Well...the first part of adoptive date stress is over. Unfortunately, it is three-fold this year. First, her actual birthday, then the birthday party and then Mother's Day. All within less than a week. The day was about a 75%, I would say. She woke up already upset because there wasn't going to be big wrapped presents. She pouted through breakfast and getting ready. I continued to give hugs and great big "happy birthdays", "I can't believe how old you ares"...
A few days ago she had lost her privilege of taking birthday treats to school. There were guidelines to follow to get to do that and she blew it - and they weren't hard. So, 10 minutes before school she says "if I'm good for 10 minutes, can I please take treats?" and starts on this whole self-pity thing about no one paying attention to her and no one will sing and blah, blah...all that I knew was not true. So, I caved. I rarely do and it came from a good place - I wanted her to feel special on her birthday and maybe, be able to feel good about herself. I gave her the smaller portion of her treats that I had purchased and spoke to her teacher about good behavior for the morning before allowing treats in the afternoon (brilliant teacher came up with that one). So, she got to give them out.
I picked her up for therapy (yes, I'm the mean mom that lost track of dates and had therapy scheduled on her birthday) - for which she was in desperate need. She worked diligently in the car to get her homework done and it was a beautiful day. The drive to therapy, for me, is therapeutic. The most gorgeous views and fresh air and winding roads and well...I love it! I always point out the wonder to her, but she's uninterested. We got there and it was just her for once - usually DS2 is with us...but he is doing so well right now and she's not and I felt it was more important to concentrate of her this day. DS2 is not done with therapy, I know it's a long, ongoing process...but he got a little break!
We had our parent meeting and she was given two books by Doc XXX to read. When he opened the door to invite her in, she had left the books and gotten into his closet in the waiting room to get out puppets. Now, she did not have permission, has never had permission and apparently has done this before. He called her on it and she continued to hold out on naming her feelings. She consistently tells me (and him) that she feels 'weird' - which we've pointed out is not an actual feeling. She is supposed to use the BIG 4 - mad, sad, happy, scared...and variations of those. Never can...she'll say she's happy when she is really scared or that she's mad when she's really sad, and it's tough for me. I've tried to model the right reaction and show her what the emotions look like - to no avail.
Therapy was not real productive last night. He had to call her on usuing 'therapy talk' - just giving him answers from things he's said to her before...she answered 'well, I am IN therapy'. Valid point...but not valid use of this time. She came so close to actually opening up about some pain and then withdrew again into herself. At the end of the session she lied to him about reading the books - it was quickly obvious that she had merely looked at the pictures and he pointed out that he would have been ok if she had just said that - but she is so worried about 'keeping up appearances' that her first reaction is to lie. Foreshadowing...
DH was going to stop and get a small cake for her day. We are doing the big cake for the party and then DS2's birthday is next week - so I was thinking that was a lot of cake (and sugar around here can be a trigger). I told him to wait until we were home to see how she reacted to her afternoon. The after-therapy glow is sometimes wonderful and sometimes not so. Driving home we opened all the windows and sang Beastie Boys as loud as we could (you gotta introduce them to the classics)! I had a wonderful time and although she tried to sabotage things by throwing her homework out the window (yes, I'm dumb enough to not see you pick it up and put your hand out the window). I really felt like she was happy. I want her to start to love herself. Doc explained yesterday that her heart is like a cup with holes. She accepts the love, she wants it so bad and it fills up her heart, but then it leaks out. The way to fill those holes is by learning to love yourself...that's a long road for her!
As I said, lots of foreshadowing here and I must leave you hanging...I have already written a book and I have kiddos needing me...later!