Friday, February 04, 2005

How do we protect ourselves?

A Letter to Put together Documentation...

February 3, 2005

To Everyone:

As a wife and mother, I am becoming concerned for the general safety of ALL members of our household. Our little girl has lived in our home for over 2-years now and instead of improving emotionally she appears to continue to display the same emotional problems and progresses instead of learning to overcome them.

My concern is primarily in the area of the inappropriate mature behaviors. Which do not appear to end and do appear to escalate. Her responses to the normal answers that a mother would provide are too extreme and very unusual. It seems that with each passing month our world is forced to tighten up and that our ability to lead a normal life is strangled.

Our Daughter is a beautiful little girl and we love her completely and with everything in our hearts. We intend to continue to parent her until she is an adult and makes her own life. We have been as pro-active in dealing with her problems as is humanly possible. There have been several safety concerns and situations already.

We have documented in many ways various problems. We experience almost every symptom of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) according to the lists commonly used by adoptive parents:

Attachment Disorder Symptoms
  • Superficially engaging & charming
  • Lack of eye contact on parents terms
  • Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers
  • Not affectionate on Parents’ terms (not cuddly)
  • Destructive to self, others and material things (accident prone)
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Lying about the obvious (crazy lying)
  • Stealing
  • No impulse controls (frequently acts hyperactive)
  • Learning Lags
  • Lack of cause and effect thinking
  • Lack of conscience
  • Abnormal eating patterns
  • Poor peer relationships
  • Preoccupation with fire
  • Preoccupation with blood & gore
  • Persistent nonsense questions & chatter
  • Inappropriately demanding & clingy
  • Abnormal speech patterns
  • Triangulation of adults
  • False allegations of abuse
  • Presumptive entitlement issues
  • Parents appear hostile and angry

We have had several therapy plans for our little girl since she came to our home. In addition to the RAD behaviors, we are also dealing with Sexualized, behaviors that reappear without a known cause and escalate. First, when we have attempted to help our little girl get to the root of her thoughts and feelings she has told several different stories.

From her birth mothers boyfriend “R” to her Foster Father 'D'. She has not told the same story twice. Additionally, she did talk to one of the staff members last week about her feelings and reported that she saw her father’s private parts falling out of his boxers. When I asked her about this she told me that she OFTEN comes to our room at night and lifts the blankets. We did have problems we have reported and attempted to end with her grabbing. We have made safety plans to insure that daddy is in no way exposed. We have made safety plans that she IS NOT permitted to cuddle with daddy and if she wants to come to our bed she must be between me and the window—Away from her father and brother if he is with us.

Our daughter tells me that when she told the staff member that she saw daddy’s privates she was talking about a time she came into our room and perpetrated on her father. He has slept nearly fully dressed for almost two years now. There are no boxers for her to accidentally see him fall out of.

Our little girl seems to not forget ANYTHING except for the rules she wishes to not follow. Something that happened a year ago she will think or say happened last week. She does not have any understanding of time passage. She does not understand a day—week—month—or year…. She will often bring up things that happened yesterday and say last month—or last week. When her doctor asked how school was last week…she talked about kindergarten the year before.

When I have used the same language I have used to raise my other children about sexuality my little girl is able to make unbelievable leaps of logic. She asks questions which are completely inappropriate for a child her age. She extrapolates any information she does get into some correct concepts and situations. Personally, I have become very concerned about implication of this situation. I am very concerned due to the issue that she is also a swell liar—and brilliant little girl.

I am deeply concerned that along with her anger there could be a situation of a false allegation. Other family members are also concerned. My oldest son will hardly come home to sleep even on a weekend now. He simply does not want to be around his younger sister. Other family members are no longer able to have Makala in their homes for even an evening of babysitting. There are simply too many MALE members of the family who cannot be placed in this kind of situation.

We have a three-year-old little boy (her biological brother) and she has already attempted to molest at least once right in the same room I was in. I cannot hire a sitter to watch both children at the same time. We must always have Makala separated from her brother and not leave a sitter in charge of such an important risk.

Our little girl cannot take swimming lessons because she will ask to see the private parts of little boys. She cannot go to birthday parties because she will become sexual with any MAN in attendance. I cannot leave Makala alone at home with her father so I can go to the store—because we cannot leave her alone with any male. My family is alarmed at this behavior. My mother is beside herself worried about even an accusation being made on my husband or my adult son. My family has stopped being supportive of our efforts to be great parents to this little girl.

Our original request for adoption with the state was that we would not have a sexually abused child. The indications of sexual abuse came out in the Foster Home and were not disclosed to us by the state—but, rather by the Foster Family sort of as a “oh, by the way….” On our way out of town following the transition. Apparently, the foster family did not report or their reports were not included to us by DHS. Either way, the Foster Family had concerns before we even arrived.

Apparently, it was due to drawings that our daughter made while in the Foster Home that prompted them to get Therapy. We did meet with that therapist who informed us that she had NO REASON at that time to believe that our little girl had been sexually abused—but that she had not had a long time to even get to that issue so her impression was that she was unable to confirm or deny any sexual abuse.

Upon the FIRST indication of any sexualized behaviors, we reported them directly to our caseworker and took her to a new therapist. In addition, since 10/03 I have been a very active member of an Adoption Support Group on the Internet and have been open with and documented much of the problems we have faced with our daughter.

We have gotten Attachment Therapy, which was effective to only a point. The other issues are causing an inability in the family being ABLE to properly do Attachment Therapy. We have sot medical support with a psychiatrist and he has diagnosed Makala as RAD and/or Bipolar and ADHD. I personally do not agree with the ADHD aspect of this doctors Dx.

Our world continues to become smaller and smaller. We are not able to provide our little girl with the life that an ordinary child should have. She is not able to be a part of a group. She is not able to take swim classes, go to day camp or play with her baby brother. Our personal life is all about HER. We do not get to go any place—or do anything without the fear of what she might do or say.

We do not know how to protect ourselves from the liability of a false accusation or from the liability of her harming a member of the family or community. Day treatment is our best hope to help her in such a way that she is no longer unsafe in our home or community. We are getting tired and heartbroken and feel powerless to make a change in her situation. Her reactions to the normal talk a mother would have with her daughter are NOT NORMAL. Her questions are NOT NORMAL. Her responses to NORMAL events in a family are NOT NORMAL.

For example: When I have tried to talk to her about the fact that private parts are for a mother and father to make babies—she asked: “When you got married was it everything you thought it would be?”

As the mother of a 6 year old, I personally found this to be completely not OK! Maybe from a 15 year old but NOT from my 6 year old.

Our daughter is on the extremes of all things. At one moment, she is speaking like a tiny baby the next she is planning to seduce someone. She sees herself as very little and tiny and should be able to have piggy-back rides and sit on daddy’s lap… The next moment she has make-up on and is dancing. However she was abused it is clear that she is STUCK there. She was NOT placed into foster care until AFTER her 4th birthday. This in reality may sound like a long time ago—but in truth was not. I personally, feel that at most times Makala has the emotional capacity of a 3-year-old. I believe that she was sexually abused in some way at a very early age between her birth and the age of four.

When we did meet her Foster Family, the Foster Father went to extreme measure to let my husband know that when he first met Makala she screamed every time he got near her. That she would not allow him to even get close for weeks. The foster Father made sure to make my husband aware that Makala might respond to my husband the same way she had with him. That was NOT the case. In looking back at the time we were in transition I feel that there were already indicators of sexualized behaviors we didn’t identify due to the fact that WE THOUGHT she was only bonding with us and enjoyed getting to know her new parents. Nothing directly sexual occurred during the transition however there was a great deal of rough housing and play in a room with beds at a hotel. Looking back the situation should not have been this way.

We want this adoption to remain intact and we want to be parents to Makala. We have no thought or desire to give up on her. We do however desperately feel in a HIGH Risk situation. As much as my love as her mother is…I have three other children and a husband to take care of as well. Now I am barely able to meet any one's needs. I am requesting that our family is provided with Respite care in the future. We need some times in our life where we are not on guard all the time.

I am putting so much faith into the day treatment program. I am believing with all of my heart that this will eventually lead to some healing and some recovery for WHATEVER her deep issues are. I must confess however that my greatest concern is that her lies, anger, intelligence end up equaling a false memory or allegation. What are we supposed to say to a little girl who just turned 7 when she tells us she cannot stop thinking about private parts of men? What are we supposed to do when she brings up a story from the past as if it happened yesterday?

Since Makala has been my daughter, there have been major—clear signs that her goal in life is all about making me mad. She has used many manipulation tactics in her efforts to drive me to anger. Including passive aggressive behaviors.For example: Shortly after she came to live here the older children told her that there was a rule that there was NO BARNEY the Dino in this house…. because mommy could not stand the dumb singing and fact that all his songs are old songs with changed words.

Not that I really could care less about Barney—but my older children were correct I do not like that cartoon—I think it is stupid and I don’t like it because of the bastardization of classic American music….. However, would not make and issue really…Anyway upon hearing this for the next YEAR anytime daddy took Makala out to the store she brought home something BARNEY. Movies, toys, color books, story books anything. Makala would flat look me in the eye and say—Daddy Likes BARNEY and ha ha ha on you.

Truthfully, I feel that she will do anything to upset me. I am the only one who can be in complete charge of her… It is MY FAULT that she cannot cuddle with daddy…it is my fault that she cannot sit on daddy’s lap…it is my fault that I am daddy’s wife. She has told me she wants me to go away so she can marry daddy. She has told me that daddy is sooooo cute. She does take pleasure in hurting ME. Making me look like I am the one causing the problem. That I am the one who has provided all the sexual information she has. That I am the one who teaches her these things. I AM NOT…so I am even in fear of my own reputation.

I need to know where the ‘master’ documentation of everything needs to be done. I need to know how to protect everyone in our home. I need to know that some strange thing that she remembers and thinks we taught her will not ruin our family. I need to know what we can do in order to keep our family safe.

I need a break and I need some time to deal with this stuff too. We adopted children in order to have a family and so that my husband could experience being a father. I am feeling very terrible, as this is NOT the kind of experience I expected my husband to have to endure.

My husband is HURTING that he is not able to have a relationship with his daughter. He is upset that I make him aware he is at risk and cannot be with his daughter alone for any reason….Sometimes I wonder if there is a possible way to have her hypnotized or sedated and if there is any possible chance to discover exactly who and what happened to her. The memory of her life with her birthmother is clearly fading. However, she refers to ALL the men in her life who have been the “father” as her daddy. When she Talks about ‘R” or ‘D” or “Andrew” she calls them all daddy. Because of her inability to gain understanding of ‘TIME’ she may tell a story that happened three years ago as if it happened yesterday.

She has already accused me of hitting her. And of hurting her. I have not. I have on two occasions, attempted an old fashioned. bend–over-my-knees spanking. However this proved to be ineffective as the child has to actually bend over in order for a parent to offer an old fashioned spanking and if the kid won’t bend over then there cannot be the old fashioned spank on the rear…so that didn’t accomplish anything. She has said some nasty things to my face and to her teachers and anyone else who might listen.

I see this as a potential for anything in the future.

Anyway—my letter today might sound hysterical and over reactive and maybe even defensive. My own family has informed me that they are worried and scared for my family. My mother and Aunt are very upset at this situation and very concerned that I am dealing with more then I can handle and that I risk so much that my life has become in order to keep her safe. We are losing our support system one person at a time. We are limited each day in the things we can do, the places we can go and the life we do have inside of our home. We have heard of horrible stories…we have seen other families ripped apart by things that were not real and we are very deeply worried about the more time that passes the more hard it is for anyone to believe that her problems are not coming from our home

What are we supposed to do considering these issues continue to come up repeatedly?

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