Well, it's been a while since I've been on here. It's been a pretty busy month. Sonnie is getting more active (fun!) and her colic has definitely been in full force (NOT so fun). My oldest also came back mid-August from a summer full of camps & time up north with his adoptive dad. Now we're officially back into the swing of the school routine & almost to "normal" life with me returning to work next Monday (boooooo!!!).
I'm not gonna lie....these last few weeks have been STRESSFUL. I'm learning that with a trauma-related adoption, each developmental stage means that many things that were learned before emotionally have to be re-learned or processed at the new developmental stage. Let me just say: we've hit a new developmental stage. Add that to my growing belief that we've made less attachment progress than I would have hoped to by this point and you've got one stressed out mama.
I find it so hard to talk to people about this b/c most don't understand it. They see a kid that can talk easily with them, "seems to be a happy kid" in school (direct teacher quote every year), etc. When I try to express our difficulty at home, in moments when I just need to talk, I'm often seen as only seeing the negative or getting down on him. My least favorite quote: "all kids his age do that". I know it's all well-meaning. I don't doubt those who mean to help. I love them for it (well, there's a few that just offer "advice" to hear themselves speak and put me down to make themselves feel better; those folks can take a flying leap. The rest of you I love your heart & intention.). But sometimes, all I'm really looking for is to be understood.
Well, tonight in my worry-induced insomnia, I found it. An article that describes in many cases EXACTLY how I feel about parenting a child that struggles to attach. One that acknowledges the love and uncertainty that can uniquely be found in this situation. Every day I feel like I've given him every piece of me; and every day I feel like I've failed him. I imagine many people would say that all parents feel the same way but trust me, they don't. Not like this. Every day I feel like I have nothing left to give; and every day I feel like I've not come close to giving enough.
So here's the article written by Marleen Kasbee. One that I'm certain I will reference often as I continue to seek out the best helps for my son and our journey to attachment. Hopefully it helps explain the times that I seem a little less than myself.
Taken from http://www.attachmentdisorder.net/You%27re_Not_Alone.htm
SELF-BLAME: Many moms have the misconception that they should be able to solve their child’s problems (super-mom syndrome). The worst of all feelings! We are angels, not gods.
GUILT (on many levels) ........:
DISTRUST of:1) Without knowing any better; most of us have lost our tempers (or worse) with our RAD child2) about how we often feel toward our child: (let’s face it -------- their disorder makes them hard to "like" let alone "love" sometimes)3) that "we" let our family fall apart (the God thing again)4) that we don’t spend enough quality time with our other children, our spouse, and, in taking care of ourselves5) that we are having trouble forgiving our child for past behaviors ………….. BIG ONE!6) that we are angry with God for this tremendous challengeANGER (or betrayal or feeling frustrated......)1) at our HUSBANDS: for not believing us or noticing the child’s strange manipulations, for not understanding, for not supporting us emotionally, for countermining our new parenting techniques (usually by loosing their temper), for not being as committed in using the new parenting techniques or reading the materials, for "saving" the child when he/she didn’t need saved, for not helping us when we needed helped, for leaving it all to us2) at the system or adoption agency: Cries for help went out for years - bad advise and blame were given in return3) at our Attachment Disordered child: for doing this "to us" - we took it personally (saw the child "as" the disorder, instead of a child "with" an emotional disorder)4) at family and friends: for saying things like, "All kids do that!" ….and not understanding what our life was like5) at ourselves: for not being our "old self" or fun anymore6) at God: Why me?7) at everyone you have had to explain the disorder to and that you have had to explain it to so many.
DISCLAIMER: I struggled with whether or not I should post this in the interest of our family's privacy but really feel it's something I need people to understand. It's part of who we are, it's something we truly struggle with and I think it's important for people to have a greater understanding of what this is like. Too often we hide things in an effort to protect ourselves when really, it's more detrimental to hold it in. This is one of those times.1) ourselves - our abilities (feeling un-empowered)2) the system3) helping professionals (We have been given so much "bad" advice; we question even "good" advice)4) other supportsDESPAIR - LOSS OF HOPE: "Will it ever get better?" "Why read another book; nothing helps." "I’m tired."ISOLATED & ALONE: no one understands and we "believe" we can’t get respite from our problem childVICTIMIZED & BLAMEDOVERWHELMED: Many moms suffer from Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and secondary Post Traumatic Stress DisorderHELPLESS and/or FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD