Wednesday, April 29, 2009


After two days of acting out, being difficult, and expressing a desire to die, I asked Daughter last night how she was thinking about S (birth brother J's daughter). She looked at me with great exasperation and said, "A lot."
She told me it should be against the law to split up families. I told her it is against the law to do to children the things that those people did to her.
Then I got rather brutal. She was removed from that home prior to the age of 3. She had been repeatedly molested during her time with them by all the male members of her family. I pointed out to her that when she had talked to E (birth mother) 2 years ago, she had commented that she sounded like a child. I explained that that was the reason E couldn't be her mother, because she was like a child, and had been unable to protect Daughter. I told her because E is so much like a child, she doesn't understand the current reality. I told her that E was wrong about S looking exactly like Daughter. I reminded her that E wasn't around her when she was that age, and so she didn't know what Daughter had looked like. I told her I had been around her, and that the only similarities were that S and Daughter were both girls with brown skin. She quickly added, "and brown eyes and black hair." I agreed, and pointed out there are millions of girls who fit that description. I told her that E wanted S to look like her so that E could do with S the things she hadn't been able to do with Daughter.
I pointed out that S was safe, because S's mom had been smart enough to divorce J. I told her she could pray for S. I told her she wasn't responsible for S. I told her that J, E, R and S were no longer her family, because they didn't know how to be a family. I asked her if she remembered what had happened last time she had even limited contact with E. She did, and acknowledged that she didn't want to go through that again (3 psych hospitalizations in less than 2 months). I told her that if she wanted to focus on a little girl, think about her cousin. At first she was belligerent, but the more I talked, the more her mood lightened. When I reminded her about her cousin, she actually smiled.
She slept last night. She stayed home today to help with the senior luncheon, and has commented a couple of times about how much better she is doing today. She is being cooperative and helpful. Her mood is much lighter. She is not expressing any desire to die. She is not sleeping every chance she gets to escape the pain she's in. I suppose the improvement could be a result of the increase in her lithium and depakote a week ago, but I think more of it has to do with my brutal rejection of any connection with or responsibility for the people who made her first 3 years a living hell.
I'm sorry she can't have a relationship with them, but any relationship is entirely too destructive for her. I'm not even going to tell her maybe she'll be able to be in contact with them someday. I don't want to think about what contacting them again would do to her. Psychiatrist told her she could talk about renewing contact after she'd gone a year without hearing voices. I don't think that will ever happen. I wish it would, but I don't see it happening. So I brutally told her she had no connection with them, and for today, she is at peace.


debinca said...

Good Job mom. I think just stating that contact is just not allowed is the right thing to do.
I bet she will feel safer and calmer. Course you 'might' just hear about you being so mean and all once in a while, but its an Ok trade in my book.

Reverend Mom said...

I hope you're right. I suspect there will be times when I doubt the wisdom of this, too.

Heather said...

Good for you for being willing to say "no" to contact when you know it's best for your daughter. We have struggled with similar decisions for our kids (who are, admittedly, younger, and therefore less separated from their past), and sometimes felt pressure to open that connection, but we don't feel it is right for them right now. We haven't closed it forever, but for now, yes. Thank you for helping me feel it's OK to make a difficult decision in the best interest of our children.

(BTW - the "word verification" for this post is "Bless." How appropriate!)

Reverend Mom said...

It wasn't an easy decision, and sometimes I wonder if it was a selfish one. However, when I consider the impact of one phone conversation two years later, I am confident it was the right one. Daughter's PTSD has always been very severe. Some kids are more resilient than others, and can handle it. Some families are less dysfunctional than Daughter's was, and there can be healing. For Daughter, this was the right decision.