For those of you with your difficult children

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by timer lady, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    in long term placement. How difficult is it becoming to visit your child on a weekly basis?

    wm hasn't lived here for about 3 years now. Every weekend visit falls on husband right now & the man is out of ideas. Frankly, he's pretty angry that he's the only one to visit wm. Well, let's see - wm attacks kt at times (or kt is terrified; or kt is playing this up because she "likes being the only child".) As for me - not going until wm has his boundaries down or I'm down on my :censored2:. My walker would be out from under me faster than you can blink.

    Hence the very supervised visits at school with wm.

    Here's the hysterical, prednisone laden mom talking - "let's bring the boy home".

    This isn't even about visits anymore. This is about being a family of different addresses.

    I looked at your pictures yesterday - the difficult children along with the PCs. I know the stories; I know the hardships. And I want my family back together again.

    I could do it this time around - I'm a full time mom. And now, the time I could do it, I have the time, my body is letting me down.

    Can I be anymore a loser? I want happy family pictures. I want happy family memories.

    Isn't happening.

    Thanks for listening. Gotta go get some sleep or paint or something. Too tired for words.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Sweetie,

    Of course, you want your family back together again. For all the reasons you know it isn't a possibility right now but that doesn't make you not want it. You couldn't be further from being a loser. You have had the courage to do what is best for your children no matter how hard or how painful that has been.

    You and your family remain in my daily prayers. :angel: Gentle hugs and I hope you are able to get some restful sleep. :sleeping:
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Linda...Im sorry. I dont know what else to say.

    I do hope one day you can have your family all together even if it is not in the way you expect it.
  4. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Well, I had Brandon out for about 5 years. Not in an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) setting all the time, of course, but also in the "theraputic" (*sarcasm*) foster care settings as well.

    I think you need to decide the goal, Linda. I don't mean a 6 month goal, I mean a long term goal. He's been in for 3 years. Is there a possibility of him learning the boundaries, being able to mold in with you, husband and kt, and follow along like he is supposed to? If not, maybe everyone needs to re-think the best place for wm to be, permanently. I'm making no suggestion toward one or the other, just throwing it out there, because I've had to think about this myself.

    I always had the goal with Brandon as reunification, but at times, wondered, even came very close to, doing permanent placement, because I just didn't think he could blend back in with us. I didn't think he'd ever *get it*.

    But he did. And amazingly, since reunification, he's been better here than in any of his placements. Oddly enough, his visists were mostly stressful and I couldn't wait for them to be over. He was aggressive to Dylan, his words were usually nasty, he was not defiant, but very lazy. Since reunification, he hasn't been this way. Go figure. Maybe in the placement, he was pushing buttons. I don't know. But he's been a pleasure to have here since.

    Only you are going to know when wm is ready and when it's comfortable. I guess if the goal is reunification, though, at some point everyone is going to start saying to you, "ok, when?". After 2 years, I started getting hounded, and every 3 months after that, until I finally said, just bring him home.

    I know this is hard for you. been there done that. I'm sorry. I wish I had better words for you.
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Listen Linda, I so feel for you, but there's something to be said about the rules in our family. Since many of you guys have become "family" to me, you now owe me a dollar.

    In our house, anyone that name-calls "loser" whether it be to yourself or anyone else, has to put a buck in the prize pot.

    I can't think of a more dynamic, strong, and extraordinary person that can still remain sane in your situation. You've handled so much for so long, it's no wonder you're looking at yourself in a negative light.

    It also doesn't help that you're maxed out on "roids" right now.

    Wm is best off where he is. The holidays are creeping up very quickly now. You've seen the "Currier and Ives" pictures of difficult child's and easy child's who happened to be looking good during a fun time. Almost all of us have an occasional chance at a snapshot like these, but most of us (if we took the pictures) would have 100 mind-bendingly horrible shots of meltdowns, runaways, backtalking, violent, fighting, hair-pulling masacres that ordinarily go on WAY more frequently than the "Kodak Moments".

    Did you ever think that maybe "God" or whomever you believe in (whether it be theological, fate, or Karma) "roughed your body up" because Wm and Kt aren't ready to be a family of 1 address?

    I hope I'm not overstepping, and the last thing that I would ever try to do is to hurt your feelings, but Wm may be heading for better times if he stays where he is for a while. You may have 1 address a couple of months, years, etc. from now, but at least you'll have a better shot at a "happy household" if everyone is ready for it.

    I'll be thinking of you today, and truly hope that I didn't upset you more rather than helping you.


    Beth :flower:
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Linda you are soooo NOT a loser. No one, anywhere, has done more for their kids than you!! NO ONE!!!

    I am so sorry you can visit wm, and that your husband is the one with the weekly visit duty. I know that if my family were in that situation, my husband would have a very hard time visiting weekly. He would resent the demands, the things difficult child would say, and the time spent visiting someone who didn't really want to see him.

    We have had to do this on a much shorter term basis and my husband was very resentful of all the time spent visiting someone who refused to behave. He coulc behave, he just wouldn't. That is straight from him and from every therapist who worked with him.

    He is 16 this month and will never live iwth me again. I mourn, as I know you must, but it is what is best for everyone.

    While in theory you might be "able" to be a full time mom right now, your body has had enough. Give it time to process everything. HEal your body, then worry about bringing wm home.

    Wm may want to come home, but he isn't ready. If he was ready you would not need support staff to visit him.

    I want you to have the Kodak moments, and a happy family, but most I want you to have a SAFE family.


  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Linda, I thought about your post all day today. I have come to the conclusion that you are showing some feelings you have probably always had. But, I do think you are excessively emotional at the moment due to medications/illness. Not irrational. Just extra emotional. I hope this is not coming across as rude.

    You should believe and realize that you have always had the interest of your entire family at heart with every decision you have made. Your decisions are the right ones for your family. I am sure they are not the way it is supposed to be in the parenting world, but that does not make how your family runs wrong or incorrect. It is just different.
    You know you have given the tweedles the best possible chance. You should hold your head high. I hope this serves as a reminder to you that you are doing the very best a mere mortal can do. I am sure it is painful all the same.

    Sending you strength and support for all you do with your difficult children.

    HUGS, too!
  8. Penta

    Penta New Member

    Of course you want those happy family times...that's the way it is supposed to be. But, I think you are an amazing parent, against all odds. And I do believe your children know this deep in their hearts, no matter what their actions show.

    Take good care.
  9. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    we stopped being a family of four when ant was 13 for the most part. he chose not to be where the other 3 of us were.
    then in time, I had to ask husband to leave, and then ant was in jail. that left Nick and I and the cat. the cat died and I nearly went with her.
    Nick moved out.

    I missed having a family so bad. I still do.

    I play house with boyfriend and Kaleb when I can.
    I will never get over the loss of a family. I do try to adjust. with thanksgiving coming up it will be strange as ant is in prison, nick problem will work night shift and Kaleb will be here. it is in constant flux as to what consitutes
    "family " now.
    you do sound tired.
    remember when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired we must
    H A L T
    and put off thinking about serious stuff til we are not hungry angry lonely or tired.
    sigh and hugs.
  10. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I do understand your desire to be a family in the traditional sense but the reality is even if you were in the best of health, you would be doing a disservice to kt and wm if you were.

    He is not ready to be in a family setting. He needs the supports that his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) can give him. kt needs to know she is safe from him. At home, you cannot give him all the supports he has there. kt would not feel safe and, even more importantly, she would not be safe.

    I remember when my daughter was in her Residential Treatment Facility (RTF). I would have to leave stores because it was too painful to see a mother and daughter together. My heart felt like it was breaking every time I saw pictures with children having fun. However, my mind understood that the best thing I could do for my child was make sure she was safe -- at that time, from herself. I could not protect her from her own actions. I wanted her home seconds after I dropped her off. I wanted her home as soon as I put one foot inside the house. I wanted her home the first day, week, month she was gone.

    I felt cheated that we weren't doing what families did at holidays and vacations. Spending Christmas in a hotel so I could have dinner with her her and 30 other kids was not something I had ever dreamt would happen.

    I felt I'd failed as a woman since I couldn't have children by childbirth; I'd failed as a wife because I couldn't convince my husband that having a child in the house wouldn't stop us from still being a couple; I failed in my profession because I couldn't be a mother to my daughter and concentrate at my work; and, then, ultimately, I failed as a mother because I had to send her to others to control her. It took a long time to get over these feelings of failure (and a very, very good therapist). I'm still a good woman even though I can't have biological chidlren. It was my husband's decision to end our marriage, the fact I wanted to adopt a child was only a part of the problem and it was HIS loss, not mine. I made a choice to put my daughter before my career and I haven't ever regretted making that choice. I am not just a good mom but a great mom because I loved my daughter enough to sacrifice my needs and wants so that she could get the help she needed.

    Your sacrifices have been even greater. I knew my daughter would be coming home. You don't know if wm will ever be capable of adapting to a home environment. It really is okay to feel badly about this. It is not okay to put the blame on yourself. Blame his biological parents for the neglect and abuse they poured on these two innocents. They are the losers! They are why your son cannot live at home. Not because you didn't try everything in your power to save your children. And, as wm gets older, he will have to start shouldering some of the blame as well. He will be given the tools to make choices. What he does with those tools will be up to him. You cannot make those decisions for him. All you can do is guide him the best you can, whether that be from a distance or at home.

    As much as possible, stand tall and be proud. Many have given up the fight and disrupted the adoption. You have fought long and hard for both of your children. You will continue to fight for them.

  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I haven't been where you are at, but I have the tiniest inkling what you are going through with your body betraying you. You aren't a loser, but rather a very frustrated mother in an extremely painful & difficult family situation.
    I wish I had something useful to say, but I've got nothing except that I'm here to offer you support.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    You are definitely not anywhere close to being a loser.

    I'm sorry, Linda. Your post brings tears. I can't possibly imagine the heartache that you have. You have done so much for them.

    Sending hugs, saying prayers.....
  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    You may feel like a loser, but I do not think anyone else thinks you are. You and your husband are kind and caring people who took in 2 very wounded children. They were far more wounded than you realized, and some wounds are VERY slow to heal. Kt has done well, Wm sounds like he is a work in progress.

    Then your body was wounded, and will take some time to heal or to reach a baseline. You have to take care of your self and those you live with. This does not mean you do not love Wm, but he has others to help him also.

    I hope your view of how things are will get better. It had to be very hard to see all the pictures showing all the "happy" people.

    Allow your self time to grieve your loses, both physical and emotional. I do think you are an exceptional human and woman.
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Linda- I felt so out of sorts and K was only in the psychiatric hospital for 5 weeks this summer... I can not imagine the toll this would take on your whole being...

    I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I really have no words... your post brought tears to my eyes.

    I wish you strength and peace... and your family back together.
  15. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I apologize for the pitiful intent of this post. I'm feeling a bit down & out. I miss my entire family under the same roof. I'm worn out running about to be able to see my son, while keeping kt safe & secure at the same time.

    I feel torn between kt & wm. I love them both; there are times though I feel as though it's wm's turn now to get mom's attention with-o interference, as kt gets now.

    And my body is worn out. So, again, I chose to be pitiful instead of honest.

    However, husband & I have decided, that for this coming Thanksgiving weekend we are traveling to my dad's house either with 2 cars, or with the big mini van & 1 parent sitting in back. In other words, wm for the first time in 3 years, gets to see his grandpa (whom he loves dearly), aunts & uncles, cousins. wm, actually does very well at Grandpa's house. I'm not sure how he'll handle being there for the first time with-o Grandma.

    My brother & his wife suggested that wm ought to come this Thanksgiving. That he, sister in law, aunts, uncles & counsin will all pitch in to help with both kt & wm.

    kt is delighted to be able to spend time with wm while "still feeling safe, mom". wm hasn't yet been told - I'm getting all the ducks in a row, if you will, before we tell him. Foster mum, is going to be working on special holiday manners with wm; she's also going to "punch up" the respect factor.

    My siblings stepped in when they felt I needed it most. This trip may blow up, it may not. My older brother has a couple of vacation days that, if wm needs to ride in a separate car, he will come pick him & husband up & drive them back.

    Thanks for all the prayers, good thoughts & slaps. I needed to be put into my place. I don't look for praise - I look for honest ideas for my tweedles.

    husband & I have a Christmas fantasy - wm being home for the holiday. We know it's a fantasy. For some reason this year we both seem to need that little fantasy - that dream that will put a smile on our faces.

    I'm going to try to get some sleep now - I so need to find a way to sleep. My body hurts from the lack of sleep.
  16. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    You're an amazing mom Linda. Don't ever lose sight of that.

    Sometimes parenting requires doing the hard thing. But, it is the right thing.

    I hope you have a better day today.

  17. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Linda - I have an understanding of what you go through. When husband and I got together things from the beginning weren't easy. His two were gfgish and mine was pcish. We have gone through many battles with these kids. First when difficult child 1 went to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in 2003 it was very hard. When he and I got married that year we had hoped to have all the kids with us. Alas it didn't happen. I was so hoping at some point to get a "family" picture done. We did the visits etc. As time went on difficult child 2 got much worse than difficult child 1 ever was. He ended up in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Now the three are not allowed to communicate to each other. Yet we go to see each difficult child every other week usually and have easy child here. We are definately a house of different addresses. Holidays bite. We will never be a family under one roof while they are all kids. We are preparing difficult child 1 for entering the real world. Not coming home. We always planned on her coming home but alas that was not meant to be. We worked hard but she did not. Just as you and husband work hard and wm struggles. As for difficult child 2 we are even now looking at adult facilities to take him once he is 18. We are pretty sure he will continue to be a danger to himself and others.

    With the holidays it is a hard time. I think of you and your family often. You are a true warrior mom. I hope you get your holdays to work for you. I am glad that you have family willing to help out.

    I hope you are getting the sleep you need.

  18. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I hope you got some good sleep last night. Friend, we all have the same type of feelings now and again. Defeat. But, it sounds like you and husband have a plan! All you can do is try to make it a happy holiday and pray it doesn't blow up. You are still his mother and have tons and tons of love for him. I bet he knows it, too.
  19. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I don't think having wm home for Christmas is a fantasy. Fantasies don't happen. I think you and husband have a dream. Dreams can come true. I hope your dream comes true.

    Sounds like a great plan for Thanksgiving. Hope it works out well and everyone has a good time without too many mishaps.

  20. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    And this decision, too, is the right one for your family. It is what you want and you have gone through the struggle in your minds. Both you and husband. That is what makes it right.

    I am AMAZED and tearful at the dedication your family has shown you to give you this dream. I am sitting here at work trying to fight back the waterworks! LOL!

    I really, truly hope and pray that Thanksgiving is a true gift for you all. And that you will one day live the Christmas dream. Even if it is not this year, then next year. It is important for you to realize your wants and go for them now.

    Fingers crossed for you all!