Wednesday, December 28, 2011
We live in a day of modern medicine but I have become very aware of a huge gap or lack of higher level services for mentally ill children between the ages of 3-5 year old.
Child abuse is the "ugly step-sister" in our society. Nobody wants to talk or hear about it. Just recently on NPR there was a report that a large child pornography website had been shut down. The site included videos of babies and small children being raped. Some of you may not be able to read on but I am still going to write because everyday I love a child that was horrifically abused the first two years of life. I know what happens to a child when they have been raped before having two words in her vocabulary. These children have no voice, no power. Where is there agency? It is taken by evil.
I watch as the daughter I love can not love me because her brain has been damaged on an organic level because she was not nurtured and her basic needs were not met. She feels like she does not deserve love and fears to love anybody because people always go away. So that makes strangers much more comfortable to be around than loving family members. My daughter draws pictures that are called "my screams." She tells me about fire in her bum and babies with bloody bums and black blood in their poop.
The professionals say that we have provided the "ideal" intervention for two years and now our last option is a residency placement. Okay, so that is hard. But then we are told, no program will take a child so young. So your child has special needs that can only be met by a 24 hour staff but no one can help you do that so good luck. A helpless child, victim's needs can't be met.
I called NAMI this week, the leaders in education for mental illness. I explained my situation and on the other end of the phone a cold voice said, "We cannot help you."
These children that lost their agency early in life are horrible to live with. They live in a hell of their own. Most children with severe abuse early in life are so difficult that they burn through loving homes every few months. Which only exasperates their attachment disorder.
I have opened my daughters room to find her covered in her own blood. How did it happen? With her very short fingernails.
I watch this child eat and eat until her stomach is extended and she throws up. So scared that there will not be enough food. She drew a picture last week of a sad and mad baby. She said, "baby not know if hers have food any more." And then we have the sippy cups hidden under the bed and PICA where eats things that are not food like chalk, plastic, metal items, feces etc.
Crisis workers told us six months ago that it would hurt her attachment to be placed in a psychiatric hospital while I sat there shaking with the trauma of seeing a small child injure herself on a daily basis. I was relieved when Kenna was admitted into the psychiatric hospital. The hospital gave the crisis workers "feedback" on the situation because the hospital should have seen Mckenna 6 months ago when we were dealing with 2 major issues instead of 6. I thanked our treatment team about giving that "feedback" to the crisis workers because I don't think most parents could have made it through the last 6 months. They all agreed. I would like to think that our pain helped those that will come down our same path access help for their child's needs sooner.
When Mckenna was 3 we had a few rough days, as usual, so I was keeping an extra close eye on her. She was sitting on a bar stool at the bar. I turned around to stir dinner on the stove, I turned back and saw Mckenna with vacant eyes carving a plastic knife back and forth across her wrist. Three years old! Not looking for attention, just quietly hurting herself.
In that moment I ask where was God's mercy and gift of agency? Sometimes I get so mad, with faith in my stomach and pain in my voice, my honest heart yells at God. I think He appreciates honesty in our feelings and this is what I say, "Where is Your justice, mercy and gift of agency when a child is hurt before they have a voice?" I ask for justice to those who have injured a small child in such a horrific manner.
Wow, now I am exhausted from venting, there is so much more but I need the sleep.
Sorry if this was too graphic. I will not be afraid to give a voice to those little ones that do not have one.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Favorite blanket of all time made by Great Grandma Breinholt.
Richard is so much like Grandpa Richard. He likes quiet time, chocolate, soft clothes, tends to be opinionated and at times a little on the grumpy side.
I can't believe how big he is getting, as you can see in the picture below, he is bursting at the seams.
Richard doesn't like change when it comes to sippy cups and clothes. He tantrums when we introduce new clothes to his soft cotton wardrobe.
Throughout the day Richard demands in his deep voice "choco miwk" and in exchange I say, " I wonna kiss." He SLOWLY puckers his little lips and plants a slightly embarrassed kiss on my cheek.
This is true joy! A Richard kiss. I am truly infatuated by this valiant little man.
We have two swings. One a canvas Ikea swing and the other a Lycra hammock that I ordered online and smells like Las Vegas plus gross cigarette cover up spray. The Lycra swing is Kenna's favorite. Autistic children, like Kenna, love to swing. The movement helps them to relax.
What a smile!
She goes from hot red anxious hyperventilation to a state of Zen deep breathing in a matter of minutes. It is miraculous.