–by Laura Dennis [NOTE: this post references this author’s faith as an aspect of her own experience. It is not meant in any way to proselytize, nor does it represent the beliefs of everyone at ATN.] I was crying. Again. I never know when secondary traumatic stress will rear its ugly head. I do know it can get awfully old. “It’s just that I hate Christmas,” I blurted out, trying unsuccessfully to stifle
–by Emerging Mama Monica Reynolds [originally published on the author’s blog, November 21, 2017] Another holiday season upon us! A season that for many is filled with joy, excitement, and celebrations, very often presents trauma families with additional stress and confusion. When we just want to chill and enjoy the celebrations like normal (whatever that is) families are doing, we are instead switched into extra-scaffolding mode, knowing that lax schedules, extra food and treats, gifts, and new
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD Manager’s note: A few years ago, I started buying my kids’ Christmas gifts to the mantra “something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.” Here are some ideas for the “read” part. Look for other ideas soon, as well as tips for trauma travel. And if the holidays already have you down, hang in there. Here at ATN, we’re on your side! In an upcoming
–by Sara Borgstede [originally published on the author’s blog, The Holy Mess, December 6, 2015] If you are a parent or a caregiver of a child with special needs, you know that the holidays are not always fun and joyous. Using my experience of many years of parenting children with special needs, plus help from a friend of mine, Riverbird, we have put together a guide with tips to help kids with special needs celebrate holidays. As
–by Hilary Jacobs Hendel There are many myths and “shoulds” about how families and holidays should be: Families should love each other. Families should get along. Holidays should be fun…To name but a few. The fact is: Many people do not have happy families, happy family memories or happy holidays. Therefore, holidays and families may trigger us to states of anxiety, shame, and misery. Perhaps your child is mean and insulting to you, or you
–by Emerging Mama Monica Reynolds [originally published on the author’s blog, November 14, 2017, just in time for the biggest food extravaganza of them all!] Just this past week, I discovered a new secret stash of food and food wrappers in my child’s bedroom. It wasn’t in the same place as the stash before, or the one before that, or…the one. before. that. Secret stashes of food and food wrappers are a sad reminder that while
–by Lorraine Fuller Time to confess some things. When I first started this journey of parenting a child with trauma, attachment, and other issues, I read everything I could get my hands on. I joined groups, attended classes, and went on retreats. I was determined to do everything right to help my son heal. From my reading, I got the impression that it was like a math problem: if I simply followed the steps and
–by Hilary Jacobs Hendel Originally published March 10, 2015 How can it be that a seemingly depressed person, one who shows clinical symptoms, doesn’t respond to antidepressants or psychotherapy? Perhaps because the root of his anguish is something else. Several years ago a patient named Brian* was referred to me. He had suffered for years from an intractable depression for which he had been hospitalized. He had been through cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, supportive
–by Julie Beem I’ve been to a handful of post-adoption conferences this spring and summer. After working with ATN for over a decade, I have been excited by the number of workshops and speakers addressing early childhood trauma, and in some cases citing the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study. I remember all too well the many years when trauma and attachment challenges were not openly addressed at conferences attended by adoption professionals and adoptive parents.
–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.