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Posts Tagged ‘attachment’

Blitzen, I am going to work. Sometimes you have to leave me like when you go to camp or school.

Yeah, but I don’t want to leave you.

Poor Blitzen, the only thing worse than being around me is being away from me!

 

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Blitzen really wants to be independent – when it suits her.  There have been some disagreements about when she will be ready to take public transportation by herself.  She knows what to do and where she is going. She also gets distracted easily and then flustered when confused or anxious.  My biggest fear is that she will miss her stop and then be too anxious to get help until she is full melt down and panic mode.  So we’ve been trying create independence with a safety net.

Last week, Andrew and I let her walk up the hill from the subway to camp by herself. And by ‘by herself’ I mean that we stated that we would follow her (it is several blocks) but not talk to her or give her directions. We would just be a block behind her (we could still see her) and she could call back or come back to us if she needed anything. Well, don’t you know our adorable little Blitzen walked backward almost the entire way – chattering at us in a loud voice – about everything going by and her day ahead. That kid cracks me up.

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First day of camp, awesome. Second day of camp, in the world according to Blitzen, was a lot like the Game of Thrones (which I do not watch but I read the books).  Apparently, there was a plot coordinated by the friends that she made day one because she was popular – there was a kiddie coup, I suppose, in Blitzen’s brain.  They apologized and asked for forgiveness — she is considering it but doesn’t think they really deserve it so she might just make new friends.  People, there are only like 30 kids in her age group at this camp, I am getting nervous she is going to burn through all possible playmates in the first week. And I am also (even at girl drama filled age 11_ concerned that so much of this is just about Blitzen’s negative spin and terrible self-image.

I really really really wish that Blitzen did not assume that every single human(dog, cat, bird, squirrel, taxi and stoplight) that she encounters is out to get her, make her life miserable, take everything that she has, control everything, steal everything, cheat and lie about EVERYTHING. I understand why she feels this way – it is actually a fairly sane reaction given the world that she lived in up until Nov of 2011.  I am sad ’cause I think that she might always feel this way and life is just better and easier if you can, once in awhile, assume the best of others instead of the worst.

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Blitzen’s friend said to her as we were standing in line at Cold Stone Creamery.  Blitzen, ever competitive, said, “My mom works more.”  I listened, wondered where this was going.  Blitzen’s friend, “Really? My mom has to work weekends. Does your mom work on the weekend?” Blitzen considered this and said, “Yes, she does and sometimes she has to take really long business trips and she has to help the President (of a University – not THE president). ”  Then she looked up and said, “Don’t you, Carrie?”

These moments never fail to surprise me — after almost 3 years, you would think that I would remember that in certain situations, I am ‘mom’.

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Since our move, we’ve been decorating, really getting Blitzen engaged in her room but also in the decor of the apartment at large.  We’re adding some photos of her and her family in addition to the many that we have of her, putting them in  frames and hanging up around the house.  We’ve always had lots of photos on the fridge and the bulletin board but we’re stepping it up a notch, going for a fancier presentation.

We had some lovely frames from back in the day (actually wedding gifts! so waaayyy back)  that we removed the photos from and offered to Blitzen.  This is the email that Andrew sent to me about what happened when he presented them:

***

Blitzen loved the picture frames. I showed them to her without photos in them, and invited her to find photos to put in them. She chose a picture of her, her littlest baby sister and one of her brothers for one and our wedding picture for the other. You can choose a picture with you in it, I invited. She pointed to our photo, then to the words “Loves Me” on the frame. Both frames are now in her room.

Love ya,
A

 

 

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I am a rule follower – always have been.  Ask Andrew how many times he has asked me to climb a fence or duck through an unmarked door or whatever and every time I’ve said something like, ‘Don’t you think that fence is there for a reason? If we were supposed to exit that way, the door would be marked EXIT.’

I actually take my responsibilities and the laws of whatever land that I happen to find myself in (literal and figurative) very seriously. When I am in fostercare land, I follow the rules that have been set out.  I now know that those rules are mostly stupid, designed to discourage people from thinking – so I push them, I stretch them, I try to make them work for Blitzen instead of against Blitzen, I generally try to follow the playbook and when I can’t, I politely raise my hand and say, ‘I know that we have to do it this way but we all know that it isn’t going to work so could we finesse it in this manner, could we go under instead of over, can we work to find another door marked exit even if maybe it is written in invisible ink?’

Which is why I hate FTCs.  Remember when I said that I wasn’t going any more. Well, I didn’t go –  I called in.  It was still a disaster.  First of all, Andrew and I no longer feel that we can speak openly and honestly about Blitzen’s challenges – we have to speak in code when we speak at all. Secondly, it symbolizes all that is wrong with foster care.  Example – one of the action items was to create a deadline (sounds good right?) to SCHEDULE a meeting – not have the meeting and decide something but to schedule the meeting.  Guess who had to be in the meeting that had have a deadline created by which it needed to be scheduled – everyone sitting in the room and me, there on the phone.  A few other people who decided to just not show up for this first meeting should probably be invited to the second meeting but they never show up anyway so who are we kidding.  The other thing is there is no need for a meeting – just tell the foster parents what you want done, the agency doesn’t really give a shit about our opinions so just tell us the new schedule – we don’t need to set a deadline to schedule a meeting to discuss the schedule.  Yes, you read that right – it is not a typo. The primary outcome of the FTC was that we would 1) Set a deadline to schedule a meeting to discuss the schedule.

And what is most irritating about this little piece of theater of the absurd, is how insulting it is because, as stated above – I follow the rules and in this context, so does Andrew although he is even more grumbly about it than me.  We’ve been following the rules for 2 years, 7 months and 1 week and 6 days. We will do whatever it takes to get Blitzen to her family visits, we understand that is a responsibility that falls to us, so don’t waste my time with this nonsense, just tell us what is expected and we will deliver.  Un-fucking-believable!

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So, the thing with extended unsupervised family visits is that there is no damage control, there is no perspective. Whatever is heard has about 8 hours to marinate in the 11 year old brain and become fact.

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To not leave New York if I go to live with mommy?

I’m not leaving New York but how about I promise not to leave New York until your old enough to come visit me no matter where I live?

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I am really having trouble listening to Blitzen.  It is hard to sit with compassion and kindness while someone tells you how much you suck, even when you know that is not what they are really saying.  Andrew keeps telling me not to listen to her words.  And I know that this streak of awfulness is related to anxiety and fear about 1) moving 2) new summer schedule 3) vacation 4) cancelled and rearranged family visits.

Sigh.

I went out on the stoop to get some space and peace and hang out with my best friends, Ben and Jerry.  Blitzen followed me outside to yell at me some more, tell me that I didn’t need ice cream, proceeded to stick her hand in my pint (yeah, it is that bad – I am eating it straight from the carton – if you see a disheveled woman roaming the streets of NYC trying to eat ice cream discreetly from a carton wrapped in a paper bag, you’ll know that it is me) and I maturely responded by pitching the pint out into the street causing Blitzen to start sobbing and yelling that a car was going to hit the ice cream, flip over and people would die and it would be all my fault.  When I explained that due to physics, this chain reaction was extremely unlikely, she replied that she had seen it happen at her old foster home.  I couldn’t argue because Blitzen has seen a lot of fucked up and unbelievable shit so it might have actually happened.

PS – Dear internet – I know that throwing my carton of ice cream was extremely bad parenting and littering, and I am deeply regretful about both of those things. But no one died in a car flipping tragedy so at least there is that.

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1) I will continue to self-medicate with Ben and Jerry’s every night, ultimately reaching an extraordinarily unhealthy  weight as opposed to my current a little bit unhealthy weight and get diabetes, have to give up the ice cream (my sole comfort in life)?

2) My heart will explode from all the adrenal constantly coursing through my body as it plays out stupid ‘flight or fight’ to Blitzen’s fight and flight every day?

3) I will move to Alaska, change my name Brown Bear Betty and attempt to live with bears until they eat me?  I am deliciously Ben and Jerry’s flavored at this point so it wouldn’t be long before the bears decided to snack on me.

4) Figure out self-care?

I think, sadly, given my personality and 43 years of experience, 4 is actually the least likely to happen.

Also, we have an FTC today.  I know that I swore last time that I would never go back.  But since I am so bad at #4, I will probably go….

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