It is Friday afternoon and my mind has already checked out for the weekend. I am completely unproductive today. I want to keep focus but I can't. My youngest daughter, Rose, has had a horrible two weeks and I, myself, would like a do-over for the last two weeks and I love her so much....she should be allowed one also!
I would like to tell you that I have learned some valuable lesson from this experience or that I have felt peace about this situation. But I have to tell you honestly that this sucks! Sucks in the worst possible way.
Here are the two reasons this sucks BIG TIME.
1. I love my kids. I can't stand to see them struggle with their past trauma. It breaks my heart to see them have flashbacks and night terrors. It breaks my heart to see wet beds, sleep walking, hoarding, and other random anxieties reappear because of what they see in their minds. I hate to see them have to disassociate from reality and put those thick steel walls back up because they are too afraid to trust again.
2. I am human. I hate, hate, hate bad behavior. I hate tantrums. I hate spitting, biting, punching, kicking, throwing things. I hate threats against my safety. I hate threats that they will tell someone I hurt them. Remember, I am human. For a day or two I can understand logically that it isn't them that is doing this. It is their fear response, it is a result of their trauma. Then we get to like day 5 or 6 and I am exhausted....I don't want to deal in reality either....
So then we begin to fall apart....See this sucks...
So when you are praying tonight, say a prayer for us....Because I pray for your family, too.
Then we wake up tomorrow and it is a new day and perhaps....tomorrow won't suck as much....lol...
PS...I hope I didn't offend anyone with the work "suck"...It has lost its effect on me, as I have heard it so much..BUT I certainly don't wish to offend anyone!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This is an old picture. Actually about two years old. And it is a picture of Rosie getting her hair done by her Auntie K. Even knowing what this picture truly is, it strikes me as a picture that closely reflects a very pervasive feeling in children that have been abused and/or neglected. SHAME. When we adopted our children, we were completely ignorant of the effects shame would have on our lives. We didn't know that it was one of the core feelings kids like ours have. It is almost always the reason we have behavior issues in our home. Anger is usually what they use to cover their shame.
Babies are born feeling shame. But with the help of a healthy and safe primary care giver (ie parents, usually) children move from shame to feelings of guilt. Shame is about the perception that the child is bad, unlovable, stupid, worthless. Guilt is a feeling that results when the child realizes that their action has affected another person, it has nothing to do with their self worth. I hope I just described that correctly. That was my understanding of it. But feel free to correct me, gently!
My children have never had the opportunity to learn to move from shame to guilt. My children are stuck in shame. And it is a painful and sad thing to watch your children go through over and over again. It is also frustrating. I want so badly for them to know that they are lovable and worthwhile. I want them to see that they are smart and good. No child is "bad". They make poor choices but there is something good about every child. And we as parents must always search for something good in our children. It is the only way we can help them heal.
My children feel shame daily. Actually multiple times a day. So multiple times a day, we encounter behavioral difficulties of some sort. Rosie cries giant crocodile tears and Marie is unbearably belligerent. I would like to write that I am an amazing mother and I am able to be totally and completely therapeutic every time. Alas, I am not. After about ten times I am out of gas...I just want NO DRAMA!
And inevitably, most behaviors have their roots in shame. A child felt isolation when she had to play alone, shame that she is unlovable, A child is busted for looking at something or listening to something she shouldn't, shame that she is worthless and stupid. The list goes on. I am learning better to diffuse their anger with a change in the tone of my voice. Getting them to calm down and express their feelings before they escalate to holding them or they break objects. I am getting better at it but still I have much to learn.
I am learning more and more how traumatized abused and neglected children can be. How dedicated they are and how much they need special TLC, much nurturing and a whole bunch of unconditional love....Pray for my family and I will pray for yours!
Goodness Gracious! I haven't been very good at blogging for a long time! I have to apologize because I am sure I have lost almost all of my followers. I miss blogging but I continue to find my life getting in the way of things. Can you imagine that?
We have had some wonderful things happen and a few more stressful things have happened also. Both the great things and the difficult things have had an adverse effect on the children. Hey, I am not super girl, I can't fix everything!
I find that the girls are sniping at each other more these days. I can't quite figure it out but I am investigating like crazy!
Marie is having difficulty with a few of her teachers and so she has failed a few classes. I have tried to help her rectify the situation but the teacher doesn't seem as willing to bend thus the problem is continuing. I am very frustrated because she is doing reasonably well in her core classes where she is getting proper assistance and accomodations beyond her IEP. Her core teachers have done an excellent job with working with me and her. It seems that she is having a great deal of difficulty with the classes (electives) where she needs to be in Mainstream classes. So, as extreme as it may sound to some, I have decided to Home school her. I am fairly sure about the curriculum I am going to use but still doing a little research.
Marie seems relieved that we are going to be able to have more control and flexibility with her schooling. She seems quite excited to have the one on one lessons and being able to focus more on her studies without the outside interference of peers. I still have concerns about it but I am confident that between My husband and I, we will help her to succeed to a much greater extent than she is currently.
Rosie was doing very well! She wasn't having behavioral challenges and she was doing well at school. We even had school vacation without a major blip! We then took our yearly trip to Burlington. My husband bowls in a tournament every year and we make a weekend out of it. Apparently, hotels bring back horrible memories for Rosie. We thought we had talked about it and got a room that was closer to being homey so perhaps she wouldn't be as anxious. We brought our own blankets, pillows, stuffed animals...homey stuff....And she still had a huge meltdown. She hasn't been able to recover yet....that was more than two weeks ago now. Trying to be patient and help her through this but she doesn't seem to be responding our therapeutic parenting techniques.
Which is very frustrating! Please tell me you understand!!!
Last Friday, I was able to get away to see Dr. Daniel Hughes in Vermont. He is a psychologist that has worked for many years with families of RAD kids. When you see him speak, you know HE GETS IT! He is so soothing and calm. He is empathetic and simply wonderful to listen to! I have some new books to read and I feel refreshed!
Anyways, I just wanted you to know I am here...And trying to think up something interesting to share....Which I am always doing!
Missed you and Be Well!