Posted by: amica | January 12, 2010

Calgon! Where the *$&%@# Are You????

I write with a heavy heart tonight. So much has happened lately, not much of it good. My RADlings are not to talk to a part of our family until the therapist can detect what about them is the trigger for the kids. Specifically, this is aimed at the grandparents. Mind you, neither of them did anything to get M, they allowed him into the foster system until he was 2 and only then he was collected by his mother on her way out of prison. She dropped him by her dad’s a couple of weeks later. The grandmother already had the oldest grandchild, she didn’t want any more. H was in and out of horrible living conditions and they did nothing. When she was finally dropped off too, the grandfather left her with a co-worker because he “didn’t know what to do with a little girl.” I asked for them. I picked up the phone and asked the grandfather and he happily agreed. I also asked the grandmother out of courtesy. She was so thankful. In order to support the kids I had to go back to work for a prior company. I had been a contractor for the military and there were no bases back home. They moved us to El Paso, 11 hours away, about a year after the kids came to live with me. During that year, the grandparents saw the kids when I brought them to their homes. No money was offered. No help extended, just demands. Then they ignored my requests to keep the bio-mom away and took the kids to see her behind my back. She was their mom, after all. Drug taking, bed hopping, criminal of a prisonite, but their mom, never-the-less. I was relieved when we moved because I didn’t have to fight that anymore. I didn’t have to worry that grandpa was out driving with the kids with no seatbelts or car seats with a beer cooler in the front seat. But the phone calls and emails were like bullets through my heart. I was evil. I stole their grandkids. Never ever ever once in the last 6 years have either of them come to visit and they were always told they were welcome. I even sent the Amtrak schedule to the grandmother after she said she didn’t like to drive long distances. Still no visits but I was damned because I didn’t bring the kids at their every beckoned call. About a year ago, the kids had their RAD diagnosis and the therapist decided no verbal contact for awhile with the grandparents because she felt they were a trigger. Letters were encouraged. I allow the kids to write them anytime they want. Only twice have they wanted to. Never ever ever have they received a response back. Only emails and phone messages to me about how awful I am. This past November I sat down and wrote them a letter explaining in more detail about RAD and what the kids were dealing with. Here are some parts of the email I have received in response from the grandmother:

I understand you are having a hard time…………………once again I regret that but nobody “asked” you to take this on.  In fact I believe the grandfather has mentioned having M back with him?  It was never agreed or discussed in the beginning that you would be moving them unacceptable distances from us.  Unlike if you were their biological parent it would not matter.  But with managing conservatory I believe you are required to notify the courts as well as the parents……….also taking into consideration these children were not taken from their parents through the system, this makes a difference too.

On my last note they would not have “RAD” if you hadn’t moved them across the country with you as the ONLY one they have been allowed to bond with and be comforted and loved by, there is nothing you can say to change my mind about that and I’m willing to bet any Judge and/or therapist would quickly agree.  You act like we are some kind idiot people, excuse me I am 54 years old, very smart, independent and healthy not to mention of sound mind. LOL. 

Again I appreciate your effort to smooth this over but if you really want patience and for this to work you will give me the resources to be with them. Do you think I might have RAD also because of this?

Isn’t she lovely?

I go on Friday to get M and H’s results of the psychological tests.

Something is currently going on with both of them. I did allow them to speak to the grandmother for Christmas (before the letter was received), they were on speaker phone, and all of them seemed so unenthused. I mean my kids were like Hey, how’s it going as was she and their older sister. So nonchalant, very weird for someone that is dying to talk to them. The entire conversation lasted about 5 minutes. So the following Saturday they spoke with their grandfather too. H was like whatever because she knows he wouldn’t even care if M didn’t live here too – which is sad but so true. The old, non-healing M re-appeared within hours. I am not saying it has anything to do with the call but I am saying it happened within HOURS of the call. My mom was even here the following day when M had a complete breakdown. Couldn’t explain why, just that he had all these feelings and he felt like he would burst. He said, it ISN’T because I talked to my grandfather. I explained that it could be but I don’t know either. I also explained that just because somewhere in his mind, his grandfather MAY be linked to something bad, this didn’t mean his grandfather DID anything bad. M may still have feelings of abandonment because his grandfather “gave him away”, something might have happened while he was living there but not directly caused by the grandfather, there are so many things it could be that doesn’t make grandfather a bad guy. BUT, the sooner we know where the issue lies, the sooner we can get to work on it so it doesn’t always have to be this way. I also pointed out after M said he hadn’t felt this way in a long time, how wonderful that is, that he has healed so much he can tell a difference in how it used to be and how it is now. He did half smile at that.

H – my little H. I pulled her from the after school program yesterday because they just can’t provide the supervision she needs. Friday, she was blocked in the restroom by the same twirp 5th grader and friends. Her jacket got all spit on. She wasn’t afraid though, she was just mad. I was so glad she didn’t knock them all out because she would. She is my feisty girl! Tiny but spunky! Then she was telling me how she was swinging spider style (sitting in a swing on someone’s lap, facing each other) with boys. No contact INCLUDES straddling boys and swinging back and forth, back and forth. So anyway, she is back to hanging in her room until I get home. I knew she would be a pain today. I got a call from the babysitter that H said she was scared so could the babysitter and AE be loud in the next room? No, you need to do homework and us being loud would disturb you. We will be right in the next room though. As she closed H’s door, H yells You’re So Mean! Then denied it. Babysitter calls me and H is pissed. I warned babysitter to put the alarm on and keep an eye out. Last time she got mad at a babysitter, she ran off. I came home and said she needed to stay in her room until I could speak with her. Later I went in and sat next to her. I validated that she had some anxiety (Sunday she wouldn’t leave my side most of the day. Said she was scared but not sure what of.) and other feelings that were bothering her. I also stated that it was no excuse to be disrespectful to the babysitter. I explained that other than bathing and eating, she would need to hang out in her room. The tears and the quivering lip were quick to come. Then she said” (My mom) said that you are trying to connect with me and M but I just want you to know that if you keep treating us this way, it won’t happen. It’s like everything is going good and we are getting closer (showing me with her hands) and then Whoosh! it misses and doesn’t happen. So close mom, but not working.” I respond that my job as her mom is to love her and protect her but to also guide her in what is right and wrong. I can’t control her behavior but because I love her so very much, I must provide consequences for her actions. So I agree that bonding may be difficult if she has to be in her room all the time because of her behavior but it is her making that happen, not me. Sweetie. She tried to wash the dishes as because American Idol was on but that didn’t work very well for her. Then as she passed me headed to her room, she said, “Mom, I know you don’t want to hear this but….” You’re right, H, I don’t so off to your room now. Oh the looks that child can give!

Meanwhile M had put off his school project until last minute (again) and now he was mad at me because I wouldn’t fix it. So I sent him off saying whether you choose to work on your project or not, you need to go to your room. He responded with a quick about face yelling I HATE MY LIFE! And AE had been put in timeout a least 3 times during all this for SCREAMING when I would correct her. My mom called about 20 minutes after I got home from work and I told her I had all 3 on their beds! That’s a record!

Please let tomorrow be uneventful…



  1. Hang in there! We can’t change other people… some just refuse to get it….

  2. Arrrrrgggghhh! Want me to fly down there and kick some meddling arse for you? I’ve got a little pent up rage at the mo’. Love you & am praying hard for you and the kiddos…

  3. Wow, you are good! I love what you said about the grandfather to M. Firm, supportive and caring with an open mind (my mind was immediately not open as I read!). Is it possible the grandparents really don’t want to bother with contact and don’t really care but keep trying to put up a front? It just sounds like they are setting you up over and over. I don’t know, just an idea. You offer to help, they make an excuse, then they blame you for it. Where is their part?
    I never knew that kind of swinging was called spider swinging but it is NOW AND FOREVER banned in my line of vision. HA! LOL! (but serious!)

  4. So sorry for what you’re going through. For what it’s worth, it sounds to me like you are doing an amazing job!

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