Friday, September 23, 2011

Keeping it regulated.

For the most part, I was able to keep my kids busy and regulated. The stressful part was my brain constantly thinking of what to do with them.

I was able to keep Mr. Screech with me at all times and it is amazing how regulated he is staying. I involved him with making dinner and he was such a joy to have around.

Today, he started to fall apart and as soon as I suggested reading a book he was regulated again. He was able to move on with the day and get things done.

Mr. Stinky decided to have a crazy meltdown today. He keeps blaming his brothers for his anger and I keep placing it back on the orphanage for him. He was playing legos and would not listen to me when I told him to stop twirling with a space ship he built. He was coming within inches of the furniture so I gently took the ship and put it up. I found legos in the hall and asked him to put them up and he was so busy arguing that if his legos were scattered it didn't matter and if he lost them it didn't matter too.

At this point I put the lid on his lego box and put them away in the basement. If he is going to be careless and not care then he can just not play with them until he is ready. This turned into an hour rage fest.

I am a little nervous because my boys are spending the night with our special adopted Grandma P. She is my best friends mother and she is helping to fill the gap my mom has left. I had a fundraiser to go to and The Mr. is out all weekend on a retreat. I am hoping when the boys get home tomorrow I will be able to regulate them quickly so this does not turn into a week long event. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my evening and my morning off.

Day 3 was what I needed.

Today, Arleta focused on The Mr and I for a while. She pinpointed that I don't feel like I'm a good mom. I look to my kids to validate that I'm doing a good job and it doesn't work because they are broken inside and do not reflect the "I'm a good mom" behaviors.

The Mr. talked about his childhood and how he was ignored/neglected by his dad. I started crying because it broke my heart, but the more he talked I was able to understand why I was having displaced anger on my kids since my mom died.

I was having a hard time getting to the root of it because I feel at peace with my mom's death. I have been wondering if I'm shoving it down in some way, but I can't find it. It finally hit me that I am pissed that the one good grandparent that engaged my children and treated them the way a grandparent should was my mom and she is gone. Now they are stuck with grandparents that doesn't give much of a damn. 

The Mr's father is too busy doing crossword puzzles to engage with people. The Mr's mother hasn't dealt with her grief of her mother passing 3-years ago and won't engage her grand kids anymore. My dad is too busy and when he is around he engages with Mr. Stinky, but has a hard time with the other two. I get it. My other two are over the top being crazy and rowdy around him and they don't listen, but still I need him to engage with them when he is around. I can't talk to The Mr's parents, but I can talk to my dad and see if he can try a little more. 

We left Arleta's office with three regulated boys. We are trying to keep Mr. Screech near us at all times because he is the easiest to become disregulated. I am a little stressed because it is going to require me to think harder for ways to keep him near me.

Day 2 didn't go so hot.

Mr. Stinky clearly had big emotions over the orphanage video. When Arleta was trying to talk to him he turned in to a raging lunatic. She told us he is not as healthy as we think he is and he does a very good job of making us think he is healthier than he is.

It is a little disheartening for me because he was the one I was able to devote a lot of attachment time to when he first came home. I did it like textbook and it still didn't work because he lived in the orphanage of the first 11-months of his life and his brain has been hardwired. I am realizing that even though my kids are making progress this will be a life long time of retraining their brains. Neglect and trauma suck!

The other two got with the program a little better today and talked about their feelings.

It was great to go back!

Day 1 Sept. 17th. 

Back to Cleveland that is.

We decided more is better this year so we are seeing our therapist for the second time and we are planning a third trip in November. Mr. Stinky and Mr. Screech seemed to have come a long way, but Mr. Happy is holding on to his mad and sad and not wanting to talk about it. I love to sit down with Arleta to talk about how the boys are doing because we really see how far they are progressing and what still needs to be worked on. Sometimes in the day to day it is doom and gloom when they are not "perfect."

Arleta started by running a new neurofeedback protocol to help Mr. Happy’s brain get unstuck in the trauma of the orphanage and then we listened to nice songs while he sat on my lap and looked in my eyes. When it was his turn to talk about his story he was tight lipped so she called in Mr. Screech. As soon as he came in, the door of her office, he sat hard on his butt and started a tantrum. She reminded him that his tantrums do not work and he regulated himself pretty quick, but stayed sitting on the floor. We told her Mr. Stinky wanted to go first today so he could stop stressing (he has performance anxiety) about talking to her so she called him in. He did a great job talking to her and did not throw one fit.

To engage the other two, Arleta went into some therapy using little people and placed a mama and papa people together. Then she had each of the boy hold their person and place it in various spots based on where they were "in the family" and that was based on how they were acting. She also went through their birthstories and acted them out with the little people. The boys liked it and were able to engage.

Mr. Screech and Mr. Happy are stuck mentally in the orphanage and Mr. Stinky is verbalizing all of his mad towards his birthmom, but Arleta is helping him connect that some of his mad is from living in the orphanage too. When babies are neglected they get mad and then the made gets stuck in them and comes out explosively over something little. To help give them visuals she had them watch video clips of babies/toddlers in the orphanage. This is the second time our boys have seen this video and they did a lot better this time focusing on the video. Last time, they would try and do something else instead of looking at the screen. Mr. Happy still tried to engage Arleta’s dog or pick at his pants or shoes. Shoes can be SUPER interesting when you want to avoid something painful.

This evening was very pleasant with our boys. In the past, I have feared getting kicked out of our hotel because of the raging tantrums going on.  I am LOVING the progress my family has made in the past 1-year and 8-months. To think I tried this on my own for a year and a half and we went nowhere. My kids rejected me daily and tantrumed like crazy. I did not like being a mother, but tonight was wonderful! Mr. Screech was my biggest rejecter and tonight he was my sweetest most loving of all three. If you are still struggling after months or years I beg of you to call a reputable attachment therapist so you can get your sanity back. Our therapist will see us over a weekend so it makes it very doable even though we live 6 hours away.

Last night The Mr. and I had a good talk about our own emotional wellbeing and how we need to improve to help our kids. I have wanted The Mr. to try neurofeedback to see if it would help him. He agreed, but only if I would do it too. Arleta said I need the mood stabilizer protocol and I would agree. I miss my mom so much and I have my dad’s wedding coming up in a few weeks so yeah, that would be a fabulous protocol for me. Depression sucks and I'd like to have the fog lifted.

It's a no go.

The therapist with Hospice will not be seeing my kiddos. That is fine because we just had a weekend with our therapist, and we will be seeing her again this year.

Thankfully, my dad agreed to pay for both sessions since he is hurrying us in our grief. When the financial burden is lifted it is easier to go more often.