The Go Go’s song from the 80’s comes to mind right now with all of the twists and turns in the household. Therapy today only reignites the feelings and although a safe place for our daughters, they realize that all of their struggles and stress can’t be solved in a weekly 45 minute session. Driving to and from the session I attempt my best to distract, deflect and often play music at loud volumes that I normally can’t stomach (i.e. ever synthetic-laden hip hop/ r + b computer generated effort on most top 40 stations) all for the love of my children.
Right now both of my children want to go away from the home- but for different reasons. One is struggling to come to terms with a vivid memory of the past- another is struggling to attain any connection to the present. One gets jealous of the other when we have to focus our immediate attention on that person in their time of trauma. If either one is having a good day, I think the other wants them to sink into their misery, so they do whatever they can to lob stones and tattle tale to make thing as worse as possible. They both want mom’s attention- because dear old dad knows little about what they are going through.
The therapists both reminded the girls that as a family we would love to take separate vacations, but we can’t. Family is hard work. You may want to run away, but when you come back- have you really solved anything or have you just made an excuse to avoid the issue on the floor? Sometimes all we can do is take a vacation within our own mind- find our happy place and get in the right frame of mind to tackle the next moment or the next day with gusto.
So what will I do in the meantime? I’ll continue to provide love, support and guidance where I can. I’ll keep on doing the little things that matter to them- making sure they have good meals, hugging them as often as I can, congratulating them when they do something right and reminding them how special and wonderful they are. Even if all I can do is listen to the struggles of their day and remind them that everything will be ok- I know in the long run their resilience and ability to survive will allow them to heal. I wish I could quicken the pace of their healing, but everyone moves to the beat of their own head and heart.
There are times when you need to collect yourself. We are teaching our children to seek out help whenever possible- but not to become dependent on seeking out acute treatment facilities over a minor build up of stress. We want them to understand they really are stronger emotionally, mentally and intellectually then they probably give themselves credit for.
I admire their stubbornness at times- it’s a protection mechanism that will serve them well in other areas of life. Being in the pre-teen to teen years plus dealing with adoption must be a double whammy that I’m sure feels like the eternal roller coaster that never ends. In this instance though, a vacation isn’t the best answer- more understanding, more empathy and more patience to get through are the best methods we employ to ensure their survival.
When they feel their rage control their emotional regulation, we remind them that mom and I are on their side. Face the trauma within and you’ll never be without from others.