I haven't blogged because I was torn on how to post happy life posts when things just aren't happy most of the times. I struggled between if you don't have anything nice to say than don't say anything and honesty is the best policy. Today I am taking the step towards honesty is the best policy. The truth is life has been hard this year. The hardest year I have ever experienced. It has also been enlightening and miraculous but really hard.
The biggest truth to tell is that my daughter has reactive attachment disorder. It is horrible and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I often wonder what brought it in to our lives but it's hear and we struggle with dealing with it. For those who don't know reactive attachment disorder comes from an insecure attachment to a caregiver in early years. We don't know our daughter's first 18 months. We know why she was placed in to foster care at 18 months and what has happened with her since she joined our family. Due to her experiences in the first 18 months she struggles with forming attachments to her caregivers, in our case us her parents. She is great at making superficial attachments with teachers, bus drivers, Sunday school teachers, and the sorts but real bonded attachment isn't there. It is heart breaking to see it and not be able to fix it. If you want to know more about attachment disorder and the causes visit Attachment.org they do a much better job of explaining the details. What does it mean to our family I can help you better understand.
It means we lived on the edge, always waiting to see what will set her off. Once she was set off she would rage, like a toddler temper tantrum but worse much worse. She would rage for hours some times or minutes the next so you never knew what you were going to get and how long it would last. It means when she gets on the bus you kind of hold your breath and hope today goes well. That she doesn't go to school and tell some horrible lie about you to the staff. Then she comes home and you wonder if the story she is telling you about how the teacher didn't let her do her work, or yelled at her, that the kids were being mean to her at recess are true. Then you ask her to hang up her jacket and on the floor she goes kicking and screaming about how she doesn't feel like hanging up her jacket. You walk away and try to ignore her. She eventually gives up and hangs up her jacket. Then you start making dinner and ask her to start her homework surprisingly she agrees you feel successful. She starts working on her math and the questions start. Mom what is 2+3, you reply I bet you can figure that out give it a try. She whines and says it's too hard you know she knows how to add and you feel yourself being sucked in to this game she is playing. Well skip that one and try another one since that one is too hard for you. The game continues until she refuses to do the work and is trying to appear to be crying but no tears just red circles around her eyes where she rubbed them to try and appear to be crying. Dinner time and we all sit down to eat. The gorging game begins with her and her brother. They cram food in to their mouth as fast as possible making a mess but intent on being the first one done so they can get more. After dinner add in showering and bed time and the drama continues.
Then the end of March my nerves couldn't take the tantrums anymore. She was spending hours a day yelling, screaming, throwing things, laying on the floor and banging and kicking her floor which is the ceiling of the main level of the house. I was at the end of my rope. She kept screaming how much she hated me and her family that she didn't want to live with us and that she was never going to stop screaming and kicking because she hates us. I asked my sister if she could come there for spring break. She thankfully agreed and we took her to stay there the week before spring break. Little did I know that my world was about to go spinning out of control just a few days later.
On March 28th my husband had a MRI done on his head for some dizziness he was having. On March 29th we went and saw his Dr and found out he had a brain tumor. It was like the world stopped and everything went in to slow motion. I have heard this said before and never understood the impact until I lived it. I remember sitting across from Jason and the Dr. saying the MRI showed something on his brain. Then it was like the room got really long and Jason who was sitting right across from me was suddenly down a long tunnel and everything slowed down. I don't remember what I said. I don't recall a lot of what the Dr said besides he would set up an appointment with a neurosurgeon for us. I didn't cry, I was too terrified to cry, I was too numb to cry, I was to confused to cry. How could this be added on top of all that we are currently dealing with? How could this be happening to my husband? We left with an appointment in 2 weeks to see a neurosurgeon. Jason insisted he wanted to go back to work, I took him back to his office and drove to pick up Rogan from preschool. I walked in the door and his amazing teachers knew we were going to the Dr. knew immediately that we didn't get good news I must have looked bad. I am not sure if I kept it together to tell them but they were the first ones to know the news besides us. They helped me get Rogan ready to go and then I called Jason and told him he was coming home. I couldn't leave him at work and I didn't want him to drive. I couldn't imagine what was going through his mind as I knew what I was thinking and I wasn't the one with the diagnosis. We came home that day and started living a new reality.
Thankfully my sister agreed to keep my daughter as I wasn't capable of managing RAD, 4 other special needs kids and a sick husband. We were able to enroll her in school at my sisters with out any problems which was amazing. Then we began the job of waiting to get in to the Dr.