Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Update On Goldilocks

If only this smile was a real reflection of how Goldilocks feels about us.

My husband and I attended back to school night this week. It was a hard night all around for us. We have been devoted homeschool parents for 16 years. To say we felt uncomfortable in the classroom of a day treatment program in the public school would be an understatement. However, for the most part we were treated kindly by the staff. When it comes to raising Goldilocks, all of our expectations, hopes and dreams as parents and knowledge about how to raise kids has been dashed.
Nothing...NOTHING that we have tried has worked with this child. It was disheartening and exhausting to hear this new brand of professionals carrying on about how they were "going to teach her the tools to help her come home and be kind and respectful to her family". Really?! Do they think she hasn't been taught those tools since she was two years old by her family, friends, Sunday school teachers, therapists, one-on-one workers, psychiatrists, caseworkers, and so many more? They also told us that she was doing well and was a delight in class. I know that this is what most parents dream to hear, but it broke our hearts. You see, when we were living with Goldilocks and she was abusing us and acting out with so many negative behaviors, we thought she couldn't help it. We thought she was unable to pull herself together and behave. We thought that there was something so wrong in her brain that she was unable to be calm and kind. Now, it has been over five months since she ran away from home. She is doing well in her out of home placement, did fairly well at camp and now is being successful at day treatment. Yes, all of these environments are incredibly therapeutic and have very small adult-to-child ratios. In fact, the ratio of adult to student is smaller in day treatment than my homeschool classroom was when she was here. BUT it is still a shock to realize that she (in some ways) chose to treat us the way she did. She has even told her caregivers that she could have behaved better -- if she had wanted to.

As for us ~ her family ... Now that we have escaped the chaos, screaming, taunting, hitting, pinching, biting, growling, death threats, destruction of property, stealing, sneaking, and hatred that Goldilocks treated us to everyday, we don't want to live that way anymore. Who could blame us? For ELEVEN years we did everything professionals told us to do and for ELEVEN years she treated us like that. We have discovered what it is like to breathe, relax, take a mid-day catnap without worrying about anyone's safety, and just enjoy each other. All of the children, including our adult son, have begged us to never let her come back. This whole situation is so heartbreaking. We can't make any promises to them. The state certainly expects to put her back someday. Even Goldilocks says she plans to come home someday (when she is ready but she's clear she doesn't want to come home at this time). Don't get me wrong -- we all love Goldilocks. We want what is best for her. We will fight for a long time into the future to give her the best opportunities we can. However, I totally can't imagine LIVING IN THE SAME HOUSE with her again. Our hearts are bleeding, and we are being stretched in ways that are so painful.

A few more changes and facts ~
  • Our private caregiver's license has finally come through. Goldilocks should be authorized for this service in a matter of days. All this means that we should be done with the phase of private paying within a week. Thank goodness. We are totally out of money and she was going to have to move, possibly out of the state in a matter of days. We look forward to only paying the co-pay which is still many hundreds of dollars every month. However, hundreds of dollars is better than thousands of dollars every month, and while we are struggling financially, we will find a way to cope.   
  • She should be able to stay in day treatment for six to nine months. 
  • We are hoping that she can stay in intensive therapeutic foster care for at least a year ~ hopefully longer.
  • Goldilocks and the rest of the kids saw each other at the state fair last week. Her class was on a field trip and we ran into them. It was the first time the kids had seen each other since that fateful night that Goldilocks ran away. Everyone was really stressed by the encounter, even though it was peaceful.
I just keep saying, "God is in control". This experience is way too big for me to deal with alone.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Oh, Dawn, my heart goes out to you. Although we have not gone through nearly the pain that you all have, I have had enough difficulty to really know what you are talking about. There are times in which Alex has terrorized his siblings and so I know about being afraid to ever let your guard down lest someone gets hurt. I do know about the feeling that he is indulging his own whims without a care for how others, it is more like that he enjoys upsetting us. Like I said, it is not nearly to the scale that you have been through...but it is enough to know exactly what you are talking about. I so understand your heartbreak. Thank you for your honesty and your heart. I also understand what you are saying about how the system just thinks that we are doing nothing and that they will quickly set things right with their expertise and commitment..I had the same thing when I put Alex in the school system. Of course they couldn't do anything for him that we didn't already do. I am praying for you all.

  2. I feel for you and your family, Dawn. The disappointment, bewilderment and heartbreak that come with the realisation that your years of effort had been deliberatly sabotaged. It is indeed a very complex situation. I hope that all of you come out stronger on the other side of this.

  3. Oh Dawn, my heart breaks with yours. I cannot imagine the gammet of emotions that you are experiencing. Those poor people at the school probably thought they were being kind and helpful when in fact their comments were almost cruel without intending to be. You are loving and wonderful parents. It is acceptable for you to experience grief and relief with Goldilocks being gone. I will continue to pray for you and your family!

  4. Dawn,my heart goes out to you. I to have a adopt son who did not like me..He pick fight with me all the time. Bully me will not listen. He move out . I and the kids are more relax and life is good .It took me 10 month to know it not me but my son. It was the best thing for the other kids. They are HAPPY AND DOING Well and so am I.


  5. I'm glad you're willing to share updates - you're all in my prayers.

  6. I'm finally catching up and stopping by to see how you're doing. You know that I understand about Goldilocks. I'm not an expert and I'm always researching, looking for more answers, but one of the most confusing things for us has been to figure out how many of E's behaviors are just that, behaviors, and how many are a result of his mental illness and out of his control. (I know I didn't word that well, but it's the best I can do at the moment!) E is hospitalized again right now, and they're not seeing any of the behaviors there, so I understand that hurt and frustration. With Goldilocks, if she doesn't feel worthy of love, she's going to act as hateful as she can towards those who love her. At school, she's not dealing with people who are trying to love her. Maybe that's some of the difference in her behaviors. Like I said, I don't have the answers, but I do have the hurt, the discouragement, and the shattered dreams. I have to remind myself over and over that E is a very sick little boy, and I think that it's the same with Goldilocks. You are an amazing person/educator/mother, and I really pray that you can keep Goldilocks' illness completely separate from who you are. I know it's easier said than done. Praying and sending lots of love...

  7. Two more things...

    I'm so happy to hear that your caregiver's license finally came through. That was such a long wait!

    Also, I understand the relief of no longer living the way you were and the desire to never do it again. E has been out of the home for 11 days now, and everyone is so relaxed. We could sleep a little later in the morning, read a book or do a puzzle together, and basically just relax. We found out today that E will probably be coming home this week. I'm feeling the tension in my jaw and shoulders, and the other children are really upset. The insurance company assumed that he would be released to a residential treatment facility, but we're not ready to go that route yet. As heartbreaking as it is (and I'm not even sure that heartbreaking describes the pain I feel inside), I'm forced to recognize that there very well may come a time when he can no longer live with us.