Saturday, July 04, 2009

Lest we forget ...

I get in the middle of life, and I forget.

I watch the kids playing with their Webkinz, and I forget.

I get really, really annoyed by some nonsense chatter, and I forget.

I find myself immune to the little bitty controlling behaviors throughout the day, and I forget.

Then, a child starts to act out. I know to "rewind" and help them back up so they can tell me what it was that triggered these feelings. They talk about a friend who picked a fight. They had a scuffle. By no means is my child ever 100% innocent in such a situation, but this particular kid took a position of power and was not backing down. Usually my child orchestrates their life so they always have an edge and feel in control (certainly not healthy or healing, but it's their long-ingrained survival mechanism). As my child talked about it, I watched them slip into a flashback. Their breathing changed. Their fists wadded up. They could not sit still. There were tears mixed with a look which wanted to kill. That one altercation brought back the abuse. They saw the same look in that child's eyes they used to see in the face of their abuser. Talking about it was too much. Their feelings were so mixed - my kid wants to hang out with friends, but also had feelings that we abandoned them and did not keep them safe. All of these thoughts and feelings are still swirling.

I forget.

The same day, another child was pushing some limits. I had noticed it over the past two weeks with all of our travel and change of location and schedule. So, I brought it up. Not only did my child admit they were trying to soften the limits so they could slip back into some previous behaviors, but they also talked about pain in their past. These are things they have glossed over before to protect their heart and mind. Not this time. In a very limited way, my child told me - for the very first time - how certain things continue to haunt them and hurt them deeply. It rocked my world. It was gut-wrenching to realize how very real and horrible this was for them. So confusing. So very, very painful.

I forget.

Later that night I sat alone. I closed my eyes. I imagined someone taking my children and doing those things to them NOW ... making them experience them right NOW. For some reason it is easier to forget when it is in the past and we were not even woven into their lives at that point. I cried, because I had to stop thinking through the pain continuously. I was too much for ME. Knowing if it happened today, they would cry out for me. Yet, in reality, they went through these things feeling completely alone - not even knowing any other way to feel. It was HORRIBLE, but I felt like I had to take myself to this horrible place, for my children. Their brains take them there regularly.

I tried to count all of the losses they experienced. Some I knew. Some I had to guess. Even then, I think I didn't come close to their reality.

So, on this typical American, long holiday weekend, I am not going to forget.


familygregg said...

Oh, the grief when we realize their wounds. I do believe that the Lord gives us glimpses when we need them. If we knew everything all at once....we would drop dead and die.

Mamita J said...

familygregg said it right. It would kill me to endure what my daughter has lived through.

Our kids are survivors.

The more we remember their pain, the more loving our responses are.

Keep on keepin on.


missionarymama said...

I was up with our adopted daughter last night til way after 4 a.m. She was having an uneasiness in her spirit and haunting thoughts of evil that plague her to this day stemming from her time at the orphanage. She was so agitated, scared and confused. Watching her go through this is sometimes a very helpless feeling. I can't imagine what it would feel like to struggle for sleep almost every night. I admit that it's trying and exhausting and at 4 a.m. this morning I very much wanted sleep; only to remind myself that sleep comes easy for me, but not for my sweet daughter. Her nights are filled with tormenting thoughts and uneasy feelings that I can not even comprehend. I sit and listen and pray over her and encourage her as best I can. I got back in bed and secretly prayed for the Lord to come quickly to relieve my daughters pain and suffering. It's so devastating for a parent to watch their child struggle so much. The only way to get through it is with the Lord's strength. My God shall supply all my needs.

Sara said...

I am reminded of something one of my college professors talked about when he really wanted to drive home just how powerful the spirit/soul of a person is. He told us of a phenominon that happened in some slave ships on their way from Africa to America. Some entire hulls of slaves were lost. Not because of any illness...but simply because as a whole, they gave up and died. No wounds, no illnesses, just...dead. So when I hear about awful things that people DO live through...I am reminded of just how strong of a spirit they must be. Your children lived! That alone is huge could have just as easily gone the other way. What amazing survivors. Such strong wonderful souls. What a blessing that they DO have you now. I hope that the Lord blesses the whole house with healing balm and living water.

Hope said...

It is easier to forget isn't it?

Lisa said...

Excellent post Christine. We had another declaration last night and it is so hard to comprehend. I wanted to go curl up in the fetal position because the pain they have gone through hurts my heart so much. May I always be mindful.