For the first time in a really long time I can say that I honestly believe Pickles will be coming back home soon. Sure…I’ve sorta felt like that a few times before during the past 9 months, but this time there is something just a bit different. This time her giggles are natural, not forced in a way to make everyone around her think she’s OK. They aren’t there in a way that I only want to believe in. Instead of a way I can.
I think…I know that all those times before when I would see her smile, when I would hear her laugh I wanted so desperately to believe it would all be over soon. Looking back though there was still an empty-ness in her eyes. That empty-ness has been replaced with light, with a little sparkle, and a whole lotta truth. Sure, until the day I go and she and I pack up all her stuffed animals, blankies, clothes, drawings and artwork I will continue to hold my breath. Maybe though, maybe this time I can let just the smallest wisps of breath, of hope, out here and there.
Pickles has come so, so…so far. I was watching a video I took about this time last year, when she was in one of the darkest places I’ve ever seen her in. She was raging, she was self-harming, she wanted to die because she could not only control her aggression towards her teachers, classmates, and toward me. Also when she did try to hold back her auditory command hallucinations they would threaten everyone around her. In her, at the time, 6-year-old mind, she reasoned that it would be better if she did the hurting. After all her “ghost friends” were bigger, badder, meaner. In a way filled with an odd assortment of love; her punches, slaps and kicks were in fact her way of trying to protect me and protect our dog.
A year later she is not only much more stable thanks to a fairly strong medication regime including: 750mg of Depakote, 10mg of Saphris, 3 plus mg of Clonidine depending on her day, and a standing PRN (emergency dose) of 1.5mg of Haldol if needed. That regime combined with her cognitive development has provided her with the ability to reason within herself as she has stabilized and therefore been able to, for the very first time actually use the coping skills her therapists and psychiatrist have taught her. Huge…all huge for a little girl whose mind is, and has been, filled with not much but terror since she was able to talk, and who knows how much fear even before then.
I don’t recall if in previous entries I’ve answered the question I get asked almost once a week. The question of do I hold any blame or ill will toward her birth parents. For bringing her into the world knowing they were ill, or for them exposing an unborn child to serious drug use and drug environments. I wish I could say I never do. I wish I could say that over these last months, these last far too many months, that there hasn’t been many a night when I’ve climbed into bed with the house much too quiet and her Princess Bed empty, that for a moment or two I haven’t thought ill of them. Her birth mom especially. But…it passes. It has too.
Because for any effect anything about them, or their life choices had on her, without them I wouldn’t have my little girl. Ups, downs, good times and not so good times. And as I have said before, regardless of what our last 7 plus years have been like, whether this time it is for real, or whatever the future holds, she is just as much a part of me as she would’ve been under any other circumstances. For whatever reason God gave her to me to care for, to love unconditionally and to…fingers crossed…bring back home sooner than later.
It’s time to let all the fear, the sadness, the failed attempts to transition back home that have come before, it’s time to let all that go. It’s my hope that we have turned a corner, at least for now. So..tonight I’m attaching this video from “our” favorite band and one of Pickles favorite songs…
“Iridescent” by Linkin Park.
Pickles…can’t wait to have you back home.