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.


Anonymous said...

This sounds pretty serious, but if you can hang on through the dark days, the good ones will be worth it.

Laura C. in Oregon said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles. My sister has gone through this with her own biological daughter for about 10 years. Her daughter suffers from extreme anxiety and other personality disorders. The daughter started her erratic behavior soon after an abusive act by her father and it just got worse from there. She's been hospitalized numerous times and the cops have been called often too. She was abusive toward her mother as well as others in her household. At 17 she's been relatively stable for about a year. This is just one example, but while I agree that there will be good days ahead, they may be farther off than you think or hope or can live with. If you'd like to talk to my sister just let me know.

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