Well, we have running water. That's an improvement. And Dowlan had already taken the day off work, so I wasn't quite as on my own as I could have been.
There are no weekday visiting hours, but she is allowed to call us later tonight. I have talked to the nurse, who got authorization for a medication adjustment. I asked how she was doing and was told she is okay, but lonely. She's the only child there right now and the children are kept apart from the adolescent and adult wards.
I kind of think that's a good thing. She had a week-long in-patient stay there when she was in the first grade and it was a little too fun. She liked the other kids. They played games, watched movies and did crafts during down times. She charmed all the adults during therapy sessions and everyone acted like no one could figure out why this adorable seven-year-old could possibly be there. The psychiatrist told me, upon check-out, that "This was like when your check engine light goes on, so you take your car to the mechanic and they keep it a few days and can't find anything wrong with it."
And, heroically, I did not punch him.
The mom who wrote this article explains quite well the personality of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder, which is Dixie's primary diagnosis. Dixie's deep need to control everything extends to a need to control how people see her. A great deal of mental energy goes into keeping it all together while at school or whatever public places she spends time at. This expenditure of energy comes at great cost--when she gets home, it all unravels. Three years ago, it wasn't that nothing was wrong. RAD kids are charming, elusive, cunning, controlling and manipulative. She was just on the cusp of not being able to hold it together any longer when they sent her home.
When we checked her in yesterday, I expressed my concerns that last time was so ineffective. They've got a better psychiatrist on staff now and do things quite differently than before. It no longer seems like Camp Mental Health and I'm glad for that. If she can busy herself with making new friends and crafting pillows, she doesn't ever have to actually deal with herself. Group therapy in a group of one will have its drawbacks, but it will do her good to not be able to focus on the problems of others' while ignoring her own.
Amusingly enough, Dowlan and I are employing her her tactics as much as possible while she's there. Our house was originally a 2 bed/1 bath that, somewhere along the way, had a garage attached to it. Somewhere else along the way, they enclosed that garage to make one really big 11'x22' room. Thinking that was a bit silly for the bedroom, Dowlan and I made clever use of the space. We put a dresser and bookshelf back-to-back to divide the room into two sections. The side with the external door and closet became our bedroom and the other side became the childrens' playroom.
For four summers now, we've talked about 'someday building a real wall' with the idea of eventually turning that into Dixie's room. The girls have shared a room for 7.5 years now and we knew that wouldn't last forever. We've decided to go ahead and build that wall.
For one, Melody needs a break. Her space and life are too often disrupted. For two, we need Dixie closer to us at night. Too many of the destructive things she does happen in the middle of the night and we don't hear them from the other end of the house.
For three, I just need something to do. I can't handle the quiet she leaves behind.