I have been reading the book “Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control (A love based approach to helping children with severe behaviors)”. There is a chapter in the book about parents being hostile and angry. It goes on in the chapter to talk about parents becoming hopeless and feeling drained of all their energy and resources. They start to question even having made the right choice to adopt and regret the way the home has changed after the child has arrived. They feel like after months and years of not receiving reciprocal love and respect and kindness from their child that their full heart of love they started with is now becoming dried up like a desert. They are angry and resentful instead of loving and open.
I have to admit that this chapter was exactly what I needed to read this week. I have been struggling over the past few weeks with my feelings of hopelessness and feeling drained. It is hard to explain to someone who has not experienced the day in and day out defiance, running away, tantrums, calls from school and how exhausted your body and spirit become. I have been feeling defeated, exhausted and not very therapeutic over the past few weeks and I just have not been able to shake the blues. But something else was said in this chapter that turned on a light bulb for me.
For months now I have been convinced that the lying, sassiness, tantrums, and hurtful things being said to me were targeted directly at me and intentional. I believed that she knew what she was doing and doing it intentionally. I was taking it personally and it started to attack at my self esteem and the core of who I am. I began to take offense and become hurt and wounded each time another comment by Little R was made and I was becoming angry and bitter toward her presence. Please do not judge, anyone who is reading this who has not adopted a behaviorally challenged child cannot fully understand that the bond doesn’t always come instantaneously and it is a journey, and I do hope that one day we will be bonded to each other. Some days she feels like an imposter in our home as she leaves chaos in her wake. There are days we do not have a quiet moment as she is screaming and throwing tantrums and angry and swearing at us. Life is not a fairytale it is the reality I live in.
But this book has given me a light bulb moment a glimmer of hope. What I took away from this chapter is hope that Little R is not intentionally trying to make me angry and hurt me. She is struggling with her past trauma and this is her way of expressing it as she is in a state of fear. We don’t always know why she is afraid it is her past traumas coming to the surface. But why then if I know this do her actions bother me so much. The chapter also provided some insight into the fact that during the time of helping your child deal with past trauma some of your own past trauma can start to come to the surface and you also go into a state of fear when you become angry and frustrated and pull away from your child. I was shocked, and didn’t believe what I was reading until I started to think about what things bothered me most that she does and how that may affect me personally. I was surprised to find how true it is that some of my past Traumas in my life of loss, esteem issues, fear of failure have resurfaced.
I have more work to do in this area, but it has helped me so much to see Little R’s behaviors in a different light and handle them differently. I am working on seeing myself in a different light also that I don’t have to be perfect and that when my child is misbehaving in public not everyone is looking at me and thinking I am a bad mother. I have to remember that when little R says hurtful things to me she is just hurt and feeling scared inside and I need to not take it personally. I need to remember that God is bigger than the tantrums, and the behaviors and the angry and the past trauma and he CAN heal this little girl and I am just the right vessel to help her do that healing I just have to believe in myself like God believed in me when he brought her to us.