Friday, August 21, 2009

Around the Cycle Again

I'm not sure if adoptive parents of kids with special needs (Third Degree Parents as we have started calling ourselves) eventually get to the point where we can't muster up enough energy to be as upset as we used to be. I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. I'm sure my emotional intensity after every mistake didn't help my older kids when I was back in my "determined to fix them" stage, but I think now I may be so numb that I'm not responding intensely enough. It's a hard balance to find.

Last night I was up until 3, trying to iron out who did what. I have two kinds of kids living with me. There are those who care primarily for themselves and will say or do anything they need to to manipulate the people around them. Truth, somehow, has become completely insignificant, and the only desired outcome is getting what they want, protecting themselves, etc. However, I do have a few children who I feel are attached to me and who would place our relationship over their own self interest. They tell the truth, regardless, and it does matter to me.

Last night there were several people involved in a situation and I have one from each of those camps telling me their version of the story. Except that I know that the one with a conscience is lying and I can assume that the one without one is. I want to know what happened -- not because I am even all that into seriously consequencing the behavior, but because I want to know if the one who I thought had a conscience really has joined the ranks of the other side -- the side where selfishness trumps relationship and people are an ends to their means.

Going over details again and again in my mind last night left me with few hours of sleep and I woke up late, giving up a couple of my blessed hours of quiet when I can work. And then Dominyk shattered my silence with a full blown meltdown again this morning. He literally greeted me, with his eyes barely open, with the words "I'm bored" and then began his "I'm itchy" fit. It's long and exhausting on a good day, but today, when I was tired, I had to really bite my tongue to respond to him patiently.

Attachment disorder is an ugly ugly thing. It robs people of those things that most of us have deep in our souls -- that we take for granted. It robs people of their self worth and the healing process is very lengthy.

And this morning I'm weary, because attachment disorder affects the people around the person as well.

And finally, I'm feeling embarrassed for even feeling bad about all this, because other people have it so much worse. We don't have anyone being violent (except for the normal things, like Tony punching a whole through his wall yesterday), and for the most part, I feel safe. Nobody has mental health issues that are keeping them from living at home, and CPS is not involved in our lives.

And that puts us way way up on the quality of life ladder from a lot of families like ours.

So I will attempt to be as grateful as I can.

And today, I need to know the truth. Who bought the stupid cigarettes isn't the issue. The issue is do I have one pathological liar, or two?


debbie said...

just a thought, and only because i have read so many, many biographies and such on mental illness, etc. this summer, do you think the one without the conscience is in someway threatening, even emotionally, the one the doesn't lie. again, just a thought. sibling bonds do come into very strong play as kids get older. again, just a thought that popped in to my head as i read this. i am sure you already thought of it.

r. said...

What's most striking about your post is the sense of dread and exhaustion I get from reading it. Like you think another phase of stressful times is coming and it exhausts you to even contemplate it.

Just a thought--would it help you to think of the lying not as a dichotomy (of one camp or the other), but as a continuum?

We'll all lie if the incentive is strong enough, but some of us are so pathological about it that we'll lie when the incentive is quite perverse or there's seemingly no incentive at all. Maybe the child in question hasn't gone over to the "other side" so much as slipped along the continuum.

Miz Kizzle said...

I'm glad you're managing to cope. I'm such a nosy snoop that I'm reading and re-reading your post trying to figure out what, exactly happened.
I've noticed that some people who were very self involved and seemingly without a conscious as young people were able to develop some level of respect for the truth and feelings of attachment for other people as they got older.
It usually started with an attachment to a significant other or a child and grew from there. Maybe that will happen to some of your kids.
Can D. tolerate Benedryl? In the ointment form it does wonders for itchiness and taken by mouth it has the same effect, plus it might make him slightly drowsy, always a plus!

Claudia said...


Very good insight. I am exhausted and I am dreading big time having to face another round of the same thing. But I am probably over-reacting at this point and it will most likely all work out.

I don't do well with only 4 hours sleep.

Claudia said...

Hey Nosy Snoop, Ms. Kizzle:

I may blog details later just for you. It's not a huge issue -- involves smoking, which is not the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination.

I just hate having to spend emotional energy figuring out what is going on.

Claudia said...

And oh yeah, DOminyk is taking benadryl on a regular basis and it seems to help for a while, but then it wears off.

Linda B said...

Claudia I don't think you should feel embarrassed about your feelings on this. As I was reading, I was feeling de-ja-vu with my feelings. I know there are worse things going on in families, but when you are going through it again and again it is very frustrating. I've seen the situation happen that debbie wrote in her comment. I never thought it would have happened but this kid was so torn from loyalties. I'm feeling bad for you especially today because I am tired and in the same mode of feelings as you are. Did that make any sense at all?