Monday, October 22, 2007

Not Angry at Frankie

The last post was about me...this one is about Frankie.

I am not angry at him. I do not think that he is a bad person. I think he is a very disturbed child. I think he needs and deserves love and security and help. I anticipate letting him go, helping him pack and saying goodbye, but it will be with sadness and love. I will never say that he was a terrible child. I am not angry. He is not a bad child who must be sent a way; he is a very sick child whose needs are more than I can meet.

A few minutes ago he was rocking himself in the dining room. Now he is curled in a blanket, lying in the hallway in a fetal position. Periodically he makes a soft groan. I asked him if there was anything I could do to make him feel better right now, and he said no.

Last night, after the police calmed him, he sat on the sofa. Periodically he would say something like, "Sorry that I have to go guys, but I have just lost too much of my stuff here. I have lost more stuff than I have got while I am here. I have to go." Once he pulled out a shard of plastic embedded in his knuckles. I realized his hands should be cleaned and disinfected; and I knew that I wasn't going to do it. He would snap angrily at one of us for something we said and then the next minute calmly ask the same person to explain a plot point in the movie Hubby and Brian were watching.

Right now, my amateur diagnosis includes manic-depression. Last night was the mania; this morning is the depression.

Is this happening because his meds were reduced for a week? Did that throw him out of balance, or would it have happened anyway? Does he need a higher level of medication to survive outside of institutions?

Or is it just happening because he is not ready to deal with the stresses of the outside world? Perhaps he needs to be scheduled and monitored by professionals throughout the day.

My heart breaks for him. I am not angry at him; I will not speak poorly of him.

I do know that he needs to be somewhere else.

5 comments:

  1. In the end, I think what everyone needs is to be safe, and it's obvious that with his current level of behavior that he's not safe in your home.

    I don't think Frankie would be safe in any private foster home right now.

    You are right; he does need to be somewhere else, just to ensure everyone's safety.

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  2. First let me say to you "Yasher Koach" it loosely translates as "More power to you" or "more strength to you". It's an acknowledgement that you're doing something difficult.

    Second, I'm not there so take my opinion/assvice with a grain of salt.

    It sounds like this child a) needs his meds adjusted b) needs a more structured family (not that there's anything wrong with yours - he just needs a lot of structure), c)he is testing you to see if you will love him no matter what (see lionmom, fosterabba, cindy, et al for examples), and d) he is a child who needs to be TAUGHT that possessions are less important than people.

    I agree that if your children who came first (all the boys), felt unsafe, your priority is to them, and of course, your Husband has to be your top priority. He is your rock and if he's unhappy EVERYONE is going to feel it. I know you've mentioned in the past that he has some physical/medical issues and I would really question if it's worth it to put more strain on him.

    But.

    But I also know Frankie's side and I know that this boy is very very damaged. And he's hurt. And it makes me terribly angry that there are people in the world (STILL) who can cause this kind of damage to a child. I'm 34 years old and I still am attached to my possesions damn it. Because possessions are sometimes all you have - you know that I have this thing and it's mine and it can't hurt me and it won't go away and it is my only constancy in a sea of insanity. And I'm 34 and I still "test" my relationships with my husband and friends and family to see if they will still stand by "no matter what." Sometimes even a lifetime can not undo the damage.

    And everyone sometimes feels bad after they've done something not nice - it's called guilt and it's a human emotion. Damaged kids just feel these feelings more extremely. When you live with abusive/mentally ill/addicted adults, it's often the case that you're not allowed to have feelings. You're not allowed to show emotion. So when you're finally allowed to feel, you want to feel ALL your feelings to the FULLEST. Unfortunately, most people can't relate (for some reason actors and "dramatic" people in general can relate). In some ways it's like addiction. I was never allowed to be angry/happy/sad as a child so now I need to gobble it all up while I can.

    Frankie needs a family. It's just a question of is your family that family or is it a different one?

    Sorry I've rambled on, I just know this storyline - I also was asked to leave a foster home (it wound up being the best thing for me, but it was painful nonetheless).

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  3. I want to add one more thing. Yes, we know that Frankie is damaged. But I think we can't always have the same expectations of damaged kids as we do with others. If I had:
    - been "sent away" for respite I would be pissed and felt like I was being sent away for bad behavior
    - been missing some of my favorite possessions and having a past history of people stealing them/keeping them
    - been told all about "the rapture" by TTFM
    - been on my best behavior for a TTFM that probably IS terrifying, especially after the supremely mellow Yondalla family
    - come home to find that all my "things" have been reorganized without my knowledge or consent
    - have my computer privileges revoked
    - and any other number of triggers

    I ALSO would probably flip out. When you have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, don't you often want to curl up in your bed in a fetal position and just be depressed? For a day or two?

    There was a lot that went on that was beyond his control, and if there is one thing a foster kid needs it's control.

    All that being said, again, I'm not there and I'm not you and I *CERTAINLY* could never be strong enough to be a foster parent, much less the amazing foster parents that you guys are. So you can tell me to shove my assvice if you like.

    :D HUGS TO YOU! YOU NEED THEM TODAY!!

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  4. I am so sad for all of you right now. I know as a bipolar person, that when I was a teen I made statements and acted in ways that changed my life. I am hoping to help my son avoid those same mistakes.

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  5. AidelMaidel I wish it were true, that was always a family for every child. But for some children, living with a family is too much, too close, too filled with hurt and for the family too much danger. No family can give 24 hr supervision, some children need a team. I wish children didn't get hurt so badly, in my perfect world, there is a family for every child.

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