Friday, March 26, 2010

A peek into Attachment Therapy appointment 2

Today we had our first full appointment in Middle-One's second round of Attachment Therapy.

We have been there, done that and got the t-shirt, poster and the limited edition, collector cup. Our AT tells me that I could probably do this therapy (I hope someday to do just that). Our healing kiddos have every event of the therapy emblazoned on their minds. But Middle-One had completely and conveniently forgotten every single detail... including the rules he was reminded of just last week.

So we began...

Middle-One walked in and stood right in the middle of the room. He had to sign some papers (because he is 14 now and that suddenly makes his able to make choices about his treatment) and then was instructed to remove his shoes and join us on the couch. He kicked off his shoes haphazardly and left them laying where they fell and sat in his dad's place on the couch. LOL

We all stopped, redirected him on where to put his shoes and where and how to sit on the couch. Begin again... He placed his shoes neatly to the side and lay down across my and Mr. T's laps. He let his head loll off my lap and complained about how uncomfortable he was. AT asked him what he could do about it and worked with him to remind him that he could ***ASK*** for what he needed and wanted. After a few attempts he finally was able to ask for help in finding a comfortable position.

Then it's back to the rules of therapy. AT asked him to tell her what the rules are.

"What rules"

"the rules of therapy... there are three, what are they"

"I don't know"

"Well you just broke one of them"


"Yes, three rules"


"What are the rules?"

"I don't know"

She expertly and humorously did manage to pry the rules from him.

Then AT asked him again if he wants to get better and have a family (she will keep re-establishing his participation this way). He again, said yes.

AT began..

"Tell me your life story?"

... Middle resumed his "Whose on first" routine...

"What's that?"

"The story of your life"

"What part?"

"All of it, from the beginning"

"When did it begin?"

"Well, I don't know, it's your life... when did it begin?"

"When I was four?"



"You were one when your life began?"

"I don't know"

This would get annoying if AT wasn't so good at injecting humor. She had us all laughing.

The probing went on while Middle-One insisted that he had forgotten his birthmom's name with more "I don't knows" and Mr. T and began to tickle him with every "I don't know" which worked out well because he responded by curling in toward us and laughing.

AT refused to believe that was even possible that birthmom's name had been forgotten, but I was somewhat convinced. But just as I was sliding into total belief, he grinned and said her name...... AT grinned back.

Then she dragged him through the reason he was removed from her care. It was so hard for him to vocalize that he had drugs in his system. So sad to have to face that truth. He mumbled the words but never really pronounced. Some things are so hard to admit... and mothers are not supposed to hurt their babies.

After he had established that he had been born to his birthmom and taken from her and kept a short time to recover form the drugs, we moved into all of the places he has lived.

Foster home, foster home, forever home, hospital, hospital, hospital, RTC (Residential Treatment center), RTC, forever home, hospital, RTC, foster home...

He listed those pretty well. I filled in times and dates as best I could.

Then she asked him why he left his forever home (us) at 6 years old to go to a hospital. He answered...

"I don't know"

*tickle & giggle*

"Well this is your life, what happened?"

"I don't know"

*tickle & giggle*

"There had to have been a reason for you to go to the hospital, what was it?"

I don't know"

*more tickle & giggle but
... he wasn't budging on this one. AT finally asked

"Who would know?"


So AT told him to ask me

"Mommy, why did I go to the hospital?"

I took a deep breath and said

"You were being very aggressive.."

AT stopped me and asked how he was being aggressive... what was he *doing*

She wanted me to be specific and I was using a word that was safe... that didn't really bring back the memories of that time.

I took another deep breath...

"Well, you were throwing things, hitting us, pushing us, biting, kicking... and telling us you were going to kill us"

This still left so much unsaid but all of it was playing out in my mind.


AT responded...

"Why were you doing these things to your family?"

Silence... she repeated...

"Why did you do those things to your family?"

"I don't know"

"You can't say I don't know, it's against the rules"

"I was mad" He whispered

"What were you mad at?"

"I don't know"

Things got more serious. AT began to discuss how serious these things were ... so serious that Middle had to leave and go somewhere else.

No emotion. No remorse. Just quiet matter of fact discussion.

AT moved into the close. She held up the list of places that Middle had been and the things he had done and asked him if he really wanted a family. Really truly wanted a family. She explained how we had been there, caring for him and trying to protect him all along, through each and every hospitalization and treatment facility stay... She told him that for him to be able to come home and join his family that he couldn't do these things and we needed to look at why he was so mad, then and now, so that he could deal with that and be a part of his family.

She asked him to name the family he wanted and he said our name.

Then she told him that his goal this week was that he had to listen and follow instructions. She had him repeat that for her, but he seemed to have trouble spitting out those words so he had to repeat it again and again until he could say it loud enough for his brothers to hear in the other room... it took awhile LOL

Then she dismissed him and he was out of there like a bullet.


J. said...

hopefully the hard woork will pay off. have a great weekend.

Tammy said...

Thank you J., you too :o)