Friday, April 6, 2012

My 500th Post Here... On Being a Therapeutic Parent

Being a Therapeutic Parent is not just hard. I am sitting here, nursing my swollen hand, scratched face, and bitten arm and looking at Hope. Hope is in control and doesn't have a mark on her because of the last ninety minutes of sweat-pouring-down-my-back effort. It is only 2 o'clock in the afternoon. 5 1/2 hours to bedtime. My question is "How do I continue to be a Therapeutic Parent?"


After thirty years of parenting kids from the hard places. I have mastered (mostly) the art of waking up and looking at each day as a fresh start. I have always struggled with the day that has already gone south. I struggle with feeling that my best wasn't good enough. Obviously, since my child has just managed to rage for X hours. Or my sweetheart just called the worker a F*cken' B*tch. My child walking out of Manifestation Hearings also tend to make feel like it is pointless to go on. If I stay in that place long, the tears start.


When I reach the why*bother*stage, I find I have to intentionally fight my way out. And, so far, I have not found a sure fire way out. Sometimes, really cold ice tea and a rocking chair, helps me reset. Another time it might working in the garden. Occasionally, another Trauma Mama can talk me down. Before all my health problems, a long walk helped. Chocolate has a good shot, too. None of these methods give the grace of a new day.  I am tense. I keep Hope on a short leash because I know if she has another major meltdown, I will be unable to keep my therapeutic panties on.


I can appear patient. I can sound reasonable. I can even go through motions correctly. So what is the problem? The problem is children with Reactive Attachment Disorder have a built in emotional radar that spots a sore points and aims for it. They can't  help themselves. Time and healing are the only things that help. 

We are on our way home, facing 17 hours of driving. I am asking God for the grace to keep myself regulated because I know Hope won't be. It would be unreasonable for me to expect it to be any other  way.

7 comments:

Homebirth said...

Saying a little extra prayer for you too. You are amazing.

Acceptance with Joy said...

Oh my. Hang in there. There's hope for HOPE YET!! I'm sorry. May God grant you the strength...

I'm headed for a "session" myself in a minute because Little Miss Muffet, who is eating her lunch has messed her pants and she's going to blow when I say it's time to clean up. I'd kind of like to finish my salad first. :-)

I wish there was a way to keep that kiddo from hurting you physically!! Is there nothing?

Loosey said...

You are so strong! I did not realize you took Hope with you on the 35 hours of drive-time trip. Wow.
I have a question. We used to have Ativan gel formulated by the compounding pharmacist for hospice patients when they got agitated. You could rub it on their wrist or belly and they would feel better, fast. Why won't doctors treating raging kids get the parents some of that? It's a small dose that's absorbed but it would break the urge to rage without having to do a pill or a shot. They made Phenergan gel too, primarily for nausea but some families swore by it for agitation too. Just curious.

Loosey said...

You are so strong! I did not realize you took Hope with you on the 35 hours of drive-time trip. Wow.
I have a question. We used to have Ativan gel formulated by the compounding pharmacist for hospice patients when they got agitated. You could rub it on their wrist or belly and they would feel better, fast. Why won't doctors treating raging kids get the parents some of that? It's a small dose that's absorbed but it would break the urge to rage without having to do a pill or a shot. They made Phenergan gel too, primarily for nausea but some families swore by it for agitation too. Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, Ativan gel- I want some! And the kind of stuff you are doing with HOpe puts ALL of our theraputic panties in a bunch! You are going to be ok because you have to be- they need you. Period.
My 6 year old is much like Hope. We despair sometimes. God is good.

Anne Kimball said...

Hi, I'm Anne. I just found your blog on the C of M contest. Love what you said about RAD:

The problem is children with Reactive Attachment Disorder have a built in emotional radar that spots a sore points and aims for it. They can't help themselves. Time and healing are the only things that help.

I also have a RADish, and know exactly what you're talking about!

Love for you to pop on over to my blog Life on the Funny Farm sometime to say hi. I'm at http://annesfunnyfarm.blogspot.com.

Have a great day!

Kristine said...

I worry about you, and don't know how to help you.

All I can say is you amaze me! And I love you!