Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Perfect Storm

I am spending a lot of time with my children these days and with Genea I am starting to realize that what I have been telling the professionals from the beginning is accurate. She is sad. And her sad is so much bigger than she can handle. As we know, she had many special needs when she arrived in this house. Really looking back I wonder how we survived it. I have heard that expression so many times and so as a cliche it is a well watered down one but here I sit, still living. Unbelievable.
She has these tantrums. And no kidding, I have never seen anything like this child pitching a whopper. She goes from zero to 80 miles an hour in mere seconds and over the most minor thing. First the face widens and all of her features go red and open. Her whole face turns pink and blotchy. Her lower lip turns inside out. In those same few seconds the combination of tears, snot and saliva combine into long strings of mucous. Within a few more seconds it begins to pool on the floor. Seriously. It pools on the floor! She fights to catch her breath because she needs to inhale to her full lung capacity in order that the torturously extreme scream/cry can come out. And when it does it goes on and on and on. Until you are ready to stuff a mattress into your ears. It is shocking to see this little person come out with all that noise.
We have an amazing child psychiatrist who desperately adores Genea. He knew her from her time with the last adoptive family and so he sees the difference. So I dont know if I am just not getting the point across in my descriptions because here I am the Mommy and not a clinician. Most recently we tried ritalin to see if some of her problem is related to ADD and it seems to have done nothing for her at all. In fact even at a higher dose there was no change in her behavior hyper or otherwise. We have looked at bipolar amongst others and I am finding myself going back to my first general impression after having her full time for about a month. This child has an overwhelming depression. She is sad and she is anxious. We have taught her what her feelings are and how to identify them accurately and this is what she says. She feels sad and worried and sometimes nervous. What I see as a person looking at the outside is her floundering. She is weepy and easily frustrated and she cannot manage even a minor change in her expectations. When she is like this and I ask her what is wrong she will almost always say something obscure and unbelieveable is what is bothering her. Like, I am worried about the leaves being green on the trees. People want to take that and reassure her the tree will be fine but I see that as her trying to make sense of feelings that have no tangible origin. Like she needs something or anything to hang these emotions on to.
These are my thoughts today.

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