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Sunday, January 25, 2015

You're Going Away? Good!

What?!

I've went away on overnight business trips 4 times since we've adopted  kiddo.  All of those times, there has been some back lash, some anxiety, fear of abandonment and punishing momma for leaving.

It's steadily gotten better each time. First time was horrible, 2nd was bad, 3rd and 4th not too bad, just slight elevation in anxious behaviors.

I'm going away on another business trip next month for 4 days.  I'm starting to prep her now and do what I can to make sure she remembers I always come back and that everything will be okay.

The start to our conversation I told her where I was going, when and when I'd be back. her response: "good".  WHAT? Her response when I asked why she said good.  "Momma, your period is due then, we'll be glad to have you out of the house that week".

OMG!!! I was dying!!

(and if she thinks I'm bad during Shark Week, she should have to deal with herself then! I'm a piece of cake compared to her, I cry, she's mean!)

Oh well, at least she found a positive to get her through.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Karaoke

I think I totally wanna get kiddo a karaoke machine for her birthday.

Never mind that I want it for myself.

Me, hubs and kiddo all 3 got new MP3 players yesterday. I've loaded these puppies up with music and I was dancing around the house, took a skinny can of yankee candle scent and used it for a microphone and kiddo said she was scared.  She ran to her daddy yelling "Protect me, something is wrong with momma, look at her".

Of course, after we all quit laughing, she said "Momma, let me go get my MP3 player and we can listen to different songs and dance together".

I totally see some good momma/daughter bonding time coming soon!!

Bathtime!

Ridiculously long baths again twice today, sign that something is going on.

The good news is at the end of her 2nd bath, I finally pried it out of her.

I'm furious.

I made her look me in the eye while I asked her what was wrong and she kept turning her head and saying "nothing" in that sing songy fake voice.

I said "look me in the eye and tell me what's going on".  She started crying and said she was upset about school and the e-mail I'd gotten from her teacher. I asked why she was stressing over that, since we'd already reviewed how we could fix it.  She looked away, so I knew it was more.

I said "Ok kiddo, what else?"

The tears started falling fast and she let me hold her and hug her and she said the teacher pulled up our email during class and posted her grade for the whole class to see and that she was really embarrassed, got upset and walked out of the classroom and she's afraid she'll get detention for walking out of class and slamming the door.

We got this girl calmed down and reassured her that if her grades were shown, good or bad, then it is never okay and that we have her back. Yes, maybe the response could have been better, but we were definitely not going to punish her over that.

She let us both hug and hold her and she cried it out for awhile.

I think she's okay now.  She's fine with us going to school to discuss this Monday.

So many times I wish we could home school, but right now, I don't think emotionally it'd be a great idea.  I don't think we're far enough along that the lines between teacher and parent and bonding would be at it's most effective.

On the subject of homeschooling, BFF has an injured knee, very serious situation with zero muscle control currently and she'll be out of school and have homebound schooling for the next 8 weeks, while they determine if she can get out of having surgery or not.

So much with these girls lately. I'd given anything to take their pain for them and make things better, but especially my baby of course.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Risk Taking

Guess it's time to do exciting things with kiddo on vacations and other times.

Hubs is excited about the idea of talking her into sky diving. He loved sky diving and I refuse to do that.

Kiddo's therapist said we can talk until we're blue in the face, but the internet situation was about the risks, that she knew the dangers but the thrill of it made her seek it out.

I'm not sure I'm buying into that being the reason, but I'll roll that around in my head for a bit and keep an open mind.

I think it's more the past trauma and being drawn to that and wanting attention from somebody that she can't have a real relationship with because she doesn't have to worry about getting too close.

Either way, maybe we'll try getting her into some activities that involve more risk to provide the excitement, it wouldn't hurt even if I'm right and the therapist is wrong.  Good for making memories at least.

Either way, it's a long road ahead of us for healing and patience and caution from us will be key.

Piano Lessons

New activity

3rd times a charm?

Well, one can hope at least.

Kiddo really does need something that keeps her mind off the past and keeps her focused on the present and the positive.

Soccer and softball both didn't work, both due to bullying.

This year she's trying piano lessons. Over the past few years, she's played with the piano here and there and perhaps not having other kids around to bully her, maybe she can succeed and stick this out a little better.

The lady that is teaching her was the organ player at our wedding and also a childhood Sunday School teacher.

She was so patient with kiddo, really explained things in a way that made sense and she really responded well and caught on to todays lessons quick.

I'm optimistic. Afraid to say I think she'll stick it out, still too early for that, but all I want is for her to find something fun that she enjoys that will keep her mind occupied and this would be good because she can practice alone too.

Music lessons:

  • learning (yes, she's already had math to do in her first lesson)
  • self esteem (and my poor baby really needs some work on this)
  • discipline
  • focus
  • coordination
  • patience
I wish I could go with her every time. I actually learned things this time that I didn't learn in 5 years of lessons when I was a child. 

I so hope she enjoys this.

We went to therapy right after piano and she worked ahead in her workbooks because she was so excited about it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Borderline Diabetic and Borderline Personality Disorder

Lots of homework for us.

Kiddo was diagnosed with both of these. Well, preliminary diagnoses. She's actually too young to be diagnosed BPD, but since she's showing signs, we have to start treating that now.  The diabetes, if we treat now as if she is a diabetic, she may not have to rely on meds later.

We have a long road ahead of us, but I'm still optimistic about our future.

Kiddo isn't doing too horribly on her food, she is still sneaking some food at night, but not really as bad.

She's also working on controlling emotions and trying to trust us.

Reading up on BPD, poor kiddo has the bulk of the risk factors that contribute to this and over half the symptoms.



Attachment Therapy

I hate using the term attachment therapy, because it's not exactly that, it's not the rebirthing, holding, etc that tends to get lumped in with attachment therapy.  We've restarted attachment therapy as a booster, it's exercises led by an attachment specialist that promote bonding between child and parent.

Our facilitator is very well versed in attachment disorders and attachment healing and works with families and children on a regular basis. She's a fan of Marshak methods.  Before we got started, she talked to kiddowith us and asked her what her thoughts were and why she requested this. She said she didn't feel as close because we don't do as much together and she's on her trampoline or swing. Then she admitted she tells us to go away when we try to engage, and said she doesn't want to be like that.

What we did tonight:


  • me, daddy and kiddo formed a "circle" and one of us would put a beanie baby on our head and signal to the one that we were going to pass it to next with our eyes and drop it into that persons hands, who would put the beanie baby on their head and pass to somebody, it had to be random.  why it helps: eye contact and playing with each other
  • simon says with a twist: daddy and kiddo would have a pillow between them while momma would go thru simon says "go forward, turn clockwise, go backward, whatever, as long as it was something you could do with a pillow between you". If you messed up, you had to start over. Then daddy led and kiddo and momma did that.  why it helps: listening skills, physical closeness, working as a team (if one messed up and the other didn't, the pillow would hit the floor)
  • wrapping feet with aluminum foil. Both daddy and I had to wrap her foot up with aluminum foil. why it helps: physical touch plus some giggles if her foot is ticklish
  • momma read the book "The Runaway Bunny" to kiddo.  It had a very relevant message obviously, with what all has been going on and showed how momma's would do anything to keep their babies.  With the pictures, it also gave us room for dialogue and comparison and I get close to her when reading and speak in voices appropriate for story. why it helps: communicates in non threatening method, closeness
  • Momma and daddy traced kiddo's hand on a piece of construction paper and signed it for kiddo.  She got tickled at the differences in both the way the hands looked and the way we sign, but touching her hands were the whys.
  • Kiddo put lotion on our hand liberally and pressed our hand on a piece of construction paper, lifted softly and sprinkled powder on our handprint.  Pressing and putting the lotion on created the touch, but lifting softly helped train to be gentle.
  • She had to wash our hands and we washed her hands, then we shared an individual bag of doritos, feeding each other.  Touch and nurturing.  
After all that was done, we sent kiddo for a walk around the office and talked a little bit.  The specialist asked what we noticed about this time vs last time.  I said she seemed more gentle this time than before. She said yes, and that was the #1 key in telling progress was the feeding exercise.  She's very optimistic that she's well on her way to bonding and that this is a temporary setback. She also said she noticed she treats us differently and more gentle with me, but that she's still better with daddy than she was with either of us previously, so it's a huge deal.

Feeling good about things. I think kiddo  is too. She was happy on the way home, and not one of those fake happy things.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Remembering the Past

Therapy was tough for kiddo, but also very productive

Turns out she recently remembered seeing her birth mom cutting and attempting suicide when she was a toddler.

It also turns out that her birth mom used to steal her food from her. After her bmom ate, she'd take whatever was left on the kids plates. No surprise they both eat super fast now and have food issues.

Now it makes even more sense why our kid gets so stressed at dinner time if anybody gets leftovers, if somebodys plate has more on it, if somebody gets the first bite, if somebody gets the last bite, etc.

She's stealing food in the night to make sure nobody steals it from her first.

My heart breaks for my baby, to remember these things after so many years and to have experienced these things in her lil life.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A visit to the Emergency Room

This morning as I got out of the shower, I saw a note where kiddo and a friend were writing back and forth and it ended with "my parents may send me back to foster care because I'm cutting"

My thought was new note, being dramatic teenager and claiming cutting, because obviously I'd never seen evidence of any cuts

Hubs thought was old note, because she's not cutting now.

As I was taking her to school, I asked kiddo why she would tell her friends we were sending her back to foster care.  She started yelling about my reading a note. Explained to her that I read it because it was out in full view, that I normally would not, but it's out in view and that if I ever saw her distressed, I also would snoop, but that wasn't actually the case here, but that I needed to know what was going on.

I felt so guilty when she admitted she was actually cutting and just not where we could see it, even getting ready for school (I'm still in the bathroom in the mornings with her getting ready).  Bad momma for worrying about perception of us when she was cutting and assuming cutting was untrue.

We both started crying, I pulled over, we called hubs and I asked him to meet me at the hospital.

She had a meltdown when the dr asked to see the cuts because she'd have to undress and he was a man. They had no female doctors available. I kicked dr out, looked myself with just us two and described them to the doctor.

We spent hours in the mergency room, a counselor came to determine whether she was suicidal and what was going on.  It's school related and she's being bullied.

The counselor tried to toss me and hubs out, but babycakes insisted momma stay.  The counselor said it sounded like she was testing, but that she needed to quit the testing and realize we had passed the test already and no point in putting us thru the ringer.

They took blood and urine to see if she was doing drugs (I was confident she wasn't). Then we found out she's diabetic, so off to the pediatrician at their instructions. Tomorrow we have an appointment with a specialist about an hour from here about this.

All this craziness, she's dysregulated still, but I totally think we're getting ready to have a huge breakthrough.


Rough Weekend

The day after the phone incident, I had babycakes help me with all the chores to offset the time I lost in sleep up worried about her.  She was very helpful and compliant and kept close all weekend.

Fast forward to the next weekend, all was going well.  We went out to dinner Friday night. Saturday was a quiet day at home and we watched a movie together as a family and played cards together. Sunday cards and a movie again.

When I went to fix dinner, I noticed that a can of cinnamon rolls and a can of crescent rolls was missing. I asked her about it and complete meltdown followed.

3 1/2 hour tantrum, she said she was going to run away, she never loved us, never had and we obviously didn't love her either, she wanted a family with no rules and a zillion other things.

As it was freezing rain outside, we begged her to at least stay overnight and be safe before leaving. She was not amused and the rant started over again, screaming, yelling, and wanting out bad.

We got reinforcements on the phone, which didn't help either.

About 1/2 hour after the reinforcement call to crisis hotline at the agency we used for our adoption, she finally said she'd take a shower before leaving and finally agreed to take her meds (2 hours late) and stay the night, but that she wasn't going to school the next day. (red flag)

After her shower, she came in and said she wanted to stay after all, but that she still didn't want to go to school the next day, she wanted to talk to somebody about redoing attachment therapy. Where that idea came from I don't know, but we were definitely game.

Dramatic end to the weekend, tears by me all night Sunday and most of Monday.

Kiddo, on the other hand, expected things to be like a light switch and back to normal for us, even though she was still VERY dysregulated.

Therapy is scheduled for Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Update on the Baby Sis

Kiddor's baby sis moved in with her new family today.

She called kiddo and now kiddo is hyper anxious again.

I wish so bad they could have a healthier relationship and be completely comfortable. It breaks my heart that S needs more than what kiddo is capable of.

They want to know how often she can call kiddo and if we can still do monthly visits. I had no idea that the monthly was intentional.

We'll have to all discuss both of thems needs, but I'm guessing NO!!

Kiddo said she doesn't like acknowledging the past and I've recommended she consider her a buddy to talk to occassionally if that helps, but we'd come back to this later before allowing the next call.

Hubs doesn't seem to get it, and I do, oddly.  Weird because he's the one that's cut off contact with family before because it wasn't healthy. I guess he wants her to try harder to avoid what he's dealing with.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Feelings Chart

Kiddor's--guilty
Mine--depressed

We've been experimenting with leaving kiddo alone for a couple hours at a time.

BAD idea!!

She stole an old phone out of hubs desk, charged it up, downloaded kik messenger and was doing inappropriate things and communicating with strangers.

This is not the first offense, which is why she doesn't have a phone.

I'm so brokenhearted.

Hubs is even more broken hearted.

As cold as she can be with him because he's a "male", she willingly communicates with pedophiles.

As much progress as we've made, I feel like we're before the start, it feels like THAT much of a regression.

My heart is broken.

Even more so because I think she doesn't get why this is an issue.

It's been a long weekend.

We are trying not to take this personally, but it's really hard not to.

Obviously we took away electronics and anything that she could potentially find a way to access anything she shouldn't.  I also had her do the laundry and help me with cleaning the house, to offset the sleep I lost.

She said "I don't get why you care so much".  We explained that's what parents do, care.

I've been in tears all weekend.  Kiddo is trying to reconnect, but still no apology or anything like that, just a change to guilty on the feelings chart.

The pups however got an apology.



Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 goals!

As the New Year begins, it’s a great time to let go of what’s not working and to fully embrace what’s important to me.

The past has had its ups and downs, but that’s the past, live in the present, prepare for the future.  As a new year begins, I plan to take the best of my experiences and turn it all to good.

I resolve to be more purposeful, more effective, and more creative.  I will remove the imaginary obstacles and soar higher than ever.

Specifically:

  • ·         Ramp up my parenting for attachment—occassionally I forget the trauma that my baby has experienced and I parent her like I would a bio child instead of working for attachment.  While we are attached, she’s not yet 100% secure in her attachment, so I need to make sure I parent her at her developmental level, not her chronological age.  (by the way, I'm a firm believer that attachment parenting is good for bios too, it's just not required the way it is for a trauma child)

  • ·         After I realized I had failed to achieve my goal last year of opening a savings account for kiddo after getting her birth certificate and social with us as legal parents, I opened up the savings account since posting my failure here. My goal for this year is to put some money aside for her future.

  • ·         Savings….need to work on that for myself as well. I love spoiling our kid and I tend to spend more than I should. I need to work on regular savings for ourselves as well.  52 week challenge would be great. $1 first week, $2 second week…..

  • ·         Be mindful of my eating habits. I didn’t hit my goal last year of reducing a dress size, but I will this year. How I’ll do that: incremental habits that I can live with. If I maintained last year, just small changes will get me to goal this year and make this a lifestyle I can live with.

  • ·         Making memories, too often I’m inclined to get a rut, decide to rest up on the weekend, but I have time to rest when I’m dead. Making memories as a family is important to me and I don’t want to look back with regrets when I’m on my death bed. I didn’t have the first 11 ½ years of my daughters life. While recharging and rest is important, enjoying each other also is.  We will do things as a family to build connections and memories.

  • ·         Contribute to an area of passion throughout the year, not just at Christmas (ie. Toys for tots at Christmas I always excel at, that’s not my only passion though and I can do better here and will in 2015!!)

  • ·         Make better bonuses EVERY quarter this year than I did at my previous employer. Enjoy the rewards and make those bonuses count and not nickel and dime them away   Get kiddo involved in an activity to get her out of the house and interacting with peers and improve her self esteem

  • ·       Payoff a bill this year and free up more memory making money. We tend to not snowball our debt as we should. We have no car and house debt anymore, so I think we think because it’s “little” stuff that it’s okay to owe, but that’s crazy talk.  Going to work on this this year!


·         Be the best me that’s possible!