Posted by: amica | September 10, 2009

Total Opposites

M and H’s relationship is very unique. They share the same birth mom and that is about where their similarities end. M is olive has an olive complexion with dark eyes like his mom but from the mugshot I have seen, he truly resembles his father. He is tall for his age and his eyes express his every emotion.  M is logical minded and there is no grey area. He is hyper vigilant of his surroundings and is always calculating his next move. Opposed to the early days, he now not only gets jokes, he has a great sense of humor. He is naturally good at all sports, loves to build things, and has a “hate” look unlike anything I have ever seen. He is very controlling of all situations, or at least it appears that way. He is bossy and can be a bully. M acts larger than life but actually feels 2 inches tall. He can NOT allow someone to think they are better than him. If someone has something he wants, he will steal it without a second thought. If something doesn’t make sense, then he will not do it. Will NOT. I have to be extra creative in finding ways to make situations, actions, necessities make sense to him so that he will do what he needs to do. He doesn’t lack the intelligence or cognitive ability by any means but like most RAD kids, he doesn’t trust anyone, especially adults. I believe he is wanting more and more to trust me but he isn’t there yet. So if it doesn’t make sense to him because he is only a child and can’t see the whole picture and he can’t trust me or any adult, then he only has the choice to follow his own logic. It’s a frustrating beast but I believe M and I together are beginning to wear it out. I see healing with M. I honestly wondered if it was even possible but turns out I didn’t have the faith that I should have. 

H is harder for me. She is not logical minded but the exact opposite. She lives in a world separate than the one she physically resides in. She doesn’t show anger, in her voice or in her expression, or even in her obvious actions. She shows it behind the scenes. When I find coins in the garbage disposal, or a bottle of shampoo that I bought yesterday is suddenly empty, or she thinks she has a great reason to have taken something away from the baby and made her scream, or when she comes up and says, “I don’t want to get M in trouble but…” I know that H is mad at someone. Very passive aggressive which personally alarms me more than someone throwing a fit. She has done that too but that isn’t out of anger, that is when she is extremely afraid. Of course, I know they both live in a constant state of fear, but I mean when she has a nightmare, for example, and the fear doesn’t subside soon enough, she will escalate quickly. She is so creative, loves to draw and paint, and if she had the patience, I believe she would write wonderful stories. I have tried in vain to suggest any of these as an outlet for her imagination. She instead uses it to create stories in her mind and then attempt to pass them off as facts. all. day. long. I can’t have a real conversation with my daughter. It is either untrue stories, how she is physically hurt, or ill.  I have tried over-sympathizing, being nonchalant, calling her on the lies, and I am currently just having fun with it. I know/hope that the exercises we do for brain development, therapy, neuro-feedback, cuddle-time, etc will all work to heal her brain. All of my past efforts didn’t/don’t work so instead of getting frustrated and trying to talk it out of her, I just go with it. She slapped you today, really? What did you say? Did you hit her back? Did she call you names too? H is gifted; she can tell a story like no other and she is quick too. Very witty! She also cleans. Yes, cleans. Everything except for what you ask her to. But coming home and her having the kitchen scrubbed and gleaming is not uncommon. I do enjoy this but at the same time, there is a REASON she does this. I praise her, reward her verbally and sometimes with a sweet treat, but will not allow it to be a source of control for her. She adores her brother, so much so that it is not completely healthy.

M used to get very angry when confronted with a situation that would require him to be nice to H. She goes overboard trying to please him and nothing sets him off more. Because this requires a Thank You, or sharing with her, or something similar. I have grown too though and no longer get frustrated when he basically refuses or spits a thanks her way. I do require the correct action but M knows the correct action now. Case in point, I took M out to lunch for his birthday Monday. The girls stayed with my dad at home. When we got home, H immediately ran to tell me all the cleaning she had done in our absence. I hugged her, told her how much I appreciated it and moved on. My dad later told me all that H had done and included that she had done M’s chores too for his birthday. I told him that I knew this and I had expressed my gratitude to H.  He felt M should really be in on this thanking thing. I agreed but told him he couldn’t demand it. It wouldn’t work. M would get angry at knowing what is expected of him, become all clinched up, and practically vomit a non-appreciative thanks to H who would get upset by her brother’s lack of appreciation and his demeanor. Been there, done that, have worn that t-shirt out! But dad didn’t really hear me, I guess. In a few, M came into the room and dad proceeded to tell M all the things H had done for his birthday. I watched M. I watched his fists clinch, I watched his jaw tighten, I watched his eyes immediately sink into his head as he started at nothing. I watched the RAD appear. He turned and walked past me. I stopped him and asked the problem – all nonchalant like. He said, “I know what you want me to do! I know what I am supposed to do! I know I should do it! But I can’t, Mom and I don’t know why!” I told him to calm down, go back to his room and play with his new skateboard toy and relax. We could address this later. My dad just shook his head at me for having the gall to let M get away with this. Fast forward a couple of hours and we all were just sitting down to dinner. Everyone was seated except me and I be-bopped by M, stopped abruptly like I had just remembered something, slung my arm around M’s shoulders and said, “Hey M, did you know that H did your chores today for your birthday??” (Smile, smile, grin, grin!!) Caught off guard with no time to get anxious, he said the required “Thank you H”. It wasn’t joyous, it wasn’t what I would call appreciative but it wasn’t spit out or said through clenched teeth either. H said no problem and we all moved on. Later, when M once again wouldn’t hug H goodnight like he does everyone else (same thing every night for over 5 years but he did come up with a cool handshake for them to do which works for her most days), H asked me again, Why? This time, this particular day, this moment, I was able to explain in a way she understood. I asked her if she remembered when her friend at school brought this beautiful purse to school that H loved. She said yes. I asked if she remembered how mad she was. Oh no, mom, I wasn’t mad. Really? Because I remember how you came home telling me about this beautiful purse and then told me how this girl should know that she isn’t supposed to bring toys to school and how you went on and on about it. You seemed pretty upset. She kinda tilted her head to the side and grinned, ok she was a little jealous. Yes, H you were jealous of this girl having such a beautiful purse that you wanted. And you knew there was no reason to be mad at this girl, she did nothing wrong. She didn’t rub it in your face and she even let you hold it for a while. But you still felt that anger and it took a long time to make it go away. Even though it made no sense. Well, M feels the same. He knows it isn’t your fault that you got to live with your mom for 3 years and he never has. He knows it isn’t your fault that you know your dad and have visited with him and M has never even met his. M knows this. But what he doesn’t know is how to make that anger go away. You don’t rub it in his face and you even have offered to share your dad with him. You explained to him all the terrible things that happened while you lived with your mom and hoped M would see he wasn’t missing anything but he still feels that pain. And until he is able to understand things better either by healing or growing older or a combination of both, we have to have patience with him. It isn’t your fault, I know it, you know it, and baby, M knows it too.  H then hugged me and said, I will pray for M to feel better in his chest soon, Mom. 

About an hour later I then went to my room and pounded the pillow trying to make my own chest feel better.

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Responses

  1. I’m always so amazed by the differences in my kids. Shocked at the way they can trigger each other faster than the blink of an eye. Confused by the fact that they have no idea how the other one works. Amused by the indeosyncracies that make them different yet have the same frustrating effect on me and each other.

    Blessed by the ability to recognize their uniqueness and the knowledge that they love me to the best of their abilities.

    They love you and each other, even if they can’t show it right now. Thank you for being such a good Mom!

    Mary in Texas


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