Typing it out.

Bubbly has some issues with sleep.  She absolutely CANNOT be in the dark.  We remedied that when she came home by adding her “little light” (aka night light) to her room.  She still had trouble.  Bubbly was shut in dark places quite a bit when she lived in her former home.  If it wasn’t dark, it was still enclosed, so she has trouble with any space where the door is shut.  We leave the door open, but she still can’t be still.  She’s a total sensory seeker.  She pretty much goes until she drops of exhaustion.  I can imagine that this sensory seeking behavior comes mostly from being deprived of sensory input while she was shut away for so long.  We were told this occurred while she was with her birth father or maybe when her birth mother was still around.  That was a lie.  A lie that cast shame on the one person who tried to do the right thing for her while she was in Ghana.  The older kids in our home have told us the story of what happened to Bubbly.  We immediately put her in therapy.  It’s too bad we didn’t know sooner.  We could have helped her sooner.  I would have done so many things differently.  Lack of food, from being starved as a punishment, plus being hot are also triggers to desperate behaviors.  Bubbly’s room gets warm in the summer.  We turn on the air, but it’s still hot.  We moved her bed near the window to try to help even further with this trigger.

This spot in the room used to be Bubbly’s.  Now she sleeps on the other side of the room and the Diva sleeps by the window.   
Why would we do this?  Well, let me tell you the story.  When Bubbly first came home she had mini blinds covering the windows in her room.  In her first 14 days home those were bent into a tangled metal mess.  I tried roman shades next.  She nearly strangled herself with the cord that she ripped out of them while supposedly napping one day.  Scary.  Those went into the trash the same day and good old fashioned curtains went up.  Yesterday I caught Bubbly, again while “napping”, climbing her bookshelf and hanging on the curtain rod.  I caught her when the whole darn thing nearly came down on top of her.  She can’t stop herself.  She had beautiful butterflies above her bed like the Diva does.  Those were ripped down within 48 hours of me putting them up.  So, while the Diva has cute decor like this…
                                                        

Bubbly has bare walls.  There is seriously NOTHING surrounding her bed except a hole in the drywall.  A hole she picked.

I hate these behaviors.  They infuriate the type A in me that loves a beautifully decorated kid’s room.  And, it hurts my heart that she looks at her sister’s side of the room that has these beautiful decorations and then is forced to acknowledge the wreckage she created.  Then, I get angry.  Anger leads to hate.

I hate the person who did the the things to her that lead to these behaviors.  I hate the person who stood idly by and didn’t tell me it was happening to her even though they were warned that it was a possibility.  I hate that they let me flounder with her for MONTHS thinking this was just “adjustment” when it was so much more.  I hate them all.  I’m filled with hate.  Until…

I see her again and I’m reminded about what matters.  Healing her sad little heart.  I’m off to yet another seminar next week on children with institutionalized behaviors and trauma in their past.  A conference for parents with children with special needs.  
I have a daughter with special needs.  
Just typing it out makes the cycle of anger, hatred and then sadness start all over again.  I have a daughter who needs “services”.  I have a daughter that now has a diagnosis.  I’m one of those parents, the kind who spends her days worrying about her daughter’s every reaction to things.  Will this be a trigger?  Why is she doing that?  Is she improving?  Is she regressing again?  I’m one of those parents who reads all the books, desperately seeking a method that might reach her.  I’m one of those parents.  The kind who refuses to give up.  
This week has been a rough week.  As Bubbly flounders, other people move on.  Time marches on for some of the people who had a hand in this.  All while my daughter continues to suffer.  With four other children in my home at the time, this is not something I would have chosen to take on.  Adding two more would not have been in the plan had I known that this wasn’t just “adjustment”, that this might be permanent.  Then, I remember the phrase that is now written in the front of Bubbly’s baby book.
You are where you are meant to be.  

I’m going to cling to this again as we navigate another bumpy road.  We are all here, we are all together, nothing is more important than that.
–FullPlateMom,
who hates having to type it out. 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Terry Family says:

    I know how it feels to examine my day under a microscope, trying to come up with every single little thing that COULD become a trigger for my son. I know how it is to have a child who really can’t control themselves amidst their quest to receive the sensory input that their bodies crave. I know how it is to utter the phrase “I have a child with special needs” for the first time. I know how it is to be one of “those” parents. It hurts. Through out all of the pain and heartache, there are those who, in their effort to stay positive and supportive, tell me that our son was meant to come to our home — that there was NO other Mom who could give him more than I could give, and no one better suited for this job. At first it made me feel even more inadequate and ask “WHY?” even more. But now, after having struggled with our circumstances for a few years, I think I finally have it figured out. Maybe, just maybe, I AM exactly what my son needs. YOU are reading books, researching, attending seminars, seeking help, and trying new things. YOU are emotionally invested in Bubbly’s well-being — you rejoice when she’s made progress, and you hurt when she regresses. YOU are the one who is advocating for her, and helping her through these circumstances which, although are really difficult for you, is also very difficult for her. There is no better person to help her through this journey of healing, because you CARE. Bubbly is where she is meant to be, and you are the mom that she is meant to have. I wish you the best of luck through your journey. Sometimes, it hurts to type things out, but these posts will serve as a starting point — a baseline, so to speak — as to where you started. I guarantee when you look back at these posts, a few years down the road perhaps, it will make you all the more grateful for how far you have come. Good luck!

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  2. I know I haven’t been around much (in many places), but here’s a *hug* from someone who has been there for a child with a more local origin. :} It’s okay to grieve the loss of what you thought life would be like – and that grieving happens over and over again as you see things that you think should be one way (like being able to handle something “normal” as other children her age)and it. just. isn’t.It’s okay to hurt over it. As much and as often as you feel it. And as often as you have gone through a good spell and thought “whew!” only to have the earth shake once again and feel like you are back at ground zero.I wish I could promise you that it WILL get better, but I can’t. I -can- say that it -can- get better, and that there -will- be times of sunshine amid the clouds – you’ve already seen that for yourself.*HUGS*

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  3. FullPlateMom says:

    Thank you, I needed that.

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  4. This post must have been incredibly difficult for you to type. Even though none of it was news to you or to most of us, it really is hard to see it “out there.” My heart aches for your little girl and I am so angry for her. I’ve never met Bubbly but I’ve seen the effects of a similar past in my daughter. It hurts to realize that we could have done things so differently if we had just KNOWN. I feel the hate too, and it is not comfortable for me. I am not that kind of person, but I am also not ready to forgive, as much as I know I have to. Someday. I worry that I will never reach that point. Like you said, would we have taken this all on if we knew what we were getting into? Probably not. I don’t like seeing that typed out either but it is true. I tell myself maybe that is why we were all kept in the dark. We HAD TO get these girls out of that hell, and they needed us to believe that they were fine so we would bring them home. But yeah, the months wasted when we did not know the truth and were told we were overreacting, I want those back! So many of your thoughts have been my own these past months. I am exhausted by the roller-coaster that we have chosen to ride every day.Many prayers and many hugs from me. I’ve been scarce too, but you know I’m always a phone call or email away. If for nothing other than to comisserate and share some chocolate long-distance.

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