(Almost) Not Surprised


Back in late October I blogged about thinking K showed symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. Well, we just got her treatment plans from last month and this month in the mail today. Guess what’s in her diagnosis list? That along with Impulse-Control Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder (!), Generalized Anxiety Disorder and, get this, Reactive Attachment Disorder (!!). My guess on the RAD would be the disinhibited type.

Tomorrow is her 16th birthday. We’re going up with a cake and gifts and hope that when we leave she doesn’t backslide into a meltdown. She’s trying to earn coming home for Christmas so hopefully she’ll keep it together.



Gotta love calls from cys around the holidays


CYS called after us not hearing anything for nearly 2 months from them.  This was from when K reported having flashbacks of sexual assaults from her birth father.  K was very clear to her therapist that it was her birth father.  The first time they called they assured us that we weren’t the subject of the investigation.  They assured us again that we aren’t the subject of the investigation but they need to collect personal information about all of us and come visit our home and talk to the middle son since he still lives here.  Of course we’re going to cooperate because we’ve done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide, but why drag these out and spring it on us during the holidays that are already tough on us because of K’s placement and the oldest’s ongoing issues?  Why do they need to visit us and talk to middle son if this is all about K?  They know she isn’t here.

 

To top it off I’ve been suffering from a stomach for the last 3 days and feel like I’m going to pass out as it is. 

 

Fun times, I tell ya.



Tuesday, November 26, 2002


Tuesday, November 26, 2002

***WARNING *** I’M HAVING A PITY PARTY FOR MYSELF TODAY***
Mom would have been 69 today. She’s been gone 5 1/2 years now. I still struggle with my feelings of guilt for not being there more for her when she was so sick. But why don’t these guilt feelings drive me to spend more time with my Dad? Why am I so uncomfortable with him? I feel I have nothing in common with him. When we are together I ask about his fishing and hunting and what he’s been doing. I don’t know any of the people he hangs out with. He spends a lot of time at my older sister’s and some time at my younger sister’s. He comes occassionally when we invite him. Sometimes he’s busy or it’s just too far to drive that particular day. Am I using these as excuses? I know he gets frustrated with my kids. But he also tells me I’m too hard on them most of the time.
I need to simplify my life. There is way too much going on. It seems as though all we do is run. Most of it is for the church. Our daughter has Girl Scouts every other week. Right now the kids are in the Christmas play for church and practice every Monday night and Saturday morning. We go to Thursday night classes at the church each week. The therapists normally come twice a week in the afternoons or evenings. I’m trying to stop going to choir on Wednesdays. I’m not enjoying it as much as I used to. It seems more of a chore than enjoyment. I’ve made a committment to at least sing with them for the Christmas canata though. It’s hard to quit when the director has cancer and is awaiting a stem cell transplant and doesn’t miss very often.
The kids had open house at the school recently. Our daughter made 1 A on her last report card and the rest were C’s and D’s. (I’m not sure if I already posted this or not…). She was an honor roll student every nine weeks last year at the private school. Is she rebelling or did I just THINK they were learning more at the private school than at the public school. At open house we were told that she gets up and talks to people even in the middle of class. She says she has not friends. Yet she’s always coming home with something that belongs to someone else. Is she taking these things or are they giving them to her. She knows she’s not supposed to accept stuff from other kids. Little things I can understand, but we’re talking stuffed toys and stuff like that. Am I being too harsh?
Our oldest made the honor roll. It was in the paper. People who have seen it have told him great job, etc. I bite my tongue and think these people don’t know that he’s in special ed and gets special provisions when he’s tested. They are going to think he came by his grades the same way “normal” kids do. They are going to expect more from him. Is this going to hurt him in the long run? Or is it ME being too harsh again? One of his mainstream teachers did tell us that he participates and comes up with answers when the other kids don’t want to be bothered. He thinks he is capable of handling more. At least his teachers seem to think that he’s trying his best, even though I know he’s not telling me when he should be studying for tests and doing homework. His special ed teacher hasn’t had as much time to fill in his homework book and he’s taking advantage of that fact by hiding info from me. It seems to be a trend with all 3 of the kids. Why can’t I see the GOOD? Why do I always focus on the BAD?
At open house our middle son got mixed reviews. His behavior is not good. One teacher looked at him and asked him what he “wanted” the teacher to tell us. I looked at the teacher and said “the truth”. At least the news there was that he is improving since being put in learning support. His social studies teacher says she has a difficult time with him staying on task and he disrupts the class. I wanted to cry by the time I left open house. Between our daughter and our son, I felt like a complete failure. You can’t help but overhear the conversations before you and hear how the teacher “wishes they had a dozen more like that child”. Or, “I just love this kid”, or “she’s my best student”. Why can’t I just love my kids for who they are and the rest of the world be damned???
I find myself screaming constantly anymore. I have to rush to work after the kids get on the bus. Then I have to rush back home to be there for them. (Our oldest ran out of the house in a panic one day when my niece was late because I was somewhere else. The phone rang and it was a salesman. Our son is 13 and it scared him so much he ran to the neighbors. He puts a shoe in front of his door because he’s terrified of the dark and doesn’t want the door shut tight. He thinks there are 2 Ohios and that anything anyone says on TV is absolutely true.)
I hate being at work because I’m invisible to everyone. The only time they see fit to speak to me is when they have some crap work to pile on me that no one else wants to do. The other woman in my group only comes into the office twice a week. She works from home 2 other days and has every Friday off. When she’s here the first thing the guys do is rush to her cube like bees to honey. Guess who gets the good raises and bonuses? I do try to be sociable. I try to joke with them and make conversation. I guess I’m dull and uninteresting because I don’t party. They all stand outside my cube and laugh and giggle and talk about the parties they’ve had at their houses where the other people around me have been invited and gone. And the fun things they all do together outside of work.
They are laying people off here. There was one person in our group. I’m surprised it wasn’t me. I guess the boss didn’t want to give his golden children my sh*t work to do if I were gone.
Is it my work or my life that makes me so unhappy? I guess since I’m stuck working here until they make me leave, I won’t know the answer to that. I’m not sure how to change things. My family depends on my income and benefits to survive. Or is it me that’s the problem? I believe it probably is. How do I make the changes in myself that are necessary to be a happy person? Do I need to start putting myself first instead of dead last a little more often? I was exercising almost daily during the summer because I didn’t have to rush home. I could go at lunchtime. I enjoyed it. I don’t have that now because of my tight schedule in order to be able to be home for the kids and still work full time. And Lord knows I can’t go back out once I’m home and I’m done making supper and stuff cause I’m supposed to be with my family, not off somewhere else.
I think I’m making myself sick. I’ve been having a long and heavy period again. It’s been going on for about a month now. For at least a week of that I was going so heavy I couldn’t stand up without having to go change my pad. Could be the stress. I’m wiped out. But I have to keep pushing myself because of the stuff I have to do. As I said, we run constantly anymore. Maybe that will stop when the holidays are over, or maybe I’ll make that stop. We’re in the process of canning applesauce. We buy 3 bushels of apples every year. It takes about 4 hours to do 1 bushel. We only got 1 bushel done this past weekend because of the places we had to go. I suppose we’ll finish over the Thanksgiving holiday instead of relaxing and enjoying ourselves like normal people do. There’s always some kind of work that needs done. Even though some of the places we go are supposed to be fun, sometimes it turns out to be more of a chore than anything. Last weekend we had a wedding to go to. I didn’t know anyone and my husband only knew a few (he was invited by someone he works with). No one sat near us. The table that should have seated almost 16 people had us 2 on one end and later on 4 more people came and sat at the other end. We wondered if maybe we had forgotten to shower…Or do we just look like boring people? Who knows. I’m not getting as much out of the church stuff we do as I used to. It seems that nothing new is being done, we’re just doing the same old tired stuff still. Maybe it’s just me….
Oh well, enough crying over nothing. It’s time to get back to what I have to do everyday.



3 phone calls


The first was from the oldest and hubs actually answered it.  Seems that he had a job at Mickey D’s for a couple of days.  He says he got fired because he was 10 minutes late coming back from a break.  Supposedly he asked them for something to eat and when he felt ignored he called a buddy who drove him several miles to another Mickey D’s.  Something doesn’t add up here.  Anyway, he got back 10 minutes late and the manager told him to leave because the job wasn’t for him.  He told his dad he thinks he’s going to be kicked out of the apartment.  This is the first job he’s even attempted since he moved in to the apartment in August.  I think hubs got the feeling son was fishing for something, like money or an offer to come back home?  Hubs told him that son’s best bet was to tell the apartment manager he would find another job and try harder.  Son also told hubs that, yes, Virginia, he is smoking weed.  Well now. 

 

Second phone call is K.  She acts as if we hadn’t been told that she ran again on Wednesday night.  I told her I was none too happy with her.  She keeps reminding me about her birthday in a couple of weeks.  She’s not getting any commitment from me.  We may go up and spend the afternoon with her, as long as the roads aren’t slick.  She tries to skirt the behavior issue with telling me she’s doing well in school.  Good.  I’m glad.  Now get your behavior back on track!  We have a family session tonight via phone and then a team meeting tomorrow via phone.  Should be interesting.

 

Third was R again.  This time I answered.  He gave me the exact same intro as he did hubs.  But, then he says that he knows I don’t like this, but could I buy him some cigarettes.  Nope, can’t do that son.  I asked if he’s been taking his meds and he said no and tried to blame it on the ladies at the apartment.   I told him his best bet was to start taking his meds again and stay away from the weed.  I asked how his food situation was and he said he was good on that front.  I’m willing to help in ways that won’t enable him.  I won’t carry him.  He needs to find a job and keep it.  He also needs to quit blaming everyone else for his situation.  That’s what is going to be the most difficult for him.  It’s never his fault, always someone else’s. 



Wednesday, November 06, 2002


Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Report cards came out yesterday. Since both boys are in learning support they did well. I think they threw out some of the bad grades that the middle son had because he didn’t make anything below a C even though we were led to believe during our meeting prior to learning support, that he was doing very poorly. The oldest made honor roll. He didn’t do too badly in his mainstream classes. Of course, his tests are adapted to his needs, so that makes a difference as well.
Our daughter floored us. She was 1 point away from an F in English and made a D in Social Studies too. She had 3 C’s and 1 A. She thought the 1 A would make up for all the rest of it. Needless to say, she has lost TV privileges for the next 9 weeks and will lose Girl Scout privileges for at least the next meeting. She was on the honor roll all last year. I don’t know if she is rebelling because we moved them out of the Christian school or if what she is learning now is just so different that she isn’t getting it. I checked her homework throughout the 9 weeks and I thought things were going better than that.
I was devastated. Why does it hurt me so much? Why can’t I just let it go and hope that things will get better when she’s ready? Why do I automatically assume that there is no hope for any of them now and that none of our kids will go to college? WHY WHY WHY



Tensions are high


Tensions are high in our household.  K ran away again Wednesday night.  This time with another girl to a stranger’s house who fed them then called the police.  I haven’t spoken to her since Tuesday.  When I did speak to her Tuesday everything was hunky-dory.  Supposedly.  I told her that I would not stick my neck out again to ask for visits home.  I would go with whatever they said.  If they so no visit for Christmas so be it. 

 

She ran away because someone told her that her so-called boyfriend was cheating on her.  That’s all we know.  I spoke to both her therapist and case manager yesterday and neither seemed to know the details.  Either that or they just weren’t saying.  She gets a new case manager next week since she moved to a different cottage.  She will keep her therapist until the therapist for her new cottage returns from maternity leave next month. 

 

Hubs is upset that she is able to get out the door without someone catching her before she leaves the grounds.  I don’t know what to say to that.  He is stressed and is the type that holds things in.  Tonight he had a blowup with middle son because middle son put too much wood on the wood stove.  Hubs is terrified of the house catching fire due to his family’s home burning down when he was 2 years old.  Middle son didn’t understand this.  Middle son is also feeling stressed.  He is upset with both his siblings and it’s hard for him.  So when Hubs blew up at him, he blew right back.  They nearly got in to a fist fight.  It broke my heart.  Hubs left to go help cut up his deer even though earlier he said he wasn’t going to.  It was probably for the best so he could cool down.  Later I explained the situation to middle son and we talked.  I think it cleared some things up for him and he’ll be more careful from now on.  I told him that his dad did not handle the situation correctly and I was not excusing his behavior.  But I did want middle son to know.  He felt sorry that he reacted the way he did.  This is huge for him to admit that.  He usually doesn’t care.  He’s matured so much in the last few months. 



Monday, October 14, 2002


Monday, October 14, 2002

Some days I just feel like I’m getting the life drained out of me. I feel so exhausted. I’ve been getting it from all three of the kids. They are so needy. And my husband is working so often, even on the weekends, that I’m with them by myself. There just isn’t enough of me to go around.



Friday, October 11, 2002


Friday, October 11, 2002

I can’t even say how long it’s been since I posted last. I haven’t even looked lately.
Life is pretty hectic these days. With trying to juggle my work schedule by working from home in the afternoon so I can leave early to be home for the kids, and helping with homework and various other activities, it doesn’t leave me much time for me. But I guess that’s part of being a parent.
School is a constant challenge. Both boys are now in learning support. We had our younger son tested this summer and the school finally completed everything and found he qualifies as learning disabled. We already knew our older son is. Maybe school will become less of struggle now that he’ll be placed in a smaller class and work at a slower pace. He was just so frustrated all the time. His main problem is reading comprehension which has affected everything else he does.
Our daughter is finding it difficult to be behind the others in her class when she has been so used to being on the top of her class. Switching from the private school has made it a little difficult because they are reviewing things in the public school from last year which she hasn’t seen yet. I’m sure she’ll come back though.
She finally got her clarinet a couple of weeks ago. The first week she was totally in love with it. She’s not so in love now that she knows she has to practice everynight and it’s not as easy as she thought it would be. I think she’ll stick with it though. She had her first Girl Scout meeting last week. Last year she was in Brownies. She couldn’t wait to go back. She made a craft and is already selling stuff. My husband says there are really only 6 girls in the troop and there were only 4 there last night.
Our oldest has been going to youth group at our church weekly. He seems to enjoy being with kids his own age. He hasn’t really had that much in the last couple of years because of his situation. He loves cooking and science in school because he gets to DO stuff – hands on. It keeps his interest. I think he just takes the rest of it with a grain of salt because he knows he has to do it. He also knows if he starts having behavioral problems, that he’ll go back to a stricter setting, so I think he’s trying his best to stay.
Hopefully now that our younger son will get additional help in school we’ll see an improvement in his overall behavior and attitude. Maybe he’ll get to start doing something extra soon.
That’s all for now I guess. If I think of anything else, I’ll add it later….



Friday, September 13, 2002


Friday, September 13, 2002

I am so terrible at keeping up with this!
The kids now have a couple of weeks of school under their belts. Our oldest started a week late at the middle school when his placement to a specialized school fell through due to lack of staff. He’s very excited because he will get to participate in art, gym, music, computer and cooking. He doesn’t get any of that in the other schools. He’s mainstreamed in science and social studies, but with modified testing. I didn’t know it would be modified until I contacted the teacher with my concerns.
Our middle son qualifies for reading support. I was surprised math wasn’t included because he all but failed math last year. They said they would monitor the situation and place him in math support if he begins to slip.
Our daughter seems to be doing very good academically. They don’t explain new concepts to the kids as well as the private school, so I’m helping her a lot more this year. But once I explain it, she usually gets it pretty quickly.
They are all three having trouble with kids picking on them. Our oldest gets called names because of his immaturity. I’ve told the special education coordinator that I’m concerned he won’t be able to hold back his anger much longer if it continues and she said she would look into it. I told him that I am proud of him for staying in control when they say things. I’m just not sure how much longer he can keep it up. He loves his homeroom teacher. She’s very attentive and helpful. He also loves his van driver. He’s made a point to make a connection with our son. I do appreciate that.
I’m not sure what’s up with the middle son. He gives different reasons each time and then he says everything is fine. I’m going to have to keep an eye on the situation. I try to get him to talk to me about it but he doesn’t always want to share.
Our daughter is such an outgoing person that she wants to be friends with everyone, even if they are unpopular with the other kids. She doesn’t understand why the other kids won’t be friends with her just because she is friends with kids they don’t like. She wants to be friends with all of them. I told her that I’m proud of her for not dropping the unpopular kids and to just keep trying with the other kids. I told her to ask the other kids if she could be friends with them too and they don’t have to be friends with her other friends. It might be working. I’m sure she’ll tell me if it doesn’t. She said she was physically threatened by some of the kids and went to the principal about it. Her teacher yelled at her for going to the principal! In light of all the school tragedies that occur, I was appalled! If my child does not feel safe, it is the school’s responsibility to make her feel safe! They will hear from me about this! I’ve heard that the teachers pay little attention to what is going on at the playground. This is where my daughter gets harrassed. She’s petite for her age and most kids her age tower over her. Those kids are taking full advantage of that. But, she still comes home with a smile on her face and does tell me about the good things like getting to try the clarinet for band and making chorus and stuff like that.
We’ve started our Thursday night church school meetings. I believe I have too much on my plate and it’s time to do away with some stuff. We have the counselors at the house 2 evenings a week, I have choir practice on Wednesdays, I have to try to help all 3 kids with their homework while working at home because I have to leave my office early to be home for my oldest, and the list goes on. Right now the only thing I can get rid of is choir. I used to enjoy it, now it just feels like another thing on my “to-do” list.
This happens every new school year. The summer is fine because my husband is home with the kids. Now the kids are mostly my responsibility on top of my job and everything else. At least my husband can go to the school meetings between his bus runs. Maybe I’m just a big baby. I should probably stop whining about it.
Oh well.



What was she thinking redux


So, oldest was a no show for Thanksgiving.  We called three times on Wednesday.  Only got to speak to him once.  I told him call when he was done with an earlier interview.  I called twice after that and he never did call. 

K decided to give our HOME phone number to a boy at residential that she says she loves.  She knew him 2 days before she decided this.  He was also home on a visit and called our house even before her dad picked her up to bring her home.  The third time he called I said she would not be taking calls during her visit.  She was upset.  She snuck to our room and called him.  He called again.  By then it was about the 8th time that he had called.  She knows the rules.  She knows she is NOT to give out our home phone number to anyone without our permission.  She had written a contract for her visit and broke at least three of the things on it.  On the way back Friday she told me that I don’t love her.  If I loved her I would not be taking her back because she doesn’t belong there.  I told her this is part of her flawed thinking.  We can tell her things until we are blue in the face and it doesn’t matter.  All that matters to her is the people who don’t like her and the need to MAKE them like her.  I told her that she has no clue what we went through when she ran away from respite.  I told her how sick we both were with worry.

8:00 pm we get a call saying she’s gone AWOL after an argument with staff.  She’d been gone since about 6:30 pm.  This is her way of punishing me for taking her back.  I had told her that very afternoon how frightening it was for us when she ran so she used it against me.  They called back around 9:30 pm and said they found her in a church.  I’m not sure if it was the one on campus or not.  She had tried to call her boyfriend to come get her and she cut herself.  They wanted to know if I wanted to speak with her.  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t calm myself enough and stop crying long enough to talk to her.  She called the next morning and I simply said "I don’t know what you want me to say to you KM".  She tried saying that I didn’t know how she felt.  I told her that I did and that’s why she is where she is with professionals that can help her if she’d only let them.  She wouldn’t let us help so she left us no choice.  I told her I feel she wants to feel this way and refuses to listen to anyone who wants to help.   Until she’s ready to listen, our hands are tied. 

Her birthday is in three weeks.  She’ll be 16.  I doubt she’ll be able to come home . She’ll hate us for it even if it’s not our decision.  If she’s going to act that way each time we have to take her back, maybe it’s for the best until she is more stable…