I'm feeling a bit lost these days. I am no doubt depressed and I can't seem to focus on any one thing. Mr. T feels that I should blog and have neglected to so am not getting my thoughts and feelings out... maybe, but those thoughts and feelings have become rather dark and I'm not sure I want to let them out lest I find they take on a life of their own.
I have missed documenting 2 or 3 (or 4?) therapy sessions, as many home visits and an ISP meeting. (I will attempt to post about these and will edit this post as I do)
We are right up against reunification time. There have been some changes in the date. He was to return on June 29th (court date). We were supposed to have custody restored then. But our AT felt that Bright-Eyes and the family were not ready and needed more time and/or more structure. So custody remains with DHR for now and we have another court date at the end of September.
We wanted to get camps lined up so that Middle isn't at home with us all day, every day. He is disruptive and no one can accomplish anything. The bookend boys are still schooling (as we homeschool year round). AT felt that if there was no structure then we needed to wait until school so that Middle was in school during the day taking some stress off of all of us at home. As of now we are still trying to work out a plan. The camp plan got blown out of the water at the ISP because it was assumed that all camps were full... I am still kicking myself for not calling that morning to verify openings. The SW told us that if we learned of anything to let her know and they would arrange things... BUT!!!... By the time we did verify openings and get back to the SW she was out of the office for a week and a half and couldn't work it out. Feeling a bit sabotaged there, she might have clued us in to plans to be away.
Our AT is now going to bat for us and trying to work out a return home date and we are looking into doing the camps ourselves and seeking reimbursement later. Possibly risky but we don't want to continue this back and forth arrangement. It is stressing everyone out. IF the foster parent was willing to communicate and work with us it might be a good thing, but she is clearly not and it's making Middle crazy to have to wait and live in two places at once.
The visits have gotten worse. We knew they would and are not surprised. Our AT still reminded us that things will continue to get worse before they get better. But the reality of living in the midst of that "worst" is becoming more than I can deal with. When I read the blogs of others I feel great guilt because I don't face the depth of darkness that many others face and yet I find that I am at my limit. I admire the strength of those who are facing more.
The ISP meeting was an agonizing experience. I was astounded at the behavior... arguing, accusing, defending, deflecting, blaming..... These are adults????? I wanted to blow a whistle and establish some rules of conduct... And why is *my* parenting discounted while the foster parent's more punitive parenting style is set as a standard? My therapeutic, teaching, parenting is not bad parenting! It is molded and modeled to fit my kids and their needs. I am not a punitive parent... not saying that punishment is always wrong, for the right kids that might work, but for my kids it doesn't. I mean, REALLY???? Helping my child to process cause and effect and see his responsibility for his choices, is NIT-PICKY!?!?!?! I should just punish him and never speak of it again???????? Ummm... He doesn't connect that! And trying to teach life skills is not accepting him the way he is?????????? Ummmmmmm...... I think he is capable of learning some manners without losing his self esteem in the process. And how do logical/natural consequences *NOT* teach responsibility?
Mr. T might be attending the next and final ISP because I just don't think I can be the subject of their attacks again.
The therapy sessions seemed to get better but they have gone downhill now too. He sat chewing his nails and fingers through the entire last session, gnawing like a caged animal trying to get free. I was surprised he didn't draw blood.
I felt that the entire last session was a game to him. He pretended not to hear, he asked questions that were off subject, he interrupted, he ignored, he said "I don't know" ... AT felt that he did hear and was working. Maybe.
Our latest "tool" is to tell Middle to think about and figure out, the answers to such questions as "Why are you always mad at me?" and "Why are you so mean to me" and "Why do you take all my stuff away?" and "Why don't you let me do anything?"
These are the questions we hear when he is ranting and raving at us for enforcing a consequence to his choices and actions. He isn't making the connection that he *did* something to bring about a consequence, he just wants to blame everyone else... and chase us down and yell at us creating chaos for all.
We are supposed to tell him to think about why and come up with answers... but if he is raging and following us around being completely oppositional, it's not too likely he is going to work with us on figuring out cause and effect.
I find myself pulled into his drama... I try to answer his questions but he yells over me and obviously doesn't really want answers... AT says that even if the consequence is me going to my room to get away that I just need to tell him that if he continues to spout venom that I will leave. I did just that yesterday but the anger that I saw in Middle was frightening. I wonder how everyone can be reporting that he is fine when we see so much anger.
I am afraid. I don't want to give up on him... but I am scared of what he might do.