Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My own triggers

I'm feeling a little better about S's rages.  I finally got a response from someone . . . someone who listened to what I had to say, validated it and gave concrete, specific advice for how to move forward from here. That really helped. I also realized something.

When we were going through our home study, there was an interview section. The interviewer asked us questions about our own childhoods and relationships with family members. She talked about how there aren't really "wrong" answers to those questions (although I'm sure there are some answers that would be red flags), but said it was important to know what sort of things might be in our own pasts that a future foster child could trigger. We needed to work through any of those issues ourselves before we could help a child with similar ones.

Made sense to me. I thought long and hard and tried to imagine anything that could impact a placement.

But I looked too far back. I didn't think about more recent experiences.

I kept asking for help for S, telling professional after professional that she is melting down and I don't know how to help her.

I kept getting all but patted on the head as these people tell me this is "normal" and I'm doing a great job with her and would I like to schedule a respite weekend soon?

I finally realized what past memory that response is dredging up. Susan. The first, oh, about 7 years of her life. Specialist after specialist telling me she is "fine", she's "within normal ranges", she'll "grow out of it" or "catch up." Years of feeling in my gut that she's not fine, that there's something bigger here than a "mild developmental delay", that I don't know how to help her. Pretty much from birth. Until finally, in the spring of 1st grade, the school psychologist did a psych eval on her at my request. (Requested on the advice of the private psychologist we were seeing who told me they had to do it if I asked for it and that he could do one, but that the school might dismiss any findings he made, but "if they find it, they have to offer her resources in school to help her.") And that was when we finally had the Asperger's diagnosis. 7 years.

S can't wait 7 years.

I can't wait 7 years.

I don't ask for help or support services lightly. I know resources are thin and there's not enough money in the pot to cover all the help everybody wants. So, it takes a pretty dramatic problem for me to start screaming for help. And getting brushed off with what they think are reassuring statements is the last thing I need.

Again and again, forever and forever....foster care sucks.

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