Tuesday, January 10, 2012
A loud explosion and a shower of sparks sent Nando and I running for cover as the kitchen stove gave its last explosive gasp, scaring the tar out of us both.
That ugly fact, of the stove's demise, was later negated when Lily happily picked the first daffodil of the upcoming Springtime before we'd even had much of a taste of winter. January 9th? How can that even be possible?
I'd fallen asleep last night thinking about Brenda's book Recovery From Hazardous Parenting: How To Reclaim Your Life After Raising Children With Behavior Disorders, specifically the statement about the severe behavior disorders that have been present from the child's earliest years and are neither a stage nor a phase. They are not a reaction to a current stressor.
And that's exactly where both parents and professionals, the school system, and later employers or police officers fail to understand the crux of this situation.
These are not candidates for behavior modification theories. Our parenting did NOT cause these behaviors, and our parenting techniques will have little, if any, impact on these behaviors. No one seems to understand this simple fact of life, leaving us beleaguered parents flat out, gape-mouthed in utter disbelief. We only get the blame.
These disorders may have resulted from "pre-natal exposure to substances that are toxic to the fetal brain, or they may result from early abuse and/or neglect, or they may be from an inherited gene, or they may arise without any known inherited or environmental triggers."
What we parents then must cope with can include ADHD, an attachment disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a Conduct Disorder, chronic depression/mood disorders, Bipolar, eating disorders, Schizophrenia, Schizo Affective Disorders, substance abuse/addiction, chronic rages, FAE, FASD or neurodevelopmental challenges resulting from early neglect and/or abuse.
Those are some heavy duty diagnoses, and I know from 17 seriously severe and violently dangerous years of dealing with this level of intensity, that good parenting is just not enough.
A Big Ole Freaking DUH. (I am so angry/hurt/bitter/sad)
Other authors ventured into this realm, one example that springs to my mind is When Love and Logic Isn't Enough, or the books on parenting The Explosive Child, but really?
Living in a war zone without any combat gear or protection is a closer example.
Dr. McCreight delves into brain wiring, it's complicated and extremely important, and she simplifies the explanation without dumbing it down, but it takes several pages, and I read it and re-read it all, trying to absorb all the information. I don't want to condense it here, my attempt is not to quote the entire book, but rather to explain the comfort I've drawn from it, as it absolutely validated my own experiences.
She continues on to list what the parent eventually feels as if they've lost over the years. There are multiple losses, some subtle, some not so much, but it may or may not include examples such as the type of parent we wanted to be, financial security, the child's eventual independence, a typical family life, marital relationships, social and familial relationships, faith, control over stress, respect from others and...here's a big one...privacy.
Social workers, therapists, child care workers, special ed teachers, psychiatrists, doctors, probation officers, police...the list of professionals that examine the family is endless and each take reports and pass them on to others for discussion and decision making without the knowledge of the parents.
Just yesterday I'd restrained myself from pitching a quiet fit to a lady that I really like a lot, Vicki, as I wanted an upcoming meeting to be with her, and her only, as I'm so dang sick of recounting everything.
I've met some wonderful therapists over the years in many facilities and I've learned a great deal, but this constant examination and finger pointing at, and of, my family has exhausted me beyond belief. I'm just very, very glad that I'm a simple and straightforward person, and thus able to lay it all out there for folks with magnifying glasses to pick through and say stupid insensitive, mean and malicious stuff to, and about me and mine, way too often.
Ya wonder why my personality is now scarred for life? Just one of the many sources of my bitterness.
That I like social isolation can only be a plus, right? Because it's what I've gotten out of all this. If I stay away from other human beings, they can't hurt me, right?
Dr. Mandy had told me fairly recently that her many years now of dealing with traumatized adoptive parents had taught her so much that she hadn't previously learned as she attained her many advanced degrees.
That's the point. We are a case in and of itself. I mentioned years ago that someday social workers will look back on all this and consider these times to have been the dark ages, as the adoptive parents are so summarily mistreated, disrespected, and misunderstood by so many for so long, plus the kids blame us too for all that happened before we ever even met each other.
And I'm one of the lucky ones.
I've found help finally for Jonathan and Paloma, it's cost me my heart and soul, but it's given my family the safety that's sorely been missing for almost ten years. And in the years before that, there were others just as disturbed that we attempted to live with amongst police visits and facility stays.
The lightheartedness nowadays is palpable.
Even after we'd turned off the electricity at the fuse box and pulled the stove out, me going Uh-oh, you know I cook all the time, fortunately supper was already on the table, the kids and I laughed and cut up, had a grand ole time, something Paloma would've never let us do.
I know from long experience that she'd have mistakenly thought we were laughing about her, even sitting there, hearing every word about the stove. the facts wouldn't matter. She'd have chosen to give us all something to cry about, even as I type these words, my stress level is rising in remembrance of those events.
I recently read in an article Gina'd sent me that it's as if 'they have no skin,' all nerve endings are exposed, and thus the intolerance of everything.
Kids would've had to flee over to Grandma's side of the house, locking the doors behind them, leaving Chuy and I to deal with the rage, the temper dysregulation, creating deep, deep fears within my kids that something would happen to me. They'd seen my bruises, seen the attacks, they, too, had been victimized.
Likely the police would've bee called, Paloma would've screamed at the deputies, they'd contact DJJ, who wouldn't always be able to help. The deputies would leave and Paloma would feel as if she won. "See? Nothing happened," she'd sneer at us all, sure she could do whatever she wanted to do, terrorizing everyone, and being validated by it, getting excited by the warranted fear she'd seen in us.
Even now, she's not been charged in any attack she's committed upon others in the facilities. I do understand DJJ's frame of reference, why charging her wouldn't do any good since she's already committed there for a two year period, but I also know how she thinks, and I know she feels untouchable, that she can commit crimes and get away with it.
Our recovery is gonna take quite some time now to facilitate. This I know.