2014-04-25 - 10:36 p.m.
Reading up on this:
My mother also has always had lovely skin but for rosatia in older years, and then actual skin cancer which had to be removed. She however had the clearest complexion and only washed her face with simple Ivory soap and water her whole life.
So I was bothered a bit by my second husband's picking at his skin. If he had a blemish he just could not leave it alone. He also cant leave a loose tooth dangling in a kids mouth and is one of those who will yank it out. There was clearly a bit of obsessiveness about this behavior.
Katie inherited this trait and the obsessiveness of it became most clear when she yanked her own tooth out. She actually did that after Sadie lost her first tooth and received money from the tooth fairy. Katie was little- too little for a tooth to naturally fall out, and we were all just shocked when one day she yanked a perfectly fine tooth out so she too could put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy.
That was the first bizarre self injurious behavior she exhibited and it was startling as I realized then her response to PAIN must be markedly different from most people's. I wondered if she was desensitized?
Just the fact she could even DO THAT TO HERSELF made me wonder.
But currently her self injurious skin picking has become really terrible.
It just absolutely heartbreaking. I have been waiting just a few minutes after she goes into the bathroom and then gently saying "Katie come out now" - reminding her , "don't pick your skin- come on out" , and that has actually been helping as she has been very responsive to the intervention.
We have talked together about this. About a month ago when with me one weekend she agreed to try her best not to pick , and if she could refrain for the weekend she would get to pick out a new dress from the thrift store. That was very motivating for her.
I shared with her Dad that the thrift store shop is a great motivator and that she self regulates her own behavior in my house- giving herself the checks on her chart for -
refraining from cursing
The interesting thing is that I bought the behavior chart and I just hung it on the refrigerator. But in typical ADHD fashion I totally FORGOT ABOUT IT. I NEVER FOLLOWED THROUGH
But one day Katie just went over to it after a really good weekend and she gave herself checks for all she did. She had been excited to pick a recipe from her cookbook and then went to the store to get the ingredients. She then made lamb chops with a red onion sauce, baked potatoes, julienne carrots with cinnamon and honey, and fresh rolls from scratch with all sorts of wonderful grains ( some sesame, some poppy, some sunflower on top).
It was an AMAZING meal! Katie was so very proud of herself and that weekend she started using the behavior chart. She announced at the end of the weekend that she gave herself checks and then asked what number I thought she should need to earn the trip to the thrift store. She duggest
WHEW... just fell asleep mid sentence there! REALLY IS BED TIME...
but as I was writing, Katie asked if I thought 40 was a good number of checks for her to have to earn before earning
Funny Katie likes golf! She asked if earning 40 checks was enough before going to the thrift store! Maybe I can make a trip to play golf another incentive... Miniature golf is fun also.
Can't stay awake anymore. Its been a VERY LONG DAY!! I worried for Katie most of the day.
The flashback of memory of years ago when SOREN was receiving the wrath of his stepdad really hit me emotionally and it SOUNDED like my EX was possibly going to be equally irrational and rashly angry.
I AM SO TIRED but want to write of this as it is so very important. Sadie said that Dad did spank Katie- but only one time but that she was saying he hit her on the back when he actually never did so!
I have a photo I TOOK of Katie in a sundress which had a lower back cut out exposed. I took it YEARS AGO When she was turned and facing the kitchen sink - as in that moment I wanted the PROOF that she had not been hit when in my care because that day the photo was taken Katie had SAID I HIT HER when I HAD NOT!
I recall the toddler time outs with her where I intentionally had the time out stool next to the big double door windows just so that if there was screaming from Katie of "Stop hitting me!" ( which was what she yelled whenever I put her in time out), that the neighbors could see she was not being hit.)
I am GLAD Katie was not smacked in the lower back this Thu night. I thought perhaps she had been.
The fact her Dad DOES YELL And get controlling and frustrated with her does not help as when she is upset and feels threatened
I swear there are subconscious flashbacks to when she was 18 months old and he WAS losing it and hitting her!
I forgot about the bizarre " STOP HITTING ME" she would scream whenever she was feeling threatened at all until this week.
Having not immediately recalled that as it has not happened in a while I REALLY WAS WORRIED for her. But I think that while Dad was yelling, it is the past that is haunting Katie. IT is HIS PAST ACTIONS-- but in a way it doesn't matter WHO the actor had been years ago--
It doesn't matter WHO IT IS in the here and now that she gets upset with and feels threatened by- In the HERE AND NOW it is HIS Yelling which is harmful to her and I wish he would figure out a way to use a different tactic. I also think it harmful to the OTHER girls as now they think it NORMAL and DEFEND IT. Katie's response is really the basic fight or flight instinct as she viscerally is afraid and using the simplest brain
OH yeah. now I know where that thought was going before the split second narcoleptic , I am up way too late doze...
Kerry reacts using the simplest PART OF HER BRAIN - ALL FRONTAL LOBE when she feels threatened in any way.
This results in her doing things like throwing a punch and then grabbing and trying to twist her sister's arm when in the back seat of the car when her sister happened to bump her in the tight quarters ( THAT did happen to poor Raitlin on the ride back from the Cherry Blossom Run recently).
Katis is so clearly suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
At least I think so-
Although it was years ago when her Dad lost it with her physically, those emotional scars are going to take a long time to heal.
Fortunately her rash violent response only happened ONCE outside of home that I know of. I feel horrible for the poor kid at school that SOMEHOW Katie must have felt threatened by. The bizarre experience of even the slightest thing being done to Katie that she then misinterprets as seriously threatening to her such that she reacts with EXTREME AGRESSION in response DID Happen in school.
I am SO EXHAUSTED
TO bed finally.
This feels like it was the LONGEST DAY EVER!
When Katie came over tonight it was the first time she would not come out of the bathroom when I gently reminded her. She said "I am going upstairs where I can lock the door" as I did open it (which I HAVE BEEN doing in the downstairs bathroom if she ignores. She is not typically defensive about that with me.
Tonight however she went upstairs and did lock the bathroom door. I had NOT followed her to give her a few minutes of space, not wanting to be confrontational as she responded defensively and angrily and I DID NOT want to change the dynamic of what HAS BEEN WORKING For me. So I gave her space and commenced cleaning the kitchen. Usually I just remind her, say something or open the door if she has not responded and she comes right out and the picking stops.
This time after done with the kitchen chores I went up to find her STILL in the bathroom.
IT wasn't an ADD moment of FORGETTING about the issue for me- as I was talking with Sadie to get an account from HER Of what she thought happened with Katie and Dad.
It was her account that was important as all I HEARD was the phone call.
It was helpful to hear HER perspective. Mainly however I wanted her take on what Katie said in response to her Dad telling her she HAD TO EAT a tomatoe.
Dad told me she said something like "IF you do I am going to stick my fingers down my throat and puke"
As I said to him "We don't need THAT In the mix"
But Sadie reported Katie DID NOT SAY THAT but she heard Katie say "If you make me eat that tomato I am going to puke"
Sadie did not think Katie MEANT it as in a self imposed puking, but SHE THOUGHT Katie just meant it is SO DISGUSTING to her that she can't eat it without it making her puke. She thought Katie was being dramatic but had no thought or meaning other than the dramatic meaning of thinking something so gross to one that it would turn their stomach.
I felt BETTER HEARING that account (which was the one main thing I wanted to talk to Sadie privately about to get her perspective on.) I wanted to know if we need to know watch Katie for body disphoria and possible problems related to THAT AS WELL! She is physically healthy but damn if anorexia popped up in the mix that would be tragic.
I worry about that because OF Dad's issues with food. He seriously has some food issues and does insist the kids all eat EVERYTHING HE SAYS. Anorexia is reported to be more common in kids who have parents controlling with food and controlling in other manner (although there is definitely an organic brain element as to which kids are more likely to NOT RESPOND WELL TO that). It is the combination of that brain type apparently and also the environmental factor of parenting styles that can be thought of as contributors (along with society messages apparently as well about body), that are all considered as POSSIBLE factors in development of anorexia .Co-morbidity is often a factor.
Katie is at risk of that as a potential problem to head off and watch, educate and do our best as parents to PREVENT.
She then would not open the door at first. She completely ignored. Sadie was yelling at her to not be selfish as she wanted the bathroom. I re-directed her to mind her business and use MY BATHROOM as the yelling and badgering and calling Katie selfish clearly does not help her.
I don't know recall what I said to her that resulted in her opening the door. I do know this extended being in the bathroom now for the first time make me worry she was doing SOMETHING other than skin picking right after dinner.
I do know whatever I said was NOT threatening, attacking her, or anything that would make her recoil further. I do now I didn't count to three and say I would open it (which DOES WORK for Raitlin who often runs to my room and hides initially when she is trying to avoid something). I do know I was as GENTLE as possible.
Katie came out and went right to her bed to curl up and get lost in the book she was reading. That was what she did this afternoon after greeting my family visiting. She went and read until cajoled to come join us for a little before dinner. She came down and interacted just lovely . I let her have her space first and no one minded that she needed to be alone. I figured she NEEDED that time to relax after the past day!
BOY I UNDERSTOOD and I am an extrovert!
So she only came down just before dinner.
Dinner WAS lovely. We enjoyed listening to the all county chorus recording Sadie was proud of.
OF course I also get it that Katie WOULD LIKE to be in that group and the fact two of her sisters were chosen but she was not has to be something hard for her. Even listening might have been a reminder to her of that as SHE IS highly competitive and singing is something she prides in herself. I don't KNOW THAT as she too seemed to enjoy the music. She was engaged in conversation and SEEMED HAPPY just then.