Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sometimes I Just Can't Imagine

This is not going to be a fun post. In fact, if you don't want to read about the vile things vile adults do to children, probably this is a post you want to skip. I'd probably skip it myself.

I just don't understand it. I don't, and I don't want to. I have worked with a lot of small children and I know that emotional abuse and physical abuse are horrible, decimating the life of a child.  I also think that sexual abuse is the most insidious form, the effects of which change the course of the child's life forever. Many years ago I briefly worked in the psychiatric unit of a large hospital system in Arizona. With one exception, every single person admitted to the Eating Disorders unit had a history of sexual abuse. There was likely to be additional history of family dysfunction, other problems and instability but those factors were a variety. The one constant was sexual abuse. With all the girls I have worked with in the past on their "behavioral problems" it is far more the exception to see a girl who has never been raped, molested and sexually abused.

A story broke in the local news this week. A woman was arrested for using her own 3 children to create child pornography for distribution. She sent over 1000 images to a mans phone with the intention that he would put it out there on the internet. She molested her 2 year old in order to photograph it. I can only assume that her motivation was money.
Here is the link.  Police crack child po&rn operation

For some reason, even knowing as much as I have had to know and learn about sexual abuse, this particular case has struck a raw nerve. I don't know why. I usually hear these things and have a wide range of emotions. Anger, disgust, fear. Such sadness for the victims. But that initial feeling of shock, that visceral punched in the gut feeling when you first truly understand what sexual abuse consists of, that was long ago for me.  But this case, I can't get it out of my head. Maybe because the perversion of trust is so astronomical?  The children in this case will be violated for the rest of their lives. These pictures get circulated over and over thru an intricate tangle connecting the perpetrators online. They will be altered to depict even worse violations than occurred in the first place. Perp's will edit themselves into the pictures so it looks as if the crimes were occurring with themselves as the recipient. Things I can't even imagine will be depicted. Once pictures like this hit the world wide web, they are irretrievable. In circulation forever.

The other particular horror I guess must be that it is their mother who hurt them. Mostly the perpetrators of sexual abuse are men and truthfully had I heard this story about a father I would not have been surprised and would probably have forgotten the story before the news was even over. But their mother? Their mother???

This woman. I just cannot imagine.

There is a special corner in hell.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Payback's a b...... pissed off 7 year old

Memories..... may be beautiful and yeeeeeeeeeeeeeet..........
What's too painful to rememmmmmmmmmmmmmmmber......
We simply choose to forgeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet...........*

This has come up before but what the heck. We have issues. Everyone knows we have issues. So.

The girls went last week to spend a few days with my parents down in The South of Wisconsin. They had a great time. So great, that for the first time ever, when I asked Genea on the phone if she was ready to come home she said no. NO! Usually her answer is as guaranteed as a speeding ticket at the end of the month. She is always ready to come home! Anyway, regardless of fun to be had, going on a visit is a change for her and as a rule, she no likey change.

But then! Upon return home what did we find but their grandfather! Visiting with us for several days! They had a great time together and he took them to the zoo and out to eat a bunch of times and then even to the beach. However. While enjoyment was rampant and Grampa is willing to have his face pummeled in fun for seemingly hours, a visitor is a visitor and the one thing Genea likes about visitors is that they leave. Nothing against the visitor, just the fact that they irreverently bring with them change and (all together now) she no likey change.

Wait! There's more!  To top off all this wild amusement as soon as Grampa left late on Sunday afternoon it was time to get ready for summer school to start the next morning. Not at her regular school, not with her regular bus and not at the regular time. Change, change and more change. And She! No! Likey! Change! And while one class is math, the other is cooking and as much as Genea hates change she is equally passionate about her love of food and everything about food.

Most kids who cling voraciously to their schedules will have a fit when the schedule is changed. Maybe the child will wait some and have their fit later that same day, or after they have felt out the change a bit and decided if it was to their liking. Not so with Genea. For whatever reason Genea refuses to be locked in to the ridiculous expectation that she cooperate with standardized fit throwing. She Genea is going to be the most delightful, well- behaved child you ever did see! It may sound odd (but you've grown to expect that haven't you) but I enjoy seeing it. It is not be genuine, it is probably as maladaptive a response as the Wango Tango for her to become a ray of sunshine on the heels of a change that rocks her world off of its axis. I think it is probably because she is so happy to be home and back to her routine that the gladness bubbles off of her for several days. Even a week.

But Then! She remembers! She no likey change! And who pray tell is responsible for all of those changes? Aha! Mama and Daddy are the center of the universe and in charge of everything! So. Payback begins. Genea turns into an emaciated mosquito, buzzing at me constantly. Incessantly. Doing anything and everything in her power to work me over. Ever want to see freshly, deliberately, vomited Italian sausage and green beans? Because it is vile. Now you know. What's that....what's that smell? Mmm, marinated daytime pee clothes that have sat all over my furniture. Who drew on the..... oh never mind. Just clean it up.

Usually we have to see this through to an explosion. We can redirect, ignore, distract, whatever great tricks exist, we try them all. Medium tricks and sucky tricks, we try those too. It'll fade though, and the fading comes about so much faster than it used to. Sometimes you have to be reminded of the past to appreciate how far you have come. Not so for me, I was appreciative! I swear!

*quoted from lyrics to "The Way We Were" by Barbra Streisand

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another great thing about blogs....

So I think in ten years or so my kids will be able to take a print out of my blog to their respective therapists to prove their dysfunction is not their fault. They will have reams of documentation of the crazy childhoods they had. I picture Teena pointing to page 217 saying, "see, my Mom made me eat taco's even though the cheese was wrong! I told her only yellow cheese and she put the off-white ivory cheese on there anyway!". Genea of course, will be able to point to page 492 to say "see, that's the only day she was a normal Mom in all these pages!". Myself in ten years, I expect to be drooling in an Ativan haze in front of a repeat loop of Wheel of Fortune mumbling incessantly about how they used to have a display of prize rooms with tacky ceramic dog umbrella stands and green glass ashtrays to pick from.

While I am providing my children with a kindly service, I just discovered another reason blogs are a good thing. Documentation. Of other people. The first day of summer school we got the girls to the bus stop on time and sent them on their way. Happily. *ahem*. Three hours later the school calls me to find out why Genea was not in attendance.


She SHOULD be in attendance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She BETTER be in attendance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, the caller says, I'm sorry, she is here. She went to the wrong building at first but we walked her up to the right building and she is there.

AAAAAAAARGH!!!! Talk about a panic! This has happened once before, that the school called asking where Genea was when she was there with them the whole time. Last year for summer school they did not put her on the bus at all, they forgot, and so I wrote her bus route on her arm with a big black Sharpie the next day. But, what's worse is that last fall they actually did lose her. Genea being five years old at the time got confused on the bus and was not sure what stop to get out so she just stayed on. I'm sure she panicked and froze, unable to move or speak and so she went for an extended ride. This is what happened.

I have it all down now. It's on the blog.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Slow going around here!

I do not have much to say! It has been slow going around here lately. The girls finished school about a week and a half ago. They went to stay for a vacation at my parents house, which was great, and they did not get kicked out early. Then, their other grandfather has been visiting from out- of- state. He, like his wife, insists on renting only the smallest possible car available. He, his wife, and their son (The Husband) are large people. Therefore there is never room in the car for me once you stuff 2 child seats into a car the size of a tomato paste can. Feel my sadness and pain. *Ahem*. So I have had some nice time to myself, which is always lovely and I am very grateful. However, all alone I have no one to tell stories about! Summer school starts tomorrow and goes for a few weeks, then I have Damien's twin sisters here full time until September. Woo.

Of note, the ugly pick up truck belonging to Jack Ass across the street has not been seen for several days now and there is a red suv there instead. Two thoughts, Jack sold his noisy, large, penis enhancement pick up truck or he has moved away and The Skank rapidly replaced him. Here's hoping!

Genea had an awful night a few ago. Talking, and moaning and calling out, just clearly having bad dreams and couldn't shake them. She got up and came in and laid down with me for awhile and went back to bed better. The next day I told her about all the talking she was doing and asked her if she knew what she was saying. She told me, with all the scorn of a proper teenager, "No, I couldn't hear it because I was asleep".  HA! Good point kid!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One step forward.....

I think that we turned a corner with Genea late last year and while we had a serious dive around mid- January she did turn it back around in mid- February. The change was so noticeable that I could even pinpoint the date. Like a switch had been flipped, Genea was suddenly and abruptly able to handle minor disappointments that for years would send her careening into hysteria. Instead of The Crazy transitioning into the Wango Tango 5 times a day, she became able to accept an answer she did not like by brushing it off and saying, maybe next time. It feels finally, like we are taking one step forward.... then another.... and another.

There were no changes that I could figure out that might have triggered the switch. I flip these things over and over in my mind until I come up with something that makes sense. For me, it's like winning a massive plinko game when I stumble on to the reasons something is occurring. Aha, suddenly all those pieces that had been bouncing around and flopping randomly, fall into place. My best guess might sound odd and improbable. Genea was with the other family that disrupted their adoption for about 2 years and 9 months. The time frame in February coincides with her having been with us for about 2 years and 9 months.

For one thing, the Wango Tango has almost disappeared. Those episodes of shrieking, primal hysteria that could go on all day 5 or 6 days a week are happening once every few weeks now. That crying, oh my gosh that crying- the infantile emergency wailing cry at the decibel level of a jackhammer, that pierces your brain your ears and your soul, has not come back. And The Crazy, those times when any tiny diversion from Genea's imagined itinerary would grant us such a disproportionate response that you were left wondering just exactly whose brain it is that is malfunctioning. The Crazy, the oppositional force dedicated to undermining any and all attachment, it's gone. Not to say it couldn't come back but so far it hasn't.

She has been sick. In the past few months, Genea has been sick with a cold. She's playing and trying to pretend. She is playing with her dolls and awkwardly taking care of them. She has not slept on the floor.

When I was gathering up my documentation for court in March, to show that Genea's former adoptive father living across the street from us is emotionally abusive to her, I got copies of her psychiatric notes. In them it was written that Genea's diagnosis includes Reactive Attachment Disorder- resolving. I think that's true. Finally, it is finally becoming true and the RAD is fading.

Sometimes at night The Husband sits with the girls and they watch a few movies. He recently got them "Snoopy Come Home"- do you know this movie? In it, Snoopy has to leave to go stay with a sick little girl in the hospital. He later has to move away from Charlie Brown and go live with her. The kids all throw him a sad, sobbing, going away party. While watching it, Genea cried. She cried, a real cry. Feeling the emotions, sympathy and sorrow, for poor Snoopy and Charlie Brown (Snoopy does get to go back home). It affected her so strongly. She didn't laugh, she didn't ignore it. She didn't find something to fidget with or poke at or knock over. She had a genuine reaction. This, I think, is the strongest sign I have that things are turning around for her. Stuff is still there, and we have plenty of stuff to work on and work through but this post is about the steps forward and we have some.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ow! Dang!

OKAY Y'all, you don't have to hurt a person! Stop hitting! I will tell another cute kid story already, sheesh! You don't have to beat me up, I'll do it.

I know, cute kid stories get old quick. But I don't think I tell that many and anyhow this is a "Mommy blog". See look up, it even says the word "Mommy" in my title. I can't help that my kids are funny any more than I can help that they are often in need of an exorcism. It is what it is.

At dinner tonite, the girls were talking about their Daddy. Since there are 3 of us girls and only one of him, we have frequent conversations about how that matches up. The girls were talking about how we need our Daddy around and Teena said "Yeah because we need someone smart".

Ugh, I thought, but managed with near Olympic force and determination to keep myself from making a sarcastic comment. The Daddy popped a huge grin onto his egghead face and threw me a smirk across the table. He knew that kind of comment would make me want to scream. But I didn't. It might have required a crowbar to retrieve my rolled eyes from the back of my head but whatever. Anyway, Genea had something to add too.

"And we need someone to kill stuff for us!".

Ha ha ha, smirk removed.

(yes, this is two posts in one day!)

Magic and Logic Meet

Kids are so funny. Their little brains take things in and file them away, in order to bring them back out when it seems they might fit. Teena was watching the "Tinkerbell" movie today, much to my own personal horror and desire to vomit. In the beginning of the movie is a scene where one of the random little fairies pushes open a window and  flies out of it. Teena makes a comment about how illogical that is.

How could that tiny fairy push open that big window? she asks me. 
Mmmm, I said, magic.
3 cheers for the answer that covers everything when you are five years old.
Oh yeah, she said, like in a magic wand.
Yup, that must be it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Procrastination Thursday.....

In case you use a reader you should know that there were a couple of late entries on this week's Too True Tuesday, so go and read them and check them out. AND, don't forget to  comment so people know you were there!

2 people successfully procrastinated their posts until the day after, so that would be worth a prize if I weren't going to obviously procrastinate getting it. AND, I may never use the word "procrastinate" again!

I cooked yesterday, so I need to go and lay down now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Too True Tues(day) , Your Shameful Procrastinations

Hey guess what day it is??? Tuesday. It's Tuesday. Which means, if my math is typically done incorrectly, I missed a week of Too True Tues and am making it up today! Yippee, here we are. TTT is your chance to tell it like it is. Forget Supermom, I strive to be Generally Adequate on Most Days. Tell the truth about your life and come clean. Sing it loud, sing it proud, sing the truth about your Shameful Procrastinations.

This week's topic is.... what do you leave until the last minute. What things do you hate to do so much that you would rather your child perform root canal on you. (shivers!) For me, this will come as no surprise to anyone even people who have never met me, housework crap. I hate it. I have always hated it and I always will. Here's the thing though, I have discovered that my preference for reading blogs, researching childhood mental illness and trauma, checking email, checking the news and yes, checking TMZ, this all makes me an addict. So, I am working on it and hope to find a way to monetize that *ahem* disability soon.

Turns out, according to the New York Times which I think of as reputable for sure, a preference for using the internet instead of doing housework makes one an addict. Here are some clicky things that prove it. An Ugly Toll of Technology: Impatience and Forgetfulness. I can offer to skip through all the mean things they say about the internet for you and get to the point since we all have such a delirious inability to focus on... you know... stuff.... Here is the quote....

"We do spend a lot of time with our devices, and some studies have suggested that excessive dependence on cellphones and the Internet is akin to an addiction. Web sites like offer self-assessment tests to determine if technology has become a drug. Among the questions used to identify those at risk: Do you neglect housework to spend more time online? Are you frequently checking your e-mail? Do you often lose sleep because you log in late at night? If you answered “often” or “always,” technology may be taking a toll on you."

Did you see that? Right there, it asks do you neglect housework to spend more time online? Listen here researchers of America, obviously none of you have ever worked as a stay at home mom. I neglect housework in favor of just about anything! I neglected all kinds of housework to read your damn article! And yes by the way, I will be posting this at midnight instead of sleeping. Seriously. Seriously?

Back to my post. What is starting to shine at the top is laundry. See, my problem with laundry is that it is redundant. I have always disliked doing things over. I like to believe I make a darned good effort the first time. Try my best and be done with it. Mmmmm. I also did not mind laundry when I just did my own. But now I am doing laundry for three people and it makes me irritated because I'll be sorting through stuff thinking, but I just did this! Ugh, I just saw these little oompa loompa sized jeans last week! And the week before! Etc.! Now I leave laundry go until the last possible second. Put it this way, socks are walking to the washer themselves. Of course The Husband is worse. He has been known to go buy new socks rather than do his laundry. He also used to believe it acceptable in modern society to wear two black socks. Any pattern, any size, any shade as long as both socks were black he thought he was good. Sigh. My job has been a long and arduous one people.

So there you have it. I procrastinate housework and therefore have an internet addiction. I really put off doing laundry until the clothes jump in themselves (hey, now wouldn't that be a trick hmmm...). To play TTT you go to your blog and tell everyone you are participating in Too True Tuesday Your Shameful Procrastinations at The Accidental Mommy. You tell your story and then come back and link up using Mr. Linky there so everyone else can read you airing your dirty laundry (HA!). So, GO!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Unholy Denial

Turns out Teena is out of school tomorrow. Genea the day after.

Crap that came fast.

Seems someone asked me about it last week, when the last day was in our district. I wasn't sure and told the person I didn't want to think about it too early. I guess the time is here to think about it.


Tomorrow is Tuesday and our topic for Too True Tues(day) is..... what do you procrastinate? What do you avoid until the last minute?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If Nothing Sticks to Teflon How Does Teflon Stick to the Pan?

It's possible I should have put TM in the post title or something like that. Dear Teflon People, I was not sure.

I've been had. Been had by the RAD. How cute of me to rhyme. To be fair to myself and save some enormous embarrassment, I had taken these certain things into consideration before and I thought I was probably on the right track. Then time kept on ticking ticking ticking into the future and I forgot all about it as Genea started school last fall.

Everyone lean over and grab your Nancy Thomas book. "When Love is not Enough a Guide to Parenting Children with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)". Yes, the purple one. Now, turn to page 21 and read #17. Paraphrased ...."they refuse to speak clearly....many of them are in speech therapy for years with a caring teacher".  Then check on page 36 under Unclear Speech. "Children who whisper, mumble or run their words together in order to get the parent to bend down and say 'what' over and over wear parents out and are not learning clear communication skills" .

After about a year of advocating for Genea to be evaluated by a Speech Pathologist, I was finally able to get her seen at school. They do testing and then they have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting, to decide if she qualifies for therapy at school. These are the tests that she had:.

Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test
Test of Language Development Primary 4
Language Processing Test

The primary issue with her speech is the halting quality that it has. Since starting first grade, it has gotten worse and she has long pauses between words. Sometimes she trails off and can't seem to find the word at all. I did not think it sounded like stuttering and it also did not seem to be made worse by anxiety or stressful situations.

These are some of the areas that were evaluated:
  • Expressive Language
  • Receptive Language
  • Picture Vocabulary
  • Relational Vocabulary
  • Oral Vocabulary
  • Syntactic Understanding
  • Sentence Imitation
  • Morphological Completion
  • Word Discrimination
  • Spoken Language
  • Listening
  • Organizing
  • Speaking
  • Grammar
  • Semantics
  • Associations
  • Categorizations
  • Similarities
  • Differences
  • Multiple Meanings
  • Attributes

Note that Genea's articulation has always been reasonably on track and so language has been much more the concern.

So, what were the results? Genea is normal. Average to low- average. Seriously. We had our little meeting and the SLP told me when they see this much consistency across that many tests, it indicates that she is functioning as well as she can. Hmmm, I said, starting to recall certain passages in a certain purple book. I threw out a few questions about possible neurological causes to try to make myself sound smarter.

Guess what else..... guess where she had the biggest strength.............


To which I said........


Listening, you say. A strength. Huh. How 'bout that.

Once I got home from my panic ridden IEP meeting where it was of course determined that she does not qualify for extra assistance primarily because she does not need it, I took the time to set up a situation. Genea would talk on and on, in her halting and pausing pattern and I looked away every once in awhile. Without fail, every time I randomly looked away---- SHAZAM she thought up the word and kept on going fluently. Sigh. Double sigh.

The good news is though, despite all of the neglect, trauma and medical instability in her life, she is normal-ish!!!! I'll take it!


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