Monday, June 29, 2009

Finding words for the pain

My kid set off their door alarm last night. Not to use the bathroom. Just ... well, it's a great way to get attention from the entire house at once. *ugh*

We had a conversation we have had before. Identifying the feelings. Talking about what we could've done differently. Creating a plan for the next time the big feeling comes. We will have it again. Probably a lot.

I'll be writing more on Bruce Perry's new book in the future (The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog), and yes, I will be driving you crazy talking about it. For now let me leave you with a quote:

"I also cannot emphasize enough how important routine and repetition are to recovery. The brain changes in response to patterned, repetitive experiences: the more you repeat something, the more ingrained it becomes. This means that, because it takes time to accumulate repetitions, recovery takes time and patience is called for as these repetitions continue. The longer the period of trauma, or the more extreme the trauma, the greater the number of repetitions required to regain balance."

Does it drive me insane when we have to rewind and replay these conversations and truths over and over and over again? Abso-friggin-lutely. If I had a nickel for every time I bang my head against the wall ...

Yet, I'll keep doing it. I'll pace myself. I'll share the load with my husband and family. I will model kindness and gentleness. I'll wake up every morning and pour myself another cup of coffee and I'll rewind and replay the same truth over and over and over again.

And I will buy extra band-aids for all the head banging.


Anonymous said...

You are amazing. I hope you know that.

Unknown said...

You said a beautiful thing here. "I hate that she lives with such fear. Hate it." and while i knew that of you....that just sums it all up. Keep on keepin on Christine. Your doing amazing.

Lisa said...

May I suggest you buy a well-padded helmet. While I'm at it...I'll suggest it to myself too.

Jena said...


Amanda said...

this was beautifully written Christine! I think about her each time I teach a psychology lesson about RAD. Love you guys!

Hannah_Rae said...

The constant repetition of the same conversations over and over and over and over and over and over and already driving me nuts. I think I need to invest in a padded helmet as well.

What I struggle with is not knowing what is defiance just to be defiant and what is really fear driven, or is there a difference?

Simply Moms said...

:) great post.

Not that they all aren't great.

Unknown said...

Hannah, in the last year I really have discovered that all of us exhibit anger, defiance and aggression based on a deep fear.

I had to really examine why lying and stealing really got to me more than anything else. Yes, none of us want our children to grow up to be criminals, but the truth ... the deep truth behind it was those two things diminish my control over my family and my home. Why does it eat at us when we cannot trust someone? Because we feel out of control. We have to always be on our guard. It's not a "Boo!" kind of fear. It is a worry ... a concern ... and it drives us.

So, yeah, you are always dealing with a fear and that deeply embedded rut ... his default. It has served our kids well through trauma. They will not relearn how to feel and react and respond quickly. Not even close to quickly.

Hang in there.

I'm putting skull and crossbone stickers on my helmet, as well as a sticker that says "I'm hostile and angry!" :)

Sean's Ladies said...

<3 you.

I am really struggling with the repetition thing tonight. Day in, day out, the same thing and then one night of respite and I pay for it for weeks. It makes it seem impossible.

Thanks for head banging with me.