Monday, February 6, 2012

Two good weeks

I know it has been a long time since we posted - several months now. I just got tired of posting how hard it is and complaining about behaviors we are seeing at home.

I even considered just not ever going back to the blog since I can do a 2 second FB status update that reaches most of the same people, and I don't have to bother with writing a long drawn-out essay about how crappy we feel. But there is something good about taking the time to process feelings by writing them out, and it is often helpful for me to review things I've written in the past and re-read comments left by people who love us and support us in so many ways.

The past 6 months have been probably the hardest we have experienced since we've been parents (Almost three years has gone by now!). We are just beginning to understand how much trauma Ohana has been through and how that rejection has damaged her emotionally. She is old enough now to begin processing some of those feelings and to expressed how pissed off she is about it all. We have seen levels of violence and anger from her that is truly frightening. We have had to change work and home schedules to minimize problems or to have me be a physical presence when meltdowns happen. I won't go into the details, but at times it has been very scary for all of us.

Probably the hardest part of this all is the feeling of Lynn, Jenetta, and I all walking on eggshells being extremely careful not to do anything that sets Ohana off. So even when things are quiet for a few days, we live in fear and an exhausting state of hyper-awareness.

With all that being said, the past two weeks have been really good. We have seen several times where Ohana was on the edge and she could easily have chosen to explode and react with violence and anger, but she has been able to calm herself down eventually. That is a really good sign. In the past, it didn't seem as though she was capable of that and sometimes it even seemed like she wanted to go over the edge and erupt in screaming and kicking and destruction. As if somehow that choice was better for her...

We even did something fun as a family this weekend. We haven't been able to do things that are exciting because we would pay for it for days and days afterwards. Jenetta got a free pass for a petting zoo up in Orange County, so we drove up there for the morning and had a fun time together. It started to get really crowded after a while as several birthday party groups assembled, and we could see that it was getting to be overwhelming for Ohana. So we were grateful that we got there early enough to see and do everything they had to offer.

Then we drove to Oceanside and walked out along the pier to enjoy lunch together at Ruby's. The day made Ohana very tired, and she was a little challenging to deal with, but once we got home for a nap, she was fine.

A few weeks ago, we would not have been able to do an activity like this, and if we had forced it, we would have seen meltdowns and aftershocks for many days following.

So it was good to feel like a normal family if even for a few hours.

If you are praying for us, please continue to pray for Ohana that she feels safe and secure. That is her biggest need right now and something that we work toward in nearly every way we interact with her.

Here are some videos of our outing:

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