–by Laura Dennis It’s not the lying. It’s not the cursing. It’s not the stealing. It’s not even the violence and aggression. It’s the shame. That’s what I hate most about Reactive Attachment Disorder. Let’s start with my shame. I didn’t want to be ashamed that my child had problems, but I was. I’m the mom, after all. I’m supposed to make everything better. Even now I sometimes crumple under the withering glances when my
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD One day, well into my first year of therapy, I caught myself trying to manipulate my therapist. Not that I hadn’t been trying all along, but I hadn’t recognized that what I was doing looked distinctively like manipulation. Suddenly, I found the connection between that and my inability to ask for help. At issue was my need to schedule another appointment. The therapist had always taken this initiative (because I so
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD I sat on the floor next to her. I understood her fear of abandonment, the trauma she had experienced, and how her mother had been unable to provide any form of comfort. I watched her body shake uncontrollably and offered a blanket. I knew she would not want me to hold her. As we sat, I thought about how this had all started the day she was born. My cognitive understanding
by: Laura Dennis “So many unanswered and unanswerable questions.” That’s how my December 29 journal entry ended. One month later, not much has changed. The same old questions are still chasing each other round and round in my head, all thanks to Saroo Brierly’s A Long Way Home. Haven’t heard of it? What if I tell you it’s the memoir that inspired the recent art-house feature, Lion? Still nothing? Learn more about Saroo here – http://www.npr.org/2014/06/22/323355643/with-memories-and-online-maps-a-man-finds-his-way-home –
by: Julie Beem It’s coming. There are ads, ads and more ads for flowers, clothing, chocolate…and Hallmark. Any preschool worth its weight is making handprint art and churches are planning luncheons and other celebrations. Ugh…it’s Mother’s Day! What a train wreck this holiday can be for families of traumatized children, especially those who were formed through adoption, fostering, kinship, or stepparenting. Our children have more than one mom – and which one should be honored
by: Deborah A. Novo It is natural to feel apprehensive and scared navigating through some of life’s challenges and expectations. Much of the time, we can do this with confidence and competence. However, scared doesn’t begin to identify the depth and breadth of the feeling that is experienced when our children with Reactive Attachment Disorder anticipate or perceive abandonment. The feeling could be more accurately described as panic and terror. People outside the child’s inner
By: Jane Samuel
I knew the minute my husband pulled out of the lot and darted across the street to drop me at the pharmacy that it was a bad idea. Our youngest had run back into the retirement home where my father lived to retrieve a forgotten item and my husband thought it would be quicker to pull across, drop me, and run back and get her while I shopped. Problem is he didn’t tell her. He just figured he could get back before she noticed. Wrong.
By: Julie Beem
There’s a lot of talk about resilience being the antidote to trauma. Lots of workshops, books, and training programs talk about building resilience in kids as a way to counteract the impact of trauma in their lives. On the surface all this seems to make sense, but it’s always puzzled me. What did people mean by resilience, and why does it appear that my child has none, even after years of parenting her?
By: Jane Samuel
Last week I took our middle daughter out of town for four days to attend her close friend’s confirmation – in another country. Despite all her healing I still worried this trip would be too hard on our youngest – now ten-years-old and adopted at one. Luckily for her – and I – she was naïve as to how far away I would be (a long plane flight) and only knew I would be back in “four sleeps.”
By: Marc Deprey
I’m not sure this is some great revelation, but this idea came to me this morning and it put a lot into perspective for me. We all know as adults (or at least I hope we all do) that we can’t expect the world to fit to us, that we know down deep that we need to fit the world and meet its basic requirements. That’s a fundamental truth we accept almost unconsciously and it allows us to navigate things pretty successfully overall.