Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm so excited! My kid yelled, "NO!" at me!!

I'm not being sarcastic. I really am thrilled at this new-found defiance and talking back.

"What?" you say. "Have you flipped your lid?"

Well, that's debatable. However, my husband and I have a really wonderful reason for celebrating such behavior while still loathing it. You see, one of our attaching kids has ... well, for lack of room for extensive information ... has refused to feel all this time. They have floated through with indiscriminate affection for others, and false affection for my husband and I.

I know. To some of you that might not make any sense. I mean, how can we TELL that the affection is not genuine? Even though I had read and prepared and have known things about attachment disorder for the past five years ... well, nothing can prepare you for what it feels like to be hugged without genuine affection ... you can rock a child that is, by all means and purposes, in your lap but without one single relaxed muscle in their body. They can do the actions, but they simply won't allow themselves to feel ... really feel. If they feel, they may get hurt. Better to just go through the motions.

Reading that in a book makes sense. Hearing it in a lecture helps you to absorb it. Yet, feeling it. Living it. Nothing prepares you for that. Nothing. You can't even explain what it takes to show love and affection when you either get nothing in return or you are constantly attacked.

So, my very passive I-refuse-to-get-real-with-you child is finally showing anger. I am finally a real threat. This child is feeling things for me. Now, granted, that scares the ever-loving bajeebiz out of them. They feel like those feelings could kill them. They must fight against them at all costs. And yes, it means that the "hell" that I deal with on a regular basis will be more ... er ... hellish!

Yet, it's a step that has to happen. It's on its way to getting worse before it gets better. You never know how much it will escalate. I'm having to check myself for how I'll react, and why I'll react in such a way. Once I'm a threat, the goal is to push me away as far as possible, by as many creative means as possible.

And believe you me ... my attaching kids are sooooooo creative. They're geniuses.

I love them so much. I write this as one of them is sitting here trying desperately to cry and avoid their schoolwork. It seems like we must have a fight today for them to feel safe and secure and in charge. I'm refusing to fight back, so they are escalating. They refuse to sharpen their pencil so their handwriting is thick and sloppy and messy ... the way they feel about themselves.

And I love them. This isn't their fault. I love them so much, even when I'm banging my head on the table.

I am SO banging my head on the table.


Luke said...

Great post.

That's all I have to say about that.


Anonymous said...

Wow. You are a strong, strong woman! (btw, are your RADishes with you to stay? ie. are you adopting them or fostering them?)

and btw, I love your 'I'm sleeping with my pastor' button - LOL

Recovering Noah said...

I love your "sleeping with the pastor" button, too. I wish I was married to a pastor - I'd love a bumper sticker like that. I guess I could always get one that says "I'm sleeping with the phone man."

Congrats on being told "No!". In a weird way, our lives are kinda cool.

Leslie :-)

Christine said...

Kim, we're still officially "respite" for them. It's a long story (isn't it always?).

Brenda said...

Great post! Mine has moved out of the passive aggressive phase too. Seems to be stuck in the NO phase though. Keep on keepin on.

familygregg said...

GREAT news! It's a wonderful step forward. Two steps back will most likely gird up those loins!

Dig at the roots of that RAD weed.

Unspeakable Joy said...

ah yes that feeling it and living it stinks! i had to cry in the car after therapy today because my daughter couldn't think of one time this week that she felt love. i'd LOVE for her to act out in some way, just to know she's human. i don't know if it's harder (emotionally) to have a rad who acts out, or one that is an emotionless robot. both stink! congrats. hope they yell and throw a fit then! :)

laura said...

Christine--you are a wonderful, loving, amazing WOMAN OF GOD! And you're a great mommy! And you have other mommies praying for you every day, I hope you know that. We love you!! You go, girl!!

kristal said...

what a milestone. i am so thankful for your transparency and willingness to share your life with the rest of us for the better of all of our families.

Sugar-n-Spice said...

i love it all....from the feelingless affection that i have not been able to articulate to others, to the banging of your head on the table. oh, i'm so there.

i also very much so needed to hear that "we must have a fight" for them to feel safe and in control. i still forget what my RADish's mindset really is, and that responding in anger just does nothing to facilitate her healing and learning to trust.

Sara said...

This was a wonderful post. And you Christine are just phenominal. I am so proud, and so glad, and so happy that these two wonderful fabulous children are with you, who cares, who loves and who is creative. God give you strength.