Saturday, November 28, 2015

Victim of a Crime

There have been many things happening in my life lately, things that need to remain private and others that I'm going to share here for the sake of all the other families struggling with the older children that they've adopted, but who have decided to stick it out as their parents.

Sissy has an appointment with a specialist early this week who will put in motion a series of further evaluations with more specialists to see what is going on, if they can. I've been trying to get her evaluated by our regional center, too, but they keep asking me for more and more paperwork and it's swamping me.

She has ceased to function unless it serves HER. Her entire world revolves around her like a 3 or 4 yr. old, whose entire existence is self-centered.

During this process of what I call "taking the cane away from the blind girl," it has become increasingly obvious that Sissy has very low functioning ability. Oh, her body can function, her hands can do chores, but she doesn't know the reasons why we do the things we do beyond the most basic level. She's a complete copycat. But the tricky part is that she's a memorizer. She's memorized things that mask her deficiencies so she appears to know. Why do we clean the bathrooms? Because they are dirty. Yes, that's right. But if we don't clean the bathrooms on Saturday because of a family outing or other activity, she becomes fixated on it, and the minute she can, even if it's a few minutes before bed time, she'll grab the cleaning supplies and think we still have the clean the bathrooms because it's Saturday. She'll say, "We clean the bathrooms because they are dirty," but her brain is telling her, "We clean the bathrooms because it's Saturday and that's what we do on Saturday." Just like she'll say, "We change a diaper because the baby is pee," (her exact words), but her brain says, "Mommy said I need to change the diaper," so she changes it even if it's dry.

I have often wondered why she latched so readily onto Jie Jie, 5 years younger, and even now still follows her, like a puppy, and never assumes the lead in anything. Well, it's because Jie Jie has been Sissy's cane, her guide through life. Even Blossom has had a main role in keeping Sissy functioning. Part of what's added to Sissy's issues is that Blossom is doing very well right now and has passed Sissy up in reading and writing and reading comprehension and Sissy absolutely cannot stand this because she can no longer fake keeping up. She has not realized what she's been doing to get through life. It's a coping mechanism, highly developed, and she's completely unconscious of this adaptation. It's worked for her until now and it's all she knows. In China, her cane was her best friend and room mate who now lives in Montana.

Sissy is now under my eye completely. She steals, lies, snoops, destroys. She does this during the night. Many things have gone missing over the months, documents, my MP3 player, little things, big things. We've been here before. Our therapist helped me tremendously when this came to light the first time, 3 years go. I started spying on her at odd times and have caught her. She can't even stay on a chair while I use the bathroom. I sneak back into the room and she's up and across the room rummaging through my papers. She's becoming paranoid and trying to find anything pertaining to her since she's now completely lost and can't figure out what's going on. It doesn't help when she's praised at speech therapy for nothing other than to keep her from feeling bad since she's failed every single exercise they've tried until it's dumbed down and they've cued her to get something out of her. I can't dumb down our life to that extent and praise her for nothing. I am learning other techniques that will help her, but it's slow going until we have a definitive diagnosis and my primary goal at the moment is to keep us all safe.

So, what it boils down to is that Sissy must stay within my sight at ALL times. She cannot be trusted around the other girls. She has "divided and conquered" so they lie to me to cover for her, at least Jie Jie (who also has cognitive issues of her own). Blossom is starting to feel loyal to me the more successful she is - thank heavens!

Enter The Crime! Yesterday, I purchased a security camera and tablet so that I can monitor Sissy without dragging her around the house with me. At the second store we stopped into, someone swiped the tablet out of our shopping bag, which was hanging on Apple's stroller. For all I know, Sissy swiped it and hid it, but the store doesn't have access to their security video feed so I'll never know for sure. I realize that sounds mean of me, but she's done things like this before. It's part of her normal, unfortunately. The tablet was a Black Friday special deal at only $28. I went to 5 other similar stores and they were all sold out. The time, energy and money Sissy is now costing is becoming crippling to my family. Thankfully, help is coming soon as we meet with all the specialists I am lining up.

With Sissy's language development delay, talking doesn't do a single bit of good. She doesn't understand. She knows what the individual words mean, to an extent, but can't comprehend the meaning when they are put together in to conversation.

We could use your prayers at this time. I'm dealing with all of this completely on my own. I will say this: Moving 2.5 years ago was the worse decision I ever made in my entire life. It turned out that everyone has lied to me about the most significant things I was basing my decisions on, from the conditions of my kids to the condition of my new house and ever so much more.

The is another mom who needs prayers, too. Please pray for THIS MOM since she is in the untenable position of having to decide whether or not to disrupt her brand new adoption in the face of unexpected things revealed about her new daughter while still in China.


Almond Tea said...

Ugh, that has to be SO FRUSTRATING. I know this might sound bad, but have you thought of putting an alarm on Sissy's bedroom door? Sort of like a bell that rings when it's opened like at a store? You can put her in her room so she can have some quiet time, and then you'll be alerted if she comes out of her room? It might give you a few minutes of when you don't have to worry about her sneaking around and destroying things. Also, when you put her to bed, you'd know if she is getting out of bed. I know parents who have actually used these for their kids who sleepwalk. The alarm wakes up the child or if that fails, at least the parents are alerted and can redirect the child back into bed.

And I'm sorry the new city hasn't worked out. Moving to a lower cost area is great in some ways (cheaper housing), but often comes at a cost (lower quality schools.) I'm praying that you end up in an area that is best for your girls and YOU!

K said...

I have the alarms and use them, too. They have their limitations because of the way our home is configured. I need the monitor for day use.

Lisa and Tate said...

I admire you for all you have gone through and your willingness to continue. Huge hugs and prayers coming your way from Utah.

Anonymous said...

I hope Sissy gets the help she needs soon. Navigating the system until you get to the right person can be so frustrationg. In the meantime I suspect it might be easier for everybody to let Sissy use her coping strategies. You say yourself that you took the cane away from the blind girl and that must be very hard on her.It sounds like she has a disability and she might not have the ability to function under these new circumstances. I am not surprised that she is falling apart.
Best wishes for finding the strength to deal with this.

K said...

I cannot allow Sissy to use my other children in the way she has been. It's very detrimental to them. She may use me and the team I'm putting together to help, but, as with anything, it's going to take hard work and she needs to be willing to try.

sarah said...

I hope that you get the help Sissy needs. I'm sure your overwhelmed but it sounds like Sissy has developmental delays and needs help. As a Speech Therapist, it sounds like the therapist is rewarding Sissys effort. In therapy, it's about meeting a child (or adult) where they are and if that's means cueing or changing the task where they can be successful that is what needs to be done. That is where the best learning takes place. If you keep presenting tasks that are out of their ability, number 1 they will not learn and number 2 they will shut down.
I'm praying over your situations and hope you get some answers soon