Saturday, August 28, 2010

Up Creek Without a Paddle

Despite all of my good intention and preparation and maneuvering, The Crazy bus has arrived and I think Genea threw herself under it. I KNOW all this is hard for her. She can't take the anticipation of the start of school being close. She can't take it being a long way off either. She can't take it that a change is coming and she can't take it that she can't control it. She is trying and I am trying but ooooooh, there is only so much trying that can be done.

Genea has been getting up in the night and having a buffet. She wanders the house in the dark, takes food from the kitchen and brings it back to her room to eat in her bed.
She is also binge drinking water while everyone is asleep.
She hit me a few days ago.
She threw rocks at me.
She cannot walk, she can only stomp.
She tried to trick her sister into taking some of her medication.
She is stealing. Then, she is lying.
She pea'd on herself at the park.
She pea'd on my couch.
Then she pea'd on her bed.
She is enjoying some extended time with the Wango Tango. We all are.

She is a train wreck and there is nothing I can do about it until school actually starts and the anxiety of waiting is over. In the meantime, I am trying not to hold Teena back, but Genea's losing out too. I know this is something that everyone struggles with. Genea was having an awful day, but I had told Teena we would go to the park. So, we went. Then rather quickly, we left. I needed to take them both out for school shoes, but by the time I could do it Genea was in no condition to go along. So, I took Teena after The Husband got home and she got really cool shoes and I picked out Genea's for her.

I hate this. I hate that she is having such a serious regression. Yesterday we were sitting on the couch together reading and having a good conversation. It was the best part of that day honestly. Suddenly Genea flew up and raced to the bathroom and when she came back she asked me to help her with her pants button. Well she can do that button easily but I agreed to help her anyway and as she came near I could smell the urine on her. She lied but later admitted (when faced with the wet evidence) that she had already pea'd on the couch when she jumped up. I sent her to her room to lay down for awhile and when I checked on her later I found her laying on her side sucking on her fingers. It was warm in her room and her little curls were stuck to her sweaty face. Her eyes were vacant, the "dead eyes" that kids with reactive attachment disorder often get when they are scared or stressed. My stomach clenched into a rock that has not let up. It's times like this that I realize just how seriously disturbed she really is. It's terrifying. And I hate it but I wonder, can she ever come out the other side of all this? Will we ever get her through it? She wouldn't make eye contact or even respond to me. I discovered that she had pea'd in her bed as well. She got that cleaned up, but she never really snapped out of it until this morning.

And you know what else I hate? I hate that my "baby" Teena is starting kindergarten and I can't even mourn that like a normal person. She is having her little stresses too and has been edgy, prone to outbursts and miscellaneous fits. The vast majority of my brain is focused uselessly on trying to keep a calm going for both kids and I don't have anything left to waste on silly stuff like feeling sad that my littlest little girl is moving on with such a huge childhood milestone.

This *should* all calm down once school starts. If nothing else I will be better able to take on The Crazy after getting a break from it. Then, I can breathe.


  1. Oh Essie, your line about hervacant eyes and tbs the curls stuck to her forehead totally got me and I so get exactly what you mean. Hang in there, we are in the home stretch and you are doing everything you can to get her to ther side, she'll get there. Go find some chocolate & self medicate to get you through the next few days

  2. Ohhhh, do I hear you. The girls' therapist is always telling me to not look very far ahead in Princess's life.

    And I'm always feeling like my younger ones are getting the shaft. Ugh.

  3. When does school start? Would it help at all for YOU to start now? Put your school morning routine back together, drive to school and play on the playground, visit the new classroom, and come home for lunch? Do some "homework" every night?

    Maybe not. But...maybe?

    Big hugs to you. And kisses right on those sweaty curls. And, YEA, T! KINDERGARTEN!!!

  4. I like Kate's idea. Hang in there! You'll get some free time in which to regroup very soon.

  5. Oh Essie...I'm so sorry to hear this. Hang in there...

  6. Oh poor little girl what she has been through in her lifetime.

    I am reading the book The Boy Raised as a Dog. Have you ever heard of it? It is about how early trauma affects a child's brain, and affects everything they do. How the way they react to things as a result of that trauma becomes as natural as us driving a car. It is very interesting. It is by Bruce Perry, he has done some very interesting studies on how the brain develops. He has also written Born For Love, which I am reading next.


  7. What made me think of that book was the way you described her when you came into her room, and it is so much like a little girl in the book.

  8. Oh my. August/Sept is our tough time too (trauma anniversary). Chocolate. It is more portable than a sensory deprivation tank and an IV stand and a slowwww drip of valium. Believe me, I've tried. My mini-van wannabe isn't big enough. Chocolate is the way to go. School routine will help (or at least give you a little break during the day to recharge your super-mom powers.)Hugs!

  9. Maury- I have heard of that book, I am going to get it.
    Kate, that's a good idea. We have our clothes picked out and are meeting teachers, finding rooms and lockers tomorrow. But, we haven't been getting up earlier or moving more towards the routine as it will be.
    I know I am reading a lot of blogs where the kids are blowing up. I wish there was a magic wand!
    Ya know, I've been sucking down a lot of chocolate as it is... I've moved into ice cream and donuts too.... it's not doing me any favors on the outside but it TASTES great at the time!!!

  10. So sorry for her and you (and Teena). Those eyes, those vacant RAD eyes. How I hate them.

    When P has had his regressive spells, we've gone back to all our basics, as I'm sure you're doing: tapping, mini-tramping (first thing in the morning, usually), lots of variations on the self-affirmations / lies and truths/ etc, as much holding time as he'll tolerate, and lots and lots and lots of breathing. There is a breathing exercise we used to use a lot (he's pretty well mastered the technique, so we don't have to practice it so much now -- we can just tell him to breathe). Have G lie on her back somewhere flat and roomy -- couch or bed. Put one of her favourite stuffed animals on her stomach and tell her to give the animal a ride without making the animal fall off. Her goal is to make the stuffy rise as high as possible by breathing deeply in. Then sink as far as possible by breathing out fully. The presence of the stuffy and trying to make the stuffy not fall off should help her do really good deep relatively slow breaths. It takes tons of practice, so is something you can task her with several times a day for just a few minutes each time. We found this to have a tremendous calming effect in our P, and he never once objected to "having" to do it.

    If you haven't been taking her aside and giving voice to what you imagine her fears might be and what in her background is the explanation for why she experiences the beginning of a new school year with such fears, you might want to try that too. Back in the day, when I would do this with P big huge tears would start to roll silently down his cheeks. (Not fake RAD crying!) It seemed to be a great release for him. Any common experience you have had with fear can be thrown in, or you can find another way to indicate to her that you "get" what she's feeling -- also help her figure out what she's feeling so it can start to be articulated in ways other than peeing.

  11. I was reading 'What is the What' the other day (has nothing to do with attachment; it's an excellent book written by a lost boy) and came upon this:

    "They (those that had killed his family) didn't open the locker again (where he had been hiding)?"
    "They did! They opened it many times, Achak. But this is where my waste was not my enemy, but my friend! Every time they opened the door they gagged, smelling the waste I'd made! It made me so happy. I was punishing the Arab Bast@rds with my waste and it made me proud. Ten times they opened that locker and every time they gagged and they slammed the locker door closed again and I was safe. They kicked the door every time. Those stupid bast@rds. They thought an animal had died in there."

  12. How have you not read "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: yet??

    It's one of my favs and my re-reads. I'm about to loan it to L's teacher.

    If I didn't tell you about it before now, I'm so, so sorry.

  13. I know, I know, I know! I'm sorry that you know too. My youngest is staying more with my parents than here at home currently to keep her away from the wango-tango going on. I hate it. She doesn't understand why she isn't here and when she is, she wants mommy to help her sister stop freaking out. Guilt and irritation an exhaustion and helplessness. I get it, friend, and I have no answers. I do have faith in you and prayers though...

  14. I hate the feeling that we are helpless when they are so out of control. As a mommy, all I want to do is make it better. This should be the age of kissing boo-boos and making it all better, Sigh....

  15. I haven't read that book either, althought our counselor suggested it. Maybe we can have a Bookclub of the Internet.

    We've had the visitation, too - though we had a third anniversary of bringing Ilya home, which seemed to trump that because he got so dysregulated (NOT all that common for him) that he went out and whacked the hood of the van three times with a pipe, scratched the side, for luck, and broke out a light for good measure). Craig was a little bent out of shape, too, since that is the vehicle he drives.

    Anastasia is just full of "I hate you." said whenever she sees me, to which I respond with my little song, "You hate me, but I love you, you hate me but I love you...." sung to a jaunty little tune. I'm probably MAKING her crazy. Who knows?


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