Attachment Therapy Appointment #8
Since last week’s exercise in crowd control worked so well for us, we decided to implement the *Peace Maker* prize once again. We told all of the boys that we would decide, after the session, who showed the best “Leadership” in Peace- Making.
Amazingly, we didn’t hear a sound throughout FOUR hours of therapy!!! What they won’t do for a prize.
We began with the parent/family session. Mr. T, AT and me.
Our first order of business was to go over the plans for the upcoming ISP. AT explained that she wanted to support us so we needed to put together a plan and discuss it. So we brainstormed. She encouraged us to create our “Golden” plan and aim high. That way if it fell short we still might get some of what was want.
There were some specific things we don’t want and AT agrees that they would not be in anyone’s best interest. So we discussed how we might handle those things if presented.
In the end our “Golden” list looked like this…
· Leaving the case open for six months
· Summer day camp and activities with the YMCA, for Middle and Bright.
· In home (if needed) and respite through the AT’s agency to insure communication and RAD parenting knowledge.
· Continued funding for therapy above and beyond the Medicaid minimum.
After the ISP was settled we moved on to how the other kids were doing.
We told AT that Bright had a couple of really frantic days where he kept telling us that he just couldn’t take it anymore. The stress and anxiety were pushing him beyond tolerance. However, when the weekend arrived and Middle joined us, Bright seemed to calm down and was better. She explained that since sometimes the fear is bigger than the actual thing we fear that he was probably building up during the week and needed to talk more. We needed to constantly be “tapping” at his emotional tank to keep it from overflowing and “sloshing” out on all of us.
We also discussed Bright-Eye’s weapon making. AT told us to not allow him to make weapons anymore. He can play with toys and Nerf guns, but no “real” handmade weapons. This may be him trying to protect himself and he really needs to rely on us to protect him.
This is the kid who watches the Military channel for fun. He reads survival guides and looks up the history of weapons. He got excited when I told him there was a school in CO that had a Gun-Making major. Taking his weapons will not be easy.
Then we discussed how possibly due to the level of trauma within the family, that we (parents) might be reacting to Middle-One more or differently, than to the other boys. Wow! She really hit the mark. We talked for a while about how things need to appear the same, even though we might be nervous that Middle will do something and even though we don’t know what Middle has been able to do or not do in his former placements (no communication from care givers). She advised us to recreate family rules and make rules the same for everyone, OR be able to explain why they might be different. But not to allow the playing field to be different levels for each child. We are to be consistently inconsistent.
We discussed Middle’s behavior at school and our belief that he is probably not behaving in his foster home, if he is not behaving well in our home or school. AT agreed that it was probably the case but there is nothing that we can do.
We brought Middle-One in…
After assuming the position, AT had Middle begin with his Birth story. He began going through the events of his life. AT began asking him how he felt. She led up to his adoption and being in our home and began questioning him about his behavior. She asked him why he did what he did. He said he was mad. She asked him why he was mad. He said he didn’t know.
“Why do you think you were that mad”
“I dunno, I was just mad… people get mad”
“At 2 years old you were this tall (she showed how tall he was) but you were biting, breaking things, being oppositional, spitting… Why would you do that?”
“I guess I didn’t get what I wanted”
“All the time?”
“I wasn’t mad all the time”
“Just every time you didn’t get what you wanted?”
“when were you mad”
It went on and on. AT trying to get Middle to say that he was mad he had been deserted and admit that he was extremely mad rather than just moderately mad.
He began to say how he didn’t act like that anymore. AT surprised him by telling him that Yes he did!! She agreed that he wasn’t currently violent but the *mad* was still obviously there. She explained to him that we could see it when he chose to take care of himself by not listening or asking, instead of trusting us to care for him.
AT began in a lighthearted and jovial tone and increased in firmness until she was in her *Bad Cop* persona. Again Middle did not seek comfort from me.
HE picked his nose and chewed his fingernails off (yes OFF... completely) and rubbed his eyes, and pulled on his ears and acted like he was falling asleep. ANYTHING he could do to deflect.
AT didn't flinch... I, on the other hand, was having a hard time with the flying buggers and the saliva drenched hands. I'm weak.
AT again brought him to the point of accusing him of not really wanting to be part of the family because he wasn't doing the very simple (but oh so hard) for him, requirements.
I thought she was about to "fire" him. She does that occasionally when a child isn't working on their therapy. They do have to agree to work and want to get better. She didn't fire him this time.
The session came to close with no breakthrough. No emotion this time. No attempts to gain comfort. No eye contact when AT told Middle to make eye-contact and talk to us.
All we can do is keep moving and hoping.
After the session AT summarized what we needed to do until next time.