Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Therapy was a home run sandwich. Thank God! (I hope) Turns out J is still living in fear that I wouldn't come back to her. Well....duh! I would believe that too if I had 28 moms. Going to have practice with leaving and coming back so that she knows I will never desert her. She didn't have time to do the gratitude list tonight since she had to finish writing her letters to Mrs. Kacak, the doors and walls. Yep....she had to read her apology letter to the doors and wall....

She went to bed late tonight because we made the time to do the positive affirmations CD in her voice. She practiced reading them several times before we recorded it and by the time we went "live" she sounded like she actually believed what she was reading. She is listening to it (all night) now. She was very proud of it and enjoyed making the recording. Tomorrow we're going to have to record a new one that includes "my mom will never desert me."

Now it's my turn to make a CD. My goal is to make sure it's done this week. I can be such a procrastinator.....

Lisa's Gratitude:
1. Therapy
2. An awesome daughter
3. Pedicure & foot massage
4. Hot shower that hurts so good
5. Blooming rhododendrons

Welcome back home.....

Last night I almost forgot to go to bed....well almost.... new MP3 player loaded with all my favorite music was blasting in my ears as I was dancing around my bathroom (the ONLY safe place for a person with no rythym and two left feet to perform) straightening my hair (no small feat for my unruly hair). U2's Beautiful Day, Crazy Town's Butterfly, Magnet's Lay Lady Lay, Shakira's Hips Don't Lie, Allman Bros Back Where it All Begins...all the songs that make me happy.... I showed myself that I could indeed multi-task and not flat-iron my ear plug wires (almost). There is hope for me yet.... :-)

Good thing I went to Serenity....
Monday, yesterday and today have been pure hell for Jessi (Mrs. Kacak) though. She is absolutely beside herself. Today was the worst. She left @ 11:30 after she had sent J to the respite room because she couldn't stand to be around her. J threw things at her, tried to lock herself in the bathroom, poised her pencil and threatened to throw it at her and told her that it WOULD kill her, kicked her several times, she ran all over the house, upstairs & down before finally going to the respite room. Chrissi is having her start writing her apology letter now. She has had to do one everyday this week and yesterday she had to do one for Chrissi too. Jessi has been having her hit her yucky pillow and draw her yuckies out but it hasn't worked this week. I knew she was really out of sorts this morning but it wasn't too bad. Sometimes when that happens she turns it around and has a really great day.

Thank God it's Wednesday so we can go to therapy. **heavy sigh** I'm so torn....I want to go home and deal with it but know that I need to wait until we meet at therapy @ 2.

God bless you Laura...thank you for your email....Hoping you don't mind but I'm posting part of it here so that I can read and re-read it to keep my spirits up. I've got to get some things off my desk before therapy but I'll get back with you later. Promise.

Laura's email:
For a long time now I have sat in the background and read and re-read your blog and I have to tell you, you are one of the most amazing people that has entered into my life in like forever. I admire you for your wonderful, beautiful positive attitude. You have inspired me, you have made me laugh, made me cry and gotten me through some pretty rough times. I have to say that I have been struggling with a lot of things lately and it always helps me to sit down and read your blog. Each and everytime I do I walk away with a whole different outlook on things and a new direction to which I want to head in my life. I need a Serenity weekend. One where I can go clear my head and find some direction in my life. But in the meantime I just keep being drawn back to you and your wonderful strength, positive attitude and wisdom. Lisa, please don't ever change and I want to thank you for everything. Laura

Hanging on till tomorrow for my massage. Keep breathing.....keep putting one foot in front of the other....This too shall pass.....One day at a time....(5 minutes at a time), tapping, affirmations....taking my mind back to last weekend....remembering I threw my running shoes in the bonfire last Saturday night....

Lisa's Gratitude:
1. Beautiful acid green trees surrounding me at work & home (I'm blessed to work & live in forests)
2. Stinker for a daughter
3. Boat will be arriving 3 weeks ahead of time
4. Amazing Grace by Blind Boys of Alabama (thanks Priscilla) played to House of the Rising Sun
5. I'm not the recipient of J's anger

J's Gratitude:
She refused to do it last night....maybe this is part of the problem....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

J's Affirmations

Coming up with a list of positive affirmations for J. Funny how it's so similiar to mine....
1. I am good enough
2. I deserve to be loved
3. My past does not define me
4. I am smart
5. God made me perfect just the way I am
6. I am beautiful
7. I can make good choices
8. Love is stronger than fear
9. I deserve to be treated with respect
10. I am sweet
11. I am kind
12. I am loving
13. I am fun to be around
14. I deserve to have a family
15. I deserve to have a mom that loves me
16. My body is beautiful
17. I will have enough to eat
18. I deserve to have a happy life
19. I deserve to have joy
20. I deserve to have fun
21. I don't have to do everything perfectly
22. I can make mistakes
23. Mom loves me no matter what I do
24. Mom loves me no matter where I am
25. I deserve affection
26. I deserve kisses & hugs
27. I deserve to be touched respectfully

Sharing Joy

Yesterday J didn't have such a good day at school or with Chrissi....probably some fallout from my abscence. Usually this makes me as ill as a hornet (on the inside) but I was able to pull her in my lap, rock her and tell her that I was sorry that she had such a bad day. Our evening together was really great with shrimp & grits pie for dinner and lots of laughter and playing outside afterwards. Almost too much fun because I lost track of time and she didn't get in the tub until 6:45. We didn't have time for a bedtime story but my fast & snappy girl raced to get through with her evening rituals that we did have time for the guided imagery.

J "says" she's not having nightmares anymore so it appears that the AT did indeed make those go away. The tapping is working. Whoo hoo! I found out at Serenity that I can do Reiki on J while I'm giving her a massage. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it works because my friend, Mary, did Reiki on me last year and the pain disappeared. Now I am on a quest to find a Reiki Master to help me learn how to help J with this.

Working on my list of positive affirmations that I am going to record and I am struggling with it. This is what I have so far: 1. I am good enough, 2. I am perfect just the way I am, 3. I deserve to have joy, 4. I deserve to have a family, 5. I deserve to be loved, 6. I love my body (that is hard....maybe I need to watch How to Look Good Naked again), 7. I deserve to have a happy life, 8. I deserve to be treated with respect, 9. I matter, 10. My past does not define me

Lisa's Gratitude:
1. Cool morning breezes with coffee on the deck.
2. Email from a friend
3. Hearing from Barbara Anne post Serenity
4. Tudu
5. An awesome daughter.
6. An appointment with Teena for a massage. (it's funny that the things you share for other people are usually the things you need to do for yourself.
7. Wild flame azaleas

J's Gratitude:
1. Awesome Mom
2. Playing the "hand-smacking" game with Chrissi
3. Mom reading her 2 bedtime stories on Sunday night
4. Getting to pick out a bedtime story.
5. Tickle monster is back!

Monday, April 28, 2008

More Joy

Truly my heart is bubbling over with joy. It's hard to describe and unless you've experienced Serenity weekend firsthand it's probably impossible to understand. As embers dancing in the wind and seagulls flying as one with a shrimp boat so my heart dances and yet is flying as one with the universe. Pictures that will forever be imprinted in the chasms of my mind without the need of a "real" picture to remind me.

I was able to finally admit "out loud" how hard it has been to not be able to attend my Saturday morning meeting. It just kind of fell out of my mouth when I wasn't expecting it. Honestly it was like losing a piece of my heart. Not trying to be dramatic...just truthful. May sound silly to some but it is true for me. After coming home I was able to admit it again, this time to Chrissi. She was willing to try to work with me to see if we could figure something out. Not sure how yet but at least we're talking about it and two minds are always better than one....

Yup...Tudu...I was having a fabulous time. No cell phone service on the island so at least you know I wasn't being rude now. I giggled over your post for several minutes. Your blog was the first I had to read so imagine my face when I read that....

Driving in last night and spotting Puddin waiting diligently in the dining room window for her mommy to appear was a truly beautiful sight. As my foot stepped in the door there she was with a huge grin (Puddin is a talented at smiling) on her precious little face. She performed the "mommy's home dance" with joy wiggling all over her little body. My second greeter was J with just as big a grin and a "oh, mommy I missed you!" Then came Chrissi, in great dramatic fashion, "oh host mommy...I missed you!" Big hugs all around... I think I need to leave home more often..... ;-) Only kidding.....

J hasn't had to "punish" me for which I am so thankful. I think all the tools she used while I was gone really helped her to work through the emotions of being mad and sad that I was away. Note to self: Remember to do this again....

The rain should hopefully be encouraging my little seeds to pop their heads out of the ground. This morning the sun is shining gently through the trees and it looks like it snowed under all the dogwood trees. 4 days away ensured that 15 minutes was required to delete all the junk mail from spammers trying to sell me drugs for anatomical equipment that I don't have, selling junk and trying to loan me money....

It is strongly encouraged to sit with a radish during a meltdown to help them learn to regulate their emotions. That's hard to do when you are a runner. At the first signs of conflict or an altercation I am outta there! A huge, tight knot develops in my stomach and I want to run away or crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and hide until the problem disappears. Some how I missed the childhood lesson that you could have a spat, get over it and still love each other. Maybe because I am an only child....??? Who knows??? Saturday night I burned that character defect and am armed and ready the next time a rage appears. Bobby gave me the tool to hold my hand up as a shield to mentally block all the venom that spews from J's mouth and Agnes told me to recite the Serenity Prayer over and over. After some thought I think I'm going to do both at the same time. It can't hurt and maybe that Serenity Prayer will seep down in her bones and give her another coping skill.

Yesterday on the way home I listened only to positive upbeat music and just as I was pulling out of Charleston one of my favorites came on, U2's Beautiful Day. Of course it had to be played as loud as my speakers would allow because it's such a happy song and new meaning came into it because of my bubbly heart. It's a "before and after" recovery statement for me.

The lyrics are:
The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town
You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you're not moving anywhere
You thought you'd found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace
It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination
You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day
Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case
See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out
It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Beautiful day
Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me I know I'm not a hopeless case
What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
It's a beautiful day

Today every day is a beautiful day. Some are more beautiful than others. Some days I have to look for the beauty but it's always there.... awareness is a beautiful thing....

Later I was caught in a blinding rainstorm. Literally could not see anything in front of my windshield. Major traffic all around me when a torrent of rain slapped my windshield and I screamed out loud. It was really scary for what seemed like 10 minutes was in reality probably only 20 seconds. The storm was gone as quick as it came and a few minutes later I was left wondering if I had screamed "Oh God!" or Oh shit!" Still not sure....
I've got to call Teena and schedule that massage....I am going to make time and put it in the budget.

Lisa's Gratitude:
1. New adventures
2. Simple Abundance Book (thanks Priscilla for knowing exactly what I (we) need)
3. Gerber daisies on my desk (just because they're beautiful)
4. Sunshine after the rain
5. The smell of spring
6. Being reminded about the power of scents
7. Walking in the rain without an umbrella. (on my quest from Simple Abundance)
8. Being guided through a starlit night by a gentle hand (thanks Alice) (need to do this more often)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Spirit is Renewed.....

As always Serenity Weekend filled my cup to overflowing. I learned so many tools this weekend and I can't wait to put them into use. I was also reminded of many tools that I had forgotten especially the ones to replace having intimacy. Several of them I need to put back into practice. Two of them I need to do more often. Also, it used to be a common occurrence to strong (power) sit with J looking into each other’s eyes. In the midst of life I forgot to do this on a regular basis. It is really a connecting tool to gaze into the windows of the soul.

One of the tools was to record a tape (in my voice) of positive affirmations, lie down on the bed, close my eyes and listen to it with headphones several times a week. I am already playing a hypnosis CD from the therapist nightly for J but I think I am going to get her to do this too. It is supposed to be a really powerful tool for transformation. Maybe it will help J also. Certainly can’t hurt.

J made really great choices while I was gone. Chrissi and Jessi gave her many opportunities to hit the yucky pillow, blow up the black balloon and draw pictures of the yuckies, mads and sads that were racing around in her head while I was away. Apparently it worked! J told Chrissi Thursday night that Mom’s needed time with their friends too. How amazing is that?!!?!?!

I raced home without any rest/gas stops (only a slight detour) to be sure I had extra time with J before bedtime. A stop before leaving Seabrook meant that I brought home a tomato pie to cook for dinner. Threw it in the oven and put the baby girl in my lap to shower her with hugs and kisses from a mom that has been recharged and filled to the brim with love, acceptance and too many blessings to count.

Lisa’s Gratitude: (Be warned…it’s long today)
1. Priscilla (bonfire suggestion and too many others to count)
2. Bobby for the shield
3. Sandy for removing barriers to joy
4. Norman for the short list
5. Agnes for Serenity Prayer
6. Kathy and Sharon for laughter through the tears
7. Alice and Mary for kind, loving, healing spirits
8. Being alone is better than being lonely in a relationship
9. Bonfire embers blowing in the wind
10. Barbara Ann’s laughter and attitude
11. Nancy’s kind, sweet words of encouragement
12. David for willingness to change
13. An awesome daughter who made great choices while I was away and was so happy to see me.
14. The ninth circle of love, acceptance and honesty that is Serenity.
15. Awareness

(If you think this list was long you should see the one on paper!) :-)

J’s Gratitude:
1. Awesome Mom is home
2.Tomato pie for dinner
3. Mom rocking her
4. Making good choices
5. Jumping rope

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Serenity Weekend

Last post until April 28th as I am leaving early in the morning for Serenity at Seabrook Island. J had a great day today. This morning I had her blow up her yucky balloon and push it out the door. Then I had her draw a picture with black & brown crayons (these are the colors of her yuckies) to get the rest of the yuckies completely out. She tore it into little bits and threw it away.

She had a great day at school!!!! Jessi came to therapy with us and the AT gave us some more tapping tools. She worked really hard in therapy today. Whoo hoo!!! Dreading telling her I'm leaving in the morning but I've given Jessi & Chrissi some tools to use to help her identify that she is mad at me and talking her through the emotions instead of acting out. We'll see what happens....

Lisa's Gratitude:
1. The woodpecker outside my office
2. Boat on the way
3. Quality time with J
4. Awesome daughter
5. Tudu

J's Gratitude:
1. Mom reading a bedtime story from the princess book
2. Getting my yuckies out
3. Learning about ank and ink in phonics
4. 14 good choices
5. Playing Trouble with Mom & Ms. Chrissi

See ya Monday!

Excitement & Trepidation

Yesterday J did not have to write an apology letter. School actually seems to have gone very well. Whoo hoo and happy day!!!! The "official water girl" set out with her wagon to water all the flowers and was so proud when the wilted ones bounced back quickly. She was very proud of herself. She practiced jumping rope and is getting quite good. She even held her frustration in check and instead of throwing the rope down and screaming, "it's too hard!", she kept trying and didn't give up! (Jumping up and down and bouncing on the trampoline is really great for the brain of children especially a radish.) Big stuff for my little one!

I am so excited because this time tomorrow I will be on my way to my annual trip to Seabrook Island for Serenity weekend with an amazing bunch of women & men (excuse me...."princesses & princes"). Tomorrow evening I will be surrounded by princesses & princes and lots of love and support. I, too, will be a princess.... :-) On the down side I am worried how J is going to handle it. Last year when I went she couldn't care less what happened to me. In all actuality she probably wished that I wouldn't come back. This year since attachment is happening I am worried. On the one hand I am so happy that she will miss me and on the other hand I am hoping she doesn't torture Chrissi and Jessi too much. We have AT this afternoon and I'm going to see if the AT thinks I should tell her today or wait until I leave. I'm going to give Jessi and Chrissi tools to help her (hitting her yucky pillow, identifying that she is mad at me, etc) but I'm still going to worry.

Lisa's Gratitude:
1. Awesome daughter
2. 24 hours to Serenity
3. 6 hours in the car with no obligations
4. Boat hunting
5. Chrissi

J's Gratitude:
1. Learning about nouns & verbs in Language Arts (When did they start doing this in 1st grade???)
2. Being the official water girl
3. Jumping rope
4. Table tennis with Mom
5. Hearing the birds singing

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


J is still being ugly to Mrs. Kacak. Any words of advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. She spent the afternoon in the car (2 hours to p-doc and 2 hours back) and the rest of her evening writing an apology. It's obviously not working even with encouragement from me. This morning I prescribed the problem (trying to play into her oppositional defiant side). I told her wanted her to be really, really mean, disrespectful and argumentative to Mrs. Kacak so that she could get more writing practice because she is going to be the best writer in the world and I can't wait on the novel she's going to write and make lots of money and move us into a mansion..... This didn't work either as she only had 2 hours of school. I went downstairs after a phone call from Jessi and had her hit her yucky pillow, did some tapping and let her recover in my lap. Still didn't work. Running out of ideas here....

This morning I played hooky and planted flower seeds. Sunflowers, nasturium, giardella (sp?), hollyhocks, brown-eyed susans, painted daisies, shasta daisies, cockscomb, zinnias, sweet peas, poppys, cosmos, stocks, bachelor buttons and some other things that don't come to mind at the moment. Over 3000 seeds in all. Tomorrow I will be lucky if I can fall out of bed as I am already sore. Hopefully I'll recover and be able to plant the other 4000 seeds at the lake in a couple of weeks....

Lisa's Gratitude:
1. Spring planting
2. Bright, bright sunshiny day (cue Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" music now)
3. J's frustrations are on Jessi and not me
4. 2 more days till Serenity
5. Spending the afternoon with J

J's Gratitude is all about Jessi:
1. Mrs. Kacak is kind to me.
2. She helps me write letters.
3. She lets me listen to music
4. She is funny.
5. She is an awesome teacher.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hot Date & Planting Hope

J had a tough time Friday with the Jessi. I found out early in the morning and found myself again wishing I could be a stay at home mom and help her through this. Increasing tapping and blowing up yucky pillow. She got up early Saturday morning and finished her apology letter to Jessi and had a fabulous attitude. We planted sweet potato vines, confetti lantana and tomato plants along with washing some huge rocks I had placed in the cul-de-sac to keep pesky drivers from driving all over my shrubs when they turn around. Tonight I'm making the trip to my parents farm to pick up some cow patties to mix with buttermilk and we'll smear it over the rocks to help moss grow on them. Can't wait!

J worked really hard to not touch G this weekend and she made fabulous choices! The little booger had to go swimming again and she's waiting patiently for our friend, Craig, to come blow up the slide and the tube. I'm not sure it's really necessary because we won't be there much this summer as we'll be at my house. I really want her to get in lots of lake time this year and we're not welcome at G's until Saturday so we'll be going to my house on Friday afternoon and coming home on Sunday afternoon. J doesn't understand why she can't go to G's because he said she's welcome anytime but tells me we can't come up till Saturday afternoons. He thinks I'm going to take her to my house on Friday then pack her up and come to his house on Saturday and then pack again on Sunday and go home. Absolutely not going to happen. She's been dragged from pillar to post all her life and I'm trying to create stability not more moving around. Plus transitions are so hard for her. Yeah...she'll miss the slide and being able to jump off the dock (can't do that at my house, too shallow) but she'll be able to swim and play a whole extra day so I think it's worth it. Again, wishing I could be a SAHM so that she could spend the whole summer at the lake.

Friday night date with my other mom friends was so great. It is so obvious how far that J has come and the progress that she has made. I, too, have made great progress. I also saw the need for modeling attachment parenting. You can read books till the cows come home but sometimes you just need to have it modeled for you. So many times Nancy Thomas methods are used as punitive parenting and it was clear that if parents read When Love is Not Enough they also need (have) to watch the DVD set that models what she describes in the book or attend the NT camps where it is modeled. Unfortunately the AT does not come home with a radish parent so there needs to be in-home help for parents.

Lisa's Gratitude
1. Spring sunshine
2. Spotting the first dragonfly of the year
3. Planting flowers
4. Awesome daughter
5. Tudu

Jordan's Gratitude
1. Planting flowers with Mom & Miss Chrissi
2. Jumping rope
3. Going swimming
4. Riding her bike at the lake
5. Hugs & raspberries

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ok....Gerri...3 steps back....

J had a yucky day at school yesterday. She was mean to Jessi, disrespectful and argumentative. Looks like there is more laundry folding in J's future. So last night during the gratitude list she had to list things she liked about Jessi. Let me just say it was a very long dinner.... She started on her apology letter at 3 and didn't finish until 8:50 PM. 1 hour and 50 minutes past her bedtime. Again she was stuck and nothing was working to get her out of it. We didn't get a chance to do the guided imagery last night. Hopefully we'll start tomorrow. I have a hot date with Awesome Moms Tudu and Michele tonight. Whoo hoo!!! Doing a little happy dance!!!

My gratitude:
1. J did not have a meltdown yesterday
2. She did not tell Jessi that she wanted to kill her (happy happy!)
3. Hot date tonight
4. Anxiously anticipating a trip to Whole Foods before hot date
5. Salmon patties and gravy for dinner (brought back fond memories of my grandmother)

J's gratitude regarding Jessi:
1. She is nice to me.
2. She helps me learn.
3. She is kind.
4. She is funny.
5. She is patient.

Please pray for my friend Tudu:

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Mom's Gratitude:
1. The little red-breasted hummingbird that flew right up to me, inspected and flew away
2. Frost free azaleas, peonies & dogwoods
3. Being able to enjoy being a mom
4. Spending the day with my daughter
5. An awesome AT
6. 6 more days till Serenity!!!

Jordan's Gratitude: (she had 15 but I'll list only 5!)
1. Getting her yuckies out at AT's
2. Dogwood trees
3. Spending the day with Mom
4. Refried beans & sprite

J worked really hard at therapy yesterday and actually told a secret she had been holding on to about a sexual reactivity incident that happened 5 or 6 months ago. We would have never known if she hadn't fessed up so that's a huge sign that she wants to get better. I was so proud of her! Besides, you're only as sick as your secrets.

I took her by G's office for a bit and she got to play "boss". She gave Stephen a raise and told him the check was in the mail. :-) She gave G her apology letter and felt much better afterwards. Lots of progress.....

New tapping sequence started today....still repeating, "love is stronger than fear." I really think this self-EMDR is working with her. This morning she blew up her imaginary yucky pillow regarding Mrs. Kacak and we set them free to the wind to collect good energy. This afternoon we'll start a guided imagery per AT (2 times a day) to help improve her self-esteem. Right now we're still working on the control but the new med is really helping with this....

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and I am sooooo blessed!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Whirling dervish

Lots of activity going on behind the scenes....
paperwork collecting, my doctor visit (the dreaded stirrup dr and regular heart/lung checker), much improved mammogram (no pain...who knew???), blood work, yellow water analysis, TB & RPR's, Jordan's doctor, cat doctor, dog doctor, fingerprints taken, reference letters written, financial statements, monthly budget, birth certificates, adoption decrees, sanitation inspection, consent forms, 3 months of bank statements, etc. All done in less than 5 days! Yes....I am indeed superwoman! Not! Sounds good though.... :-)

J continues to show significant improvement. So far everything has been spared from frost. I did cover the peonies last night just to be safe. Tonight I might have to cover the azaleas that are in full bloom. So happy that I haven't planted the flower seeds and sweet potato vines.

My Gratitude:
1. Frost free plants
2. Cholesterol down from 278 to 216 - Whoo hoo!
3. 10 lbs lost
4. Thai coconut soup
5. A healing daughter
6. An afternoon with my mom

J's Gratitude:
1. Swimming
2. Hugs from mom
3. Learning about Solomon
4. A great day at school
5. An awesome mom

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wishing I had a camera

Yesterday, April 12, 2008, my little sweetie was just itching to go swimming. Now keep in mind that Lake Burton is 70 degrees in August. I don't even want to know what it is now. G & I looked at each other when she had asked about 3 times too many. We both shrugged our shoulders and said "sure". Never thinking she'd really do it. Well she did....the look on her face was priceless and I would've paid good money to have had a camera handy. She stayed in for about 10 minutes then she was ready to get out. I shooed her into the hot tub to warm up, dinner then the bathtub (because she was still shivering) to get warmed up some more. Sometimes you just have to learn natural consequences. I am wondering how long it will take her to ask again. I am hoping she'll wait until at least the leaves start appearing on the trees. (There are no leaves on the trees on Lake Burton yet.)

After dinner we went on a quick sunset cruise on the boat (1st one of the season) and I could tell J was starting to panic. I had G stop the boat and she said she was very scared. We did some tapping to help get her through it but it turns out that my jet ski wreck last summer is still leftover in her mind. She asked if we could please go home and once we were on dry ground she was fine. I was very proud of her to speak up about her emotions and let me help her with them.

A good weekend was had by all....even G behaved himself. :-)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting Stuck

Lisa's Gratitude
1. More flowering trees popping out
2. J showing empathy
3. Washing J's hair
4. J working on her (yet another) apology letter to Mrs. Kacak fast & snappy and with a great attitude
5. Bedtime stories

Jordan's Gratitude
1. Awesome Mom
2. Learning about Moses
3. Learning German words
4. Tacos for dinner
5. School

Yesterday J had sort of a hard day in school. Mrs. Kacak reported that it was like she was fighting with herself on making good choices and it was interesting to watch. She finally had to go to the respite room and hit her yucky pillow but not before she screamed that she was going to kill Mrs. Kacak. Again....God bless Jessi for her patience...

The rest of the day went very well and she had a great attitude. At dinner while we were doing the gratitude list she got very quiet and she sort of zoned out. Immediately I knew something was up. I let her stew for a minute or two then asked her what was going on in her head. She said, "I feel really sad that I was mean to Mrs. Kacak." (On the inside I stood up and did a happy dance for the empathy she is starting to feel and the beginnings of a conscience.) I told her I understood and I would be sad too but that after dinner she could write Mrs. Kacak a letter and asked her what she was going to do to make it up to her. She said she wanted to do her laundry for 7 more days. I told her how proud I was of her that she was able to tell me her feelings. It was a big day!

This morning she was a little slow and not my normal "fast & snappy" girl. Mrs. Kacak is going to give her the choice today of hitting her yucky pillow or blowing up her imaginary black balloon with all the yuckies. Hopefully she will feel better and have a great day!

An early trip to the doctors office to get the blood sucked out of me to add more toes to my family. Tudu, I'm beginning to think you're not paying've got some 'splainin to do....

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Lisa's Gratitude
1. Mom to an awesome daughter
2. G is home safely from motorcycle trip
3. New plants waiting to be planted
4. Big bear hugs
5. Acid green leaves all around me

Jordan's Gratitude:
1. Awesome mom
2. Playing Trouble (no TV in our house)
3. Science
4. Tickle monster
5. Getting her yuckies out at AT's

Spring is here and I am itching to start planting all of my flower seeds, sweet potato vines, tomato plants and geraniums. You can take the girl off the farm but you can't get the farmer out of the girl.... The acid green color of a fresh spring leaf just makes me happy. I can't explain it.... That's one reason I had to buy some sweet potato vines just so I can keep that color around longer. Also waiting to be planted: several varieties of sunflowers, sweet william, zinnias, cosmos, sweet peas, cockscomb, nasturtium, daisies, hollyhocks, morning glories, and portulaca, among many others.

J has been having some great days and I am savoring them. I know they won't last but it's important to revel in them while they do. J amazed G with all the words she knows how to spell. Consequence, respectful, daughter, hippopotamus, meterologist, etc. Very big words for a 1st grader! She is learning so much with and I am so grateful that she has a love of learning. This week she has studied Egypt, pharaohs, mummies, hieroglyphs, etc.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tudu, I wonder what more toes would look like here?

Tickle Monster...

1. J had such a great day yesterday!
2. The 3 blooming cherry trees in front of the church. They are spectacular!
3. My dogwoods are just about to pop into bloom.
4. My friend Priscilla....she knows why...
5. Days warm enough to show my toes in sandals

I am still basking in the glow of J's great day. This morning seems to be off to a great start as well. She had some very comical statements yesterday. Yesterday morning as I was leaving for work she asked me where I was going. Nonsense question usually equates a nonsense answer in our household. I said, "to the moon", very seriously. Her reply, "really?" Of course really. She said, "but my yuckies are all up there." (One of her coping skills is to blow up her imaginary black balloon with all her yuckies, tie them up and send them to the moon.) I said, "I'll be sure to tell them you said hi." She got a really funny look on her face and said, "is this a joke?" Starting to learn humor is a big step!!!! Last night she started asking me to tickle her (she loves to be tickled) and I said no. She started coming up with all the reasons why I should. Then she cocked her head and said, "I'm think I'm pushing it." I guess you would've had to be there but it was really funny. To which I agreed and picked her up, carried her to bed and the tickle monster arrived before the "tucking in" ceremony. To the point she had to cry "uncle."

Sweet dreams compliments of the tickle monster! :-)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Jordan's Gratitude List

1. Homemade spaghetti for dinner
2. Jumping on the trampoline
3. 20 good choices today whoo hoo!!!
4. Riding her bike
5. Playing Trouble
6. Mom reading her a bedtime story from the Princess book.

Every night when we sit down to dinner J tells me what she's grateful for and I write it down for her. I keep these lists in a composition book and they also have all of her good choices on the front and her gratitude list on the back. Hopefully she'll enjoy looking through them someday. This has been so good for her to see the good things in her life. Radishes always think people are out to get them, they're bad or don't deserve good things and hardly ever look to see how much is wonderful in their life. Reinforcing it on the list every day is really helping her to believe, to hope and to be grateful for the little things. I think we all need's so easy to take so many things for granted.

J had a wonderful day today! Only 3 yucky choices!!!! She has really tried hard all day and has been responsible, respectful and a joy to be around. I was really worried this morning when there was a slight change of school hours that it would throw her off but she regrouped beautifully. I am so happy for my daughter!!!!!


1. Wonderful spring rains
2. Blooming trees
3. Faithful friends that don't judge
4. Butterflies
5. Acid green leaves popping out every where....

Better day

Sunday was a much better day for J. Great attitude, fun to be around and she finished her letters! Whoo hoo!!!!

We finished up our cooking while J was finishing her letters then we did a little shopping. Actually more like window shopping..... Then we went to the hospital to visit my dear friend Katherine English. She turned 92 this weekend! I hated that she had to spend her birthday in the hospital (she took a little tumble a couple of weeks ago) but she is much improved and hopefully will be home today or tomorrow. Katherine is always great for a laugh and her quick wit cracks me up. She is sharp as a tack!

Katherine, too, is adopted and has been wanting to meet J so I finally got the two of them together. Katherine's adoption story is nothing short of a miracle. I have known that she was adopted for many years but during her stay in the hospital her daughter, Nancy, shared the whole story with me. Katherine's mother came to Adairsville for a funeral. She was not married and pregnant at the time and gave birth in the cemetery. She put Katherine in the grave with a cloth over her face and left town. Some little boys were playing near the cemetery and heard her cries. Some men overheard the boys talking about the noises coming from the cemetery and went to investigate. They found Katherine and rescued her. They estimated she was in the grave for around 11 hours! Katherine was sent to a Methodist children's home and was adopted by a couple in Jacksonville, FL shortly after. Isn't that an amazing story?!? I am so glad that my friend lived to tell the story. My life and others has been so much richer for knowing her.

J did really well during the visit and there wasn't any inappropriate hugging or talking to strangers!

A great day was had by all!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What you do when your mad....

Well....stubborn is still living here.....7 hours and counting. Still keep trying to help her change gears but she's not having it. She got really mad and urinated on the carpet to prove it........


Meds definately not working as well. J had a hard day yesterday. God bless Jessi (teacher)....hoping and praying she doesn't quit. Back to beating on the door and walls, trying to break the door knob. *heavy sigh*

Robin gave her a cute little hair cut (me too). Can't wait to see it after the braids come down. She was having a hard time accepting unconditional positive affirmations yesterday. Some days you just can't tell J she is cute, pretty, smart, etc. She just can't handle it because she doesn't feel pretty on the inside and her self-esteem is soooo low an unconditional positive affirmation will assure us a bring down the house meltdown. On the other hand, you can give her conditional positives and tell her she did a good job or she has a cute outfit on or that she made a good decision and she will do great and accept the compliment with no problems.

We tried to have our Friday night mother-daughter date but it didn't work out so well. She carried on in-depth conversations with strangers. Which is a trait of RAD so it is a certain no-no at our house. Which means we had to come home.

My dear friend, Mike, called to share with me that his daughter had made some great progress at RTC and I am sooooo happy for him. I went to bed with a much lighter heart just hearing the good news. Whoo hoo for Mike, Heather & Myranda!!! Thanks for calling to share with me too. I really needed to hear it!!!

This morning little Miss Stubborn is residing at my house. She is having to write some spelling words and an apology letter to Jessi that also includes 5 positive things about Jessi. She has really good penmanship and writes a letter that a 3rd grader would be envious of even though she is just in 1st grade. When she is not in a snit this would take her about 10-15 minutes. So far it has been 3 1/2 hours. Wondering how long this is going to last. I've tried different things to try to get her in a better place and she isn't having it. *heavy sigh again*

On a good note....there's a whole lot of cookin going on at my house! Hoping J decides to join us in a bit. She loves to cook.....

Friday, April 4, 2008


Just wanted to give myself a little pep talk...

J no longer runs to splat me with projectile vomit.

She no longer eats like an animal and actually has better table manners than most adults.

No longer does she rip, tear and write on her clothes.

She will now eat anything I cook or put in front of her. She loves sushi (I cannot believe this one!), turnip greens, brussel sprouts, you name it...). This is really wonderful because I am not a short-order cook and can get really grumpy fast when I am expected to be one.

We can go shopping in peace without a public display meltdown.

I can hug her or she'll sit in my lap and accept affection without a meltdown.

Meltdowns usually last less than 30 minutes instead of days.

She hasn't tried to hurt Puddin in 3 weeks.

I haven't been spit on, pinched or hit in almost 2 months!

She hasn't tried to tear the door frames off the door or hit the walls in almost a month!

Her head hasn't spun around (Exorcist style) in almost 3 weeks!

Someone posted this on a radish site I frequent and it was a great statement:
I look at it like this....... when we tell other parents about RAD, and they look at us and say "oh all kids do that, its just what kids do." We want to scream, no you don't understand its all that normal stuff TIMES 1000!!!

I can soooo relate to that statement.

Lots of progress.....I am beaming because I am so proud of her!

Asking for help.....

It occurred to me last night that in the past 17 months I have asked for help more than any other time in my life. Being the control freak that I am, I abhor asking for help. It is very humbling to have to admit that you aren't superwoman.

I've learned not to ask social services for help because they aren't trained or aren't willing to learn about the mess/damage that they have created by exacerbating the problems with multiple placements to already damaged children in foster care. They haven't figured out that it would be less expensive to help the foster/adoptive parents with the proper care/treatments for children with trauma/RAD than to pay for a residential treatment center (starting around $10,000 a month) when the untreated child becomes so aggressive/dangerous that they cannot live with a family. Then that untreated child becomes a problem for society when they age out of RTC and they move on to prison. It's a very sad situation. Things desperately need to change. Your tax dollars at work....

Then thanks to Cindy Bodie I read Theresa's blog: and felt much better for some strange reason....

The good news is that I am able to ask G and several of my trusted friends for help. Progress for me....

Meds in the morning aren't helping much and I am dreading that the doseage may have to be increased. J had a hard day yesterday with Chrissi and Jessi then lots of arguing with me and wanting me to repeat myself when I know that she heard me the first time. She has bionic hearing (part of being hypervigilant) and can hear me talking outside (in a very low voice) while she is in the bathtub. Never ceases to amaze me....

A few weekends ago I did motivational respite for a "normal" (normal is still only a setting on the washing machine) child (beautiful Matti) and J had the granddaughters of one of my neighbors over for a play date. Having all 3 children over was really wonderful but it was also sad because it made me painfully aware of how far behind J is socially. Yes....she has made great strides and tons of progress but it was still a gauge of where she needs to be. I haven't been around "normal" kids in so long I think I forgot what they looked/acted like. J had to go into several time outs due to being bossy with Winnie (6) & Phoebe (8) but she did it w/o fits. She struggles so hard to play with instead of beside kids. Once when the girls were in the basement alone (I was 2 minutes behind them starting Matti on another chore) as I was on my way down the stairs I met Phoebe coming up the stairs. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "we need some supervision down here!" Amazing! And not surprising!

The great news is the respite kid (Mattison 11) NEVER wants to come back to my house!!!! She didn't have any fun! Now she appreciates her mom. Imagine that! ;-) I am sure there will be a time when she'll need a "tune-up" but that ok. I am always willing to help another kid appreciate their awesome mom!!!!

This afternoon we are going to the "beauty parlor" to see my dear friend Robin. Seriously time for a haircut for both of us. Friday nights are considered "date night" with J & I. Just a time for us to do something fun with just the two of us. Hoping we get the opportunity because J's teacher (Jessi) just called and the day isn't off to a good start. Praying it gets better....

Tomorrow is "The Great Cooking Saturday". This occurs once a month at our house. We spend the entire day cooking, cook all the meals for the next month and freeze them in family size meal portions. It works out so well because I can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less every day. I love to cook so I always look forward to this day. Tomorrow is going to be even better because due to all my points on my credit card I got a free set of All-Clad (Robin you know I am so excited!!!!) cookware. Whoo hoo!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More tantrums....

It appears that the meds are wearing off too soon. More meltdowns, defiance and "out of sorts" behavior. Everything still seems better until after school which is 1 PM and goes downhill quickly in the afternoon. J's been taking it right before bed so last night I didn't give it to her and gave it this morning instead. The reason for night dosage is that it seems to help her sleep better. She's so hypervigilant, even in her sleep, that the slightest noise or touch will cause her to jump out bed, wide awake. With meds at night she was sleeping much sounder and seemed rested in the mornings. Hoping she's not sleepy during school. Keeping my fingers crossed....

This morning during school she will be writing an apology letter to Chrissi and to the pencil she broke during the defiant spell. In her letters she has to include 5 (positive) things she likes about Chrissi and the pencil. I don't know if it's the right thing to do but if anyone has any other ideas please feel free to share. Of course we had the "sitting in my lap talk" about feelings, bonding, etc and she made a verbal apology to Chrissi.

Feeling a little down this morning for some reason. Probably because it's 2 steps back. I've got to keep the focus on the fact that she had 11/12 great days!

Sometimes I wonder if she'll ever know how much I have fought for her to have help, therapies, worried about her, school, support, etc. Not to mention training, studying, searching for new ideas, helping her cope,.......

I've dreamed about a strong, kind man for the last 4 nights. He was clean shaven and had really rough hands which I love and believed in long, slow kisses that last forever. Where on earth is that coming from?????

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My to do and been there done that list....

Current therapies/happenings in the crazy house....
1. Therapeutic parenting daily (Nancy Thomas, Bryan Post, Dan Hughes, Katharine Leslie, Deborah Hage techniques) structure....structure....structure....
2. Sensory/cognitive integration therapy with (15 minutes twice daily) (J's sequential memory, speech, articulation, thought patterns & reasoning abilities have really improved with this program)
3. Neurofeedback (1 hour - 3 days a week cognitive therapy)
4. Home school 5 days a week with program. (Free in 17 states and they provide occupational and speech therapists who come to our home along with access to a certified teacher on call)
5. Weekly AT (2 hours sessions) with an awesome therapist who utilizes many different techniques including hypnosis and self-tapping (kind of like EMDR).
6. Biology of Behavior smoothie, coromegas & meds
7. Daily bonding activities
8. Lots of hugs
9. At least 3 activities a day that J considers fun.
10. At dinner we do J's gratitude list together. She names 10 things she's grateful for and I write them down (usually I am doing my list at the same time).
11. J puts on an imaginary "pink" suit every morning to hold all of the good things inside of her.
12. I "pour" (put my forehead to her forehead and make funny sounds for 30 seconds or so) pink love in her.
13. J looks inside and makes her fear really big then she taps in prescribed places (by AT) repeating that "Love is stronger than fear" to make her fear really small or non-existant.
14. Good Energy program (by AT) (fluffing her aura, scooping good energy into her head, etc.)
15. All night long J listens to a recorded hypnosis session by AT to help her stay calm during the night. Very soft and very soothing.

Whew! No wonder I'm tired....

Last summer included in the above was The Listening Program (2 times a day) but we weren't doing the Learning Breakthrough Program. Also, neurofeedback was daily....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ohhh.....I spoke too soon.....

Well....all that big talk about 12 days and no rages came to an abrupt end. Actually J did very well in school today but afterwards she had 2 tantrums with Ms. Chrissi (au pair). She was rude to Chrissi, disrespectful and uncooperative during homework. The good news it wasn't a bring down the house meltdown. This is still huge!!! Once it was over she promptly apologized and volunteered to make Chrissi's bed for two (not one) weeks to make it up to her. She's a great bedmaker and Chrissi hates that American beds are so difficult to make (evidently it's less complicated in Germany) so they both win. :-)

G is still in a snit about last night but like Tudu said he may need to squirm for a bit (I'm paraphrasing). He called and I did tell him about the meltdowns. His response, "poor little J, she's under soooo much stress....I feel so sorry for her." Double Grrr!

Lucky me....I got a fabulous foot rub tonight and I didn't have to pay for it. Well sort of....Mom was inconvenienced so my payback was a rocking foot rub. I'm such a lucky mom!!!

P.S. Thanks Michele for the crunchy panty tip!!!

People that just don't get it....

Most of you know that my significant other, G, doesn't understand, doesn't want to understand and has basically refused to try to learn anything about RAD and sees only the charming, fake J one evening a week. She flirts with him and has even admitted to wanting to have sex with him but he cannot/will not see this. If I tell him she is having a meltdown or about the scissor incident his reply is "I don't know what you've done to turn her against you." Grrrr!

The AT put J on touch restriction with G during 12/07 due to her touching him inappropriately. I've never bothered to tell G that J is on touch restriction since he doesn't want to know anything. However, I do monitor/supervise their interactions very closely. The only reason I am able to do this is that we don't live together and they only see each other on Saturday evenings.

During the week of my birthday (first week in March) it really hit me that I needed his emotional support. I've been struggling along for these last 18 months trying to make ends meet and keep up the front with him that everything is fine.....He does help financially some, for which I will be eternally grateful. W/o his financial support J would be back in foster care by now. However, emotional support is so important.

The day before my birthday as I was walking out the door to work and adorable little J was eating breakfast, she called out to me in the sweetest voice. "Mommy, mommy....." to which I answered just as sweetly...."yes, honeybunny????" Reminder...this is where she normally says, "have a great day mom, I love you!". This morning it was..."I DON'T EVEN LOVE YOU!" in a very calm but determined voice. Now this is not a surprise to me...not even shocking but it was very creepy. I think this past 1 1/2 really hit me and I started crying. Mind you I am NOT a pretty crier but this was especially ugly. I cried for 48 hours straight. Gut wrenching, gasping, couldn't breathe sobs...

I absolutely could not quit. It seemed the harder I tried the more I cried. Uggghhh!

During this time G called me and asked if J & I were coming to the lake on Saturday. It was also during this conversation he told me that if J didn't come I wasn't welcome. (I think I am having a PTSD episode from this post). This was a bad decision. Insert Love & Logic empathy here...
To which I replied that neither of us would be there but thank you for the invitation.

Now logically I have lots of support. More than most people. Thanks to Priscilla, Mike, Heather, Sarah, Geri, my parents, Chrissi, Jessi (homeschool teacher), Laura, Michele, Evelyn (respite provider), Linda, Brooke, Tiffany, Mary, fabulous AT's and a host of other folks that I am sure I am forgetting. Yet, in spite of all my support for some reason it just really gets to me that this person (G) that I've had a 25 year relationship with, believes J over me. That just does not compute in my simple little brain. Maybe I need more RAM. I'm just not sure....

The next few days I wrote him a letter in great detail explaining what I needed from him. Basically it was either "get in" and educate himself regarding her problems, emotionally support me, realize I need time away from J, treat me like a human being and show up and participate in her life or remove himself permanently. I just couldn't keep trying to be his parent & J's too. Everything I tell J he asks "why" and will tell her to do something different. He questions all of my parenting right in front of J constantly. Trianglulation in it's finest form! God bless you Mike, for writing him a letter from a father's perspective. You rock!

He spent a weekend alone and came back with a willingness to learn something. J asked him to come to AT with her and he did but he tried to control her therapist and J so the AT asked him to leave. I gave him "Don't Touch My Heart" to read and Coming to Grips with Attachment by Katharine Leslie. He has read the first book and "says" that he's still reading the 2nd one. The AT will not let him come back into the session until he done his reading and scheduled an appt to talk with only her first so that he won't try to control the session again.

He has made great improvements since reading the first book and even if he questions what I am doing he will remain silent. Granted it has only been 1 1/2 weeks....

We invited G for dinner with us. Back to questioning my parenting and at the end he made the "mad cat" sound. You all know the one....sounds like you're in the middle of a cat fight. This was right in front of J. Double Grrr!

He was politely excused from our house and we went on with life as normal. He's still pretty mad/hurt/passive aggressive about it but J is my first priority. Either get with the program or you can't be here. Pretty simple.


Ever since I've had J there has been someone in our lives pushing-forcing (out-of-state SW) or prodding (GA SW, psychologist & AT's) me to consider meds for her. I am not a med fan and have been hoping to avoid this. Blood pressure meds are necessary for me and I know that some conditions required it but I've always heard that if a child has true RAD that it will not help at all and only mask the symptoms (problems).

Finally I gave in and we went to see a p-doc. A 3 week trial on tenex proved useless and actually symptoms (ragings) were worse. AT & p-doc talked and decided that perhaps Risperdal might be better. 1/2 mg once a day. So far things are improving. No rages, tantrums or over the top behavior in 12 days. She has also been fully functioning in school. 8 consecutive days of school. Nothing short of a miracle!!! I am breathing a hesitant sigh of relief and trying to get in as many bonding activities as I can.

AT is encouraged because she's hoping we can get farther in therapy now that J is not going off into never-never land whenever it's about traumatic events. She was able to focus and handle the therapy very well. I am not looking at the meds as the silver bullet that will fix the problem. Instead I am trying to see them as the catalyst to soothe J and help her cope w/o rages until she can get past the problems/trauma in therapy and hopefully fully bonded to me in the meantime. The key word is "hope".


I am a single mom (Georgia) of a little girl adopted from foster care. J was moved to my home on 10/23/06 @ age 5 (6 on 11/9). Adoption was final 11/20/07. J has a sister (H) who is 9 that is living with another family in another state. H has been moved 3 times since J’s placement. J & H were placed together until 2004 when they were separated. (Thank the good Lord!) The trauma bond between them is unbelievable.

Previous history: With the history that I have been provided I believe that I am J’s 27th placement. Before placement she was diagnosed with RAD, ADHD, ODD & PTSD but had never had treatment or therapy so I trained & read aggressively on all each of these diagnosis and set up my home and her room accordingly. Identified AT’s, trained the school, had a Nancy Thomas trained TMR respite provider identified, had a Biology of Behavior vitamin/supplement plan, etc. Prepared myself for battle. Or so I thought….

Two days after her arrival we started 2 weeks of intensive AT. She actually did pretty well then the honeymoon was over with a bang. Days of being covered in projectile vomit, spit on, hit, hours of raging, refusing to eat anything that I cooked unless she was planning to “give it back to me in the form of vomit”, trying to triangulate the school (didn’t work), attempted to kill my dog, sexually abused my dog (my back was turned for literally 2 minutes), beat the walls and tried to tear down her door every day and more that honestly I cannot remember. I hibernated and did not go out in public with her at all unless it was to the store 30 miles away where no one knew me so that I wouldn’t be judged when J totally melted down in the store. It didn’t seem to matter so much when people that I didn’t know looked at me like I had 3 heads. Four weeks into this behavior and feeling like a total failure, I sent J to TMR provider for 5 days. I had lost my voice as I tend to get sick when I am stressed so I had completely lost my voice and I had to have a break. I hibernated some more because now people would wonder why I was out having fun when I just gotten this darling little girl and was a brand new mommy….

TMR helped tremendously and it was the 1st relief that I had. She encouraged me to send J straight back in an instant turnaround the first time that behavior deteriorated. I did, even though it was extremely hard and J stayed 8 days. Then J had some pretty major improvements. By March 07 I was under the impression that J was “healed”. Seriously considered taking in H because she had disrupted again and I wanted to keep siblings together. My therapeutic parenting had worked miracles. Insert snickers here….. We went to a Nancy Thomas camp and I discovered that while J was showing significant improvement she was just upping the ante and had found sneakier ways to “control” me. Disappointed doesn’t begin to cover how I felt. Took me a couple of weeks to recover from the disappointment but ever since then I just try harder to stay 3 steps ahead of her. Easier said than done.

Summer showed great improvements when she wasn’t in school. Back to school and BAM! Over the top aggression and she tried to kill me. She stole a pair of scissors from the knife drawer on Sunday. I knew they were missing withing 5 minutes so I immediately started searching for them. They were nowhere to be found in her barren room. Tuesday evening I was turning her bed down and turned around to find J getting ready to stab me with the scissors. Boy! We're having fun now!!!! ;-) SW required me to take her to the hospital for an assessment. They totally disregarded what J had tried to do to me and wrote up that she was suicidal even though she never made a comment about suicide. Mysteriously the hospital records have disappeared and they have no record of her ever having been there.......Curiouser and curiouser....

At the end of September 2007 with the financial help of Gus I was able to have an au pair for a year. Chrissi (au pair) arrived from Germany on 9/28/07. Chrissi keeps her during the afternoon while I work and a home school teacher works the morning shift from 8-1. I just couldn’t take the daily melt downs or death threats that public school caused. Behavior is improving. 1 step forward 10 back. Regression comes and goes in waves. Financially it is beyond difficult but I am still hanging in there for now. I haven't been keeping up with my Al-Anon meetings to help me practice detachment but I do my daily meditations with Al-Anon literature to keep me mindful that it is not about me.

Thanking God I don’t have her sister too.

I apologize for the length and scope of this post. Thanks to all of you for being here, supporting and not judging. It means so much!