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I Might Regret My Tattoo, But Not For The Reasons You May Think

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This has been a very difficult few weeks for T. The last few weeks have included an increase in lies, throwing things, hitting and overall disobeying ‘house rules’ and school rules. I began looking back to try and figure out just when the trouble began, and what could have triggered it. The better we can understand the triggers the easier it is to cope with and be prepared for the emotions, or if possible avoid the triggers all together.  I ask myself, “When did it start? Did anything change?”

I got a new tattoo a few weeks ago. It’s a memorial to my best friend, Annette who passed way last November. I came home that night, after getting my tattoo, and T ran up to me, greeting me at the door. “Mami did you get Bug and I’s name tattooed on your arm?”. I have a tattoo on my forearm in Sanskrit, it translates to “Sacred Family: Georges, Lola Diego”. All the kids know what it says, and I have told Bug and T that I would add their names to it.  Honestly, I was just waiting for the adoption to be finalized.  I could see the disappointment in his little face. I felt bad, but I had no idea, how deeply he was dealing with this, until I had a conversation with his therapist and we were trying to figure out the trigger for his latest emotional downturn. I mentioned this situation and she offered “He told me, Mami got a Tattoo for her friend that died”. Boom! there it was!

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We figured out the trigger, now to figure out the emotion behind it? The tattoo is a permanent public statement of my love for my family. He still feels a little insecure about his place in the family. He still has doubts that he will stay with us forever, and that we love him. The tattoo would represent  a commitment and a forever family, written in forever ink!

 

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Needing Help, Doesn’t Mean You’re Helpless

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It’s OK to ask for help. I have always been an “I can do it myself” type of person. I like not having to need/or lean on someone for help. I also like the satisfaction of knowing that I can do something new if I set my mind to it. I  am the type of person that will read everything I can on a subject matter, so that I can know what I am doing, and how to do it.

I have embraced adoption, fostercare and childhood trauma in the same way. But with this said, my children have brought me to a new understanding that asking for help does not mean you are helpless.

This last week has been the most challenging week of parenting we have had to date. T’s outbursts and meltdowns have gone from internal to external: kicking, screaming, raging, throwing stuff. Nothing works. When we tell him to do something he doesn’t want to do he replies with a raging “NEVER”! Taking privileges away do not work, he seemed unfazed that his siblings got to spend the day at the zoo, while he stayed home.

This led me to send a letter out to our ‘team’ this week asking for help, and admitting that some of this behavior is out of our ‘skill set’ to manage. It’s amazing how much our children can change us, and force us out of our comfort zone. It reminds me of the line from The Blind Side:

Beth: I think what you are doing is so great. Opening up your home to him… honey, you are changing that boy’s life.

Leigh Anne Touhy:  No, he’s changing mine!!