Yesterday, when talking to a friend, I began to really comprehend the amount of current trauma my daughter is processing.
Mom left for longer than she has ever been gone since joining this forever.
LOTS of new people entering our lives over several days.
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd ... baby sister's birthday is this week.
In reality, that birthday thing is probably the BIGGEST part of our current behaviors. They are a guaranteed trigger. Throw in the fact that the Happy Janssens brought along a perfect new bestest friend for said sister and ... ka-boom. Not necessarily KA-BOOOM! But a ka-boom, nonetheless.
One of my kids is completely stuck. Old school, rockin' the retro behaviors, stuck. Will. not. talk. about. it. Constant stream of attention-seeking behaviors (tumping over things, hurting siblings through play, clogging/spilling/breaking, and last - but never the least - peeing where thoust shouldn't be peeing).
Read a great post by the Porter's, discussing how our kids cycle through the healing process: "The kids are always cycling in their progress, meaning they improve, then regress, then improve and regress and so on... "
I have many people talk with me with such worry - how it doesn't seem like the kids are getting better. They are. One child, with a history of trauma, has crossed into a new and completely age appropriate "normal." They are THERE. The trauma will always cause glitches, but it is rare that we have to have any major therapeutic interventions with that kid now. My other child ... not so much. BUT when you back up and look at the big picture of where they once were ... wow.
Not the same child they were two years ago. The dips in the cycle are significant. Yet, I can make you a list of things which are gone. I can make you another list of things which are now a part of the dips but not the everyday behavior.
This dip is kicking my tail. In this one we are back to a constant stream of behaviors. I walk away. I DO the right things. Yet, my mind is always there. I am always processing where they are and what is going on - even if they are just hanging out at a table!
And yet, even in this deep dip, things are better than in the past. This whole dipping thing reminds me of my first car. It was a '64 Lemans. Had no AC. Black vinyl seats. On cold days had to pop it in neutral and rev the engine at stoplights to keep it from dying. When I finally sold it for a newer car, the driver's side door would not open from the inside. I was totally Dukes-of-Hazzard'ing that puppy everywhere I went - in and out of the window. I would belly ache and complain.
Fast forward to our newly used van, which is GREAT and has AC in the front AND in the back. One little overhead light pops out of its casing and I'm all whining and moaning. Seriously? It's because I had a new normal. That first old car would get water in the FLOOR BOARD when it rained. Yup. Had to ask people to lift up their feet in the passenger's seat when you put on the brakes, because all of the water would come sloshing forward.
And now I huff over a little popped out light.
You get really used to those crests in healing ... tastes of a new normal. It's nice. It feels like you could take on the WORLD. Then, along comes a dip and even though it's not the worst by any means, you have forgotten. You cry. You moan. It FEELS just as bad or worse. IT'S HARD.
So, I'm stepping back to see the big picture. I'm still VERY frustrated. I'm VERY tired emotionally. I just don't want to do another dip. Hate the dips.
We'll get through it. We always do. I'll see you guys on the other side.
(photo by krrass)