Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just because there is progress...

Just because there is progress doesn't mean there won't be h*ll to pay. I have been home for 3 weeks since my trip to Orlando and it feels like a lifetime ago. C. reported that the children did quite well while I was away. That should have been my first clue. While happy to see me they were mad. Really mad. They wasted very little time in letting me know that.

Corazon has "forgotten" how to do just about everything. Schoolwork is impossible.Chores require direct and constant supervision, reminders, threats, reminders, threats, reminders, etc. The "RAD sock" has turned into the RAD spoon, plate, chair, book, pencil, etc.and happens no less that  Around here the "RAD sock" is what we call her wonderful little habit of leaving ONE thing behind just to make sure she gets my attention. She sorts clothes for laundry and ONE article is left in the middle of the family room floor. She takes her clean clothes up to her room and leaves ONE article on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. She unloads the dishwasher and ONE fork is left in the dishwasher. She does her math and ONE problem is left undone. You get the picture. Well now instead of this happening 7 or 8 times each day, we are at dozens and dozens of times each day. We had been steadily making progress in reducing this habit by having EVERYONE else get attention for the "RAD sock." I would find the item and call out Pollito/Milagro/Tortuga/C. (anyone but Corazon) can you come here and get the "RAD sock" for me and then thank them profusely, offer a treat or hug. All the while I might start singing the "RAD sock" song as loud as possible. Right now, if I give the attention to someone else she just escalates the behavior.

Corazon is also immobilized when she is by herself. She always keeps a close eye on me and finds a dozen reasons to need my attention. It is much like a toddler/preschooler who constantly needs to check in "I just used the bathroom.." "I washed my hands." I finished putting my book on the shelf." Etc. Etc. Right now she does it ESPECIALLY when I am talking to anyone else. It didn't help matters that C. has been home for much of the past two weeks because of Spring Break and a slow work week. The minute C. and I are engaging in a conversation Corazon is RIGHT THERE with a question, comment, or not-so-subtle intrusion into our conversation. 

Corazon has also started talking back to me about everything. While hormones might be part of the reason and peer influences might be another there is still alot of ANGER in this. In a way I see this as progress not because I think "normal" kids talk back to their parents around this age (I don't buy that argument but that is another story.) I think she is showing her anger in much more appropriate ways. She wants me to know she is mad at me for leaving her and that anger comes out when she feels I am not giving her attention she wants. In the past her ANGER was raging and melting down. 

However, we have also had two interesting regressions. The first one happened a week after I was home. She worked herself up into a TOTAL meltdown. She had not had a meltdown in a really long time. I don't even know the reason for the meltdown but while she was on the floor in a puddle of anger and I was sitting next to her just waiting for it to pass she started hitting her fists against the floor and yelling "I hate RAD. I don't want it anymore." She did this 4 or 5 times then let me comfort her. In the past it would have been "I hate you. Leave me alone. I am leaving. Etc." Big progress for her. We have had the conversation about why I don't hate RAD just the behaviors she has learned to use to keep us at bay. We say that we "hate" the way RAD has made it hard for her to trust and let herself be loved but we also have tried to get her to see that RAD served a purpose for a long time. It kept her from getting hurt. The other thing we had was an "almost" peeing incident. She hasn't done that in well over two years. However, to her credit, she was able to reign that in before it became a "full-blown" peeing incident.

Despite all this acting out we tried to do a few family outings and "fun stuff" while C. was around. The kids enjoyed themselves tremendously but had a really difficult times regrouping afterwards. Pretty much the usual behaviors after they have had "too much" fun. All it all it has been a difficult re-entry for them and for me. There have been so many good and bad moments but we are plugging along. I have to write about Tortuga's response to my return in a different post because this is getting too long.


BT said...

This is fascinating to read. It mirrors the regression we had around here after my dad died in early December. Many many behaviours resurfaced that we hadn't seen in years, or escalated way beyond what had become our new "normal." But the ups were that P's behaviours, while regressive, actually represented progress because at least he wasn't just out and out melting down or raging as we lived through for so long. Another up was that we got to see that P's discussion about what goes on inside him has evolved from "get away" and/or "I'm leaving" to "my brain feels taken over" and variations on that. It was an extremely difficult and long stretch (that we seem to have emerged from mostly) but it offered some very interesting converations, insights, and a chance to see that he really really does want to self-regulate and is trying mightily and also that he responds to our regulation assistance much more positively and not so much as if we're a direct threat to him anymore.

GB's Mom said...

Progress, progress, progress. She is slowly getting there. You are amazing! {{{Hugs}}}

Last Mom said...

I was only in Orlando for the one day and had so much drama before and after because of it! Separation anxiety and attachment disorders sure keep things interesting.... Things settled down in our world a little over a week ago, so hopefully you are right behind!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Oh my gosh, Genea is the Queen of the RAD sock! I like to wait until she is doing something else and comfortable, then have her come get her "sock". LOL! But that's only if it's a few times a day, otherwise I lose track of it all.
I'm so excited for her to say she hates having RAD! That's so big!

Christina said...

Change the RADlings name to Austin and you have just written a post about my return from Orlando! ((((hugs)))) to you my friend:) :)

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