Monday, June 04, 2012
Super Fox Will Recover
wrote beautifully from Memphis, where she now lives, about her shock over the Hampton tornado Friday night and their boat's injury. Super Fox was a part of the family. I'd gone on some wonderful boat trips with Gary, such as sailing around Manteo Island, and, another time, way out in the Albemarle Sound with Gary and Kevin.
I have awesome family memories, as do my brother's three children. There's a bit of a disconnect down here in Georgia between what I've tried to do and what has been done to us by others.
In the two years that my 15 year old has not resided in our house, instead has had more than a handful of residential placements, the professionals in charge have 10-13d her five times.
10-13 is when the police take you to a lockdown mental health facility, as you are a danger to yourself or to others.
Have they not tried a sticker chart? Can they, professionals with a staff, not manage her outbursts?
I think what bothers me the most is that anyone doesn't understand she just can't help her behaviors, that mental illness is very real in children, that she's truly a danger to others sometimes.
Institutionalized children are sometimes a better option than having those children in a family setting which has its own unique set of problems.
The basic expectations within a family are just too much for some children who clearly need external behavior controls and certainly do not need to be expected to respect the rights of others, to have feelings of empathy, or to basically demonstrate any sort of courtesy directed at peers.
I do not feel guilty at all for seeking out this type of help.
I feel safe now.
I also have conveyed this concept of safety to the other 12 children living here within our home.
This kind of residential help used to be easier to access and one of my grown daughters greatly benefited from its then availability. Now in her 20s, she can repeat back to me the many methods she'd learned to cope with, she's learned to return to them for her own behavior management when she realizes she's spinning out of control, and although she'd been physically violent as evidenced by three attacks upon law enforcement within a four year time period back then, nowadays she's much, much slower to resort to fury and violence.
I'm quite proud of her nowadays and she totally knows it. My own expectations are that she not get arrested, that she manage her SSI check, that she not self-medicate illegally, and she's doing a very good job of it all. She navigates the big city bureaucracy of Atlanta, the Marta buses and trains beautifully.
We are in frequent contact.
But no, this is not what I'd once envisioned in my naive gullibility decades ago, but it is what it is.
I have some grown kids that I'm not very proud of right now, who have the brains to do more than they're now doing, or who are engaging in illegal activities, not that they'd ever confide that in me, knowing how puritanically strait-laced I am, but my suspicions are sometimes realized sadly.
One of my four sixteen year olds confided in me last night about how unsafe he'd felt several years ago when we had a great deal of police activity, mainly caused by two older males who still fight the law out in the real world. One will get out of prison this week, the other has legal entanglements to plow through somehow.
I feel badly about that, that my 16 year old was so deeply afraid for me as well...well, dang, who wouldn't have been?
And this is my sticking point now in the adoption world, that it is so difficult to access such a basic need...that one simple need for safety. In this blog post today, the mom mentions how a RTC calls her with incident reports, and she doesn't snap at the staff.
Honey, me too. I always ask first about their own safety, knowing full well what they're dealing with in these rages.
Who knew that this is where our good intentions would eventually lead us?
Her son acts like my son during the visits. Initially glad to see me, blithely glad to see me leave too.
I'm still baffled, still stunned and shocked. I'm still trying to recover from so many long years of trauma.
I weeded and worked outside with CW - and JoJo, of all people. Famously lazy, proud as a peacock he is of this aspect of his personality, for some reason he'd wandered outside, blinking in the sunlight, likely wanting to talk to me about a pending Zombie Apocalypse that I pooh pooh any thought of when mentioned here, yet he and his emotional twin are obsessed with it. We got a lot done, but most importantly, I process my own thoughts when physically working outside, which is kinda always.
I'd blown my top on the way to church, fussing about everyone's extreme sloth, most bounded into action after church, helping me, being sweet. Michael brought over a pile of food, Gina came by for wood chips to use in her patio garden that I greatly admire, and we had a delightfully peaceful Sunday afternoon.
The icing on the cake arrived in the form of a downpour in the middle of the night that awoke me with its intensity.