Just a (good) update....

mattie_gtMarch 16, 2012

Hi everyone,

I haven't been here in a while so I figured I'd stop by with an update. (Brief background: DH has had primary custody of SS9 for most of his life; BM is in and out, has been in with pretty limited visitation for a while now, visits do not go well. Not at all.)

SS is doing very well. He's been seeing a new (since last year) child psychologist, who shall henceforth be known as Dr. Wonderful. When we first went there we were pretty much at our wit's end; our lives would cycle around visitations. SS would return clingy, upset, depressed, angry, moody and withdrawn - slooooowly we'd get him back to himself, just in time for him to become anxious and worried for the next visitation and it would all start over again. And over. And over. Months and years went by with my poor SS spending more than half of his days worried, stressed, angry, etc.

The situation had become intolerable and SS just couldn't go on like that anymore. Dr. Stupendous told us that he was going to work with SS on dealing with visitations, and learning how to cope. Sure, doc. Good luck with that. You're going to help a child learn to deal with being emotionally abused and neglected for 48 hours every few weeks?

Dr. Fantastic was true to his word. We've no idea what he is doing or how he is doing it - but it's working. SS seems to be accepting that A) his mother is not going to change; she's not going to become even an adequate parent, but more importantly B) that it's not his fault.

Dr. Incredible is pleased with SS's progress thus far. We are ecstatic. No more outbursts of rage and destruction or self-hatred, no more talk of his own death. Even the clinginess is way down. SS is becoming the boy that he should have been able to be all along, the boy we'd catch glimpses of here and there during the in-between periods, the boy that we knew was in there buried under the incredible pressure and stress he was under. He walks around singing now, and tells silly jokes, and laughs and smiles - a LOT. His schoolwork, his social life, even his physical health is all just so much better. It's great.

BM is, well, BM. Her behavior is not really different than it has been (appalling). From what we've gathered, however, even the visits are going better because SS has this new acceptance of it - so his responses are different. He (mostly) no longer gets very upset or tries to get her to, you know, talk to him when he's there - instead he brings up books to read so he can occupy himself while he's being ignored. When BM does remember his existence (commercial breaks), she's apparently calmer because he's not been "annoying" her so she's less likely to scream insults at him.

Nothing we can do about the filth or lack of food there. SS still is telling us and Dr. Magnificent that he wishes he never had to see BM at all. No idea what the future will hold in store. All I know is that I sent a happy, giggly little boy off to school this morning; one who has all sorts of plans for the weekend and the future. And it was wonderful.

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Wow that is great! Nice to see some positive things around here once in a while...good job!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:19PM
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So good to hear, Mattie! Wonderful that SS has found a dr who has been able to help SS. Sounds like this Dr is worth his weight in gold.

Happy, giggling little boy! I'm happy for all of you.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Can I have Dr. Wonderful's phone number? lol

I'm glad to hear happy news... too bad mom is missing out on what sounds like, a really great kid. He's lucky to have you and dad in his life, finding him Dr. Wonderful & allowing him to have the life he deserves. Great news!!!

PS. At first, I thought Dr. Stupendous was a prior/different person. Then I saw Dr. Incredible... lol

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Thanks, mkroopy and justmetoo! If you'd have told me last year that it would be like this now I would never have believed it; the difference is incredible. SS was always a "good" boy - but now he's much more often a happy boy.

His last counselor was a lovely person, and I'm sure would be very helpful to a child or adolescent who was dealing with more along the lines of communication issues with a parent/parents. But unfortunately it seemed to make this situation worse rather than better. His pediatrician recommended his current doctor, and we cannot thank either one of them enough. Dr. Miracle Worker is tackling SS's self-esteem next because he is still having some trouble in that area.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Ima, Dr. is also good-lucking, at least I think. Although, to be honest, the way he's been helping SS he could be overweight and bald with a hunchback and crossed eyes and I'd probably think he was hot, LOL!

DH and I think BM is reserving the right to swoop in and be Mommy if and when it becomes convenient for her. Unfortunately for her there is just no getting back the time that has passed already; those years are gone forever. Now that SS is doing better it is easier for me to feel a tiny bit of sympathy for her.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Glad to hear this. Its inspriring for others that the first therapist didnt work, but you kept trying and found one who did.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:46PM
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Mattie- i'm so happy for your family. This is great news. And it has 'inspired' me to start looking again for a new therapist. I've given up hope that there is one out there that will actually help my daughter but I'm going to start looking again on Monday. I need to do this for her and not give up. Congrats on the good news. Hopefully I can log in one day with a goo update because of a Dr Incredible update! The money spent will be worth it but we've spent so much money already it's hard to see the good light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:04AM
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Thanks, kkny! This one is actually the third - SS very briefly had a counselor we'd found because she supposedly had experience dealing with kids in very bad situations. That was not at all successful; SS didn't like her at all (to be honest, neither did we). She kind of gave the impression that she was half-listening and not really concerned (to be fair, I'm sure she was used to kids in really dire extreme immediately life-threatening circumstances).

Myfampg, thanks. I hope you find a Dr. Incredible as well. We didn't think anyone could help either. It was explained to us that a psychologist was what we needed; a psychiatrist would be best if SS had underlying mental issues (like chemical imbalances, that kind of thing) and that counselors, no matter how experienced, probably just weren't going to be able to help, so we asked pediatrician for a referral (she had already knew a lot of what had been going on).

Dr. Wonderful met with DH and I first, DH had signed a release of SS's information, and by the time we came back with SS for second visit he had pulled SS's relevant medical records, talked to social services about previous complaints (years ago) against BM, talked to his doctors - we were so surprised and excited that he was obviously taking it so seriously. After the fiasco with the previous one ("it's just not really bad enough - suck it up and deal with it") we were pretty pessimistic and gloomy. I'm not a mental health professional but come on - when you've got a child whose been seeing mental health professionals for over a third of his life there's a problem somewhere!

(Nowhere do I mean to imply that all anyone needs is to find the right doctor and that any child will be fine - DH has had primary custody of SS for almost his whole life, SS really wants to feel better and has been working hard at it, and BM is completely disinterested in the entire thing and doesn't interfere. I know too many posters are in a situation with their kids/stepkids where it seems like they're being fought against every step of the way - by the ex, by the kids, by everything.)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 9:10AM
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I like happy updates :-)

Good for you guys, you deserve it!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:43AM
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