Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Complicated

So today I went over to the therapy center where the girls are getting their treatment to meet with M's therapist.  While sitting in the lobby, I ran into Dr. L who was the therapist who helped my sisters and I figure out what we were going to do with the girls.  Sessions with him were difficult, painful, and exhausting.  It was clear early on that we had a lot of underlying issues amongst ourselves that dominated those sessions.  I get an awful pit in my stomach just thinking about those meetings.  Dr. L, the executive director of the center, helped us on his own time for free and was patient, kind, but also pretty direct with us.  He was amazing. 

I've seen him occasionally from a distance while waiting for M but hadn't talked to him before today.  We sat for about 15 minutes and M's therapist joined us as well.  I was struck again about how complicated and difficult our situation is.  He was interested in hearing how the girls are but was very focussed on the boys.  I told him about L's constant talk about dying and D's anger.  He thinks maybe L could use some play therapy this summer and maybe the boys have had some "associative trauma" living with the girls.  It kinda makes sense.  He mentioned getting the boys some help and maybe working with all the kids together.  I'll accept any help we can get, but at the same time all this "therapy" talk is exhausting.  I tried to explain to them that I really try to not to focus on the emotional issues with everyone and just treat them like normal kids.

One thing Dr. L said has stuck with me all day.  He said there is a special corner in heaven for me because we took this on.  I don't know why but it's so hard to hear. Maybe it's because there are still days I wish we could push rewind and not stand up for the girls.  It's not a Hallmark movie.  I don't always feel so compassionate and certainly don't feel like a "special person" for doing this.  It is still nice to hear a positive comment like that.  I still need cheerleaders encouraging me and that hasn't happened too much lately.  Dr. L really knows how hard this has been.  He knows about how complicated my family issues have been.  He also said he thought all along that K and I, and me in particular, were the right choice for E and M.  That we had the practical, level-headed nature to tackle it.  That made me feel good.  Maybe we can do this.  Maybe we will be okay and all the kids will be well-adjusted and okay.  Maybe.

It's just all so complicated, but a simple "you're doing a good job" goes along way.


  1. You know what? You're doing better than a good job--you're doing an amazing, amazing job.

  2. Wow, my first comment and what perfect timing. Thanks for the kind words. Just writing the blog has been very therapeutic and getting some feedback is a bonus. Thanks!

  3. Just catching up by reading some of your old posts...

    I think sometimes we get stuck in black and white thinking. For example, feeling guilty for thinking what we consider negative thoughts (i.e. "I wish I hadn't taken this on"). We are the sum of ourselves, not just one thing. I get so sick of people making assumptions about what good people we are for adopting and "giving those poor children a home". You know what, it was not a purely altruistic thing.

    Oh, I don't know how to get out what I'm trying to say. Other than I get what you're saying. You did what you thought needed to be done. You have moments (maybe a lot of them), where you regret it. And, because of that, you feel bad accepting those warm fuzzy things others say. But, here's the thing, you still did it. And you still love them. And those girls benefit from having you to count on.

    I do realize, of course, that you wrote this months ago and are probably at a different point now :)

  4. Becky, thanks for the thoughtful comment. Actually, things remain the same on the uncomfortable comments front. Just on Saturday at the swim team end of the year party some lady I didn't know went on and on for about 10 minutes about how wonderful I am complete with a random kiss on my head. It was so awful. Just moments before I was thinking how I wished we were home just K and boys chilling out. There are still many moments when I still want our old family back. That is always paired with terrible feelings of guilt. As the title of this post's still complicated. Thanks again for the comment.