I can't be certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the more lenghty blogging hiatuses I've had. I'm not motivated enough to check, however, so sufficed to say--it's been awhile. This month has flown by in some ways, come to a grinding halt in others and on nearly any level has not been one that will go down as a fave by any stretch.
First, we're dealing with the obvious "a year ago we were meeting M3 for the first time" date coming up tomorrow. I'm trying not to think about that kind of stuff, but it isn't easy. When you think of all the "Family Day" celebrations you've seen from fellow adoptive parents and you, honestly, would not find a reason to infuse cake into tomorrow's schedule other than to reward you and your fellow survivors for living through the past 365 days, it's a little sad. But, gallows humor is where we find ourselves often, so don't be surprised if I don't swing by the bakery on the way home tomorrow to pick up some cupcakes or something. After all, M3 is in respite care this entire week (she's on spring break and not missing school), so we could recognize ourselves without it being mean-spirited.
Respite care for us is a double-edged sword. On its face, it's amazing to find a family willing to take M3 into their home and give us a much needed break. However, it isn't therapeutic respite care. As in, this isn't someone necessarily trained in RAD or well-versed on M3 and her issues. This is a family suggested by our social worker. Nice people with lots of adopted kids, some of whom have attachment isses of their own. M3 goes to these homes where there are tons of kids, no real expectations, trips to the zoo and church and wherever else and it's like a mini-vacation to her Happy Place--a mini orpahange. No need for true interactions, superficial works just fine. No need to even think about where you actually live because this place is so much more fun. We called to check on her last night--we don't know these providers from Adam, after all--and the Mom told us she's fine, hasn't asked about us once and is going about her day as if she's always been there.
Could one of these women with a dozen or more kids at least act like they understand that having a child in your home for over a year who can walk out the door, not look back and not even wonder where in the hell you are after being away from you for a couple of days could rip your heart out and set it on fire? Apparently not because I receive a lot of the blithe, "Well, that's how kids with reactive attachment disorder are." Yep. You're right about that. But you know what? I know that and it doesn't make it feel any less shitty to realize you have spent an inordinate amount of time over the past two years devoted to someone who, although they cannot help it, cannot/does not/will not care about you or anyone else but herself.
When I think about what this has done to my insides--organs and all--I'm afraid. Stress is toxic. Emotional abuse and having a mentally ill person in your midst breeds stress unimaginable and I'm fearful what this means to us as physical beings. It also doesn't help that I'm carrying around extra weight (per usual) which makes me worry even more.
Last week in therapy, our therapist told us that M3 just isn't getting it. Either she can't or won't, but either way, no real reason to see us on a weekly basis anymore unless her behavior escalates in some way.
She's already stolen food from another child's backpack at school, so I guess by 'escalate' you mean if I wake up and find her standing over my bed holding a knife (very common, apparently, for these kids) or she attempts to set our house on fire? Good to know and thanks for the optimism. Honestly, I can't blame her. It's a waste of her time and ours to be sitting there while M3 dodges and ducks for an hour--pretending she doesn't understand, lying or just sitting there fidgeting with her tongue hanging out. It's maddening to say the very least.
Tomorrow's appointment, our older girls will go and meet M3's therapist and talk about the possibilities of what comes next for our family. I think it will be great for them to talk to someone who knows M3 and how difficult she is. They will finally be "heard" by someone other than their parents and that, I think, will be an amazing gift--especially for M2. If M2 is open to it, I think tomorrow could be a banner day for her. I hope she'll just let it all hang out and, for once, we'll see a benefit to that hour.
We are supposed to be taking a break from the stress of thinking about what we're going to do until after we take the older girls to Georgia on their spring break next month. Easier said than done, but I'm trying to do it. I'm just not all that good about forcing myself into denial. I prefer it be a natural occurrence, frankly.
Our social worker works with another family who will be providing our respite care for that trip's time frame--a family who is, apparently, seriously interested in offering a secondary placement for M3. Not really sure how comfortable I am with all that, but I don't really have many choices in the matter and at some point, reality comes crashing in that this is likely the road you're on so keep marching.
I'm just really tired of worrying about all this. The day-to-day BS of Groundhog Day living is horrible. The gap between where I was (and want to return to) as a mother and where I am now is ever widening. The realization that our family as we'd planned will never be is also a horrible truth to keep knocking into each day.
I simply do not understand what I ever did to earn myself this shitstorm. I would appreciate it more than I can express in words if karma or Murphy or God or whomever it is that keeps poking at me would just leave me the hell alone. I used to think: "Oh, at least if this negative BS is focused on me, someone else is free to enjoy their life." Well, I'm over that pragmatic nonsense and am ready for the next person in line to get his and good.
Leave me alone.