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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Apples to Watermelon

I had a comment yesterday (thank you! I LOVE comments!) that bio mom sounded like a jerk. And while I agree and can see why she sounds like a jerk I feel it necessary to point out that measuring her against the people who take the time to read and learn about foster parenting and trauma is a lot like trying to compare apples to watermelon.

Sometimes they are both green. Sometimes they both have seeds. They are both fruits. That's about it.

I don't think Mom is trying to be a jerk. I think she truly doesn't know any better. She's not ever had someone model for her appropriate behavior. She is a victim herself and as such she has put protections and walls in place for her to survive. And these survival methods are what come across as jerkiness to the rest of us - including her kids.

It's hard to keep this in mind in the moment because answers, decisions, and responses can be quite maddening. Asking someone to VOLUNTEER their free time to your cause and then turning around and telling them that you don't care about their point of view would seem pretty ridiculous to most people. But I really believe she has no idea that this would be unacceptable to most. She's not had a lot of experiences where people have helped her.

Then there is the fact that she is trying as hard as she is. My concern is that not much is changing. And what is changing is at sub a small pace that no end is in sight. If she was a jerk I don't think she would be trying as hard.

She comes from a completely different background with polar opposite values. She grew up learning it was ok to beat your children and steal for food. To walk away from financial obligations. To sleep with men for shelter. To allow men to hit you. Kindness, compassion, boundaries, give and take are not concepts that she is familiar with. Those things are as foreign to her as beating children and stealing are to me.

On my way to work this morning, I was thinking about our training classes. How they drove home the idea that sometimes a family needs a break in order to thrive. I have to remember that this is what we are trying to do. I have to remember the videos of the grateful parents post RU that understood how important the foster parents were in keeping their family together. Perhaps that will be this Mom one day. (And if they RU and she still doesn't understand then I will let the jerk comments fly without defense!:).) I have to re-focus to stay sane for the kids and for me.

We saw an increase in behavior issues post mid-week visit yesterday. If this I any indication we are about to start falling apart and quickly. I need to get some strength and focus back of we are going to survive it.

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