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.