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Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Operation Salvage Summer 2012

It seems like every year this happens. Summer begins, the kids play in the neighborhood, Yogi & i both  work hard, home improvement projects get underway-if possible- and before ya know it- summer is o.v.e.r. Every year, by mid August, I start panicking and we throw in some last minute weekend day trips & excursions to save it. Since my last post I've taken the kids to the lake Thursday through Sunday, Yogi came up mid-day Saturday, We took a family kayaking trip around the lake, we've taken them to Weirs Beach, Hampton Beach, finally took them to the giant outlet mall they just built here, -Kendyl LOVED that- did some shoe shopping, and we've done a few other small things . This weekend I hope to finally take the train ride and sleep at the lake house one last weekend before school really gets going, we stayed home this weekend, since we had a wedding to attend. That was fun too!  They go back to school this Thursday and Friday, but then have Monday off. I wish they'd just start school on Tuesday after labor day, and make our lives easier.
Money is tight. 
Our mortgage is 2 months overdue. As of the 7th, it'll be 3. We owe EVERYBODY. We just keep trying. But.. we realize we have to do fun things with the kids now & then too. It's so hard to balance. The mortgage company sent someone here to take a photo of our house this morning. That's a bad sign. Not giving up. The business is as busy as ever, but we just have so many expenses, especially now, with attorneys.
All 3 vehicles are street legal now, so, there's that.
ShawnAlan is all set up to start Kindergarten at Kendyl's public school. At least it's free. Not much else I like about the idea. I caved. He also ended up in afternoon session, which I did not want. My whole schedule will have to change for the year. No spin classes either. They could have bent for me, but they didn't, and I didn't really feel up to asking. 
Defeated much?
At our family therapy session on Wednesday, which was positive, we invited Jackson to go to the beach with us on Sunday. He was somewhat receptive, but I told him to think it over and call me on Saturday. In the meantime, the Mom of Jackson's friend *Bruce called me to tell she and  *Bruce had brought Jackson some breakfast at the group home and that the boys wanted to know if  *Bruce could come to the beach with us too. Now... during the session, Big Jim had reminded Jackson that these home visits are not to involve friends-just his family. 2 days later, he's got an adult(the Mom who he stole borrowed the business laptop from that night!) to call me and put me on the spot. She got my voice mail, because I was painting conference rooms in the basement at our local library in my tragic abundance of spare time. I felt we were damned if we did, damned if we didn't. Yogi gave an instant, resounding NO WAY. My knee jerk reaction was similar, but more...uh... colorful. I waited a few days to call her back, so we could think it over and not feel rushed. I also did not appreciate being set up, whether it was by Jack, *Bruce, or her. *Bruce is nice, but I knew Jackson would not speak one willing word to us, or his siblings, all day if we brought a posse member friend of his. The fact is, we haven't had ONE positive visit with Jackson, and until he can do things with us, he's not going to do things with them. Bring him breakfast all you want, but know that you mean NOTHING to him, and you won't be disappointed. K? K.  We're clear. When I returned her call on Friday night, I got her voice mail, told her no, and told her why. Jackson called me, himself, on Saturday to tell me he'd decided he wanted to go with us, and asked if  *Bruce could come. I reminded him of Big Jim's instructions, gave him a gentle "maybe down the road, at some point" and wondered if he'd decide not to go. He just said "Okay" and said he still wanted to come. Crisis averted.
In my opinion, the trip was, on a Jackonese scale, a B+. I need to go get ready to see Dear John now, But from 11 to 7, he was kind, slightly forthcoming with information, and gentle to his sister's feelings. He helped us carry stuff, answered a few questions, helped me find bathing suit bottoms on the boardwalk(i lost mine) and didn't try to escape. I even gave him some freedom to go up to the strip by himself  TWICE. He probably bought cigs. I'm ignoring that crap now. Whatever. Go up in flames, Kid! He hugged all of us goodbye and seemed regulated-but would not eat anything for dinner. No idea. But...I'm takin' it. CHECK!
After we got home, he called me. Wanted to come over today so he can dance. I told him I couldn't do it today, my to-do list was STUPID, but could go get him on Friday(he starts school tomorrow). We'll see how week one at his school goes-he hates it there.
Sorry this was boring. I got nothin'. I used up all my funny this week.
Later this week, I will try make time to give you my Beachfront People Watching Report, from memory. THAT IS SOME FUNNY SHIT.
Until then....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


2 weeks ago, when we went to court, we were told the case had been postponed as soon as we arrived. They had asked for the continuance last minute. Nobody felt ready, I guess. I FELT READY. My friend had driven in from 30 minutes away, just to sit with me, knit something purple and keep me sane with her presence. She also brought us a nice dinner for that evening and the most amazing lemon cake I EVER ate. She's pretty much the bomb. Ya know her? You can find her here. You'll like her. Anyway, she didn't get any knitting done, they sent us all home. It was irritating. The only other good part, was that we ran into Jackson and his therapist(Big Jim) in the parking lot, and had a pleasant conversation.  This was 4 days after I had a relatively normal-trust me- "relatively normal" is a good thing- conversation on the phone with Jackson, which I didn't blog about. So.. TWO positives in one week. We were on a roll.

We met with the prosecutor yesterday, so we'd feel prepared for court today. She told us that she'd taken Jackson's file home for the weekend, his lawyer had too, and the 2 lawyers met on Monday. She stated that his case was "keeping them both up at night". They were on the same page, as far as what Jackson really needed, and since he is not eligible for the CHINS petition, the only way to go was to talk him into pleading TRUE to one of the offenses, so he could stay at NCH and get the services he needs, and avoid a trial. (We found out later that his lawyer met with him yesterday and he agreed, mostly to avoid testifying or hearing/seeing me testify.) We left the prosecutor's office feeling heard. We were able to fill her in about prior events, how we parent, our backgrounds in foster care, where we wanted to go from here .. all that stuff. I felt okay.

We went back to court today. We were told that Jackson had agreed to plead true, we met with Jackson and his therapist, Jackson was shy but pleasant. He was dressed like a thug ass hood rat and his Afro looked like a rabid racoon's nest, but.. whatever. He doesn't like taking care of it, but hates having it short. I always did that for him.
At that point, Jackson met with his lawyer and signed everything. She brought the paperwork out to the lobby to us to sign, but not before making the fateful error of letting the following pile of shit pour thought out of her mouth:
"I must be honest, here, and admit that, as his attorney, My moral compass is causing me to have difficulty allowing such a kind young man to plead guilty to making threats that he would never really follow through with. He was just a typical teenager, angry and "spouting off".
"Well, Ma'am, I must be honest with you as well, and remind you of the fact that you met our son a mere 2 weeks ago, have met with him thrice, total, and have no idea what you are talking about right now.  You also might want to touch base with the 5 therapists who have treated him in the past 9 years who completely disagree with your opinion and will attest to his unstable mental state. I'm happy to sign a release of information authorization form for you. You also might want to eat a big giant slab of SHUT THE FUCK UP cake. Ok, Ok, I held onto that last part. Yogi was looking at me with his PLEASE DON'T TELL ANYBODY TO GO FUCK THEMSELVES TODAY, BABY! face. The man suffocates me, I swear.
Before she could so much as respond with a,  "Whaaaaa?" Yogi took me firmly by the hand, and  dragged me the fuck outta there before i spit in her coffee found us a nice little out-of-the-way conference room to hang out in and refresh our thoughts. Isn't he a gem?  I know. Then.... we waited.
and waited.
and waited.
and waited.
Jackson lay his head on the table and slept, while my adorable husband -who always has my back- chatted with Big Jim and me about the weather, the ever rising price of petroleum based roofing shingles and everything in between, while that bitches  that lawyer's words rolled around and around and around inside my skull. Finally, as the conversation became stale, we got word that it was our turn. 
We entered the court room, Judge KingKone smiled at us and the proceedings went as smoothly as possible. NCH had sent the judge a report of Jackson's behavior and progress at their facility, I had received one as well. They conveniently omitted the midnight ear piercing party, the pot and cig smoking, the refusal to do any chores whatsoever, his resistance to therapy, his extremely overly sexual nature etc. etc.. but he referred to it repeatedly and kept mentioning the glowing report he'd received. Yogi held my hand firmly while I tried not to throw up on his shoes interject. It was lovely. Like a wedding. But without the stench of... never mind. He closed by stating, on the record, that we will all meet again in 60 days, (Jackson's lawyer had fought it down from 90 to 60, to give Jackson something to look forward to and work towards. Isn't she darling?)and if all is going well at that time, Jackson will be sent home. To us. At our residence. Where we live. He even stated that if we/they saw fit to send him home sooner, to go ahead and file a motion and he would be happy to see us anytime.
In 13 weeks at NCH, Jackson has behaved and slept well. That's it. Hardly any therapy, only 2 home visits, only 2 family therapy sessions, no new diagnosis, no medications have been prescribed, no meeting with psych MD to even begin that process... nothing. What progress are they speaking of? He hasn't physically assaulted anyone and won a recent urban dance contest, so... He's HEALED? I find this bullshit information hard to swallow. I am not stupid. But I am, however, exhausted, powerless, emotionally defeated and broke. I miss my son but I also have to protect our other children FROM HIM. I have to protect MYSELF from him. He has learned many new things at NCH. Not all of them are positive things.
When I'm found dead, or Jackson is inadvertently killed or wounded by my husband or myself during an altercation, everyone will say, 
"I wish we'd known."
"Could we have done more?"
Sounds like mere drama, but I know better.
I'm his Mom.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Year Ago Today

We took these photos at 7am, right before Kristin and Evan drove away to their new life together in northern California, where Evan grew up. We haven't seen either of them since. Some days that is hard for me to accept. Other days, I understand, and it's OK. A year is a long time, but she is very happy out there, with him, her cat Neena, and her great new career. We text back & forth, but that's all. Life sure is different. She's very independent, always was. I must have done something right. Right? But, I miss her.

keeping up

That pressure to give the kids a fun summer every year is a tough one. It's the busiest season for our business and it seems like every year, we struggle with emergency expenses. My truck, Butch, passed inspection, then broke down 2 days later. 2 trips to the garage, and $2500.00 later, she's running great. Our roofing truck, Stella, didn't even pass. She needs about $1500.00 worth of front end work, so she's parked while we think about what we want to/can do. For the time being, Yogi is only driving our 14 foot box truck, Gloria. She passed with flying colors. All 3 vehicles had to be registered as well, as both of our Birthdays are in June. Add all that to the $1800.00 we've handed our lawyer, the one we didn't really even need, and you've got poop soup. ShawnAlan's Birthday went pretty much unnoticed. We hung out up at my parent's lake house got him a cookie cake, and did some kayaking. My parents bought him a cool scooter. He noticed the lack of hoopla, in comparison to his friend's special days. Last week both youngest kids were sick with summer colds, sore throats and fevers. Ken is still getting over it. The last 3 weekends, in a row, have been stormy. We've had court, it seems, every Wednesday. The dogs both caught a skin infection at the swamp. I'm into that for 300$ already, and they both need one more shot. Our coon hound will need immunizations after that, and STILL needs to be neutered. Have I mentioned we are among the uninsured? The medical bills are mounting, especially mine, mostly simply because I have lady bits. Insured or not, that crap still needs to be.. um... analyzed LOL. I also suffer injuries now & then, and to keep doing what I do, they need treatment and care. The list just goes on and on and on and on. 
All. The. Time. 
I really thought we'd be in a much better financial place by 43&49. It just hasn't gone that way. I know we are not alone, and that helps my aching head, but not much. Seems everyone is struggling. My shrink seems to be doing pretty well. I should have gone to school for that shit.
Anyway, I'm always feeling some guilt about something. I hope the weather is decent this weekend so we/I can take the kids on the train ride we promised, or maybe go to a (sort of) local amusement park. Water park? whatever. Gotta do SOMETHING. We saw the ocean ONCE. On Mother's Day. While Jackson was MISSING. Fuckin' awesome. In Yogi's defense, he offered to take me to the ocean for my Birthday, I didn't want to, but I can't remember why, now. I think i was hurt.
Shawn's Montessori school closed for good in June, LONG STORY, so I need to register him for public school this week. I'm not thrilled about it, can you tell? It's only 2 hours a day-his other school was 4. After court tomorrow, (Tomorrow is Wednesday!)I'm taking the kids up to the lake for the remainder of the week, mostly so I can listen to Kendyl sob for her Daddy at night. He will come up mid day Saturday, most likely, then spend the rest of the weekend with us up there. 
On KoobFace, I read status updates about amazing summer vacations and cool day trips, and I feel guilty that we can't make those memories for them. WE do what we can. No idea if it's enough. 
Court tomorrow is another story... I will update you after it's over. It's been a long, crazy month, as far as that stuff goes, too. OY!
Xanax please!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


My sister Amy is a quilter. A gifted, mostly self taught, incredibly talented & creative quilter- and person. At times, she makes me want to repeatedly slam my neck hand in a car door, but.. that's a blog post for another day. That day will come, too. I mean it. 
When we were 5&6, she'd sew marble bags and Barbie clothes and sell them to the all the kids in our hood. Well.. in actuality, she gave her one-of-a-kind, American made goods away at first, but then, once the kids were hooked & drooling, she'd slam them with her jacked up prices and grin with her hand out while they cried & kicked the dirt at our door, in a childish attempt at the delicate art of peer negotiation. Alas, they were no match for Amy The Great. Defeated, the custodial parent would glare at my innocent, non confrontational Mother as they handed over the tear dampened, crumpled wads of Benjamins.  Looking back now, she was quite the little entrepreneur. Her business only grew over the years, she made some incredible stuff as she learned to cross stitch, knit, crochet and do some other crafts I can't pronounce or remember. In fact, by high school she was starting fashion trends! But... in adulthood she ended up falling hard for office management/accounting and now only quilts and sews for her own enjoyment. She often dreams about something she wants to make, wakes up, draws a picture of it, then gets up in the morning and begins the new project. The gift is still there, but she never wanted it to be a "have to". Never wanted it to be something she needed by a certain deadline, and I can totally understand that. "I'm not a trained chimp!" She's rides a motorcycle, enjoys genealogy/ancestry and  accounting, and is totally at peace about where all of it falls into place in her life. 

I have about 4 different blog posts I need to write, and, like my Sister, I often wake up with the overwhelming need to take notes at my bedside, so that I can get back to sleep and focus on my writing at a later, more convenient time. 
One theme rings true in all 4 post outlines: GIFTS.
What are my true gifts? Where can they take me? So far, I have always kept career talk OFF the bloggy table. Some of you know what I do & don't do, some of you don't. But I never discuss it on here. It's boring and doesn't belong here. I'm not a brain surgeon or a CIA agent, but.. I do things. 
I want to do new things. 
ME things. 
I just wanna be ME!
I love to write. I always have, for as long as I can remember.
I'd like to write, on a full time basis, and cash a paycheck now & then. When people keep telling me I'm good at something, I finally cave and believe it. But then I read other writing and think, "I'm not that good/that deep/that funny/that poignant/that clever/that timely". Self confidence doesn't exactly ooze from my pores- especially lately. My sense of self has certainly taken a hit. As Mothers, we spend our time helping our children uncover their gifts, and often ignore our own search for self. Don't you agree? In any case, between Dear John, Big Jim, my handsome spouse who believes in me with everything he is, a handful of friends & family members, and one very, very special guy in my life, who I hung out at a bar with last night -and who I love so much it hurts-he always tells me the truth and always has my back, I've decided to actively seek out my true gifts, do some research and see if I can financially profit from my "talents". I put that term in quotes because I'm still working on the Believing It part.
And, if that doesn't work out I'm totally going to clown college.

Friday, August 3, 2012

oddities & honesty

Ahhhh... so much rumor. Much of the shit -about us, I mean,-being tossed around our town has rolled off me like sweat off a racehorse. My skin has thickened with age & experience. A few choice comments have stuck with me though, I will admit that fact. They sit, down low in my gut, and re surge during my lowest, darkest moments. The words play over & over in my head while I try to fall asleep at night. They pop into my head while I'm alone, driving in my truck or, like in the last few days, sanding and re-staining my decks and lawn furniture out in the hot sun. Alone is hard. I avoid it, but I find myself avoiding interaction at the same time. It's a constant inner battle.
My favorite hurtful-and devoid of any merit whatsoever- comment is the one the evil DCYF attorney (let's just call her Back Fat, since we're being all damaged and judge-y)made. The "He was just a fun project" vomit. Is it hurtful because its B.S.? Hurtful because I'm wondering if she may be partially right? Hurtful because her panty lines were so lumpy and dreadful? Wait.. it couldn't be that, could it? Anyway... That observation rolls around in my mind often, as I go about my day. That's a subject to explore with Dear John, I suppose. He's the king of, "Let's explore that." I need to open up to him more than I have been anyways. I totally keep the guy at arms length. I squirm uncomfortably in the chair and attempt to change the subject, over and over, while he spends the entire hour struggling to turn me back. He probably drinks very heavily after our sessions. I know I do! want to!
Some days, I wish I missed him less.
Other days, I wish I missed him so much more.
Some days, I feel so angry and resentful, and filled with tons of regret.
Other days, I feel so sad and overcome by guilt.. and filled with tons of regret.
Then there are those days I feel like a monster.
Then there are days I feel like HE is a monster.
But, I'm still just going to call him Jackson, since he's still my son.
For now.

Monday, July 30, 2012

self care

There's this thing I do for myself when I fall off the HOLD YOUR GROUND! wagon, or I start to feel guilty about Jackson's placement, the separation, his confusion & loneliness, or any part of this whole situation.

I call him on the phone. 

His use of various and colorful go-to obscenities, followed by the instantaneous CLICK & dial tone in my ear that follow, are an instant cure for what ails me.
All better.
For now, anyway.
I'm thinking about trying this too.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Beautiful Years

There were times, even long periods of time over the years, that I thought we were going to make it, ya know. No, there really were. My friend Mary, a fellow Trauma Mama, always refers to those periods as The Beautiful years. And she's right. They are! Those however many good and regulated days that you/the child string together, and sometimes you don't even notice how good they were until they END. And oh, how they end. Sometimes you do notice them, and you wait for it to fall apart, often knowing that it will. Other times, you're oblivious, or way too glass-half-full for your own good, and feel like the worst is over. In March of 2011, after my first ETAAM retreat to Orlando, I blogged, "I'm healing, He's healing...I'm committed.... blahhhhhhh." It makes me laugh cry to look back and read it now.
Dear John & Big Jim(Jackson's in house therapist at The Boys Home) both tell us we never had a chance. He's pining away for *her, and until he's ready to put some effort in and do some trauma work in therapy, he'll never heal or truly attach to anyone. So, there's that.
A very good friend of mine -who blogs beautifully over here - asked me yesterday, "It seems like he WAS attaching when he was younger. What do you think changed? What happened?" and it's SUCH a good question. Progress came to a screeching halt by age13. Puberty, as well as peers, especially the kids he saw every summer at the camp for HIV infected youth, were both  huge influences. He was suddenly so one dimensional, such a follower. Outside influences controlled his every move. He could not think for himself in any capacity. Clothing/fashion ,shoes, accessories and electronics ruled his life. His anxiety heightened dramatically. Academically, he was 4-5 years behind everyone else, (due to ability and effort combined)and had to find ways to validate himself and fit in. He became very interested in-downright fixated upon- American black culture. A gifted, well rounded dancer, he suddenly could only dance ONE way, to ONE genre of music, wearing ONE type of clothing, with ONE hairstyle. His interest in girls/sex/porn/ quadrupled, and his access to any media had to be drastically reduced. He couldn't handle a cell phone or I Pod due to stalker-ish tendencies, inability and unwillingness to have boundaries and porn fixation(you'll have to read back to see details on that). Then, by 15 it was worse. All of it, but especially the defiance, his very publicized hate for authority and his severe social anxiety. In 100*F weather he wore jeans, over boxers AND gym shorts. 2 shirts. hooded sweatshirt.... ANXIETY. Don't look at me. Don't see me. He claimed he was cold, but was actually just trying to blend in black culture & look like other black teen males he saw in the media and in dance videos on You Tube. He feels he has to look like those around him at times, but is also quite a trend setter at school, and the other kids begin to emulate HIM. It's odd. At The Boys Home he's in now, during the first 6 weeks kids and adults kept asking him why he was in 4 layers of clothes, but at our last meeting, the one we walked out of, he was suddenly in basketball shorts and a t shirt, which I hadn't seen him wear in 2+ years. He adapted. It's hot there and the other boys were dressed that way, so he relented.. but it took WEEKS. He is so hard to figure out and explain to others. I will stop there. ...But "why?" "how?" is all I think about, truthfully. It's overwhelming. All encompassing, and like I said yesterday, HEAVY. I look forward to lighter days ahead.
Sorry this was so boring to read, it put me to sleep. Tomorrow, I will try to be more riveting. For the sake of anticipation, let's pre-title tomorrow's post, "The Shit's About To Get Real, Up In Hee Uh."

*her -Jackson's second Haitian Mother, who took him in after watching him walk back and forth past her house for 3 days, when he was under 2 years old. She assumed his parents had died or left him.  She and her asshole husband finally took him in on the 4th day, named him Jackson, and kept him for about 3-4 years, at which time asshole the husband ripped Jackson away from her while she was screaming hysterically, Jackson was too, and he took him to social services office and dropped him off, stating that he'd lost his job and could no longer care for another man's child. Jackson states that the man hit and slapped his Mother during the removal, and he claims that she had told him through her tears, "I will come looking for you. Be brave. I will find you. I will see you again." 
He was brave.
he was sick.
He was scared.
She never came. 
20 months later, there I was. White & bright. "I'm your new Mommy!"
GAG. How could I have known? How could I NOT have known?
juuuuust beautiful.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Aftermath

This is the last picture i took of Jackson before IT happened. I find myself always saying IT because I still  really don't have any idea how we got to where we are today. This was taken in early May, during a town rec. baseball game. He was angry that we showed up to watch. The other boys were waving to their parents, making eye contact. Not him. There was none of that nonsense. He had taken 2 years off from baseball, but when a friend's team suffered 3 long term injuries, The friend's Dad, who was the coach, asked Jackson to play for him. On paper, Jackson was 4 days too old to play, but the league made an exception. I was THRILLED. I tried to hide my glee. We didn't see any effort, it was pretty obvious he was only showing up for the social aspect and to get out of the house and away from us, but... he was showing up. Little victories are still victories. After that first practice I bought him some new cleats, dug out the giant rubbermaid tub full of baseball stuff, where I've saved everything from toddler sized to Doug's size that last summer he played at age 15 1/2, and  he was good to go....for the first 10 days, that is... then it was "boring" and he started refusing to go. 2 days into that attitude was when he began running away. you know... 10 days after he pinky swore he'd stick with it and 10 days after I wrote the $120 check to the league@@. aaahhhh the memories.

right now, I'm just trying to stay busy, and positive. I listen to lots of music, play my piano-I have one now!, write, run, lift weights, take a few spin classes, spend time with our 2 youngest, spend weekends at my parents lakehouse an hour away(he hated it there), & eat too many carbs. Some days are so much harder than others. My mind wanders. My imagination is on full tilt. I have the strangest and most unsettling dreams about him. I dream about when he was little and silly and that sweet side of him would show just a bit. I'd read him stories at bedtime, He'd braid my hair & then ask me to stay in his room until he fell asleep. I also dream about him coming back here, in a black car with 2 friends. Bigger. Older..... and shooting each of us, one by one, while we sleep. depends on the day.

There is no contact. I call him, but he either refuses to come to the phone at all, or comes to the phone, blurts obscenities and slams the receiver in my ear. chickuh eeehhhhhhhhh. He is completely empty. VACANT. hateful. scarred.

In court, the DCYF attorney basically labeled us collectors. She said that 'this boy' was just a little project of ours and we grew tired of him. She & I have never had a conversation. She doesn't even know us. She judged us. I judged her too. Her business suit was too tight and she needed a waaay more supportive, as well as Back Fat Smoothing, bra. There. I can judge too. She was the one who made him her project. She wanted to 'save' him. Too late, Bitch. We already did.  'Lotta good it did anybody, huh?

Let's talk about that. Pull up a chair. NOT THAT CHAIR! kidding.
PROJECT? We refinanced our house to adopt that little boy. I traded in my car. I loved that freaking car. I gave up my job. I changed my entire life, my parenting style, my life & career plans. I left my 12 & 14 year olds, and my husband, for weeks and weeks while I tried to get him out of Haiti on a medical Visa. My relationship with Kristin, more than anyone, was seriously strained, and without going into detail, was damaged so much that it has never recovered. She & I do not have a relationship anymore. We've been to hell and back, and back to hell 75 times over since we started this process in September of 2002. He was not a little cutesy project. He was our son. I'd do it again... But I'd beg for a different outcome.

Our family shrink.. oh, who the fuck am I  kidding? The guy, -who I will, from now on, affectionately refer to as Dear John,- treats ME... Anyhow, Dear John says we need to focus on the things we did RIGHT. The good things. The positives. He says I have taken this whole thing on my shoulders, carrying all the blame & burden for the abusers in his past, and I have to move on from that. I get stuck on the mistakes we made too, though. When Jackson first came to us, we may have rushed him. Rushed him to speak English, rushed him off to school. Rushed him to play sports, fit in, sleep in his own room, make friends, read, write, care for himself, stop wetting his bed.... was it all too much? I'm kind, but I'm not very physically affectionate with my children. It's something I didn't experience as a child, am not very comfortable with, and have to to consciously remind myself to engage in(the other kids will attest to this, especially the oldest 2)Did I push him away? Did he feel rejected by me, at times? Did he EVER feel any sense of belonging? Safety? Did he constantly feel like a disappointment?

See my dilemma?  CONSTANT self examination. CONSTANT re examination of every move we/I've made in the past (nearly) 10 years, as parents. It's a tiring, sad and very lonely place to be.


I guess this is one of the hard days. Some really good things happened today! But, IT is always there, with me. Riiiight here, on my lap. On my shoulders. Heavy. Hard. BONE CRUSHING.

Maybe when i write again, I will be able to list some positives. Tonight? Not so much. I'm coming up empty.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I promised my shrink

I made a promise to my therapist that I'd start writing again. It helps me so much, and some of the drivel that pours out of me isn't exactly appropriate for KoobFace. This is a better place for my literary brain dumps. 

Things are hard right now, and, after such a long blog break, filling readers in about all of it would take eons. I will try to give a synopsis of recent events.

Jackson began working with a new therapist in October. I use the term therapy loosely, because Jackson would not speak to him. Think Good Will Hunting. We continued to take him anyway. In May, Jackson had, what I would term, a psychotic break, of sorts. In the last 7 months or so, It had come to the point where he got into trouble 100% of the time he was permitted to leave the house. Even while at supervised events, he was under the radar, causing trouble. He stole borrowed a business laptop from a friend's Mother etc..So.. we shrunk his world, shrunk it some more, then shrunk it some more... beginning in January, when he attempted to purchase a firearm on KoobFace. We had another meeting at the school. We begged for an assistant, citing the constant disappearing,(I was lost!) the supposed "posturing"(confronting & threatening a teacher without words, making her feel like she couldn't leave her classroom if she tried-10 day suspension) a physical fight over a stolen borrowed item, and finally, the gun thing. Instead of an assistant, they placed him out of district, in an alternative school in the next town. He was not happy about it, but didn't fight it. 18 other boys, no girls, no fashion runway, adventure based. He was livid, but it was all internal. At first it was OK, but as he began to realize how therapy-ish the school was, and how under the microscope he was-they were catching him at all that quiet defiance, setting people up to fight while he sits in a corner giggling, thinking he looks innocent.. all that stuff-he started to really act out at home, which our therapist(the guy Jackson was seeing ended up working with the rest of us) warned us he would do. He was a caged animal. He was sneaking out and getting high, having unprotected sex with various girls, putting others at risk, regardless of everything we were doing to keep him close-which was A LOT. By early May, it was UGLY.  right before Mother's day, he ran away, after being suspended from school for picking a fight on a field trip to a beach. it was a Friday, and he expected that I would not find out about the suspension until Monday, like with his old school. 1 minute after he arrived home, the call came in. He was stunned. He had made weekend plans. (plans that would not have been followed through, but still.. plans) I hung up, and simply told him he was in for the weekend, and on Monday, the suspension day, he would roof a house with his Dad. He never spoke up, other than to blame the other student for the altercation & claim that when he returned to school on Tuesday, he'd make sure to "get expelled". But, as calm as he seemed, I knew he was stewing. HE WANTED HIS WAY. by 9pm, he'd taken off. Long story short, the police searched for him, found him &  brought him back home 7 times over the next 8 days. during his short stints between runs, he called me Cunt face and threatened to kill me several times. he called sweet little Kendyl a bitch for walking by him. he injured our dog. he begged to go live in a "Children's Home". The police didn't have enough to refer him to the probation officer he'd had a year prior, I called the JPPO myself, he claimed Jackson was not eligible for a CHINS petition. The police and the JPPO told me it was time to call DCYF for help. I resisted. but.. ultimately, I had to face facts. He'd missed 9 doses of HIV meds in the 8 days. We were playing with his safety, and the safety of his.. um... partners friends, and that is something I swore we'd never do, so on Friday morning, i made the call. the intake social worker arrived by 11am to interview me, was in court to put it before a judge by 4 and Jackson was out, and at a "Children's Home" by 630pm that very day-even though he had escaped from his school during dismissal, jumped into the car of an out of town student who'd had a driver's license for less than 3 weeks, and was MISSING for hours. ( I had called to warn them, i knew what he was planning, but nobody was paying any attention). Unfortunately, for DCYF to get this done, they have to file neglect, abandonment & abuse charges against the parents. They claimed that they'd try to file "unknown perpetrator" charges instead, petitioning the courts to get Jackson the services he needs due to the Haitian abusers in his early life, but then they just didn't bother. We fought the charges in court and won because the judge saw right through DCYF's lies -they were claiming that it was obvious that we had no intention of reunifying. total BS-& the judge ended the proceedings almost as soon as they began. He knows we are seasoned parents with a ton of knowledge and we're good people who tried for a long time(9 years). Also, he knew we'd been in court with Jackson 12 mos. prior, and he'd been placed on probation back then, for attacking us in his bedroom because we wouldn't let him go somewhere. the judge called everyone into his chambers and came up with a new plan. Criminal threatening charges were later filed against Jackson himself, putting HIM in the hot seat for HIS poor choices, behavior & actions, instead of us. Jackson pled not guilty 3 days later, thinking he'd be allowed to "go home" if he did this. In my opinion, he had very little understanding of what was going on. He'd been living in the facility for 8 or 9 weeks at that point. He'd had 2 day visits with us, but he never spoke to us during those visits. He just wanted to take off and go hang out with friends, which we didn't allow, and made it clear we wouldn't be allowing, for a long time anyway. (ummm you were caught smoking pot in a supervised facility. how can we, in good conscience, ever???... UGH)After that, he refused to speak to us or visit at all.
Jackson has now been living at NCH for 10 weeks. his trial is on 8.8- i have to testify against him for his constant threats. funny how BEFORE I called DCYF, we didn't have enough to file any charges or a CHINS petition. now, we suddenly have enough to file BOTH. what has changed? NOTHING. everybody just fudged everything to get him the out-of-home services he desperately needs. WHY COULDN'T ANYBODY DO THAT BEFORE??? The lawyer cost us a fortune. DCYF doesn't appoint lawyers to families anymore. budget cuts, ya know. This has been quite fun. fun like a fucking rash.
Jackson insists he wants to "go home" but wants to live here by himself and not see us, speak to us or follow our rules. he is about 16, and made this statement, yet... nobody thinks he has any huge disabilities. no logic, reasoning, cause & effect, IQ of 75... but... no problem. the adults don't seem to have any more logic than he does!
Obviously, the judge will rule him guilty on 8.8, regardless of how the trial proceedings go, so that he can stay at NCH, get the daily life skills coaching, 24/7 SUPERVISION & therapy he receives there(he actually talks to the guy a tiny bit, although the guy admits that no real progress has been made) and continue to attend the alternative school he hates enjoys so much. we've been to 2 "family therapy" sessions at NCH, but they've gone so badly, we had to walk out of the most recent one. so.much.past.trauma. he went wonky wickety wack. It wasn't pretty.
Since being placed at NCH, he broke his hip in the first 8 days, jumping over a fence because he was told "the only thing you can't do is jump over the fence", has stolen a few items, has pierced both of his ears with a rusty nail(nobody even noticed! can you imagine the blood bath that was?) and has been caught smoking pot and cigarettes at a building nearby. 24/7 supervision? NOT SO MUCH. But... I'm glad they're seeing the Under The Radar behaviors.
There is so much more detail than I'm writing here, but like I said, it would take years. This is the condensed version and now that you're up to speed, so to speak, I will tell you that I plan to use this blog to mostly share MY feelings, MY progress, My thoughts. It may seem like I don't care about him, but I do. I miss the old Jackson, as goofy as unregulated as he often was. I feel SO much guilt. I always said I'd never let anybody take him away from us and would never be the 3rd Mother figure to abandon him. his departure and the what led up to it, and the aftermath of it all, has affected all of us, and affected all of us differently, but has hit me the hardest, by far. Jacky was my baby!  My emotions are all over the place, and change hourly, if not more often than that. I plan to use this old blog O mine as a place to release it all. KoobFace has seen enough of me and my lame outpourings, I reckon.
I used to be funny. I hope my funny comes back someday soon.

Monday, April 30, 2012

a few pics

 daddy daughter dinner dance

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Orlando, Baby!

Orlando was amazing, again. going in knowing lots of the women already was the recipe for relaxation, I loved every minute of it. here are some of my favorite pics

Sunday, February 19, 2012

yes, i will be in Orlando! see ya there!! who wants to run with me?