Phew, is it bedtime yet? I was probably asking this long around 1 pm today. It was not a good day. Not for R., and thus not for me. For whatever reason, R. has regressed nearly totally to an 18th month old level, complete with temper tantrums, pushing boundaries, inability to do self-care, and just general unpleasantness. I sat with her on my lap for over 4 hours this afternoon, because it was the only way I could stop her from following around siblings and animals in order to whack them. When she wasn't whacking, she was shrieking at the top of her lungs.

The party started at 5 am this morning. That does play into my general fatigue. All day long there was the push-pull of disorganized and anxious attachment. I want and need you! The second she had my attention, I was the absolute last person she wanted to be near. Push, pull, push, pull, all day long. Even for most of those hours spent on my lap, she was not calm and content, but hypervigilant, and not relaxed against me. It wasn't until the last half hour right before dinner that she even started to relax.

All day long was the pushing of boundaries. I would tell her not to do something, and seconds later, I would see her waiting until I was watching, and then she would start to inch towards exactly what I asked her not to. If I wasn't watching, she wasn't pushing. It was another reason for keeping her on my lap... curbing these desires to yank my chain. (And I'm so far from perfect; my chain was yanked. A lot.)

At one point, she told me she was going to go to Daddy, who happened to be 20 minutes away at work. I was curious as to how this was going to work, so followed her downstairs. Before she could work on going to Daddy, she got distracted by following H. around and whacking her. Back on my lap she went. When Daddy did get home, you guessed it, he was exactly NOT the person she wanted to see.

J. ended up feeding her dinner. She had completely lost all volition at this point (not that she has a lot under the best of circumstances), along with virtually any speech, aside from screeching. I have tagged out, and passed the child along to J. for him to get her ready for bed.

As well as being exhausted and frustrated at what didn't get done, I am also extremely sad and angry. Sad that this is her existence. Sad that she has to go so far back in her past to make sense of it; in order to have any hope of moving forward. And I am angry. Just really stinking angry. I am angry at a world that could so abuse and mistreat a child that she ends up at this place. How much abuse and neglect does it take to create a child who has so shut out the world for so long? It feels as though we are only now starting the process of pulling her out of the deep, deep pit where she currently exists. It feels as though we will never be able to lift her out of the pit, much less even begin to make forward progress.

I became acquainted with another child from China with the same diagnosis as my girls. This child was adopted at a much younger age, and is doing phenomenally well. I look at my girls and grieve for all the years they lost. Lost to neglect. Lost to abuse. Lost to being shuttled from place to place. So much loss.

Pray for good sleep tonight for everyone. If we're going to have a repeat of today's rodeo, I really need to be rested.


Anonymous said…
Ug, I am so sorry. I hate those days. Sounds like you did awesome. Reading your description I was taken back to toddler days and just though that when I was at the end of my rope sometimes, I would run my kids a bath and let them play in the water. I could sit in the room and disengage a tiny bit and they had a change of pace and a different sensory activity. Just a thought. Hugs to you!
Katie Coons said…
I'm so sorry. I can only imagine. ... Listening to this entire album today, and practicing this for Sunday. Remembering the years we prayed for R and hoped for her future. Hope you got some rest.
Jayview said…
Maybe her regression after the weekend does speak to her growing attachment to you? Holding her again so long must have been exhausting for you but does sound like the “mended experience” she needs in order to understand that you will return, and start to trust. I’m glad that your girls have finally found a place with someone who is very experienced, thoughtful, wise and committed. I’m not being romantic here - I know you cannot restore all they lost or undo all the harm, but you all contribute to mending and healing and new possibilities. I have been a teacher, parent, counselling psychologist and family therapist and I learn a lot from your writing about how children learn, develop and heal.

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