Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Living on the Border and Finding the Reset Button

How are “things”?
Ya’ll doin’ O.K. out there?
I figure so much of our conversations are you reading my rambling…and me not telling you, thanking you, interacting with you and throwing out my love into your corners…your drivers seats, the chair you sit in and read my drama…So there, I have sent it…my LOVE, my GRATITUDE, my Thoughts, prayers and HOPE that today is a better day for you. You…the beautiful person sitting, reading this right NOW.

Soooo where were we?
I know Paps aka Papillion, was in her new glorious RTC, but she’s not now.
What the…..?!?!?!
 I know, tell me about it.
 She dropped her basket.
This is her 8th hospital since June 20th.

What happened? Yeah, not sharing.
But, it was dangerous enough for her to be transported, and sent to a high alert facility.
That is where she is now. I talk to her everyday, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day.
This time, there were major natural and emotional consequences that sent us all reeling, afraid, shocked and terrified.
We again, are back in the land of “What the hell do we do now”.
I hate this Land.

This last burn-out was in cahoots with an outburst over not being allowed (for therapeutic reasons) to call her 50 something year old boyfriend, she met at the State Hospital. Sigh.

The “new plan”, after so much new heart ache, miscommunications and crazy…is stabilization at this new hospital, a transfer to a very specific wing of a Psych hospital, for Women’s PTSD, after months of work there, a re-transfer to the original RTC for more Trauma/Socialization/Structure/Educational and Occupational work.
I am not holding my breath…trauma makes its own rules and plans.

I have been able to talk to a very present Papillion. After the anxiety is released we have a rest period from the crazy, when I get to see the girl I love. The funny, smart, witty, kind girl I love with all of my heart…she is still there under all of the trauma and crazy, there she is…I miss my girl.

Papillion has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. We all knew it was coming. Still hurt like the Dickens that it is here. It was like this race I was trying to run against time…but for her, time was a race car, and I was a one legged turtle trying as hard as I could, but only going in circles.

So we are at the “if help and healing” doesn’t happen in time bench mark. Unbelievably
 We are O.K. with it, this will never be easy, and it will never not hurt or not be dysfunctional. After watching the actual fugue the mental break, I get how very real trauma’s effect on the brain is.

The other day while on the phone with her I finally blurted “Has anyone stopped to tell you what is wrong with you?”

…pause, “No Mom, is there a name for it.”


And so I sat on the phone with her for two hours, I googled and read symptoms, answered questions, broke things down for her, honestly and boy was it raw, and cleansing, and…HARD, but GOOD.
And we both cried, a lot.

….her RELIEF, her UNDERSTANDING that others struggled with this, others fought the difficult battle everyday of not wanting to live, of being angry all of the time, of feeling alone, misunderstood, invalidated, unable to keep relationships…was NOT JUST HER. This was HUGE for her. BIG, BIG stuff.

I think sometimes we tip-toe around our kids stuff, so they won’t feel bad, so they won’t feel sub-normal…but the truth is ..THEY KNOW~! They know they have it harder, deep down that things aren’t O.K. for them, when unfairly it is for other people and that it SUCKS!… saying it OUT LOUD …needs to be done…it validates them, their fears, and how they alienate and punish themselves.

In other news…..

We are hitting the reset button with the other kiddo’s.

You know, before you go on a trip..and you look down at your mile- counter (aparently it is called an "odometer", whatever) and can see the ultimate mileage you had on your car, but you can “reset” the button thinger that counts the miles on your trip…yeah, that’s the thing we have to hit now and then.
We get so far…and then…it was too far, too fast, too hard, farther than we have ever gotten….and now we need to back all the way up. We  Re-route and hit reset…
We start again, close in and begin again. It is miles, thousands of miles backward.
It can feel depressing and frustrating that we are zapped back to zero. BUT, what I have to remember to look at is how FAR we got before we had to reset…each and every time it IS FARTHER…and we tend to pass the last time and keep going…before we have to reset again, gather resources, and get that engine running again. What matters is that we keep going, finding better fuel, mechanics, maps, and routes to healing.

Diva, Cookie, and Scoobs needed their reset button hit. Things have been getting dangerous with Scoobs diabetes, his impulsive control stuff has been through the roof and well, he has been in a downward spiral…we are not sure he can stay in school.

Cookie and Diva started a Pre-School specific for children with Trauma. Diva has had a few minor blow-ups and manic crazies, but as her attachment comes along, so does her coping tools and capability to function outside of our tiny little world.

Cookie on the other hand, poor beautiful lil’ man needs help. His anxiety is tangible. He is so very beautiful, he knows it, it is one of his survival skills…Due to Cookies past abuse his shame is amplified by physical touch from people outside of our home….yet that is the attention he seeks, pushes for and manipulates to get…just last Sunday, he ended up on a Sunday School teachers lap, they asked him and he of course obliged. “No biggie” right? WRONG….he has not slept in two days…

Just this morning, after he had preschool yesterday, I spoke with his Therapist, whom works with his Therapist/Pre-school teacher…he didn’t sleep during naptime (yup) and ran and hugged the teacher, as well as manipulated extra snacks…

I didn’t say anything to him about it, though through his hyper vigilance I know he knew who I was talking to.
After breakfast this morning, he peed, I mean stood up from the breakfast table, stood flat footed on my kitchen floor and peed. Through his big boys, and shorts…stood there, looking terrified and peed. It. Broke. My. Heart.
I calmly told him, its O.K. buddy, it’s going to be O.K….and then he threw up. Twice.
This is Trauma, this is deep seated shame, and anxiety…spewing out, literally.

We calmly cleaned him up, ran a warm bubble bath, and soaked…sang and snuggled afterward.
Our world is small today, VERY small…as in one room (my bedroom) five kids, jammie day, floor picnic in my room, reading books, snuggling to shows on netflix, small…while the world rages out side, we are hitting our reset button…



  1. Lindsay - I could relate to your feelings at getting a diagnosis. Even though you know it is coming, it still hurts when the words are said aloud. But it gets better. Sorry your kids are struggling (though I'm sure the stuff with Papillion sent everyone spiraling) but I'm sure your parenting will settle everyone down again (with lots of help from God & everyone around you, right?!?). Wish we lived closer!!

  2. oh Lindsay, I wish there were words. I would sit with you in your closet. And hold your hand. (and pass you chocolate).

  3. You are such a great mama. Want one more?

    You see, I have a job that requires me to work 14 hour days for part of the year(the part that so unconveniently matches the first stressful weeks of school) is NOT that good at the moment. Think someone feels abandoned?

  4. I just wish I had the opportunity to fight for J right now. Everything is so out of our control.

    I am so proud of you.

    Keep going.



  5. Just checking in to send some more LOVE your way.

  6. Linds, you are such a great momma. Reading your post, I couldn't help but feel so proud of you. You have great instinct.
    And to finally have a dx and put a 'face' on it - priceless and heart breaking at the same time.
    So grateful to God for you :)