–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 Lorraine Fuller It’s a feeling special needs parents know all too well. My most recent experience happened on a cruise ship, on a vacation with extended family. One evening, I couldn’t sleep. My son had gone to a teen party and everyone else had gone to bed early or was off doing something else. I went walking and decided to get a slice of pizza – 24-hour pizza is one of the perks of
–by Lorraine Fuller Back-to-school time involves mixed feelings for so many of us trauma moms. We might look forward to the respite it provides. I am a stay-at-home mom and while I love my kids, I enjoy the much-needed break at the end of a long summer. The routine my child thrives on is easier for me to keep up with during school. Plus being able to grocery shop without my son stealing is nice.
–by Lorraine Fuller Summer can be difficult for parents of special needs kids. The schedules are different, it’s hot outside, and there is no school. Some parents don’t get a break. I’m one of those parents. I used to love summer, but parenting a child with trauma and attachment issues has made summers difficult. Still, there are some things that might help. If your child can handle it, look into community activities such as day
–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 Donald Craig Peterson Manager’s note: you can read the original post on Craig’s own blog, Adopting Faith: A Father’s Unconditional Love. Craig also has a forthcoming memoir, Adopting Faith: A Father’s Unconditional Love, and you can follow his son Andrew’s story by clicking “Like” on the Facebook page, Andrew Peterson Goes for the Gold. ____________ The past month at my house has been rough. More surprises than usual. And not the pleasant variety. To be honest, I’ve been
–By Hilary Jacobs Hendel Manager’s note: The ATN blog is pleased to announce the addition of therapist and author Hilary Jacobs Hendel to our lineup of regular contributors. Although not as adoption- or attachment-focused as some of our other bloggers, Hilary’s work on core emotions and “The Change Triangle” provides precious insight into both our children and ourselves. Enjoy! What ‘Mad Men’ and Don Draper Taught Us About Trauma and Shame originally published on Hilary
–by Julie Beem In my last post, I wrote about a mom in search of an appropriate consequence for her daughter’s misbehavior at school. I suggested that an at-home consequence (taking away Wednesday night church activities) for an in-school behavior might not be the best approach, in part because children with brains affected by trauma lack neurotypical cause-and-effect thinking. Today, I’m going to address two other reasons such consequences usually don’t work. First of all,
–by Janyne McConnaughey, Ph.D. Staring at the analog clock in my therapist’s office, I wondered which hand was the big hand and struggled with my need not to go over my time. “I can’t read the clock,” I said. It was awkward because I was 62, but I really wasn’t. This awkward therapy moment is brought to you by my dissociative disorder. It was a watershed moment in understanding one possible reason for uneven learning
–by Julie Beem There’s a phrase my daughter spits out in anger and rage. One that does not contain obscenities or obvious threats, but still strikes fear in my heart. The phrase is, “It’s Just Like Mother’s Day!” She usually says this through gritted teeth in almost a growl-like tone with her face contorted. Even those who have no frame of reference can tell that she does not have a sweet, positive memory of Mother’s Day.