Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: THE BIG BLUE NATION
Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Background
Ok - I wanna try to keep this short. Not sure that's possible, I'll probably add gobs as response comes in - call this my vent, I dunno what 2 do, help thread.
So... We have permanent custody of DH's 2 1st cousins once removed. Jon is 7. His half sister, Ashlyn, is 4.
Birth mom - We'll call her A... is a drug addict, prostitute, etc. etc. Jon's bio dad has been out of the picture since he was a newborn. His stepfather, Ashlyn's dad, is a well known local drug dealer, who's late wife died of an OD not long after having a 2nd child with him (Ashlyn does not know about this 1/2 sister, but she does know her older half sister - after the Dad's most recent arrest for drug dealing, both sisters are now in custody of THEIR late mother's aunt). They were previously living with the dad's mother, we'll call her MD and his two nieces she has custody of, because their mom, too, has major issues. The nieces - L is 12, C is 4.
We've had these children for 6 months. As time has went on, more and more information has come to light, like what these kids have been through etc...
Jon came to us just having started kindergarten at age 6, didn't know his ABCs, how to count past 10, had already missed 25 days of school between the start of school thru to thanksgiving. He hated bathing, because it was something they just didn't do very often. He was repeatedly left at random houses with random ppl. Pretty well was beat on by both the stepdad and mom. He can tell you how to use a dollar bill and a credit card to snort stuff. He can point out which houses he went with his stepdad to to sell drugs to ppl. His face is covered in deep scars - 1 he says come from getting hit in the face with a metal firetruck by L, who, based on more stories, routinely abused him, despite being just a kid herself. Fortunately, Jon just finished kindergarten with straight A's , near the top of his class.
Ashlyn is covered in cigarrette burn scars from neck to between her thighs. dozens. She has said repeatedly that A did it. She had head lice so bad you could pick 5 or 6 nits off one strand of hair. When we got custody of her, she didn't know but 2 colors - pink & purple. She couldn't count to 3. But now she knows most of her colors and can write her name and count to 5 - after attending 4 months of pre-k. She also had an obsession w/ snakes/hotdogs - even told MY oldest daughter to suck her penis. Which she says she learned about from her maternal grandmother. For the first 3-4 months - she cried on and off for A & the dad when she was in trouble for whatever reason. The end of february she started calling me Mommy. Not sure I was ready for that. But... I was glad to see the other tantrums go away. She seems to be having flashbacks/hallucinations still... sometimes blaming BAD behavior on A, saying she saw her last night or she told her to do that. Now it has come to light she's also been molested by L & friends. And she's been trying to play 'doctor' & 'horsey' with the other children. It's driving me insane. She tried to get my girls to take her panties off and touch her ? My oldest told. And I walked in on it when it was w/ my 2year old. She tries to ride her brother face up, like a horse or pull him on her. And then he seems to be constantly trying to rub his private area up against ME , like my knee if Im sitting in the chair or whatever. I've pushed him away and said nothing, but it's happened several times. Idk if that's normal for a 7year old boy - I think i need to tell DH to 'talk' to him about things, since I know he's seen more than most 7 year olds before he came here but maybe he doesn't understand it.
There's just so much going on here, idk what to say, do, think. I feel like I'm CONSTANTLY reprimanding Ashlyn & Jon for something, with a warning, a time-out, or a spanking (yes, we believe in spanking - and no, you'll not change my feelings about it, so don't bother). Ashlyn more than Jon. Some ways she's very baby like, some ways she's like a snotty 20 year old. Idk how to parent her. And the therapists & social workers, have been little to no help. I can say - Stay on the porch. 30 seconds later, they're both off the porch and tell me they forgot. They've both been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. We think they've both been exposed to meth making and know mom did drugs when she was pregnant with ashlyn - so - im wondering is their brain damage or what? Jon seems to be improving, drastically, but her BARELY if at all in some areas. Ashlyn RARELY asks for food, I have to sit and make her eat, bite after bite. I give her vitamins every night, but she weighs .5 lb less than she did when we got her (and she looked pee-poor!) and she's like 2+ inches taller!
Any motherly words of advice out there for me? I'm staying soooo frustrated. My husbands work OOT alot, so I feel like I'm doing this alone. We live 20 miles from anywhere, and our budget is much tighter now because of the kids constant dr. appts. etc (both have severe asthma and food allergies, get weekly therapy, needed major dental work - yeah, 11 cavities, etc.) and all the running & extra gas and me not being able to work. It's really starting to get to me and wear me down, all the sacrifices I've had to make for me and my girls by taking these two high need kids on.
Celia -Wife to Garrett. WAHM to Reese (5) & Brooke (3). EDD for #3 11-17-2013.