This session began with a surprise. The DHR SW showed up at our session to sign all of the release forms.. a good thing but another reminder that Middle-One is not in our custody and we are not in charge.
An even stronger reminder when the SW sits in the presence of your entire family and berates your child for the unkempt appearance of his hair...... ummmmmmm EXCUSE ME!!!!!!!!
I find it unpleasant to sit and watch someone else "parent" my child. In fact, it's offensive. I remind myself that she doesn't have children and therefore doesn't know what it's like to sit in my seat.
After SW left we were able to begin... The usual; Middle came in and took off his shoes to reveal that he did not wear socks today. We all had to discuss that choice and I ended up telling him that I would bring some really cute socks for him next week if he should forget again. (hehehe)
We assumed the position... Mr. T on the left of the couch, me on the right and Middle laying across our laps with his head resting on a pillow. This gives me the opportunity to hold him and make eye contact without him being able to avoid me too much.
We began again with his birth story... always with the birth story. The more it is discussed the less powerful. secretive and mysterious it can be in the mind of the adoptee... so we discuss it again and again.
AT went to discussing the mad feeling that Middle had revealed at the last appointment. He had said the reason he did all the things he did was because he was mad. She began walking him through his emotions from pre-birth. He asked him... Sad,Mad, Scared or Glad for every stage; birth, placement one, placement two... etc. They were mostly mad, except when he threw in a "glad" when it was obviously not a "glad", just to mix things up.
Middle kept trying to divert to other subjects. He got to getting in trouble at school and being bullied. AT grabbed her notebook and expertly (I mean she is impressive) and routed him right back to the mad feelings. She asked him how things happened when the kids at school were messing with him. As he told her she created a chain analysis (A chart used to promote cause & effect thinking). She tracked out everything that happened to create the incident and then asked him why he got in trouble at school...
"I don't know"
"You can't say I don't know"
"But I really don't know"
"What did you do?"
"Nothing, it was because they keep messin with me"
"And what do you do when they mess with you?"
"And what do you do when you get mad"
"Yell at them"
"And then what happens?"
"I get in trouble"
"So, Middle, (she uses her pencil to point to the correct box on the chart) what did *YOU* do to get in trouble"
"NOTHING! Those kids got me in trouble by messin with me"
We went through this a few times, each time the AT worded it a little differently, explaining how his choice of response was getting him in trouble and helping him realize there were other choices... but each time he just couldn't make the connection to his choice... hopefully one day he will.
AT turned it all back to the beginning of his life and talked to him about being a baby and being mad. She went through each placement and explained how as a baby, he was born only knowing his birth mom. He knew her sound and smell and feel. It is natural that he would expect her to be there and would look for her. AT explained how at each place he went to he looked for his birth mom and how this made him feel. Using the emotions he had given her earlier she brought him up into the present explaining that he is STILL a mad baby inside and is still looking for his birth mom ad that's why he doesn't want to let me be his mom.
We were surprise when Middle got emotional. He began to go on about school but then talked about his foster home and how difficult it is for him to be told one thing there and another at our house. He also said he just wanted to be with us... then he said he just wanted to live in a facility... this went back and forth but the one one consistency was that he did NOT want to be at the foster home. He curled into me and cried and I held him and wiped away his tears... this NEVER happened the first time he went through therapy and we all wondered if it is maturity, healing or the proximity of not being with us on a daily basis that makes us feel "safer" to trust... time will tell.
AT went on to help Middle-One see that while he has trouble at school and at his foster placement, he has not ever, once talked to us about this. He doesn't share any information with us. She explained that if he really wanted help that he needed to tell mid mom and dad. If he didn't tell us we couldn't help him.
The discussion turned to his goals... Asking and Listening. The two hardest things for a child with RAD. But the most important. He needs to ask.. and (really) listen.
After the session we enjoyed family time on the side of the interstate while Mr. T. changed a flat tire. Then we went to grab something to eat and took Middle back to his foster home. No visit this weekend. We are trying to catch up on some things and giving the other boys a stress free break.
Next week is a session for both Middle and Bright-Eyes, and a weekend visit. Can't wait!... can you?