Saturday, June 11, 2011

Last Post

I don't know how to make this last post on this blog short but sweet. I know some of you that were following me were pretty much abandoned months back. There is an explanation for it but, as you can imagine, it's hard to talk about.

Trying to keep it short, things went horribly wrong in a very bad way. Kismet continued to have severe meltdowns and finally, several days after Christmas, we had to get the police involved. She had kicked Brad in the ribs and may have cracked them, although Brad never went to the doctor so we don't know for sure. We just couldn't handle her alone. The day after the police had picked her up, she was back in our house having another meltdown and we had to call the police again. Her mood changed drastically, she suddenly became an angel but I'd had all I could take and asked for her to be removed. So she was. She is currently residing in the state hospital under their care but is apparently not doing well there, either.

The removal of Kismet from our home caused a lot of stress and tension between me and Brad. He had made an emotional commitment to her that final week before she left (and I had not, of course), and he has been very angry with me for a long time. We are working through some of this stuff in therapy right now and hope things improve.

Moon Unit left shortly after her last episode in our house and moved to Boise. She stayed in a shelter up there for a few months but is now working and has an apartment of her own and is doing well for herself. I'm proud of her for doing what she needed to do to finally jump start her life. While the way she left was far less than ideal, she is doing what she needed to do for a long time. She has friends for the first time in years and I think she's finally starting to grow up. What more could I ask for?

As for this blog, the reason I've decided not to continue with this is because this blog failed to be what I wanted it to be. I seriously lost my sense of humor and felt depressed by all that had happened. I wanted this to track our lives as parents but our lives became a minefield. I feel like trying to keep this blog moving is like walking back into that minefield and I can't do it.

However, I went back to an old blog I started years back, one that has no scarring emotional connections to it, and have just turned the old engine over to bring it back to life. I have no intentions of doing the same thing with it that I did with this one and I hope that those of you who followed me me here will follow me there. Thanks for following me, for listening to me, for sympathizing and empathizing and know that your interest meant the world to me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cracking Parent

When I created this blog, my intention, particularly in naming the blog, was to talk about our efforts to adopt a child from foster care, to talk about being a parent, and trying to make this blog as light-hearted as possible in the process. I never guessed that Cracked Parenthood would actually wind up recording my ever rising stress levels and that the cracked part would actually be an accurate reflection of the state of my sanity.

We discovered earlier this week that Moon Unit was staying at a homeless shelter. Brad wanted to bring her home, partly for her safety but mostly out of desperation. Kismet has been having melt-downs every single day this week and Brad has been unable to get any work done. He was hoping that in bringing home Moon Unit, she would be able to help him out with Kismet, who has been unable to get through a single day at school.

Because of Brad's desperation, I sent out an email to Moon Unit to let her know she was welcome to come back home if she was willing to follow the rules and expectations laid out for her. She was very rude once again and told me she had no interest in a relationship with me. So I figured after everything I've been through with her over 20 years that I no longer had to worry about the stress she was causing in the house. But then Brad asked her to come back, without running it by me, and so she did.

Today, Kismet had the longest stress-out day. She had a huge melt-down, yelling and kicking a hole in the wall and banging on my bedroom door. We wound up having to restrain her right there in the hallway. Moon Unit came out of her bedroom, stood there for a moment until Kismet told her to go away, then she says, and I'm quoting here, "I came out to see if you guys would shut the fuck up." Yes, really! So I told her to shut the fuck up, that if she didn't like it, she could leave. So then she started asking how I'd like it if she called and reported us for child abuse. We were physically restraining a violently out of control child. I laughed at her, told her the state already knew all about Kismet and that we were not abusing her. I again told her to leave.

Both Brad and I were dumbfounded and appalled at the gall it took for this girl, who'd been living in a shelter for probably close to a week and who was allowed to come home, to come out while we're dealing with an emotionally disturbed child and tells us to shut the fuck up. Later Brad admitted that his decision to let her come home was a huge mistake. She is currently staying at Brad's brother's house for the night. I told Brad she doesn't get to come back home after what she did and he agrees.

For hours and hours, we dealt with Kismet's mood. All day long, she was stressy and for several hours, she was in major melt-down mode. And we never thought she'd settle down long enough to go to sleep. She wouldn't have, either, in spite of being given a sedative, if we hadn't finally convinced her to take her regular medication, which included sleeping pills. And she finally went to sleep.

And me? I'm starting to think this decision to bring her into our home was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life, and that, my friends, is really saying something. I am not equipped to deal with the levels of stress she is creating in this house. We have not been given the sort of assistance that we were told and expected to get and that we probably would have received if we were just fostering rather than trying to adopt. In fact, over the last month, other than receiving a new therapist who specializes in treating RAD children, we have felt pretty close to abandoned by the group who was supposed to be helping us. I knew Kismet would be a lot of work but we were totally unprepared for what we're getting. There's no way we could have been prepared for this. And I'm trying desperately to find a way to not lose it myself. Maybe I should be taking her sedative during her melt-downs instead of her.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Moon Unit, the Wonderslug and Other Adventurous Stories

Last time on Cracked Parenthood, Moon Unit was getting sniffy about having to help out with Kismet, about being expected to reimburse insurance costs, about life in general, and had stormed out of the house and stormed back in again a few hours later.

The next night, she left again, this time with a plan to stay with a friend for a few days. I'd like to say it seemed different without her there but honestly, since she spends most of her time hiding in her bedroom, it really wasn't all that different, other than not being present during dinner and her bedroom door not being open in the evenings.

Meanwhile, Kismet had a full and complete melt-down at home the day after that, her first since moving in with us, requiring me and Brad to physically restrain her, which really should not be a good time for all and yet oddly enough, Kismet seemed to enjoy it to a certain extent, giggling several times during her restraint. She had become rather wound up during the day, wanting to go out to play in the newly fallen snow but not having proper snow clothing and having no one to play with. Being a Sunday and being Utah, her friends were unable to play with her. As the day wore on, she wound up more and more until she had her explosion that evening.

The odd thing that I don't understand about her is that when she gets wound up and starts being resistant, and particularly in melt-down mode, she doesn't even seem to be the same person. When calmed down later, she doesn't understand why she did what she did and as it happens, she seems to have little control over what she's doing. It's just one of those things that hasn't really been explained to us.

Back on the ranch, Moon Unit emailed to say she was coming back home the next day. When told we would need to discuss her plans for the future and talk about her expectations, she had an explosion herself and ranted at us in email about everything from how Brad is handling Kismet to me asking for assistance with the costs of her insurance coverage to having to help out with Kismet, claiming that Kismet was not her responsibility. So then I followed that up with "You're almost 20, you're no longer my responsibility, either." I told her she could live at home but she needed to live by the rules and do what was expected of her. She got even more mad, called us assholes and that she didn't want to be a part of our family. So I told her good luck with what she's doing and that she was welcome to come back when she wanted to follow the rules.

Honestly, as terrible as it sounds, I am incredibly relieved that she is not coming back yet. The idea of her coming back cranky was stressful. I've spent 20 stressful years with her and now that she's out, I'm not eager for her to come back. Much as I'd like to believe she'll be able to stay out there on her own, I don't think she's going to be able to. At some point, she's probably going to have to eat some humble pie and come home.

Kismet has been doing mostly okay this week but she did start to get agitated a couple times and requried a dose of medication meant specifically for when she's getting worked up. It's more or less a sedative. It's not what we really want to be doing with her but it is the best option we have right now for helping her stay in control of her emotions.