Aug 312018
 

Canva-what-are-you-willing-to-risk

Oh, the emotions I have experienced raising Lilly! Emotions have been all of these and more:

Fear for her safety

Fear for my safety

Fear for others’ safety

Fear of the future

Fear that she would get mad

Fear of things being broken or destroyed

Fear of what people would think

Fear of failing at mothering her

Fear at what the strain would do to my marriage

Fear of losing every friend I’ve ever had, because of Lilly

Fear for my pet’s safety

Fear of a mental or emotional breakdown

Fear she’d be rejected by the schools

Fear that drivers would refuse to transport her

Fear that she’d run away again

Fear we’d never get relief or help

Fear of hurting her by my responses to the craziness

You get the picture!

I could go on, but the common feeling was fearfulness about what might or could happen. And believe me things happened -ALL the time!

You must reach a point where you take inventory and decide what you will endure and put up with, and what you won’t. That’s what I call your safe spot.

What are you willing to risk? Where do you draw the line? I’m talking to you. 🙂

Make a list, mentally or on paper, of what you are and are not willing to sacrifice. For me, broken windows were a shattering experience, lol, but I could deal with that. I could handle losing some friends, but not losing connection with my immediate family. (Some of you would rather keep your friends!) I could accept that things in the house might be broken, but I was not willing to have my bones broken.

This kind of thinking also applies to other caregiving situations, like caring for an elderly parent. In all this, it does nobody any good if you lose your mind, or your health and well-being because you refuse to look at facts. Facts that you are likely to die in one way or another if you don’t find and STAY in your safe spot.

I like to keep things short, so I will end it here, but think about this.

-Nealie

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 172018
 

Hi Readers!

I recently toured a place that employs people with special needs, and they agreed to take Lilly!

What would she be doing? This place is a little thrift shop where toys, furniture, appliances, and clothes are sold. It has garage bays in the back, where DD employees clean, fix, and paint things that were donated. Someone puts price tags on items, and another person runs a cash register.

I was impressed, not with the cleanliness, (because it was kinda messy), but with the laughter and general activity going on there. They also had a room designated as a “sensory room,” for when someone needs to chill out before acting out.

I wondered if this might work out for Lilly? I also wondered if she would literally trash the place if she ever got mad enough. She could.

We who parent kids from places of deep trauma have to be ever hopeful, but not too disapointed if things don’t work out for our kids.

While we were there, Lilly begged me to buy a strange metal decoration. She said, “MOM! Look at this! I LOVE it! Please, please, can you get it for my room?”

“Lilly, you have some of your own money, and if you want that thing, you’ll have to use your own money.”

I got a little glare from her before she returned it to where she found it.

A couple minutes later Lilly was paying for a pair of platform shoes with her own money, lol, and she never ran that purchase by me! I don’t know how much she will make at her first real job, but I know she will spend most of her paycheck there. 🙂

-Nealie

 

 

 

 

How to Stay Calm in RAD Land

 Chasing Lilly, Foster children  Comments Off on How to Stay Calm in RAD Land
Aug 032018
 

Canva-Field-of-Flowers-Nealie-RoseIf you are a parent of a Developmental Trauma or RAD child, it’s the hardest thing to stay calm. I know first-hand. (See page 168 of Chasing Lilly when I could have creamed Lilly in the locker room, lol!)

There are some things that you can do to help stay calm.

When your child acts out in a big way, don’t say a n y t h i n g. Secure the area for safety, and as long as nobody is in danger, keep quiet. At least until you can think clearly instead of react. Your heart may be hammering so hard inside your rib cage that you think you’ll stroke out, but staying quiet instead of screaming helps, if you can do it. 🙂

Pay attention to your body’s signals. Do you clentch your fists when you are angry? Then when that begins, make a point of holding your hands open so that you can’t form a stress-fist. If you clamp your jaw or grind your teeth before a rage, make a point of keeping your jaw relaxed and slightly open. Do you get all red and hot? Put an ice cube on your forehead or in your mouth. You can close your eyes and breathe for a minute while you pray.

Doing these things could actually help you keep from doing something foolish while you work on an appropriate response to your child.

-Nealie

P.S. If you’ve never listened to an audio book and would like to try Audibles so you can listen to Chasing Lilly, here’s the link!

 

Lilly’s Countdown to Community Living

 Chasing Lilly  Comments Off on Lilly’s Countdown to Community Living
Jul 202018
 

Canva-Freedom-Chasing-LillyHi Friends,

Lilly has a court hearing this week, and after the hearing she will be released into the community. Sounds scary if you’ve read her story. (And it is scary!)

She will have 24/7 staffing and be in a house with a few other disabled tenants. The things that swirl through my mind are about how she will get along with her staff and fellow house people. And the neighbors -yikes, let’s not forget the neighbors. And will she stay put?

Lilly has a lot of apprehension about this because she previously hasn’t been able “to succeed in the community,” as DD guidelines call it.  The rule book words it as “the least restrictive environment.”

The “least restrictive environment” wording has changed so much in the lives of many Developmentally Disabled people. Some changes are for the good. Others are awful. I feel that one important word is missing, and that is the word SAFE. The guidelines should say, “least restrictive SAFE environment.”

Lilly has been anything but safe in her community placements up to now, and that’s why we all have misgivings going into this weekend. I am hopeful and talking positively with her, but nervous inside. If you have a DD son or daughter, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Prayers appreciated, Nealie