I love roller coasters. The thrill of standing in line listening to the rider's scream as they hit the dips and turns and come back all giggly or terrified of the thought of riding again excites me. I love the thrill of buckling in the seat and waiting for the click sound as we start to move and then the adrenalin starts. You hang on and wait for the first big drop off and then somewhere along the way you start to think “what was I thinking?” each twist and turn leaves you breathless or a little bruised from hitting the seat. You hit the bottom and say “Again! Again!” Completely forgetting what you just went through...... you go again.
That is how my life was all through the summer and fall. Each day I felt like when I woke up in the morning I was buckling into my coaster seat and waiting for the ride to begin. Some days just the idea of getting into the seat was enough to make me want to get off the ride. I never knew when the dips and turns would come but I had to be ready.
Because Little R struggled with ODD (oppositional Defiance Disorder) and attachment issues she rarely did anything that was asked of her without an argument or tantrum. Something as simple as come to the table for dinner led into an hour long tantrum. Rarely did we make it through shower time without a blow out of some nature. Some days she would tantrum the entire day from the moment we would open her door and say good morning until we left her screaming in her room at night. Those were the days I was ready for lots of twists and turns and adrenalin charged drops. On those days I would find myself bruised physically and emotionally. This would always make me say “what was I thinking?”
Little R was struggling everyday to come to grip with the idea that someone could love her. Someone could take care of her and not hurt her. Someone would want her….really want her and that adults could be trusted. She struggled with stripping away the past and moving toward a healing future. The pain she was feeling inside she took out on me and Mike daily through kicking, hitting, biting, and lashing out with hurtful words. I remember one of the therapists saying to us that when Little R was angry she wasn’t “seeing us” she was “seeing” the people who hurt her, left her, failed her and we were just the safe people she could trust to get all of that out with.
I remember during one day when the dips and turns and twists were starting to be to much Little R had been tantruming for hours. She was exhausted and sweaty and had been physically punishing me and I was exhausted to. I found another boost of adrenaline and I held her in my arms in a baby hold and started to rock her and she screamed and struggled. I began to sing to her and pray for her and cry for her. It took over 30 min for her to start to calm down and with tears still streaming down her face and her hair matted with sweat and tears streaming down her face she feel asleep against my chest just like an infant would and she coo’d at me. My 9 year old little girl who was so afraid of being loved was allowing me to love her.
At the end of each day as sleep crowded in I knew that I would be saying “Again!Again!” and preparing for another crazy ride.