Friday, May 09, 2008

Ann's Story Part 22: Getting honest with my friend

Feb. 13, 2003
To my friend:

I am staying home today. I am sort of sick that I hate being around...constantly coughing, blowing my nose, clearly in danger of loosing my voice. When other people are like that I always want to make them go home.

Ruby emailed yesterday and said that Robin thought that the agency people should meet with Mandy and John to make certain everyone understood what was going on...without me! Hurrah! Ann is convinced she is going back and I don't argue.

I am going to curl up and rest. Today is a totally self-indulging day. Tea and afghans.

From my friend…same day:
Where did Ann get the idea she was going back to Mandy and John? I thought it had been explained to her.

To my friend (same day)
Sorry, I forgot to mention that I just learned that when Ann ran into Mandy at counseling Monday, Mandy said that she (Mandy) was doing everything she could to get her(Ann) back. I am certain that that was what was behind Ann's announcement in therapy Tuesday that she was going home whether she worked hard or not.

I told Ruby about the claim last week. That is what started the need to get a meeting together to make certain we were all on the same page. It is quite possible that Ann lied, or at least that she over-represented. Ann may have asked for reassurance, "do you want me to come back?" and then exaggerated in her own mind whatever Mandy had to say.

Here is what I know:
1. Mandy thinks that Ann's problems at her house are entirely due to Ann's attachment disorder, and not at all due to the chaos at her house. She believes that Ann will disrupt here in 6 months or less and will continue to disrupt out of every placement until the agency realizes how deep her problems are, get her into the level of therapy that she needs, after which she may be able to come home. It is because of this that Mandy and John warn me of impending doom every time they see me. "Has it got bad yet? Well, watch you little ones, that is who she will hurt first."

2. Ruby, the rest of the agency people, and the court psychologist all think that Ann has severe attachment disorder, but with strong indicators for recovery. She has never threatened to use a weapon or attack anyone while they were asleep. She has never hurt an animal, etc. They have thought for a while that if they could move her to another environment without traumatizing her she would have an excellent chance of doing well.

3. Ruby and the others think that the best thing is for Ann to stay here indefinitely. Though it is possible that she might be able to go back in a matter of years, but it is not part of the foforeseeable future.

I have thought all along that Ruby may not have been as clear to Mandy as she should be. I am very happy that Ruby, Mandy, and the agency people will all be there, and that I will not. Mandy and John’s are going to be angry and I don't want to deal.

I feel like crap...going back to bed

To this my friend replied offering interpretations of everyone's behavior which were funny to me, but unprintable here. She also suggested that I tell her what I really thought.

But I wrote back:

I think you hit on an anxiety that I had not quite formulated at a conscious level. Mandy is holding everyone else responsible. Ann is entirely responsible for her problems, Ruby is to blame for taking Ann away. I am have been working VERY hard at not being a bad guy from Mandy's perspective.

I do think that Mandy has one set of tricks and strategies and when they don't work equally well with all kids she shrugs and blames the kids. It is so hard to understand why she cannot understand that living with those really tough kids is a bad idea for many of the kids. Warning me over and over again that Ann is going to do something horrible is also not helping the situation. That is one of the main reasons that I no longer go in when I drop off or pick up Ann. She and John just piss me off. Plus the fact that I just don't like them very much...even from before all this. Self-righteous, judgmental, pain in the butts.

Now I know you will be proud of me. Ain't sickness great at wearing away all the restraints?

Part 23


  1. LOL! Time has a way of b*tch-slapping us in the face...I remember thinking all kinds of evil thought about our foster daughter's previous foster dad...I'm just glad he was kind to me when things started happening to us.

    "She has never hurt an animal" - the first indication of something REALLY (besides all the annoying and trying behaviors like lying and stealing)going wrong in our household (at that time we had no other kids) were:
    - cat #1 wouldn't come down from high places (started sleeping on top of book cases)
    --cat #2 very docile cat declared war...scratched her once (later found that it happened while she was dragging her by the tail)
    --our 70 lb dog would hide his head (the rest wouldn't fit) under the bed (if it hadn't been so awful it would have been funny to see this big dog thinking he was hiding by just sticking his head under the bed).

    & all the while me thinking I just had to do better than her previous foster parents (who were good people). I cringe when I look back and wonder how I could have done things differently.

    Thank you for sharing this!!!

  2. All I can say is it's going to take me awhile to catch up on all 22 'episodes' before I can comment, but it sounds like a mess. Hope you're feeling better!


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