the bad, and the ugly, but this was before the advent, or rather the onslaught, of crack babies and meth head parents, even society as a whole seems to have nose dived since then.
It's the same with my blog, I don't wanna frighten anyone away from adopting, I'm blogging merely for my own need to process our events, that I daily strike a chord with your events only tells us all how much more we need to learn and to do, I suppose.
I never thought we'd ever have had to endure what we've encountered. Maybe I took the it can't happen here mental and emotional approach, feeling I set into place many precautions and had taken preventive measures, but we've been devastated at times, nearly destroyed, and literally consumed with grief.
It hasn't been easy.
Sometimes I feel like an automaton, not even human, as I'm rarely allowed to have any reasonable emotions. I just gotta get up each day and keep on keeping on, in spite of shock, horror or sadness.
I'm an adult. I should be able to do this, and I do. But what about the children? They don't have my coping mechanisms, nor my inner emotional strength. And clearly, I feel as if I'm in the will of God, that He strengthens me, that this is what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. It's kinda hard to argue with God, although I do.
Jonathan's school refusals blow me away. He sits up, takes his Abilify, which should even him out, stares at me with a flat affect, literally darkens, or rather his mood does, frighteningly so, his older birth brother who's going through enough anger issues of his own, but is a really good role model overall, tries reasoning with him, but therein lies the crux of this issue.
There is no reasoning possible.
My words, or his therapist's input about cause and effect or natural consequences means nothing to him. Nothing. He doesn't want to go to school, and he simply will not go.
I'm built very much like this guy, annoyingly logical and reasonable. If I don't overspend, I won't have a money problem. Never drinking eliminates hangovers, and no drugs means good health. If this, then that.
I, of course, think the whole world ought to think and act that way also, but I know it's not the case. I'm very choleric. But that's where I come from, most of my children do not.
I talked at length with Paloma's therapist yesterday, as they're seeing her aggressive behaviors, yet she's denying she's a fighter.
"That's not what your files indicate," the therapist had stressed during their sessions.
But on one hand it's kinda true. Here she did not fight, she attacked. She lashed out at others who she knew she could bully; the younger, the sweeter, the unaggressive folks. There, in a different environment, she's coming up against bigger, meaner and equally full of issues clientele, plus the staff is huge, trained and able to correctly apply restraint techniques, as opposed to me, just the mama, who would be cooking dinner, signing folders, or otherwise totally uninterested in joining an affray, preferring to defuse an impending explosion.
I'll head down there next week for another therapy session.
"I don't fricking make hearts over my i's," Allen stressed last night, after I'd complimented him regarding an organized notebook that I knew his sweet girlfriend had helped him with, since she'd told me at the soccer game. She's an excellent influence over him, a very smart young lady, Beta Club material.
But I, while not circling doodles, do make an effort to document Jonathan's severity. I'll call the school social worker today, he's very aware of Jonathan's proclivities, having butted heads with him over this issue before. I'll add these dates to the list the court has, I'm staying in phone contact with Pathways, and his teachers are aware of what's going on.
We didn't cover this in MAPP, there are a billion issues that'll surface as I raise my children, a ten week course didn't have time to cover everything, but it did change my perspective immensely. I didn't initially have the empathy I'd later need, my naivete needed an education, that the traumatized children would not comprehend that I was the good guy, only that I, as a mother, represented their losses in a physical form that would take years and years to overcome.
That I'd have kids complain every single night I cooked supper from scratch, that they'd refuse to help with chores, or break vacuum cleaners so they wouldn't have to help, that there'd be CPS reports on me, that I'd be absolutely unable to consequence a child who willfully broke windows, that my house would literally be torn down from within, figuratively so as well, raising future felons was not in my playbook of expectations, I was so woefully unprepared for much of what was to follow.
But NO ONE would ever willingly sign up for what I, and you all, have faced. No one. They'd be stooopid if they did.
All my readings, shelves and shelves of books there in the UGA library regarding social work issues, my 25 years in the public school system, or decades of parenting, bizarre experiences, stark raving crazy nights, white-knuckled fear events, and weeks, months and years of good times...oh, y'all, I had no clue and still don't.
I'm just bumbling through, praying I make good decisions, and loving my children who usually don't wanna be cared for, as it goes against their very deep-seated self loathing that results from seemingly being rejected by their birth parents. When their perceptions change, usually years and years later, when they comprehend it was NOT THEIR FAULT, then slow, positive changes can emerge.
In the meantime, here I am...