Making parenting mistakes since 2008

No I am not

Yesterday soon after Fudge and Ramona left for school my phone beeped, it was Calvin messaging me. He led with a comment about ” why was I so mean to people” and it went down hill from there. He carried on about how horrible I was for awhile and when I told him I was not going to respond to his abusive statements anymore he made a few more comments and then stopped.

One of the things he brought up in his rant is how I stopped letting him into our home when he missed curfew and came home in the middle of the night because he feels that I should of let him in. He neglects to recall that this went on for months and once I did stop letting him in I did make sure that he had a safe place to go for the night and that the social worker involved in our family was totally on-board with this strategy. It may of not been the best idea ever but we drew a line in the sand and explained our choice to him again and again but he still is unable to see or acknowledge that all he needed to do was come home by curfew or communicate with me about where he was and when he would be home.  Instead he is using as a way to complain about what a bad parent I am and one of the many ways that I have wronged him.

I think that is the hardest part of dealing with his mental illness and attachment disorder is that he is unable and unwilling to acknowledge that his choices impact his world. Everything is my fault. I am his punching bag and every time he is unhappy with anything he takes it out on me. Intellectually I know that it is not me, I know that I have done my best and that love and all the years of therapy were just not enough for him but emotionally he rips my heart out and steps on every single time he verbally attacks me. It takes every ounce of self control I have to remain calm and not to freak out and rant back at him.

There is no page, no chapter, no anything for what to do when your child becomes abusive to you. I would not put up with behaviour from a partner or friend but because he is my child I am expected to take it, to be resilient and strong and to keep on loving him. I do love him but I have zero desire to be with him in any capacity and the thought of him coming home at any point sends in a full blown panic. It is so very hard, impossible even to acknowledge that parenting him has led me to a place where I feel as though being with him for any length of time would be the hardest thing I have had to do in years.

 

November 29, 2017   No Comments

From Crisis to Crisis

I love pinball machines, really old ones with actual buttons and paddles and million lights. I could waste a pocket full of change playing them, happily pushing those buttons and flinging those balls from paddle to paddle. The various themes amuse me, the lights and sounds are familiar and comforting, they remind me of the 80’s and of a smaller calmer world.

Lately Pinball has been a pretty good analogy to explain things. I feel as though I am pinball machine ball between paddles and in a giant pinball ball game full of children’s crises. One of my kids is always in crisis it seems and although there are calm patches they are small and filled with the repercussions of the last crisis.

This week Fudge ran away, again. This is not a new behaviour, it is one both Fudge and Calvin have used extensively to try to cope with things that they find overwhelming. This time he was missing for close to 24 hours and he was found quite by accident because someone who knew he was missing saw him. He had mad no attempt to contact us, no attempt to get help, he just wandered the streets all night scared and alone because he could not make a plan to fix the situation he had gotten himself into. It was horrible, it is always horrible when one of them is not where they are supposed to be. Once we had him home we had to pick up the pieces and the running away stemmed from school issues that were underlying things that have continued to blow up all week long. Fudge just does not understand why other teens will not be as forgiving of his behaviour as he would be of theirs.

Ramona creates drama daily, 11 and puberty is killing me. It’s all stuff I can handle but it is so exhausting have to keep your eyes on a kid at all times. She is stealing, sneaking and lying to the best of her ability and I think she gets away with a lot at school that no one even notices. I have been to her rodeo but I was hoping this 3rd trip might be a little less exhausting.

And then there is Calvin who messaged me last night to ask for stuff that we have here in the house that he has decided he has to have. It is stuff I am not going to let a transient 17 year old have, stuff I have saved from when he was a kid and stuff that is not just his but also has been shared with his siblings. When I said he could not have it and explained why he told me yet again that ” he is not my child and it I can control him”. This is his new mantra, I am not his parent and yet he messages me to demand the things that I have saved for him from all the years that he lived here and the memories we built together. He doesn’t seem to understand that he if he hateful and mean to me I am not likely to do the things he asks and there doesn’t seem to be a way to get him to understand that. He is not living in our home, I have million mixed feelings about what has happened with him and am trying hard to work on process it but when he says things like that I just go straight to mad.

Its all chaos all the time and I know that the kids thrive on the chaos, I know their brains think that the chaos is normal but the banging around like a pinball could stop for a bit and that would be ok. I think we would all be able to remember how it feels.

 

November 17, 2017   No Comments

so in addition to the whole this is my normal post

I have been parenting since the summer of 2008 and I am so very tired. Not in a “parenting is hard” kind way. Not in a “I wish this was different” way but in a  weary to my core way that is not changing.  Weary in a way that when one of children does something like hides my shoes it sends me over the edge and I contemplate fantastical options like boarding schools as a solution ( yes I know it is not so don’t start)  to all my problems because I really do not want to keep at this for this another minute let alone for more years.

I am tired of the line of sight supervision. I am so over the stealing, lying and manipulating. I am done with pee. Triangulated teachers, hidden food, and gas lighting can all be left in the past as I want to move into a world where people enjoy being together and have relationships that are not always focused on healing and restoring relationships. Where people can watch kids play and not worry about what is being whispered and if kids are being sexually inappropriate or sharing information that is designed to exclude a sibling or friend from the group so they can be the center of attention.

I love my kids but I feel like I am facing a sentence where I count the days until I am legally free and clear. When I sit back and actually think about how often I feel this way it makes me sad that this is my reality. I’m tired of all the adoption storied where everyone talks about all the joy but no one is talking about when love is not enough. No one is talking about what happens when you 16 year old packs their bags and moves out because that is easier for them then them getting the mental health help you are saying they have to have.

This is not what I thought I would be doing when I became a parent in 2008.

November 10, 2017   No Comments

Normal?

I was talking to someone last week about some of Ramona’s antics, I often refer to her as my easy kid and she had gotten kicked off the bus, created some chaos at a birthday party that spilled over into school and then tried to make some other kids feel as bad as she did. While I was rambling on and laughing about how ludicrous it all was the other persons eyes got big. They had been parenting a long time and they had never ever encountered behaviour like I was talking about in any of their kids.

I guess when your version of normal involves having video cameras and door alarms in your home so you can keep everyone safe your reality tends to become a little skewed after awhile. But this is our normal and although it exhausts me and I am so very tired of chaos I often forget that everyone does not live like this. I forget that other families are able to do fun things and not have it end in melt downs or kids asking to go sit the car because their sibling is excluding them and they can’t cope. I forget that tantrums from older kids might not involve smashed dishes or calls to the police when someone doesn’t come home after storming out the front door in a rage and isn’t home by curfew.

The version of normal in my house is exhausting. It has worn me down and there is very little joy found in parenting right now. I try to find it, some days I try to create it or to build it in so that I can feel some joy with my kids who are at home but it is so hard because I have little motivation to do so because it so often ends in disaster. It is easier to let them watch TV and entertain themselves while I hide in my room binge watching Netflix so that we do not have manage functioning in the world outside our home. I know I am not alone, I know other families who are doing the very same thing, trapped in their homes because it is just easier that way.

This is not what I thought I would be doing 10 years after I started parenting, this is not what I planned but this is where I am.

November 6, 2017   No Comments

And so very much has happened.

I have kept this space, paid for the domain year after year because I was not sure that I was ready to be done here, I was not sure if I wanted to say good-bye to this little corner of my world and to all that it contained. In the last few months the desire to come back here has weighed heavily on me because I used this place as a spot to process feelings and there is a lot of processing going on in my world. I also know that in my own processing there is so much that can be learned from others and so much that I can share, a reminder that although I do feel terribly alone at times I truly am not.

In the last 6 months Calvin has left our home, he is now 17 and there is a story there that will come out with time but to say that it has been hell would be putting it mildly. Fudge is struggling in huge ways with choices Calvin has made, the choices we have made as parents and with being a teen a who has experienced all that he has in his life. We are hanging on by a thread moving from one crisis to the next begging for help and services where there are none and hoping that we make it. Ramona has not been untouched by the drama and trauma that has ( and continues to) unfolded in our home, she adds to in her own ways and withdraws from it in others.  She also misses Calvin and adjusting to him not being in our home has been very hard for her.

I have been left feeling as though I have been broken. I am working at putting the pieces back together but the process of having Calvin go last spring was devastating and as we tried and tried to get help and were turned away again and again I became very hopeless. I felt like we worked so hard and that no matter what we did love was just never going to be enough. It was a hard place to be, not wasn’t, is.  It is a hard place to be, because I am still very much in that place and I know that even though I love my children and have surrounded them with people who love them and have met all their physical needs it still might not be enough to heal them.

So here I am, a much different Mom than when I started this place but I need it as much now as I did then. I am going to keep it real, to be honest about parenting adopted teens with mental health issues, about adoption breakdown, about openness with birth families and the lack of support for families struggling like ours. Happy to have you if want to read along.

November 3, 2017   No Comments

Monday Moments.

  • Hey look I came back, amazing I know.
  • Things continue to be super busy.
  • The kids  had a calmer week, well most of them did, which was good, calm is good.
  • Dealing with a teenager who rages and get violent is really more than I would like to deal with most days and considering that only happened once this week I call it calm.
  • The girl child can swear long and loud enough to make a sailor blush, she did some of that this week too but it’s nothing like it used to be.
  • I am dealing with some super annoying and exhausting auto-immune issues and would really prefer that I just sail through life perfectly healthy because it would make things so much easier.
  • Winter is still here and if this damn snow doesn’t leave soon I am going to explode. I need to be outside and I need more sun.
  • I have managed to convince work to give me the summer off so I do not have to deal with finding childcare, this is a really good thing for everyone involved.
  • I am looking super forward to a 2 week vacation is Massachusetts this summer and some time with some of my dearest friends camping with all of our small people in tow.
  • I am quickly running out of minutes on my parking meter and my coffee cup is empty which says to me that it is time to get moving.
  • I’ve missed this space, I am excited to back into the swing of things but it might take some time before I come up with anything other than posts like this.

April 7, 2014   No Comments

But I wanna

I wanna be blogging but there is just so much to do everyday and there are just not enough hours…. wah.

But I miss this, I miss writing, I need and want to make time to do it. I am going to try really hard to make time. It might not be often and it might not be great but it will be done.

We are all alive, we have come through some rough patches with the kids who continue to grow and change even thought I keep asking them to stop getting so darn big. Those small smiling boys in my header photos have deep voices, pimples and often smell like teenagers. The small girl child is still small although she is rapidly getting bigger and stronger and will not be be a little girl for long.

Life is always busy, this week someone got busted for smoking at school and let me assure you it was not Ramona. Work is good and I am thrilled to be snuggling babies all day, they are a great way to start people off. My kids  (who come to work everyday after school)  like them too and it is good for them to see what little people need to develop and it gives us a chance to talk about some of things they missed. I love the schools the kids are at and am happy that we made the choice to deal with the driving so that they could go to better schools that could meet their needs.

I have worked on lots of post adoption support pieces and that is one of the many reasons I feel the need to be blogging, people are still reading here, still looking for answers and I feel that those of us who are walking on this path might as well be doing it together. So I am going to try to write, to vent and use this as a place where adoptive parents can be reminded that they are not alone

We are alive and we are well enough and we will get up tomorrow and start again.

March 29, 2014   No Comments

Monday Moments

  • looks like I am still not back into this blogging thing… not sure what that means
  • that being said we have survived almost a whole month of this new life of ours.
  • It is super busy though and getting bronchitis did not help matters in any way, shape or form.
  • I am finally on the mend though.
  • Currently I am trying to bend time so that I can have about 3 extra hours each day,  it is not working unless I sleep less and since I have been sick that is not really an option.
  • There is so much going on in the kids lives and in my life that I don’t even know where to start.
  • I really want to make time for this again but I am feeling like I might be done as well…
  • I do make time for facebook though, so if you want to be friends in real life to keep with out antics i will not think you are crazy if you send me an email and ask me who I am in the real world. Honest.

September 30, 2013   No Comments

Monday Moments – once again

  • I’m back, did you even notice I was gone….
  • We traveled over 13,000km this summer and went all the way to the west coast and back.
  • We arrived home mid August but things quickly became crazy here.
  • I know you are so surprised, crazy here, never
  • Our travels were fantastic, we saw lots of friends, made new ones and enjoyed tons of time together.
  • There was one day near Chicago where I was ready to leave someone on the side of the road but other than that we all did really well considering how far we traveled.
  • .I had the immense privilege of going to NACAC which was fantastic and just what I needed after all that time alone with my kids.
  • If you know me in real life you know that they are crazy because I applied for, interviewed for and then accepted a job in the big city near to us.
  • This means a 1 hour commute each way.
  • But I get to snuggle toddlers all day and I love toddlers so it is totally worth the drive.
  • It also means all my kids are going to school and since today is the day before school starts here there have been lots of big, huge, messy feelings.
  • They are all going to survive though.
  • So am I…. or so I keep telling myself.
  • 5:30 comes really early though.
  • I really wanted to check in here though and say that we are alive and although you are not commenting wordpress stalks you for me so I know that you are coming and reading and I wanted to say that we were alive and well.
  • Enjoy September, wherever it may lead you.

September 2, 2013   No Comments

on our way

Posting has been sporadic here for so long, sorry. I want to write, I want to make time but there is so little it seems. I have so many started and not finished posts it is not even funny.  Although finding time is hard, to be honest, things have been so hard around here I am not sure what to say or how to say it. I want to respect my aging kids privacy and yet I think that there are things to be learned from sharing. While I work on figuring that out in my head you can acknowledge that I am indeed crazy as I am about to leave on a 6 week road trip with my three kids in tow.  Winnipeg ,Sylvan Lake, Victoria, near Seattle and then back through the states ending up at the NACAC conference in Toronto in August.  We leave bright and early tomorrow morning.

What doesn’t kill you….

June 25, 2013   No Comments