Tuesday, January 29, 2013

She's here! Born screaming into Mom's arms.

We had a rough labor and are getting little sleep so the details will have to wait.

Please welcome Alida (little winged one). I'd love to share the middle name as well but I'm trying to keep this somewhat anonymous and her name is very unique. I may or may not leave the picture up.

Thank you, everyone, for all the support these last 3 years. I never thought to see the day I could say I had 3 kids (even though it's really 4).

7 lbs, 9 oz. 19 and 3/4 inches long. Born January 24th at 633pm.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Slight improvement

First of all, thanks for all the amazing support. Within 24 hours I had a local contact that has been through this, membership in an amazing and supportive group, and several leads on things to try to help our situation. What seemed so bleak the other day is now looking like we can survive it. I could not have been where I am today without this blog and the amazing women who comment and went out of their way to help a stranger.

I feel kind of bad for my last title and how harsh I was on my husband, but I am still pretty mad about how he handled things. He really does need to grow up some more and face his own failings but I now believe he understands that, which I didn't before.

One thing I didn't mean to imply (that I think I did) was that my husband had left for good. He didn't say he was never coming back, he said he wouldn't come back that night. I was furious about that because he knew I was not physically capable of taking care of a crises and I felt abandoned. I wasn't sure I wanted him to come back because I was sure things would keep going this way and I'd have a newborn in the house with all the screaming and escalating physical violence. After we both managed to calm down and actually talk instead of arguing, I realized he was even more devastated than I was because he thought he was losing his entire family and he didn't think he would survive that after losing our son.

While I was gone on appointments he came home to pick up some things, thinking that I didn't want him back (because I kind of implied that). He left a note for me and a note for Flower. He apologized profusely for losing his cool and tried to explain how his life and the way he grew up left him with some inappropriate defense mechanisms that were getting in the way of having healthy relationships. I've know for a long time that he had issues that he needed to work on and I've tried to get him to see that. I never realized, because he never told me, that he had listened and understood. Now it is just that he needs to figure out what to do about it. This gave me some hope that we could work this out, although I am still quite worried about him continuing the same behavior.

He also told me that he really thought the police were on the way and they would make him leave anyway. I tried to tell him during the crises that it would be better to talk to them and try to get things straightened out, but he wouldn't hear me. He had a friend in a similar situation that was told to leave so he was sure that is what would have happened. When I texted him that they weren't coming I was pretty angry and he assumed I didn't want him to come back. From what I wrote I can see his point. He tried to call and I didn't answer so he stayed away. Having this explanation made me feel a little less abandoned but I did make it clear that it was not okay for him to leave me to deal with all this right now. I told him I wanted him home and Flower did too. She even wrote him an apology and made some cookies to make up for fighting with him.

After hearing more of his story I wish the police had been called. We need some documentation that Flower is getting more violent and more willing to inflict harm instead of just threatening it. She was trying to kick him when he grabbed her arm and she has been throwing things at him. He told me he thought we would be okay with her because she only acts like that with him and calms down when it is just me. This has been the case but he had no way of knowing it would always be the case. I still think it was thoughtless and dangerous to leave me and sunshine alone with her. For that reason I am really reluctant to have both Flower and the Professor in the house without another adult after we bring the baby home and until I recover. Fortunately we have a solution for that. My brother has offered to stay for a couple of weeks. His daughter has very similar mental health issues to Flower's. My niece was never abused or in foster care, but she has similar rages and defiance and other difficult behaviors. A lesson for those that think adopted kids are disposable - they aren't the only ones that can cause havoc in families.

So anyway, things are improving and largely because of your support. Thank you so much for offering it. I'm probably staying home for now so I'm hoping I can write in more detail about our therapy and what we are going to try next.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

And the crap spouse of the year award goes to . . .

My husband left. He left his 9 month pregnant wife with a mentally ill and unstable teenager and a 6 year old, days away from having a baby.

I can't even wrap my mind around the enormity of that selfishness. I can't imagine how I'm going to do this all by myself. My sister is in Kuwait. I have no friends close enough and reliable enough that I would be comfortable calling. And anyway, what the hell are they going to do? I can't send Flower with anyone. Besides probably making her abandonment issues worse, I would be putting another family at risk. I really do think that she needs residential treatment but after what happened tonight that might be a hard sell to the people who can make those decisions.

I could probably find a family that could take Sunshine for a little while, but she would be traumatized and that will still leave me with a newborn in an unsafe house.

I've never been at such a loss. I don't see a way out of this mess that doesn't destroy at least one person. I don't understand why trying to do something good has caused so much damage. I suppose my over-riding desire for children was selfish and I should have taken Aiden as a sign that this wasn't meant to be.

The saddest thing about all this is that it is not Flower's fault. Sure, she has huge and very challenging issues. But if the Professor could act like an adult things would never have gotten so out of control. He started another argument with her over chores today. She immediately started screaming at him, calling names, and acted incredibly disrespectful. As always, he just kept taking the bait and wouldn't walk away. Anytime she wants a fight she knows right where to find it. Unfortunately this time it just went further than anyone meant it to. I didn't see what happened so I can't say who is being more truthful, but Flower claims the Professor twisted her arm trying to keep her from leaving her room. He claims he grabbed her arm to keep her from hitting him. Given that she has been throwing things at him lately I'm inclined to believe his version, but I was trying to tell him that if she was getting violent he needed to back away and call the police. Of course he wouldn't listen to me. He left the house to calm down and she called her biomom, telling her she was hurt and scared. Biomom, as she should have, told her to call the police. I was standing there and told her she could call them if she wanted to, if she really didn't feel safe, and she broke down. She lost all her anger in an instant and showed what she was really feeling, absolute terror. She said she was sorry, she didn't want Dad to leave, she was scared of being taken away or of us being taken away. I hugged her and told her she was not going to lose another family and she calmed down. (Yes, I know this sounds manipulative but you had to be there. I think the anger is the mask and the terror is the real thing).

Contrast that with the supposedly mentally stable adult who is supposed to be my partner and agreed to the risks of adopting a special needs child. He would not stop yelling at me on the phone and refused to come back inside. He said he couldn't live like this. He really doesn't think he did anything wrong or could have done something different. Despite knowing I've had 6 hours of sleep in the last 3 days and this kind of stress is very bad for me and the baby, he decided he wasn't coming back. He plans to pick up some stuff tomorrow when no one is home. I have no idea what he expects me to do when I go into labor.

I do know that she is triangulating and pitting us against each other. Kids from trauma are good at manipulating and she knows just how to get him to lose it. The problem I have with him is that we were trained to handle this and he will not use any of the tools we've been given. He continuously engages in pointless arguments with her and will not back down when things escalate. All he focuses on is how she disrespects him, how she yells at him, how she won't listen to him. It's all about how her behavior makes HIM feel and not about where that behavior comes from. I know I've made some mistakes and could have supported him better. None of that changes the fact that he is the adult and rather than deal with his issues and act like one, he just left. Believe me there have been days I've wanted to do that. There have even been days that I did leave for a few hours to get away from the fighting. I can't imaging doing that if it was dangerous for anyone. He put all of us at risk. I can't restrain Flower if she gets violent. I probably can't even protect Sunshine. And what the hell am I supposed to do with the two of them when I'm in the hospital for 2 to 4 days?

I really hope the counselor has some ideas tomorrow.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Exhaustion

I keep having this panicky feeling every morning when I get up lately that I just can't do this. I don't have the reserves to get through another day of going to work, going to appointments, running errands, coming home to chaos and trying to calm everyone down, making dinner, fighting with my spouse, fighting to get the 6 year old in bed, and then falling in to bed completely spent only to toss for hours.

Just last night my husband was yelling at the kids that I shouldn't be getting stressed out because it could put me in labor too soon. Ha. Apparently he hasn't gotten the memo that when your very, very stressed and 8 month pregnant wife calls you at work to ask you to take care of something, it is not wise to say "when I get to it".

I really don't know what to do with our situation. I have engaged all the help I can find. I am at the absolute limits of my physical abilities (probably beyond them if I'm being honest), and it isn't enough. I literally have some kind of appointment every day. Some are for me, many are for Flower or the family as a whole. Just the scheduling alone is exhausting me. I keep thinking if I can just hold everything together until the baby is born it will be okay. Then I remember I'll still be dealing with all this shit, but with no sleep and a very dependent infant (there is still a small part of my brain that says I won't have to worry about the baby part). I'm going to need residential treatment after all this.

Flower is threatening daily to drop out of school and run away. Either she or a boy she is probably having sex with broke down our side door the other day because she lost her house key. She also broke the frame on her bedroom door. The dryer outlet is fried and we can't call the landlord to fix it because if he sees the other damage we might get evicted.

Sunshine is in absolute hysterics that her dad and/or her big sister might leave and never come back. I think she is also very anxious about me having the baby because the last time I had a baby I disappeared for two days and came home very, very broken. The family counselor thinks we should set up individual counseling for her as well. I can't imagine how I could possibly fit that in.

Things are not calm around here, people. I will not be mentioning this week to my chiropractor, she may very well kidnap me and stash me in a hotel until I give birth.

I am close to my limit for stress but I did call in sick today so I could get some quiet and rest. Maybe I need to consider leaving work early, even if that would be a major financial burden.

I did just get a much needed perspective check - 3 years ago today I was holding a box instead of a baby and wondering how I would keep breathing. I think I'll take today over that day.