Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 1 - I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

I don't think I've had so many people tell me I suck, in a 24-hour period. Yet, I can take it, cause I'd do the same to you. Knowing I'm not alone in this Attachment Challenge makes is easier.

Oh, who are we kidding? No it doesn't.

So, how do we actually DO this when we don't want to? Why did I get four million emails yesterday, asking this question?

To start with, I would suggest making a big, phat blog post about it so you know approximately 800 people are checking in on you daily (crap, what was I thinking?). Some of you are setting your phone alarms as reminders - genius. I have already started a chart, and I'm X-ing things off with a Sharpie.

But really, how do you DO it? Well (note: Christine is about to piss you off again, so grab something to throw) ... you remember that you are the grown-up.


The adult in this situation.

Your child did not ask for their trauma and they did not ask for you. They just want a friggin' chance in this world, and this little challenge does not even barely braise the surface of what we ask of our kids ... not even close.

Yes, we are traumatized. Yes, we all have cortisol levels off the charts. Yes, some of us actually have PTSD because of our experiences with our very own kids. Yes, yes, YES! These are not just words. I am not throwing around exclamation points lightly. For some of us, this is triggering a physical reaction. We are committing to something really, really hard. And holy hell, if we can't do THIS ... we cannot expect our kids to do their end of the work.

Friends, if we don't do this, we'd be idiots to think our kids will ever do the work in our home. These are just the basics. They are not optional - they are vital. If we can't force ourselves to do the basics, WE NEED HELP FOR OURSELVES.

Did you read it in the comments yesterday? The underlying theme bubbled to the surface - if we are having such a reaction just thinking about doing this, then it is obvious we need to do this. We need it as much as they do.

How can you take the pressure off of yourself? How about tell your child that the TWO of you are going to join a challenge. Show them your chart! Tell them you will both win a reward at the end of the week. Then, you have added some motivation to the mix. You know I don't mind being honest ... so here goes. I HATE the part of the challenge where I let her choose what she wants to do. Hate it. HATE IT. Yesterday was hair braiding day. I had already started this whole thing. So for most of the DAY, she got to choose TV programming, where we sit, etc. I let her ... multiple times ... and today it is not yet easier for me to do that part of the chart.

I'm not there. Not feeling it.

But I'm gonna' put on my big girl panties, and I'm gonna' do it. I'm telling myself what I tell my child every single day, "What will happen if you do the right thing? Are you afraid you might die? Well, let's try it and find out. If you die, we'll have a lovely service and play all of your favorite songs." I joke, but I'm realizing this week how little empathy I allow myself to have for them in those moments. For Pete's sake, I don't want to let them choose one fun activity a DAY. I don't want to give them that little tiny bit.

Yet, I ask them to give me everything. I expect them to be strong beyond comprehension. I expect the 10-year-old to be more brave and take more risks than the 37-yr-old.

That's screwed up. I'm screwed up sometimes.

So, start throwing whatever you have in your hand. That's your computer that will take the hit. ;)


johnsonweider said...

YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Hang in there. :)

MommaRalph said...

Didn't you recently post about doing exactly the opposite of what you feel like doing? It seems that this is what the attachment challenge is about! :) It's what you don't feel like doing that you most should. I agree!

P.S. My husband has an interesting way of motivating me (think yelling coach) and he often answers my whining about the kids' challenges with "I know but the difference is that YOU are the adult." Hurts but it's the brutal truth. I think my mom forgot to tell me that I had to grow up at some point! ;)

You continue to be an inspiration Christine - someone who understands me and tells it like it really is!


Jennie said...

I'm reading along as an outsider here, but I can't stop reading because I want to cheer you along. ((hugs)) Now, you - go hug!

Anonymous said...

Good job girl!! Keep rocking the Casbah!! xoxo

Shan said...

You are doing it! You're doing it! You CAN! YOU CAN!! I'll do everything just short of a herkie to cheer you on from over here. I'm stretching to work up to the bigger jumps still but I've got my virtual pom-pons up and shakin'. WOO-HOO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You had even more empathy at "bad smells". I did not know this interesting fact.

Hang in there marathon runner!! You do NOT suck!!

Country mom said...

Alright, I am right there trying with you, though my kids have informed me that this is their first day of summer and they don't want to do something with me, they want to play outside with no adults telling them what to do. Hmm, OK, so maybe tonight, but no way am I going to fit in 20 minutes with each kid. I have been doing hugs, everytime I check on them. (with the four youngers, one teen is working all day and the other doesnt' like hugs - aspergers not RAD)

Ruth Chowdhury said...

I don't have traumatized children (and I'm trying to keep it that way by not doing it myself. heh heh) but I wanted to let you know I'm praying for you all in this challenge & I'm very inspired & becoming more & more enlightened & knowledgeable about all this as I read. It helps me know that you are not perfect (yes, it's hard to remember that... you are awesome!) and that there is hope for me. I also wanted you to know that I have been using something you said (as a pp mentioned): When my kids are throwing fits, disobeying, yelling at each other, etc., I am asking myself, "What do I WANT to do?" The answer is usually (okay always) something I really shouldn't do. So I've been trying to do the opposite. This is very hard for me, but it makes me feel SO good when I do it! Yeah, it stinks being the adult sometimes. But they deserve all the love I can give & more. Thanks for sharing your heart, experiences, & knowledge!

Diana said...

Love you, girlfriend! Thanks for inspiring all of us!

Elizabeth @ TexasEbeth said...

This is actually a good challenge for any parent, regardless of RAD or lack of "issues". So much of your parenting advise helps me and my son doesn't have RAD. We were blessed to adopt him at birth. Stinks on ice being an adult though......

(wonder if I'll ever get such an interesting wordverication ever again)

Kerrie said...

Oh. That's right. She DIDN'T ask for me, did she?


yes-I'm a man said...

Why don't they just get hip to the fact that we are trying to "save" them? I mean, don't they know how bad off they were? Don't they know how much we've sacrificed for their sake?

Thank you for the reminder, Christine. No, they didn't ask for us to save them. We chose to do what we are doing for the sake of someone who we were told may show the very opposite of appreciation.

Still, loving these kiddos is the right thing to do. I, for one, will not give up. You don't, either.

Jennie said...

hey girl. xxoo. I DO love that you've asked us to do this.

I'm adding a bit to your challenge. posted it today on my blog in case you want to link.

The question I'm asking RAD moms to ponder each day through this challenge is what element in their childhood or adult relationships do they suffer from that prevents them from loving everyone unconditionally, RADishes included.

plus, super awesome motivational video linkage.


T & T Livesay said...

You are the shit Moers.

Sans roundworms.


Summer said...

Hang in there, you can do it! Sending mental hugs your way.

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Thanx for being the role model here and wearing your feelings and fears so beautifully for us to see. Thanx for llaughing about and still oving our imperfections and encouraging us to be better because our kids deserve no less. I need the weekend to heal and get my game face on for the challenge.

Kerrie said...

Apparently I do not know how to post a link. Sigh.

familygregg said...

Let my 14 year old girlie sit on my lap and drive into the driveway. She giggled the whole time and thought I was the BEST mother ever!

But, when she asked for a back tickle I was too tired, grumpy, unwilling, and selfish to give I said, "Not now." As soon as she wakes up though...she's getting one.

Even after lots of HARD work over ten years...and lots and lots of growth and healing...there are still many stupid triggers.

Hannah_Rae said...

Ugh. Feeling very week and...well...frustrated. Very frustrated.
I really don't like the reality that I have to be willing to do the work, or how can I expect my sons too. I don't like that I feel like I should stay in control, and expect them to give it up.
This is too hard I think.