Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Picture, if you will ...

You unlock this door with the key of therapeutic parenting. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of fear. A dimension of trauma. A dimension of dysfunction. You're moving in a land of both shadow and substance, of pain and possibility.

You've just crossed over into, The Attachment Zone.






Yesterday was the very first time my husband could go with us to attachment therapy. Actually, the entire family went. My two children with attachment challenges do not handle change well ... at all. We had just returned from vacation. Their dad was sitting on the therapist's sofa with me. OH, and it was also a big anniversary for the kids (and not a good anniversary - just a reminder of their very painful past).

One of them couldn't even get into their session. They were a mess.

I'll give you three guesses as to whether or not we are dealing with extreme regression and acting out.

Hey! Good guess!

One of our kids has wracked up a hefty bill they must now pay-off. It is discouraging when you do your best to prepare them for the behaviors they will be tempted to ... exhibit. You talk openly about their need to control, hurt and destroy. You cannot dissolve the feelings, but you hope they will use their "plan" and think before acting. Then, you walk in to find the destroyed furniture or the deliberate hurtfulness. It is deflating.

Yet, I had to look at my kids today and let them know I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what it is like to be them. I cannot say I understand. I. do. not. understand. I do everything in my power to be understandING. Yet, I was cuddled. I was fed. I was clothed. I was never beaten. I was never treated as less than human. I never doubted forever. I was prepared for any move I ever made. I certainly came nowhere close to moving 11 times in five years. I have no idea how scary this is for them.

I don't know. By the way they act, I do not think I have any life experience with which to compare. They face a fear everyday which pales my worst days.

We do all have one thing in common. It is a Twilight Zone for all of us. None of us have ever done this before! We have never had a child terrified to say, "I love you, Mom, and I know you love me." They have never had someone upon which they can rely ... like REALLY and forever. It's all new ground for us. It is difficult and it is scary. It is exhausting.

I can get a burger and fries in under three minutes. My 2009 brain would love it if healing came at a fast food pace. Wouldn't that be super? Sure does screw with your patience, though. We have been manipulated into thinking there is a quick fix for everything. We're just all sitting around and reminding ourselves how today is just one small chip from the big mountain ... one more notch on the chart ... one more positive in the negatives ... one step closer toward one another.

And my, oh my, is the day dragging ...

11 comments:

T & T Livesay said...

Cheering. loving. praying.

TracyC said...

If you find the key to fast food pace healing, let the rest of us tortured mums in on it too, 'kay?

Emily said...

The idea of fast-food paced healing just makes me laugh. And hope!

Lisa said...

Before I got J I had the notion that this would be like fast food. Hee hee...the joke was on me.

Jena said...

Oh, Christine...
I have lived the time and space of healing....
It is long and hard a painful.... and there is nothing that can take its place...
healing is not from a burger joint.

J-(from nothingtoprove)

J. said...

oh how I longed for burger joint solution last night as my child raged on our front porch - I hear you about the twilight zone, that's a good one.

kristal said...

keep on, christine. i'm so proud of you all for entering the twilight zone with all its fears, unknowns, and risk.

Sara said...

Wow...dad was at the session? That must have been big and scary. Regression sucks. Pure plain and simple.

Brenda said...

That is a good comparision. I'm sorry for the regression but it shows progress has been made. ((((hugs)))) and prayers as you try to make it through this day.

Corey said...

I think the hardest part about the idea of fast food healing is.. I wouldn't MIND if it was 8 course meal healing.. if I *knew*, if I believed, if I was SURE that the things I was doing were right, that there could BE healing, that my kids could be okay at the end of all of this. Because it's not like giving them antibiotics 3x a day for 7 days and you know at the end of it everything is all right. There are so many different schools of thought and people telling us what to do and how to handle it (and people telling us this doesn't even EXIST.. idiots!) that it's like shooting in the dark and hoping for the best. And yes, all parenting is, but we all know this is different.

Christine said...

C, I sooooooooo know exactly what you are saying (as I sit here watching my daughter rack up more and more and MORE spelling words to copy because she absolutely refuses to let me be mom today).

I have had to embrace the fact that I will get my kids as far as I can get them - whatever that means. In reality, they HAVE improved drastically since coming into our family. Yet, they have sooooooooooo far to go. I don't know where they will all land. I just have to know it will be better than if they weren't with me and weren't getting these opportunities.

Oh gosh, that is so easy to SAY ...