Sometimes I really don’t know how to respond to Hope’s “stuff.” I often wish I could just ignore it all, but I can’t.
Hope slipped into a funk earlier this week, probably because of school because school is *always* funk triggering. I seemed to pull her out of it one night when I forced her to sit with me and just talk. What I thought would be a painful 10 minutes turned into 90 minutes of good conversation and quality time.
This morning’s routine was smooth, but I could tell just by the way she put her key in the door that we were going to struggle this evening.
“Here we go,” I mumbled to myself.
And go we did.
Complaints about me at the hair salon.
Complaints about her stylist.
Complaints about the hairdryer.
Complaints about the hairstyle.
Heavy sighing about getting something to eat which was always the plan.
Mumble-whisper about the restaurant selection.
Momentary feigned contentment about the selected restaurant.
Cold shoulder over dinner.
Doesn’t eat dinner…at all. It just sits there.
I’m thinking, “ I could have just taken us home, but I’m trying to be a mom of my word. #fail”
Mumble-whisper about something in her random pseudo-language.
“Here we go. Here we are.”
Somedays I just want to grab my keys and run to the car and just keep driving. I know I’ll come back, but oy, she had best be in a better mood when I return.
This trauma-teen thing feels just impossible. And I’m annoyed by the way we present to others. It’s not so much that I care what people think; but it would be so nice to just be…inconspicuous, to blend in, to be everybody-normal and not just our version of normal.
I was incredibly naïve; I thought that being a same race adoptive family would allow us to blend in. It does in many ways; but when we have “here we go’ moments in public we become conspicuous. People notice. They don’t understand, and we stand out in ways that I just don’t want us to. It’s not even like these episodes can be passed off as just surly teen moments; no, it’s pretty obvious that they are different. They are special because Hope is special; because we are special.
Here we go…again.
These moments happen far less frequently than they used to and for that I’m grateful. We’ve worked hard to get better at this family and trauma thing, and so the stretches between the episodes are longer now. And while that’s great, the stretches sometimes give me a false sense of normalcy. It feels like we fell off the wagon when they happen now. We’ve fallen backward into the muck of trauma, and it takes a little bit to get that muck off me. She moves on more quickly, but I still struggle. I don’t anticipate these moments the same way I used to. My guard is down, and in some ways, I am more vulnerable to their emergence. After we recover from each episode I hope desperately that it is the last time.
It hasn’t been the last time yet.
I know one day that it will be.
Until then..here we go…again.
April 22nd, 2017 at 8:04 am
Gosh I hear you. Stay strong you got this. Nope not sure when it will end but it will for sure. Take care of yourself.
April 22nd, 2017 at 8:23 am
April 22nd, 2017 at 12:23 pm
I hear you. It’s so tough sometimes. I can be really conspicuous with my kids. Not only because of their trauma responses, but because they are all hispanic and I’m white. Marcus, the oldest teen, managed to convince the owners of a local diner that I was their nanny! And I didn’t catch on for about a year. I was just puzzled by the comments like, “Wow. You really seem to care about them.” “You take them everywhere!” Or even, “Their parents must really appreciate you.”
My kids also know a whole lot about cocaine. They can describe it. In detail. In public. Like when I try to buy a powdered donut and my son begs me not to because “Mommy gets crazy on cocaine!”
Yup. I’m just your average, trusted, local school teacher. Trying to get a cocaine donut!
April 22nd, 2017 at 12:29 pm
Oh my… Not the coke teacher-nanny! LOL
April 22nd, 2017 at 2:12 pm
Lol. Watch out!!
April 22nd, 2017 at 2:36 pm
This post made me flash back to some of the times I was like Hope. The surly, moody, angry, displeased, etc, etc, teen hopeless emotional wreck. I want to shout out to all the foster parents I had that tried to help me and say I’m sorry! A couple things I figured out about myself that may help is what I call the ‘perfect storm’.
1. medicine – as a young adult doctors had me on all kinds of different meds that I told them made me worse, they didn’t listen and I spent years on the medicine merry-go-round with ups and downs and suicidal thinking and behavior. The black box warning on SSRIs tells docs not to prescribe them to teens and young adults and to be aware that suicidal thoughts and actions can become worse in some younger people. I jumped off that ride around 33-34 years old and stopped having those problems. One thing though, even though I an not a teen or young adult anymore, those meds still effect me in the same way they did.
2. hormones !!!!! Every single time I was admitted to a psych hospital I started my period within a day or two. I have found that people like to dismiss PMDD as something that isn’t really a problem. But it is! Those awful surges put me over the edge. (Suggestion – track her cycle, maybe without telling her, to see if this may be true for her) Midol, bengay, tylenol helped me. I had a hysterectomy when I was 40 and it saved my life. No joke. I was going to accidentally-on-purpose kill myself acting out my impulsive, hormonal-storm crazies. That problem immediately disappeared. Not advocating hysterectomy for a young woman but just giving my experience that may help you help her and you.
3. There’s no getting around it, trauma effects us in every single way. For me, I have had to learn how to regulate my emotions. There are all kinds of books out now about DBT and how it can help the effected person cope with seemingly overwhelming emotions.
All three of these came together for me as the perfect storm. I only have to deal with #3 now and my life is much better. But I left a wake of broken relationships because I could not manage.
I read your blog and can feel the turmoil and pain you describe. In my minds eye I see some of the people try to help me to no avail and wish I could go back in time and tell them I’m sorry I wish I could have done better. And I can feel the frustration and disappointment and wish better days for you both. My comments are only my attempt to help in some small way. I hope this comes across.