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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I "tried" to call....

I've mentioned in a few different posts that I have an incurable illness called neurosarcoidosis. My particular case has been hard to get into remission and at this point I'm just waiting out the pain and symptoms. (Kinda like I'm waiting out the kids case to see if I will be THE Mom.) A few years back the docs (yes plural at one point I was seeing 7 specialists) had me on a high dose of prednisone which is a steroid and it made me crazy. Seriously, I was a basket case. I was exhibiting bipolar level highs and lows and was awake for days. I was irritable and the slightest thing would make me rage and the next day would make me cry. It was fun stuff. I managed to alphabetize all of my scrapbooking embellishments and label all my supplies while also finishing the Twilight Series in one week.

The docs kept telling me it was normal on the dosage I was on to suffer from "depressive symptoms and crying spells" while on prednisone. Except I was basketcase crazy. Finally, my head specialist told me that I needed to find a therapist and a psychiatrist as I was likely to be on and off these types of drugs the rest of my life and I needed to be prepared to keep living my life and not hide in my basement reading about vampires.

And that's how I met my therapist, Molly. She was funky and positive and validated my feelings. She put up with me as I walked into her office 1-2 times a week and cried for 45 minutes straight. She helped me understand my panic attacks and the relationships in my life that needed help. She helped me find my voice. And then about 18 months later I walked into her office and didn't cry. And then did it again 2 weeks later and we decided I was probably okay. I saw her shortly after my grandma passed and the kids came and discovered that her kids go to the same school. And then life got busy and I got focused on healing my kids and I haven't gone back.

But lately.... My fuse is short and I'm irritable. And I feel anxious and frustrated. And I'm worried I'm going to slink back into the deep, ugly, dark pit of depression. And I realize I need to take care of myself. And I've debated about going back to Molly. She won volunteer of the year at the school and the types on Moms that win volunteer of the year and how intimidated and judged I feel are one of the issues I need to work through. And really how do you say that to your therapist?

Hi! Thanks for helping me but now you make me feel bad about the kind of mother I am and while I trust that you will keep everything confidential I'm not sure I want to share everything now.

But I also don't want to start over. I don't want to have to discuss the family issues I have with someone else. I did that for a year already. I want someone who understands how far I've come in regard to being ill and having to reduce my load to a Mom of 4 who works full time. I want her to cheer me on since I left the job I hated.

And since yesterday I cried when the girls' therapists asked me a few harmless questions I decide to call Molly and make an appointment. But the phone system changed and her extension is no longer hers and I would have had to hang up and dial the other office and I was in the car. So I let it be today. It's a step in the right direction and I know it's one I need to take.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

But I don't want to take my pills. I want to stay happy. -Jelly Bean

She was HYPER and bouncing off the walls because she had not yet taken her ADHD meds. And her sisters were including her and they were laughing together. Not at her.

I want you to stay happy too which is WHY you need to take your pills.

But I'm not like THIS when I take them.

Yes. I know. But you get really happy and then really, really sad and I don't want you to get really, really sad. The pills help you stay calm and more even.

And as if she needed to justify it to herself she then proceeded to stomp down the stairs causing her to "try it again" which then led to a melt down. Dad sent her to time out and I pulled her into my lap and instantly it was over. I felt her whole body relax against me.

I'm not sure why this morning we were gearing up to do battle with "Little Jelly Bean" which is how we refer to her brain when the trauma takes hold and all she can do is spin out of control due to fear and anxiety. Could be lack of visits with Mom. Could be fear that visits with Mom will start back up. Could be her siblings being invited to birthday parties this weekend and not her (they are not going to the same party). Could be that she did not have therapy Friday and her sisters did an she's afraid she won't see her therapist today. Could be that she wanted glasses but didn't need them and her sister did. Maybe I'll figure it out. Maybe I won't.

Even though I may not know why her brain is in traumaland right now. I DO know how to help her. And it goes against "normal" parenting which sometimes makes it hard to keep up all day. She's clingy and acting much younger than her 8 years of chronological age. And in some sort of blessing instead of acting out seeking negative attention she's just seeking approval of every.little.thing.she's.doing.

So at the store when she asked to sit in the grocery cart- I let her. She feels safe in there. It's a defined space in a huge warehouse with lots of objects and people that overwhelm her. We might get strange looks but it's better than the looks I'd be getting if I were yelling and she were crying.

And when she peppered me with questions about EVERYTHING I patiently answered them. Encouraged them. Hugged her every time she asked. Essentially babyed her all day long.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Radio Silence

Silence can be deafening. You know when you're in a really quiet space and you think your ears hurt from the lack of noise but you aren't sure. Similar to the calm before the storm where you notice everything is smooth but you know that all Hell may break loose. That's kind of how I feel about the lack of information and or update on the hotline investigating. I spoke to the case worker today and asked if she heard anything. Her response rubbed me the wrong way.

"No I haven't heard anything. I hope we hear something soon it will be three weeks of missed visits."

She also didn't comment when I told her one kid didn't notice a lack of Real Mom, one kid was quite clear that she was glad that visits stopped, one asked (the one was was hurt), and one who hasn't talked about it at all. I don't think she wanted my take on the situation.

Here is why the response bothered me: I don't think she's taking it seriously. I really get the feeling that she thinks this was no big deal and blown out of proportion. And now this case that she thought was going to move toward return home just got prolonged.

So as we wait in radio silence for a signal of some sort we have more calm and more fun. But that storm is coming and I feel the energy surrounding 3 weeks of no visits (I believe the longest break since they came in care). I ache in my heart like a bum knee would in rain. And I know someone is going to pay for the silence. Someone is going to be the target for fearful and angry kids. And it will be me. Me the safe Mom. Me the consistent Mom. Me the patient (mostly) Mom. I just hope that when this is all over and done with (and child services and the legal people realize this woman isn't going to get her act together no matter how many pep talks and support services and time they give her) I get to be THE MOM.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Little Boys

Little boys do things like pee in their pajamas, not tell anyone and then put them in again the next night.
Little boys do things like write on the bedroom wall, living room wall , and kitchen table.
Little boys do things like shove packs of post it notes into the disc drive of the computer.
Little boys do things like stick plastic shoes in their mouth.
Little boys do things like play in their sisters room and then shut a locked door without anyone being on the inside.
Little boys say things like -Mama? I love you. Or Mama? You are beautiful. Or Mama I saved you a spot. And Mama I ate all my food can I have dessert please? And little boys have a belly laugh that can make your heart melt and your brain ALMOST forget the destruction of your house piece by piece.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The General Public

I had two seperate instances this week of other people making judgements about me that really bothered me.  Now I'll admit it.  I can be judgy.  I try not to be. I try REALLY hard to be empathetic and open but I'm human and therefore I make judgements all day long.  I'm guilty of doing the same thing done to me this week. I'll acknowledge and OWN that but it didn't make these two instances any easier for me to swallow.

The first was Monday at a big box store.  I was checking out with my 4 Valentine's Day cards and some odds and ends and the lady behind the counter was being nosey friendly.

Oh how cute are these cards.  Are these for your kids?

Yep. 

Oh so many! How many children do you have?

Four.

Four!?! Wow.  You don't look old enough to have four children.

(Smiling at her.)

How old are they?

11, 9, 8, and 4.

Oh.

Oh? Oh? As if that it explained it.  Her suspicion that I was a young mother confirmed. And I instantly felt bad about myself.  My own insecurities creeping in.  Once I agian I figured somehow I was less than because I'm not a "traditional" mom.  I realize this is a ridiculous notion.  But I can't keep the thoughts from bubbling up.  And I was ANGRY. Angry that this woman thought she knew me.  Angry that she made a judgement about me.

Listen here lady.  You are absolutely right.  I AM too young to be a mother of 4 children who are as old as they are but their own mother couldn't hack it and they need me.  No matter how young I might look.  And Geez.  I'm 30. Its not like I'm 15.  And don't you see this beautiful ring on my hand? Yeah thats right he went to Jared.  Seriously.  Its not like I'm some single chick who just slept with whoever.  And then I feel guilty because my kid's mother IS a young mother who is single and had 4 kids with different men. And the hole exchange just left a bad taste in my mouth.

So today we went to get LM and JB's vision checked.  We were told in JB's IEP meeting this week that she failed the vision screening 3 seperate times.  In fact, she failed so bad they thought she was doing it on purpose so they sent her favorite teacher with her.  Still failed.  LM I guess wore glasses at some point when she lived with her Mom.  About 6 months after she lived here (so more than a year after she went into foster care) she comes home with glasses her Mom "finally found".  Umm? If she needed glasses why wasn't she wearing them to school they day that she was brought into foster care? Umm why then did it take more than 12 months to locate them.  Then she brought them back to Mom's house and they were lost agian.  This should have been my first clue but in a rookie mistake I believed the other foster parents followed through on the screening suggestions. 

So after SEVEN calls/transfers we get the number to a place that takes the medical card.  Its at a different big box store near our home.  Ok I bet they have Saturday hours.  I call and make the appointment.  Yes we take the Medical Card but we do not handle the glasses the state covers.  Huh? So I call the state. Sure happy to give you the number for some providers.  Can't tell you which ones handle the glasses though. (BANG MY HEAD ON THE DESK.) So before I get all worked up I decide to get the vision test over with and go from there.

So we go into the exam. JB is up first. The doctor says.  Oh this one is probably not going to need anything. The prescreening puts her at 20/20.  Say what? She failed it THREE times.  Yeah. Sometimes kids do that.  Sure enough.  Her vision is fine.  Then LM gets in the chair.  Oh this one for sure.  You know what she has a lazy eye.  It says here she wore glasses why did she stop? She should have been wearing glasses for the last 6 years.  Will it get corrected with the lenses? Yes but it won't be ask good as it would have it she had been wearing her glasses all this time.  Its a shame you didn't make her wear them.

Now if you know me in real life you would know my temper can come quick and furious.  I have been described as intimidating.  I'm told I need to calm down on almost a daily basis by my husband.  It took everything in my power to keep my mouth shut and not tell this doctor exactly what I thought of his accusation.  To explain to him that I have been the best mother this child has ever had and had I known that she had been diagnosed with a lazy eye and couldn't see her books I would have had her in here the 2nd week she lived with me.  That her "real" mother did squat to protect and provide for her kids and this is just one more place that she failed that I get to fix. So he shuffles us out of the room takes the next patient and we are left waiting.  The prescription and note for school were not given to me as requested and the response that I got from the staff member was.  I'm really sorry he's got a lot of patients and is in the room already.  I can mail you the paperwork. 

Oh no you don't.  Just because I have the state medical card does not mean you are going to bulley me into going away because you think I don't know better.  And because I am not going to be buying your frames does not give you the right to dismiss me.  I see it.  I'm totally guilty of the judging here.  I judged her to be less than and myself to be more than.  I work really hard not to have my kids be seen as less than. And my assumption that this was what she was doing really ticked me off.  Lets just say I made a slight stink.  And parked myself right outside of the exam room so the doctor would have to trip over me on the way out.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gabby

So my 4th grader, Gabby tends to crack me up. She is definitely dramatic. I often refer to her as a Drama Queen and if I ever become her mother I will be taking her to a talent agent and getting her, her own show on the Disney channel (which will complete my plan to live at Walt Disney World). She is incredibly smart and is an old soul. She is also unbelievably sensitive. (The first dinner here I asked her to use a napkin she burst out in tears.) She reminds me a lot of myself. She is also EXACTLY my brother growing up and she triggers me all the time in this way.

We are fairly certain she has ADD but she is so smart and so interested in school she's been able to overcome it. She bounces from subject to subject but somehow keeps all of her thoughts organized. It's really tiring to watch.

She goes through periods where she can't seem to remember anything important, such as brushing her teeth or homework. Such was the issue on Tuesday when her teacher had her call me to tell me she hadn't turned in her big project that she had a month to work on and I knew nothing about. And I was instantly transformed to my childhood with my parents reaming out my brother for not doing his homework, again.

She's a very anxious kid. She was throwing up every time she saw her Mom before the break in visits. And when she is in a mood her temper can flair. Much like her favorite Disney character, Tinkerbell. It's a shame when she's upset like this because most of the time she is so easy going and free. I predict she will be the kid to try to be a vegetarian/save the Pandas/go to a liberal arts college/and tell me she's becoming a lesbian Wican. (This is not a dig. Just a very different lifestyle from her hetero parents and Catholic Grandmother. I love my gay friends and family.)

She also has a degree in sarcasm and wit. She's pretty much given up on her Mom and last night when I said we all need to be accepting of how everyone might be feeling about not seeing their Mom and that some of them may be glad not to have visits she quipped under her breath in my ear "I fall into THAT category." Which totally makes her my daughter. And her ability to give my husband back the teasing he dishes out makes her my hero.

Does my Heart Proud

I realized yesterday that I probably don't give LM and Gabby as much Blog time as I do JB. It's true that JB is my most frustrating child and arguably the highest level of need but that doesn't meant that LM and Gabby don't have blog worthy things going on.

And low and behold last night they gave me some good material to blog about. I'm going to tackle LM first as I want to brag about her healing.

So LM is the oldest. Very much parentafied. This was a major struggle for many months an it's still an issue where visits are concerned. and typical of an 11 year old she is fibbing quite a bit. When she came to us she had the BEST poker face I have ever seen. She can participate in a stand off like no one else I know.

But lately the wall has started to come down brick by brick. She had been picking fights when she wanted to talk. Finally last night she ASKED to talk to me. She felt she was lying recently because she's "anxious" about what is going to happen next. And she is confused about what I means to be a big sister vs. The Mom. I almost fell over. Actual plain as day issues to work on? I don't have to scour for subtext or hidden triggers? Oh happy day. So we worked on examples of when her sisters felt she had been a good big sister. Positive Affirmation that she ALREADY is a good big sister.

Then we addressed the what happens next. Unfortunately our answer is we don't know yet. I think they were scared they would be moved from our home so we helped relieve that fear.

I was super proud of her for opening up. Now if only she hadn't forgotten her homework at school and then lied about why we would have had a near perfect day. But I have to cut the kid SOME slack...she is worried she's never going to see her Mother again and I might lose track of time too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Go to sleep

Me: guys when we get home I want you to get your pjs on and get into bed. You were up late last night and you need sleep.

Them: ok Mom.

We arrive home. Everyone stalls. Everyone NEEDS to tell me something (because apparently the 30 minutes we spent in the car wasn't enough time to spit it out).

Mr. Mohawk: Mom. Don't let the bugs bite. If they do bite them back ok?!?

Gabby: Mom the dog scratched me.

Jelly Bean: Mom I want the dog to sleep with me. Why do we have to go to bed? My knee hurts. My back itches.

At some point I tune her out.

LM: Mom I'm sorry for not listening earlier today. I'm worried about you spending too much money on school activities.

Me in my head: WTH? Can't I just get one easy bedtime? I have no energy left to explain all of these things in an age appropriate way that doesn't bash your mother.

Me: Please no worries. That's why dad and I work. And we will always figure out a way for you to be involved in school.

Jelly Bean: But we cost to much and we want everything. And I want an iPod and I'm taking ice skating lessons.

Me in my head: you aren't helping your case here kid. Please stop talking.

Me: ok anything else? No? Sleep tight love you. Go to sleep please.

Whispers and talking.

Me: go to sleep.

Whispers and giggling.

Me: I said go to sleep.

Talking and a Shhhhsss

Me: what part of go to sleep wasn't clear? How many times todo I have to say it?

Jelly Bean: Once?

Me: Then why are you still talking? Go to sleep. I don't care if you are bleeding I don't want to hear another peep out of this room.

Which I shouldn't have said because she might get a bloody nose...

Now I know why there is the book go the F to sleep.

I am so afraid I'm never going to see you agian.

Admittedly, I'm a little cranky. I threw my back out on Friday and despite my trip to the most awesome chiropractor I'm still in a lot of pain. I can stand up straight but I'm still very sore. I love this man - he was able to relieve me of pain that no medical doctor could. (Seriously Google Trigeminal Neuralgia. Aka Suicide Disease. Take note that I am not a geriatric patient nor do I have a brain tumor that can be removed.) so it kind of ticked me off that after snap. Cracking, and popping my body and putting 6 acupuncture needles in my back I'm still in pain.

In case you are living in a cave tomorrow is Valentine's Day (well today as my clock just turned). This is not a real big deal to Hubby an I - or rather it's not a big deal to him and after 11 years together I've learned to not expect anything and be surprised with a card every so often. But the schools need an excuse for a party so they make a big deal. We bought no less than 120 valentines. Last year I felt so like the rookie as I followed the class instructions and sent only cards and my 3 year old came home with gift wrapped packages of healthy snacks and fun pencils. (Seriously, when do these women have time for this? LABELED goody bags with messages. I'm lucky I know where my printer is. Although that might not work because ya know Mr. Mohawk likes to shove office supplies into electronics...)

So I thought I'd get this Madness out of the way on Sunday. Yeah. Didn't work so well. I was still sitting there counting cards and getting names on stuff tonight. In trying to attach the Smarties I got for the kids to add to their Valentines (120 pieces people.) I discovered that Mr. Mohawk did not write his name on the cards. His sisters did it for him. Of course I asked which sister and was immediately lied to. (Which Jelly Bean pointed out was kind of dumb since there are 4 of them and someone will cave-See she does listen sometimes when I talk.) so when the other sister came downstairs I confronted her.

Mommy mistake. Firstly, she had just met with her therapist. I should know better but I was just so irritated. I'm accused of treating the little one different and here I hive him a task and they do it for him. How can you complain he never has to do anything when you take it away. (Now you might be wondering where I was when this was happening. I was laying on a heating pad because I could no longer be vertical at that point Sunday after I got him started.)

So I tell Gabby and LM that I'm disappointed and irritated 1)that they didn't follow directions 2) that it was trying to be covered up and lied about. So Gabby starts crying. Sobbing. Holding her breath. I try to explain the importance of their brother learning things on his own. The reason the especially need to tell the truth. Even their therapist jumped in an explained some. Then LM and therapist head upstairs to the room for therapy and Gabby starts crying harder. "I'm so afraid I'm never going to see you again!"

"Why Gabby? You aren't going anywhere any time soon." puzzled.

More sobs. "One day you'll die. We all have to." snot comes out of her nose. And in a move that tells me how much I've become a Mom I wipe it away with my hand.

"Gabby I'm not dying. I'm not sick. My back hurts but that won't kill me. Of I die I hope it will be in 50 years."

"You'll be 80!" as if this is too young.

This continued for a little while and then the crying got worse before it got better. I had her air in our rocking chair with me and I had her deep breathe and repeat with me that she was safe and loved and that this was where she lives.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dare to Dream

So this weekend we had minimal issues. Normal kid behavior. And the difference? Our weekend was ours. There were no reminders of foster care. There were no anxiety riddled visits with Mom or fear of being hurt. Instead there was a family night at a Valentines Day dance and an overnight at Grandma's house which included seeing Disney in Ice. Mom and Dad got to go to an adults only Martini Party (where Mom found her new favorite beverage Cotton Candy Vodka) and sleep in.

My mind wanders and it it goes to that "dare to dream" place. Where this IS my family. These are my kids. There is no question of where they will live or who will care for them. Where they feel safe ALL the time and they continue to make incredible progress despite their traumatic beginnings.

Because as I sit here and listen to them giggle I hope that this is the rule rather than the exception. I realize that while this is my dream it is their fear. And then I come back to the reality that we live. That tomorrow our week starts and includes therapy and homework. It will no doubt bring information about the investigation and frustration surrounding the lack of protection the kids had at their last visit. More discussion of how on Earth DCFS is going to teach their Mom how to be a safe parent. And more head shaking by those that work with the kids of how the system can still think their Mom is going to get it together after 20 months and still struggling at supervised visits.

While I am angry and frustrated I have reached a new place in my own opinion of my place and approach. I'm just going to be their Mom. Their advocate. I have an odd sense of peace that these are my kids no matter what a court tells me. For now that's enough. I don't feel their Mom can handle being their parent but that doesn't take away her title as Mom. I have to be okay with this in order to also be their Mom.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Visits Suspended

So it got real interesting real quick. Received a call from the investigator and then an email from the GAL (kids attorney). Apparently Mom's attorney called her.

The kids met with the investigator this afternoon and less than an hour later I got a call from the caseworker that visits were cancelled for the weekend and until further notice. She'll let us know when they are to start up again.

When I told the kids Jelly Bean said- can't we just get over it already? Oh my. That's how ingrained the abuse is. That the child who was dragged across the room thinks-no big deal. This is how life should be. So clearly more work needed there. But in a proud moment Gabby said "No. We can't just get over it. Mom dragged you across the room. That isn't right."

Still Waiting

Since we haven't heard anything (although the therapists assured me someone will be contacting me) I decided to call and get the number for a vision provider. Can I tell you it took SEVEN different numbers and transfers to get to someone who could help me? Seven.

We had a big conversation with Little Mama last night. Concern about her sister drove her to ask if she was in fact hurt by their Mom. And then we stared each other down about what she knew. She claimed she didn't remember I told her I felt she did. I felt she was trying to protect everyone. After at least 30 minutes of staring each other down my Hubby joined us. Eventually we got her discussion the events and determined that she disassociated the minute she felt scared she would get hurt too. Apparently when they would get beaten it was because one person got in trouble. The share the wealth philosophy of child abuse.

Waiting...

So no one came. I guess we will find out more tomorrow. Until then here are some pics. The sub for the superbowl was longer than Mr. Mohawk. And Jelly Bean Ice skating.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hotline

So my concern about things being swept under the proverbial rug was addressed last night when some more details emerged last night in therapy of Saturday's visit. This prompted a hotline call by BOTH therapists.

Apparently, one of the children was yanked out of bed by the arms and dragged across the room, hit her head on the ceiling and was then pushed into the time out chair. All without any verbal direction to get up and go to time out. (Never mind that the provoking child wasn't even questioned about what happen.)

So now I guess we wait for the investigator to show up. Should make our night interesting.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

And then the visit came...

And the tantrum returned. Over peeling an orange. Although I have to give her credit she held it together until 8:00pm.

She convinced herself she didn't take her medicine today because she had a hard time at her visit. Come to find out the visit supervisor told the kids not to tell us they had a bad time at their visit.

Imagine trying to console an tantruming child sobbing she wants to go home who then says to you her visit was bad. The adult in charge of keeping her safe tells her to keep secret what happened at the visit and the kid then tells you she was terrified her Mom was going to hit her while she was getting put in time out.

I mean really? ANOTHER provider in this mess who is supervising visits and reporting back is telling the kids to keep the truth from us? The family therapist and the visit supervisor? Come on people. Really? Traumatized children who have been harmed and told to keep quiet who feel tons of guilt for being in foster care because they told the TRUTH.

They spend week after week working in therapy to learn this isn't their fault and then these adults in a position of power make these statements and we go backwards. And they damage the trust everyone has worked hard to build because we have told the kids-these adults are there to help you. There to keep you safe. Except that they seem to be going against these goals.

And these are the things that have ME terrified that they will get swept under the rug and these kids will get sent home too early.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Giggle

We went to a movie tonight. We saw We Bought a Zoo which was equal parts funny and sad. During the movie I looked over to see Jelly Bean full on laughing. Giggling with my Hubby. Oh my goodness it was the BEST sound I ever heard. I didn't care that it cost over $100 for popcorn and tickets as long as I heard my little girl come back! Gone was the depressed, stressed, anxious, angry kid. With us was the bright little girl with rosy cheeks and a pretty flowered skirt on.

Love to be on the upswing.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All in.

Oh how I hate thee! Oh how I hate when I lose my cool (thank you very much nasty cold and stressful day at work for making me crabby) and then I trigger my kids and I spend 60 minutes trying to undue a quick outburst of frustration.

Because ya know yelling about putting stuff away instead of walking over or stepping on it equals I don't love you I'm going to call you're case worker and have her move you.

Trust me. If that was going to happen it would have been done already. There is a term in poker "pot committed" meaning you have too much invested in a hand to fold. I'm all in. If the 4 months of constant bickering and the endless case extensions and the schedule being changed every month didn't make us call the case worker yet it's not going to. Especially over towels. If we haven't called it quits over the hour long meltdowns and screaming at the top of lungs or the children being sent home from school for biting people. Using too much toilet paper and clogging the toilet isn't going to make us run screaming for the hills. (My apologies to anyone who may come to my house we will be switching to the cheap toilet paper.)

But I live in Trauma Land and that means thy all common sense get thrown out the window. It means that reasoning skills are nearly extinct. It means that a simple hand movement can turn your world upside down. It means you need to constantly anticipate and react. Whether you are up to it or not.

And I have 3 children with a severe trauma history. Which means 3 times as much fun in Trauma Land. My daughters bedtime story was not about Princesses. It was reassuring her that she was not going to get bounced from a third home. And silly Mommy didn't remember that this week is the trauma anniversary of this. Because in Trauma Land you spend forever trying to help kids heal from hurts that other people inflicted.

The rub of course is that THIS Mommy understands this but her "Real" Mom does not... Because in Trauma Land what is determined to be the best thing for a child is often the polar opposite of what most people would think.