Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mind games...

Do they ever stop?

I'll be honest, adopting Grace has been one of the most tiring things I've ever done.  The phrase two steps forward, 3 steps back comes to mind.  Thankfully it is mostly just one step back.    

We new before adopting her that she would be a more challenging child...  We heard how she would go with anyone and everyone, which sent up red flags in attachment.  Three years later I can see what tremendous strides we've made.  Praise God, her mama/baba shopping is drastically reduced!  She comes up to me and apologizes on her own.  She will lay on my lap an look up into my lap and my heart melts.  And best of all, I get to hear the most wonderful words from my girlie, "I love you, mama!"  

But the mind games continue.  This morning she was playing with some of Shaoey's horse figures.  When she didn't want to play with them anymore, she walked up to Shaoey and just threw the ones she didn't want down on the floor.  I stopped, reminded her of the way we treat our belongings, and offered a redo (Redo's are BIG here thanks to Karyn Purvis and The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family).  No problem.  She accepted them from me, went over and set them down except for the one she wanted to play with.  All fine and dandy.  Or was it?  Then she dropped the one she was holding.  I could just accept this as a drop, but I KNEW in my heart that it wasn't and needed to be addressed.  These are the mind games I'm talking about.  I'd love to just let it go, but it seems that children with attachment issues NEED you to deal with it.  Not dealing with it is seen as a sign of weakness.   I let her know that I knew she hadn't "dropped" it, no arguing from her side.  You could see on her face that she knew she was busted.  A few minutes later, she was carrying 2 plates and a fork and I heard a clatter.  She piped up with "mama, it was an accident, I really didn't drop this one on purpose."  Bingo, I knew I was right the first time!  LOL

I know this doesn't sound like much, but it's just one example.  There are many more.  The constant vigilance is just tiring.  Passive aggressive just doesn't go over well here....

Adoption friends, any other pointers?

Thought you'd enjoy a few cute precious pictures!
One of our morning rituals is that we feed the girls a sippy cup of coffee milk.  It's such a great time of bonding.  (Normally another child isn't allowed on our lap at the same time, it was just too great a photo op to pass up.)


Chef Penny said...

No great words of wisdom but lots of hugs and prayers . She is lucky to have such a great momma!

Jolene said...

Wow, sometimes its refreshing for others to hear this, too! Sometimes I feel so alone in this journey with a child who has attachment disorder (but clearly IS attached). What WE see others don't see and they truly think we're singling out the one specific child or just being too harsh...they don't understand that it wasn't just an innocent "oops" type drop!

You are not alone and as exhausting as it is to be "on" all the time and seeing all the minor intricacies of attachment disorder (and PTSD/Anxiety like we deal with) our children are worth all our efforts to correct and redirect.

We adore our little man with RAD, yet, he can be exhausting to parent. Not in a bad way, just simply an "I need to fully rely on the Lord today" kind of exhausting!

Lifting you up today as you continue to teach your princess what true love is.

Charlene said...

Thank you, Penny and Jolene. You're sweet! It is hard putting it out there sometimes.

I know people that aren't aware of her needs/issues think I am too hard on her. Just can't let up or you lose ground. It is interesting that following those times that I "catch" her and am on to her games, I find she acts better and more...real and not manipulative. It reinforces that I'm on the right track.

Amen, on needing Him! No way I could do this alone.

Thanks again, girls!

Janet and Kevin said...

Our Eli's adjustment was very, very difficult. He had been so neglected that he didn't have ANY coping skills for ANYTHING, good or bad. In fact, he craved negative attention more than positive at first.

God has brought us far with him now, but there are still times that we have to stop and realize he is having one of those "craving negative" attentin days again.

I don't have any pointers except that you are doing the right thing by staying consistent in dealing with those situations. It sounds like your daughter is also beginning to realize when she has overstepped her boundaries. Eli does, for the most part now, realize his boundaries, but oh boy does he still test them!

It is exhausting to always be on our toes, isn't it? Will be praying for you all, especially as you add your new daughter to your family.

janet and gang

Debbie Lister said...

Hi Charlene, I just found your blog today through the knee team. Wow I can so relate to the mind games, that only I see. I am a single parent so I do not have a spouce to see and confirm this passive aggressive behaviour which is so frustrating. We are less that 4 months together, so you have been dealing with this alot longer then me. I really appreciate you sharing. I will be doing some research on attachment issues. My pretty girl is such a charmer and entertainer that everyone else just sees how cute she is and can not see what i see. So I end up feeling like a control freak Mom. Working on that "do over concept" here too! Wish I could help. Good to know we are not alone. Any reading recomendations for attachemnt issues?

Charlene said...

Hi, Debbie. I can't imagine not having someone to see it too. That must be so hard, praying for you. We moms just seem to know though, don't we? There's just something not right. Charmer is such a good term. They are the hit of the party. Grace almost seemed manic about it. She'd go into a frenzy... I am loving all of Karyn Purvis' stuff. Empowered to Connect has a ton of videos and articles. Nancy Thomas also has a website with articles. I like her kids book--"So you want to be a princess." Feel free to stop back by and commiserate. It's reasuring and motivating to know that others get it.