Thursday, April 12, 2012
With all of the plants I've already planted in the ground, several hundred, grown painstakingly from seed packets, planted too early, last night it went down to 36 degrees, temperatures we've not seen since January. The sun isn't up yet so I can't go check on damages, but goodness gracious I'd also put a couple hundred houseplants on the front porch as well. I financially could not afford to replace what I've grown over all these years. I just have to hope that those 4 degrees between 36 and freezing were enough to protect what I've grown.
I'm scared to go check.
I know the strawberries and my perennials are fine, it's the warm weather annuals that concern me.
I can't go buy 200 tomato plants, I have to buy gas for the 15 passenger van. OUCH.
Watching me load up a wheelbarrow of wood chips, after bike riding with his brothers, surprisingly enough Allen, and soon JoJo, two of the self-proclaimed laziest kids on the planet, both voluntarily brought me a few more loads to the front beds that've been sorely neglected for the last five years as I dealt with disasters, issues and challenges, silently allowing wild blackberries to take over, where once there were antiques roses and canna lilies, both who managed to survive but not thrive at all.
Our issues here continue to die back, as a day by day recovery of no severe mental diagnoses residing in our home. We have some serious emotional stuff to continue working through, but the insurmountable challenges are being tended to in facilities.
One of the workers told me last week that when my daughter has an explosive episode, or when any other resident they're tending to acts out, they, the professionals, are still always asked, "What triggered it?" as if their lack of professionalism is to blame? Another variation includes, "Did you try (insert various techniques)," as if they're the dumb dweebs who provoked her to a rage.
I've often been in that situation. Or if it happened at school, which it did with great regularity, the teachers involved would be quick to defend their actions, to tell me what led up to the incident, and to detail all the soothing techniques they'd tried before the blow up.
Honey, I know.
I'd never blame anyone for what he/she does.
I've been the recipient of unimaginable explosions. I've watched her scream at cops, I've seen her handcuffed on more than one occasion, it is flat-out shocking.
Studies show that the children witnessing domestic violence incidents are so damaged secondarily, afraid that their mom will be hurt or killed. I know. I don't want my 12 children at home to ever have to witness again, nor experience the Hell we've endured. I want them to see a smiling mom who won't get injured.
Last night at Youth Group my teenagers had an NFL guy come speak, they all came home afterwards and acted as if they'd never seen food before, everyone pigging out and horsing around happily...because they can. Because our actions are no longer controlled by irrational acts of violence. It's taking me a long time to shake this off.
So many of my kids had some bike riding game going on yesterday, Mayra, 18, Martin, 18, Sabrina, 17, Allen, 16, Tony 16, and CW'll be 16 in two weeks, one of 'em suggesting that the county'd start sending a short bus over here if they could see the level of silliness going on amongst older teenagers.
Maybe in a city these older teenagers wouldn't have the emotional freedom to play childhood games, maybe they'd be too self-conscious? But out here there's no one to witness the immaturity and they revel in it. I enjoy seeing them so happy and carefree.
I'd recently spent time with a grown kid who was once led out of here in handcuffs a couple of years ago in absolute disgrace and no small level of horror expressed by the witnesses at home. He's expressed huge remorse and regret, he laughed and joked about all the family fun times, struggling to try and comprehend what made him nut up so badly and ruin what he had here with us.
A worker'd recently told me about a newly adopted teenager, he reluctantly agreed to the plan only because his younger siblings were joining the new family.
"He'll just up and take off one day," his worker tried to explain to the naive parents who believe that their love is a cure all, like I used to also invest my own emotions in as well.
Words that once would've chilled my bones, but my own original worker has had to explain to me over and over again that this is kind of what traumatized kids do. There's no comprehension of normal coming of age good-byes where the mom will help you enter college or get your own apartment, it's just suddenly they are not here. I've witnessed it many times, I know y'all have too, I read your anguished emails.
You wake up one day and they're gone, or they don't come home from the school they then drop out of, or they run off with some guy.
I've never had any of my 20 something grown kids fall off the face of the earth, they've all stayed in touch in one way or another, sometimes after extended periods of stony silence, some defy those crappy expectations and remain close to me, and for that I'm very grateful even though there've been some rocky periods of time when they just can't contain their own inner anger at what happened to them in the first place that sent them away from their birth parents.
A primal wound that is tough to recover from, healing is a long, slow process best served by not self-medicating.
Y'all know from your own experiences that this hasn't been easy.