Monday, October 25, 2010

Three Weeks and Counting....

Now that I took the time to vent in my last post, I'm on to how Kismet has been doing up to this point in time with us. We are going on 4 weeks with her living with us this Friday. And so far, things have been going... well... not bad. From my perspective, anyway. I think from Brad's perspective, things have been kinda tough.

See, it's like this. Kismet responds much better to me than she does Brad. As she says to me, she's "more used to" me than she is Brad. While she spends far more time with Brad during the day than with me, she's not used to having a dad. She says. It's not that I doubt the veracity of this statement. I know her bio dad was not present much in her life but at the same time, she lived in a group home and a foster home and both had fathers in the house that she had to take instruction from. It feels like an excuse, honestly.

Since I'm not the one who deals with her all day long like Brad is (who is in the stay-at-home parent role and I think we all know that the stay-at-home parent gets much less respect from the kids) PLUS she's not used to having a dad, it's hard to really know what lies behind her actions, if there is any sort of sense to be had from it at all. I guess there's just so much about Reactive Attachment Disorder that we don't know or understand.

She's back in school full time this week with minimal problems. She had a few melt-downs at school her first week but after Brad spoke with the school about some of the stuff that was going on, they started handling her better in school. She put in a week of half days and has started back full time this week and so far, so good.

She's still obstinate, still has a temper that flares up on no notice at all, and still a bit sassy. But then a lot of kids are like that. So far, we've seen little of the demon child we've been warned would show her face as she started settling in and feeling safe. If anything, she has actually been a sweeter and more helpful child now that she's settling in. The only thing that seems to trigger a bad reaction in her is an unannounced change in her schedule, or, more accurately, an unannounced change in her expectations for her schedule. She does fine when she knows what to expect but does not do well when things change. We can accomodate some of that but we will need to learn how to handle the unexpected changes when they happen.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm Not Always Passive

I was going to write a blog post about how Kismet has been doing to date in our house and at school but there's just been something else that's been burning in my mind for the last few days that I want to get out of my system. And that is how much I want to kick the ass of Kismet's bio mom.

I can sorta deal with the fact that this woman chose drugs over her daughter. I mean, I've never used drugs, never been addicted, but I get the fact that the road to recovery is extremely difficult, particularly if you don't have a good support system in place. I get how hard it can be for some people to make the right choice, to get the help they need to clean up. But when you choose to walk out of rehab rather than stay and get clean when it's your last chance to get your child back, I can't deal with what that does to your child. You have just told your child that they don't mean that much to you. There's probably little more you could have done to destroy their self-esteem and you leave it up to someone else, a total stranger, to try to help your child pick up the pieces of their life.

But that's not all. Kismet put pictures of her bio mom up on the walls of her bedroom. I know that she still loves her mom. I also know that she still has a lot of anger towards her mom as well. She told me that her mom used to hit her and, while she hasn't said as much, we suspect her mom used to call her stupid, because she's very sensitive to that word. And her mom lied to her about some stuff that totally hurt Kismet's feelings. And totally flaked out on her when she was supposed to visit her.

Then, because Brad is like uber-virtual-stalker and wants to know where Kismet's family are and what they are doing, he discovered the bio mom's Facebook page. On it, bio mom has posted pictures of Kismet. And she says stuff under the pictures like, "Me and Kismet forever." Umm... no, you stupid cow, you gave up the right to have her forever when you walked out of rehab and went back to drugs. And she has Kismet's name tattooed on her leg. She lost her parental rights two years ago. It's a new tattoo. And she posts a picture of Kismet and says, "Kismet's happy face. I love her smile, she's so pretty." Okay, I get that maybe she misses her daughter. And maybe she's sober enough to realize that she fucked up badly in her child's life. Maybe. Or maybe she just wants her friends to think that her daughter is still an important part of her life. I don't know.

What I do know is that she did fuck up badly in her daughter's life. So badly that Kismet had to spend a year in the mental hospital in the kids wing. Yeah, that bad! And the mom was still "involved" at that point in Kismet's life. But did she straighten herself out, get sober, once she realized that her actions put her daughter in the mental hospital? NO! SHE DID NOT! And that, my friends, is what burns my butt more than anything else. Kismet has pictures of her and her mother on the wall taken at the hospital. And it makes me furious. Not that Kismet has the pictures of her mom on the wall. Much as it bugs me because I'm the one putting Kismet to bed at night, tucking her in, giving her kisses and staying in her room until she falls asleep because she's scared and Brad is the one who gets up with her in the middle of the night when she has nightmares, and she has a lot of them, and he gets her ready to go to school in the morning and picks her up from school when she's had a bad day. In spite of all that, I do understand why she has the pictures up.

No, I'm furious that this woman just DID NOT CARE about her own child. I know it happens, it's why a lot of kids are in foster care and why a lot of kids are up for adoption. But the fact that this woman is still posting pictures on Facebook and acting as if she loves her daughter so when she had a chance to make it all right just makes me want to punch her in the face. And so help me god, if I ever see her, I'm gonna do it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Eight is way more than enough, thank you!

So this past weekend, I had eight, count 'em, 8 freakin' people in my house! I'm still not sure what drugs I was on when I decided this was a good idea. Actually, I don't know that I ever thought it was a "good" idea but it didn't occur to me for some strangely bizarre reason that it might overwhelm me.

Now, if you knew anything about me, right about now, you'd be smacking me upside the head. See, I don't do large groups of people. And to me? Eight is a large group. When I'm in a group of more than 3 or 4 people, I tend to go into overload mode. I get this huge mental block and I'm completely incapable of processing what's going on around me. I just kinda sit there while information passes around me like flies in the air and it's a small miracle that I'm not drooling the entire time.

If I spend too much time in a large group, I started to get agitated and antsy, I totally go into fight-or-flight, and as it's really inappropriate to punch family members or neighbors when you, or they, are not drunk, I usually fly. Not that I would punch family members, mind you. Well.... there's one I'd like to punch... but I'm kinda getting off the topic.

So. You're asking, what the hell was I thinking having 8 people in my house? And I'll tell you what I was thinking. My dad, who is 80, lives in Delaware, and hasn't come out this way in ages, was coming out for a visit. He didn't know exactly when he would be here. Moon Unit, Dweezil, and Frank haven't seen him in years. I think Frank, who is now 11, last saw my dad when he was maybe 1 or 2? So yeah, a long time. And of course, the kids all needed to see their grandpa coz honestly? Who knows when or if they'll see him again.

I knew the chances were good that my dad would show up the same weekend Kismet was moving in. And there was this part of me, a totally psychotic part of me that should have its mouth sewn shut and its hands duct taped to its feet and dunked into a vat of quick-drying cement so as never to have any sort of influence on my thoughts and decisions ever again, that thought it would actually be a good idea, since I have limited time off to use in a year and it would be good to get it all done at one time.

Umm... yeah. So Brad picks up Kismet and brings here home. Then my dad and step-mom show up. And then we go pick up the boys. And Dweezil had fallen off a friend's skate board and injured his wrist. So right after I pick them up and drop Frank off at the house, I run off with Dweezil to the urgent care to get his wrist x-rayed. And we get back and everyone's kinda running around and things seem a bit hectic but I think, "It'll be okay."

And it wasn't. Because I totally went into brain lock the next day. And I couldn't think of a single thing to do with 8 people. I blame Utah for being such a boring state and I'm totally not going to take that back, but it was probably partly me, too. But mostly Utah. And I just. Couldn't. Think. And so? We didn't really do anything.

And then Sunday rolled around and there was more of the same. No thoughts in my head of what to do. And so again, we did nothing. And the whole while, I'm feeling totally stressed out by it. I'm a terrible host. Why can't I think of anything to do with my family? Why can't I take my folks out and show them around? I mean they've been here before and they've seen most of it but still. There's just nothing. I can't think of anything. And I feel like the scum of the earth coz we're just hanging out at the house.

My dad then tells me that they are intending to head out early in the morning so that they can get a jump on things and do some sight-seeing along the way. And there's this horrible other part of me that's breathing a sigh of relief. And also thinking that he's probably bored out of his mind at my house and I'm a lousy host. Because I am.

Monday morning rolls around, Kismet goes off to school in the kind of God-forsaken, early morning hours that only farmers and graveyard shifters getting off work should see. And my folks go at the same time. And me? I sleep through it all while Brad sees off Kismet and my folks. And I kinda feel guilty. But when I get up? I feel sooo much better that the house is empty.

I am never having a houseful again. And if you hear me saying I'm going to do that? Feel free to whack me upside the head with the nearest blunt object you can find.