Posted by: amica | April 15, 2009

Through the Eyes of Love

Silly, silly me! Nothing major happened?  Of course not, nothing major that I KNEW ABOUT! I still believe my children at times and this has allowed me to think things were at a lull.  I want so badly to believe them, that they are doing the right things that I miss what is right in front of me.  Last week, after finding those DVDs under my son’s bed, I asked (I know, I know) where they came from.  He said they were his friend’s.  Knowing that those two were always sneaking their items back and forth, I didn’t find that hard to believe.  This particular friend moved away a couple of months ago so there was no way to return them.  I don’t know where they moved to and furthermore, they left in a huff – at something my son had introduced her son to.  She had a right to be upset.  I let his explanation go at that.  I had mentioned to the babysitter what the movies were and one she had rented but claimed she had returned so it wasn’t hers.  Tonight I get a call.  Netflix contacted her that the movie was never returned and she was checking to see if I had ever found out who the one I have belonged to. So, in my new smartness, I just told my son that the babysitter called and she needed the movie back or she was going to be charged late fees.  I never asked, I never even hinted that I was accusing him – I was just matter-of-fact.  He said ok, he would return it to her.  I had earlier explained some new things (I’ll get to that in a minute) that were going to happen and he had really fought me on it.  At this point when I told him that I would return the movie, I looked at him lovingly and said, now you see why things have to change.  He nodded…She and I will determine his restitution.

Why am I still shocked at each new crisis?  My dad came to weed eat today, because I am a weak wuss that can’t man-handle that thing, and he found that the lawn mower gas tank was filled with dirt.  I turned on the garbage disposal this morning and had to go feeling around in all that gunk at what was stuck in there – QUARTERS! I never immediately think of them, it just comes to me later. I am still blind to them and what they are capable of but at least I am no longer naive.  I now know it could be them.  Someday I will automatically know it is them.

So much has been happening in the past couple of days – I spoke with lovely Lisa today.  I explained my confusion, that I jumped off with both feet and now feel more overwhelmed than ever.  She logically explained that I needed to start with the simple things.  They obviously can not do anything that I request of them.  They do it wrong or half-ass or not at all.  FOR 5 YEARS.  I kept thinking, it’s a pain but it will change…ummm, yeah.  So today I did what she suggested.  Nothing but keep them with me at all times.  Eating together, playing outside together, even bathing with one in the hall while the other was in the tub.  I supplied the shampoo and soap so it couldn’t be used up in 2 days.  I gave the towels so the floor wasn’t soaked and they actually dried off.  I even washed H’s hair so that is was done correctly.  They hated the thought at first but honestly didn’t complain much.  When we sat in the hall, whichever one it was, we talked.  M and I about scars and how we got them, H and I about dogs.  It was nice alone time that I rarely used to get while running around like a mad woman trying to keep up with them all. M did ask me if people really lived this way, treating their kids like prisoners….isn’t he adorable??? No chores for them at this time.  I started searching craigslist for a house keeper for a couple of times a month that I could afford.  I am not about to put all the housework plus taking care of them on myself.  No one will accomplish anything then. Another of Lisa’s suggestions is to have one go to bed at 7:30 and the other at 8, switching each night. I love this idea, cuddle/quality time with one without having to worry (much) about what the other is up to.  Didn’t happen tonight because the time got away from me, but that’s ok.  There is always tomorrow.  I can do this, I realized.  It won’t be forever and yes, it is extreme to outsiders I’m sure but I finally felt in control tonight.  We will add things as they and I are ready and until then, I have 4 new growths – M, H, baby, and dog. We have to wrestle to all fit down the hall but it is comical and not frustrating at this point.  THANK YOU LISA!!!

On another note, Lisa introduced me to a wonderful man many weeks ago.  Mike Groomer, the co-founder of Advocates for Children of Trauma (http://www.hopeforhealingtrauma.com/index.htm). He has been an amazing resource and a great friend on this journey.  I spoke with him last night, explaining my continued difficulty of finding a therapist and how the system is working against me.  He said he would help and he wasn’t kidding.  Today he contacted Community Resource Coordination Groups,  Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services, The Honorable Jane Nelson (Texas Senator), along with many other of his contacts.  People began to call ME. Nothing firm yet but the ball is definitely rolling.  This network is amazing!! Who does that? I am continually humbled by the outpouring of support I am receiving, including all of you. It doesn’t seem like much in return but thank you, again!

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Responses

  1. OH cool I like to leave the first comment. Too bad I don’t have a good one lol.
    Sounds like you are on track. It is “common” that the kids will make a better effort to sneak and lie. It is all part of the disorder. You are right there catching on, and pulling them in closer. I think it is a good idea to yank them into close proximity to yourself, then let them out a few inches at a time as they show they can handle where they are. Make their little world as small as it needs to be for them to be successful.

  2. Yahoo! Way to go Awesome Mom!!!!!!!
    So tickled Mike is circling the wagons around you. I knew he would cause he rocks!

  3. You sound like you are definitely on the right track!

    Baby steps are good. Get comfortable with one stage and then move on to the next. It works! And believe it or not, while the kids may grumble, you taking control is actually going to make them feel safer.

    Keep up the great work!!!

  4. Oh, I have also fallen head over heals for Mike Groomer and the stuff he does. He’s been there. He knows. We’re a determined lot! 🙂

    You are doing so great. I KNEW my kids were coming to me with attachment disorder, but we STILL had things we blindly believed or didn’t catch. You just can’t prepare for the enormity of how many things they manipulate all day long. Then, when you start to catch it, you feel completely overwhelmed and wonder if you will ever be able to believe anything they say – ever.

    Of course, when you do become more aware and proactive, it is very frightening and intimidating to them … so their behaviors regress/escalate. All part of the process. And YES – easier said than done.

    I’m keeping my Mar very close to me right now. Even then, she will find any tiny way to manipulate that she possibly can. However, that keeps correction and redirection MUCH more simple than it was. We can focus on a few things, instead of that giant enormity we were facing. Helps her. Helps us all.

    Take it an hour at a time. Today we celebrate one year with our Haitian Sensations. I can’t remember the last time one of them came out of the shower completely sopping wet, sloshing through the house. 🙂

  5. OMG–that’s great news about Mike Groomer! Please keep us posted and let us know what comes of his offer of help!!!

  6. Hi. Yay for Mike Groomer! You are doing a terrific job! They are going to up the ante for awhile. Remember that it is baby steps. You have a little one so think of them as being at that age too and respond accordingly and lovingly. It helps me, especially with the big kid (who is almost as tall as I am!) I do assembly line showers too and have stripped their bathroom of everything they don’t need. I have a good format for an apology letter that I think helps them think about feelings and restitution in a good way if you want it. I hear you on the chore thing. I can email you some thoughts if you want.

  7. Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

  8. I’m being educated thru you on children & raising them & I don’t have all the answers but I will be here anytime you want to scream, laugh, cry, vent or need anything!! xo


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