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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Hand-Off

So much has changed in the brief time that I haven't posted.   When the RTC had said that they wanted DD out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, they really meant it.  DD's social worker was really scrambling to get everything in place, and I could tell she felt really rushed and frustrated, too.

We had DD's "discharge meeting" on April 14.  DH and I, the new foster care lady, social worker, DD and the therapists were all there at the RTC to see DD off.  We met the lady who'll be doing the "foster care".  Surprisingly (or not), she's very nice and we both liked her.  Also surprisingly, it doesn't sound like their home life is much different than ours, except for more kids in the mix.  She (the mom) works full time about an hour away, doing the same thing I'm doing, except I'm working 2 hours away.  The dad works at night and sleeps all day.  Three other kids.  I had had this vision of some lucky lady who was able to stay home all the time and give DD all the attention she needs.  That won't be the case, and I'm kind of disappointed.  I also think that when, in the discharge meeting, the therapist started really giving details about DD's behavior, the mom was starting to have some doubts....but then she put on a happy face and hid it well.  This is the only option that we've been given for DD at this point.  Today we're going over to their house to see where DD will be.  (But she's already there).  We did not get a chance to meet either parent prior to the discharge meeting, so there really is a big question mark as to how things will work and how involved I/we can be.

It was a really strange meeting.  We talked about all the ways that DD has improved since she went to RTC.  But in the back of my mind was "this is bull!  If she was doing so great, why are you doing this?  Right in the middle of what you've referred to as "the most difficult and important part of her therapy"?  I have a lot of anger and confusion towards the RTC.  But that meeting was not the place to express it.  I'm not sure there ever will be a time and place for that, but I feel like, on DD's behalf, that she's on the losing end of a bad breakup.  We're sick of you, we're dumping you, and no, you can't stay for one more day!

I also met with the attorney that the county is using to help us get legal guardianship.  Right now, DD, being 18, could, in theory, decide she didn't want to live where she's at now and move to Timbuktu, until she ended up in jail.  Hopefully the guardianship will all be in place by June, but there will be a couple of days I'll have to take off to get it all done.

I have such a jumble of feelings about all of this.  I'm relieved that she won't be coming home, because I truly don't think she's changed all that much and I didn't want to have to admit defeat a second time.  I'm scared of the new situation.  I'm scared that it won't work out for DD.  But more....I'm scared that it will.  I'm scared that these people have skills that we don't have, and will be able to help DD in ways we only dreamed about.  I'm scared that she's going to end up loving them more than us.  I'm scared that they'll allow her to make choices that she isn't ready to make.  (Remember that although she's 18 by the clock, maturity-wise, she's only about 11 or 12).  I'm afraid that these people won't want to hear what we think, or what we've learned (or haven't learned) in the past.  I'm afraid of stepping on their toes.  I'm afraid of the harm DD might do to their kids.  They seem very nice, but..... 

It's the weirdest feeling....handing your child over....when you still love them....to go and live with another family....twisted up my heart and really made me feel like a failure.  If DH hadn't become ill....If we didn't have all this debt and I didn't have to work 2 jobs.....If we lived in an area where there were more services and more funding....it just isn't fair at all.  I guess I really do want her back.  Just not like she is right now.

And then, after the meeting, I was helping DD pack up her stuff, and she broke down in tears.  I took her in my arms and held her, felt like a mom again.  And I started wishing unrealistic wishes--that she could come home and we could work it all out and be a family again....and I know that's not going to happen--if it was going to, she'd still be in the RTC.

And now.....she's gone.  She's at the "other' house, with a whole 'nother life.  And I didn't have much time to prepare, mentally.  It's clear that something's changed.  I think DH is extremely relieved.  I offered to buy him a carton of cigarettes if he cleaned the entire house and he DID IT.   The house has not looked this good or smelled this nice in years!!!!  And he's been asking what he can do to earn the "next" carton.  I can probably do one more...but unfortunately, I can't have it be a "regular" thing.  DH also told me that he wants to lose weight and quit smoking!  I know that both of those things are extremely difficult, especially for someone with his issues, but the fact that he is thinking about it is an improvement over how things were before....

And to top it all off?  On the same day I met with the attorney and the same day that we did DD's discharge, I learned that I have lupus.  I've started taking anti-malarial drugs for the skin issues and the pain and fatigue.  It was a huge relief to know that that was what was wrong, because lots of doctors in the past had treated (or tried to treat) various parts of it, without looking at the whole.  Now that we know what it is, maybe we can make things a lot better all around, instead of fix one thing and then something else pops up.  The kind of funny (depending on how you look at it) thing is, I didn't really feel like there was something that serious wrong with me until I KNEW that there was something wrong....now I'm noticing the fatigue more....and the aches and pains....and the hair loss.....

My emotions are all a-jumble.  Just like my life.

10 comments:

In the Pink said...

Oh my....I do not know what to say that could do anything for what you are currently going through. But you are in my thoughts and I hope things get better for you.

Reighnie said...

Please be careful about whatever they give you for lupus. I have "Rheumatoid Arthritis" but I'm learning that may not truly be the case.

I've been seeing an acupuncturist and he's been able to relieve a lot of what shouldn't be able to be relieved if I really had RA. A huge portion was realigning my spine. I didn't even realize I had hurt myself with all the work that I was doing, but the second half is all emotional. Because of CDQ I can't keep myself balanced and it sends my immune system into a tailspin.

It's the stress breaking down our bodies and sometimes the doctors don't know or don't understand. I definitely do have all the symptoms of RA but they shouldn't be able to go away the way they mostly have.

I know for RA a lot of the meds are cancer meds and stuff that will destroy your organs, etc... I take vitamins and herbs prescribed by my acupuncturist.

With a background like yours, it could be years of stress build up, keeping your emotions and needs in check, and low cortisol levels, etc... I truly believe that is my problem now. It's just too obvious when I see my acupuncturist and it sucks not having control of your mind or body.

You really need a break. I know how hard that is and I feel like a hypocrite telling you that because I still haven't taken my break.

I truly hope things get better for you and I'm sorry you have to go through this.

RinaMarie said...

I wish you the best! :)

perphila said...

Oh my goodness.
Here's a tough one for you, since you are the kind of person who cares so much for others taking the time to focus on your own health is going to be a challenge isn't it? Sometimes we have to take care of ourselves first so I hope you do that. Of course with everything going on with DD right now I know I would have a hard time doing that as well. I agree things were far too rushed. They had plenty of time to have a better plan, I mean this IS supposed to be about her welfare right? You, however, are doing the best you can as you always have so don't beat yourself up. Knowing your child (be it 4, 18 or older) is somewhere else and you can't be there is not easy. I am sure it won't be long before you get some phone calls about how she's doing and I know you will always keep and eye on her. I hope things go well for the guardianship. Good luck....on so many many levels!

Miz Kizzle said...

Man oh man, your life is like a soap opera.
Do you ever think that you'd be far better off living alone with several cats for company?

Carol said...

To Miz Kizzle: Yes!!! I think about that all the time, most recently last night!!!! I'm so tired of the drama....and I'm so tired....
Carol

Grace. said...

Hard, hard, hard!

But I wouldn't worry about your daughter 'loving' her 'new family' more or becoming attached to them. Attachments are different for adults, even immature adults--and their world is open to multiple but less strong attachments.

I know so many adoptive parents with Lupus--and always wondered why that is.

Mel~ @ Lifestwistedstitches.com said...

Carol, you are amazing! Concentrate on YOU now. ((((((hugs))))))

Kimberly said...

I was so happy to find your blog. i too live with a bipolar husband whom I love very much. We also have finanical hardship and experience alot of what your family goes thru. Hope to hear from you soon. Now I know I'm not alone.

Blondee said...

I was flipping through blogs and came across yours. New follower after reading your latest entry. I am so very sorry for the pain and anguish you are experiencing right now. We have a little girl with OCD, SPD and Asperger's. My husband has bi-polar and the more we learn about it, the more I am wondering if that may indeed be a part of what our daughter may be struggling with as well.
I offer your my prayers and that this placement of your daughter ends up being a healing help, not another wound.