Middle Boy is a MASTER at manipulating situations where he has done something wrong to twist it around to be my fault.

We discussed his behavior of last night.  He thought it was justified, because he was "helping a friend" and that is the right thing to do.

I asked why he didn't AT A MINIMUM wake me to tell me he was leaving.  "Because I was sleeping soundly and he knew I had been exhausted."  Besides...he wasn't going to be gone long.  What?  You are SIXTEEN.  It is the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.  You MUST tell me where you are going.

In his opinion it is completely ridiculous that I want to know where he is at all times.  I am "over the top."

Then we were discussing the girl.  He kept insisting he told me what happened and the story wasn't going to change.  Never that the story was true...just that it wasn't going to change.

With him I have learned this means I am NOT getting the truth, but he will not budge.

He was also pulled over because I didn't tell him his tail lights were out.  Who cares that I didn't know they weren't out.  I should have known.  "I own the car."

I told him I would take some vacation time to go with him to get them fixed.  No...he'll fix them himself, besides "all I care about is the car anyway".


We ended on a neutral note.  These days that is kind of the best I can hope for.

So many things have happened in the last two months I don't even know where to start.

I have learned that writing is therapeutic for me.  I need to do it more often.  I typically don't let people know much of what is going on with us and in the past this was my outlet.  I have gotten away from it and I need to get back there.

I need God now more than ever.  Don't get me wrong...I have always needed God, but these days I honestly don't know if I am going to make it day to day without him.

I'm angry and I'm tired.  I'm not even sure in which order any more.

What I am going to say here isn't going to be pretty, but I promise you it will be transparent and real.

I am literally at wits end with Younger Boy.  About a month ago we stopped going to the Trauma Center for therapy, because after two years there is nothing they can do if he insists on not being an active participant in therapy.  I would venture to guess at that time he was "in the present" 70% of the time.  In the last month it has gotten a lot worse.  I would guess something like 90% these days of being consistently in his own little world.

I keep getting calls from the school, because they can't get through to him.  Well...NEITHER CAN I!!  I need them to stop calling.  I think it is me being prideful, but I feel like a failure and it makes me ANGRY.

I do have a meeting at the school tomorrow morning and Therapist C is going with me.  She is going to explain to them...YET AGAIN...that I can do nothing.  She is going to give them a behavioral modification plan for him for school and let them manage it.

Here's where we are therapeutically...we are going to try neurofeedback to see what is actually going on in his brain.  From the research I have done I suspect his brain is in the "under-aroused" category.  The hope is that neurofeedback will help.  If it doesn't then we are looking at a residential program.  I have it narrowed down to two should the time come.  I am cautiously optimistic about the neurofeedback, but the reality is that it only helps in about 50% of the cases.

I don't have the provision to send him to a residential program.  In my heart of hearts I know that is where he needs to be.  Both programs I am looking at with the help of his therapists are distant and one to two years long.

Saturday he called 911, because his brother wouldn't let him ride his bike when I wasn't home.  He hung up and didn't talk so we had two uniformed officers at the house which totally freaked out Middle Boy.

I know this...I can't continue living with him the way he is.

Middle Boy is another story all together.  Living with him is like being continually on a roller coaster.

Since the first of the year he has dropped out of high school and gotten a job.  He quit the job and got enrolled in indepedent studies through our school district.  He SWORE to me he would do this.  He would do everything they asked.   Well he is supposed to do a packet day.  We are on day seven and he is still working on the first packed.  He is supposed to do two hours of homework a day at home.  He isn't.  He wants to enroll in a dual college/high school program which has mandatory attendance requirements and requires four hours of study per day.  I won't agree to it if he can't manage the independent studies.  Of course, that means I think he is just a failure.

A week ago he ran away.  He was picking a fight with me and it escalated...exponentially.  I said some things I am not proud of at all, but I am human and when I am under attack for hours on end I snap.  I don't have a back-up.  I just have to take it...non-stop.  He was planning to move out permanently, but he "changed his mind".  It would be "too much for me" if he left.

He is signed up to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.  We had an informational meeting yesterday.  He wants me to write the fund raising letter.  I'm not going on the trip...he'll have to either write and send the letter or come up with the money himself.

Last night after I fell asleep he snuck out of the house.  I got a call from the State Patrol at 2:40AM telling me that they had him and were giving him a ticket for violating his provisional drivers license.  They also told me he had a girl with him.  So...I called him.  He said he would be right home and would explain then.  Apparently I don't understand "right home" because he walked in the door at 5AM!  I am livid.  He says it is all my fault he was pulled over because I didn't tell him his taillights weren't working properly.  Allegedly he was taking a "friend" home from work, because she didn't have another way to get there.  Shockingly his facebook messages would tell a different story.

I'm at a loss.

I contacted a state worker to see what I need to do to relinquish my rights.  I am right there on the edge.  Done.

Pray for all of us.
Younger Boy had a med check today.

For weeks he has been trying to scheme his way out of taking his sleeping meds.  We talk about it at therapy.  Is it immoral?  Is it illegal?  Does it make you feel sick?  Does it do what it is intended to do?  Is it unsafe?  He just doesn't like to take them.

He told Psychiatrist he doesn't like to take them, because they make him sleep.  Her answer was simple, "Take the meds."  No argument....nothing.

She asked him about school.  Mostly to find out how the ADHD med is working.  The last time we were there we had just been to conferences when all of his teachers said he didn't use his time wisely.  He told her he was on the honor roll for first quarter.  She caught that and asked about second quarter.  He admitted he hadn't done well, because he wasn't doing his work.

She told him it is a shame that he isn't using his thinking ability.  She explained to him that if you do not continue learning throughout life you will start to digress.  She told him she thought eighth grade was awfully early to begin the digression.  Then she said...the next time I see you I expect you to be on the honor roll, because you are a smart boy.

Thank you, Dr. S.  While I don't always love you as a doctor, I do appreciate you.
Younger Boy is fitting the pieces together.

Tonight I had the MOST ADULT CONVERSATION with him I have ever had.

He asked if his mom was going to be here for the funeral.  I told him she is already here and that I had seen her.  I told him she is sad about her dad and that she wanted him to know she loved him.

He asked if I thought he was ready to see her.  I asked what he thought.  He doesn't know.  He decided he wants to ask his therapist what she thinks. 

He was completely present and his most adult self during the whole conversation.  I actually told him I was proud of him for being in the present.  Reinforced that this is how he could be the majority of the time if he did his therapeutic work.  I asked if he noticed the difference.

He did.  He was proud of himself.
It started while I was at work.

Middle Boy couldn't get his debit card to work.  It escalated quickly.  Very quickly. 

He was threatening.  He was angry.  He was mean.  He was talking about how I didn't give a s*** about the abuse he endured and how I thought it was a joke.  How I didn't know what he had gone through and I was a lying f***ing b****. 

It continued on for a couple of hours.

Then...just as quickly as it was over.

Draining for sure.  For both of us. 

Denise's how it started.

I first talked to Middle Boy about his sibling visit.  He is cautiously excited.  I reminded him his siblings are all adults.  They aren't the kids he remembers from seven to nine years ago when he last saw most of them.

Then I talked to him a little bit about what is going on in Younger Boy's biological family.  I told him first partially so that he would be more tolerant of the inevitable behaviors and partially because I knew Younger Boy would go to him and I wanted him to think about it.  He had some interesting perspectives.  His grandma died when he was in foster care and no one told him until weeks later. 

So here's how it went...

First I told Younger Boy that Middle Boy's siblings would be at our house on Friday.  Middle Boy is excited for them to meet him and that makes him happy that they are brothers.

Then I told him Older Sister was going to be in town for the next few weeks and he was going to get to see her.  I told him about the therapy and that he needed to participate.  How he had to do his part.  He was visibly excited. 

I then told him the reason she was in town was a sad one.  I told him about Grandpa.  He was stoic.  Almost emotionless.

I asked how he was feeling and then the tears started falling.  Middle Boy stepped in and said "it's okay to cry".  That opened the flood gates.  We talked about all of his memories of Grandpa.

He asked if he could see him.  I asked him if he thought he was ready for that.  He wanted to think about it.  We talked about how maybe the good memories would be the way to go.

Prayers for our next few days.  That they be days of healing and days of grace.
Mom J called.  They are going to tell the kids tonight about Older Sisters pending visit and Grandpa being removed from life support tomorrow.  She wanted me to know so we could coordinate and manage the kids communication and they all knew the same things.

About an hour later she called back.  It went like they pretty much expected it would with one exception.  They first told the kids Older Sister was going to be in town and that they would get to see her.  They explained it would happen at the therapists office in case there were big feelings.  They explained we would also be working on the timeline.  They were excited...except the timeline part.

Then they told them about Grandpa.  They were very sad...sobbing.  They talked through it.  They told them we weren't going to see him, because it was better to remember the good memories than the scary hospital stuff.  They understood and didn't question it.

A while after they had gone there separate ways Older Boy came back to them and told them he needed help with a big feeling.  This is a HUGE step for any of them.  He said he had been thinking and he can't stop thinking about how he wishes it was T who was dead.  They weren't ready for that, but did the best they could through it.

Prayers for those little hearts.
Today I got a message from Middle Boy's older biological sister.  All of the siblings are going to be in town on Friday and they would love to see Middle Boy if we can make it work out.

Oh my....I am a wreck.  Can I even handle this and help both boys process simultaneously?

I called her and we chatted some about it.

There are four of them.  We met the oldest sister about a year and a half ago.  This is the younger sister and she lives in Texas with her husband.  There are two brothers.  The youngest of the siblings is nineteen with the exception of Middle Boy.  They all grew up with their biological father who is not the same man as Middle Boy's father.  Their life was more stable.

I decided we should do it.  I know Middle Boy will be excited to see them, but there will be big feelings and behaviors.  He recognizes them in Younger Boy, but does not see himself doing it.  I pray they won't be there, but they will. reunion at our house on Friday night.  Middle Boy's siblings on his mother's side.

Prayers for him and his feelings surrounding the visit.
We are still working to figure out what the best thing to do is for the kids.  How do we tell them?  What choices do we give them?  How will they handle it?

In the meantime I decided to meet Bio Mom, T.  I called her and asked if she would be willing to meet.

We decided we would meet at the hospital over my lunch hour since that is where she is spending her time and it is right near my office.

Before the meeting I sent out a prayer request for grace and understanding.  For wisdom.

We met.  I actually met T, Bio Grandma, and went in the room to see Bio Grandpa.

I don't have the words to describe this meeting.  I have always been angry at her for a laundry list of reasons.  Not a level of rage, but angry.  Disappointed in her, because she didn't protect the kids.

While I am still thinking about it and processing it I think mostly I left there feeling sorry for her.  She kept talking about how she raised five kids.  That makes me sad she thinks that.  She didn't raise five kids.  She birthed five kids.  She kept telling me she couldn't believe that Older Boy just turned 16 last week.  I didn't correct her, but he turned 17.

After going there Grandpa is not in any state that the kids should remember him in.  If is pretty clear he should be remembered as they remember him in their memories.

Today I got a call I wasn't prepared for.

It was Younger Boy's biological mom, T.  She is in town, because her father is dying.  He is in the hospital on life support and they are waiting for family to get here to say good-bye and then they are going to remove his life support.

That means Older Sister is coming to town. 

Here is the we let Younger Boy go and say good-bye to his biological grandpa.  He lived with them for a period of time after being removed from the home.  The amount of time seems to be in question, but definitely a period of time.  He talks about this grandpa.

Calls to his therapist.  Calls to Mom and Dad J.  We all want to do the right thing, but what exactly is that.  It's complicated.  Older Brother would need state approval to go.  That would be on therapist recommendation.  There are so many variables they don't know what to tell us to do.  We did decide we are either all in or all out.  Some can't go while others don't.

Silver lining...Older Sister is an adult.  She'll be here for a few weeks.  She is willing to do family therapy with the kids and hopefully fill in some gaps and make sense of some of the pieces since she was older.

Prayers for wisdom for all of us.  Prayers for a decision that is the healthiest for everyone involved.
Younger Boy spends a lot of time "spaced out".  A more than 90% of his time "not in the present".

Today at therapy we talked about it.  Therapist C asked him some questions he should know the answer to.  He doesn't even stop to think about the answers.  He sits there. he too lazy or can't be bothered with questions?  Does he just want to think about "nothing"?

The therapeutic team think he has used this dissociation as a way to keep himself from having to think about painful memories and feelings.

We made a list of pros and cons to thinking and being in the present.  I don't think he agrees that the present is where he should live.

Somehow we have to get him to engage.  The therapists want to try a session with Older Brother and Younger Sister since they are both engaging in therapy.  Maybe it will jolt his memories and maybe it will show him it is okay to share them and deal with them.

Prayers for wisdom in the best therapeutic avenue for him.