His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Monday, January 23, 2012

It Must Be In The Air

This is a detailed event that was very real today.  I don't like to air dirty laundry, but if it can help somebody else going through a moment in time of Trauma, then that is why I post.  My Alli is a very special girl.  She is loving and kind, sweet as can be and would never want to hurt anybody..... but sometimes she does. She just does.  Today was one of those days. :(

I  wonder what is in the air???  I have checked a few favorite blogs and it seems that today has been a Trigger Day.... Is it a full moon????

I was hoping, since I am still SICK, we would have a rather low key day.  But no.... That could not be.
Of course not! God chooses to work through our weaknesses.  And today, I was very weak.

We have had some fantastic weeks and I have known that trigger time is very close by.  Today, our sweetie insisted that she be given the same word list that her sisters get for school.  She declared, "If you don't give me harder work, how will I catch up?"
Fair enough.

So, I gave her the word list.  The requirement for all is to look the word up in the dictionary, write down the meaning, then write a complete sentence using that word.

She needs to do 4 a day to keep up.  After word one, she was stressed; after word two, angry... and after word three, dysregulated.  Translated:  She was ashamed because she couldn't do what her sisters could.
I reassured her that there was no comparison, and how her sisters have spoken English much longer and she has had so many disruptions in her life, so moving forward, is ALWAYS the right place to be, even if it isn't at grade level.

This did seem to satisfy her for awhile, and then, the bomb was dropped.  She was doing her reading and phonics and was seriously annoyed that I had asked her to complete her assignment before moving on to History. 
All of the sudden, I went from being the best mommy in the world, to mommy dearest.  I was the mean mommy, I was lying, I was uncaring, and then the bomb.... "YOU ARE JUST LIKE YOUR MOM!"

WOW! Where in the WORLD did that come from?  It was a true low blow.  I paused, and said, "THAT WAS NOT COOL!"  (way to go mom :/)
Thus, what ensued, shaped the rest of our day.  I was dealing with  a sullen pre teen acting like a toddler in full blown fit...She would not look at me, talk to me, let me touch her or cooperate in any way.
If I were a stranger looking in from the outside, I could have offered myself plenty of my own advice, LOL.... but I was in the trenches.

So, here I am trying to reason with unreasonableness.   I SHOULD HAVE walked out of the room, got some tea, prayed and relaxed.  When the temp simmered down, then I could have dealt with things. OR I could have just sat there  quietly and waited.  Instead, I engaged.  Escalated is a better word. I strongly dislike that word right now. :)

When I realized I had been sucked in.... I simply bowed out. I changed tactics.  She refused to sit up on her bed so I could help her with reading. (Like reading was going to get done in this type of environment)  But, being teacher, I had a schedule to keep.  So I tried.  Can you read this please?
NO. I can't read.    Ummm, of course you can read, you have been reading beautifully.
"I forgot the sounds"..  
Miss Alli, don't lie to mama, I know you know those sounds.... Now of course, I should have NEVER said that, because how do you prove somebody knows something they say they don't know at any given time, even if you know they do???  She was so angry that I said she had lied.... She was so so so sooooo Angry.....
The thought of Lydia Schatz's mother came into my head and I wondered, is this what was going on over there.?  Did she just snap?.. .and then I quickly pushed it from my brain... NO. NO. NO......
However, the thought caused me to shudder.  I quickly became focused and back in theraupeutic mode.... I HAD to concentrate and let the hurtful words she spoke to me GO.  I am the adult! I am the Adult!
Honestly, when kids say things that are unkind, I really don't think they see the ramifications of those words or understand how deeply they can wound. That is, if you let them.  If you can look at those moments as moments of a poor defenseless bird trying for one last battle before they succomb...it really is pathetic.

She was laying back down instead of sitting up, so I layed down too. She put her feet up under the bunk, so I did it too.  After a few minutes she said, "Why are you doing what I am doing?  She was truly annoyed and it wasn't my intention to annoy her.

I said, because you won't come into my world, so I guess I need to go into yours.  As I was in Her world, I focused on spiritual things, and quoted her  a few passages of scripture.  "Children Obey your parents, for this is right".... and "Honor your father and mother".....  I told her.."these are not things we can MAKE or force you to do. They are matters of heart and they are between you and God.  If I were to force you, it would make you angry. I cannot FORCE respect or honor.  She was quiet.  
She paused.  And then, she sat up.  We had a few minutes to pray together.
After that, she was reading.  She apologized for her behavior and told me how sorry she was for being so mean.  Of course she doesn't know why.  It doesn't matter.
She also apologized for lying, which was HUGE, because she had dug in so hard about not remembering.
Our son couldn't remember his school work many times because of brain injury. She too has had head injuries and I wasn't sure if this was part of the problem.  I honestly don't think it was. But I DO KNOW that a dysregulated child,  would have trouble reading.

Sooo, after we got that part of school done, she still had two more subjects to do. She asked, "Can I go outside and play first?"  My answer was, "No sweetie.  I know how concerned you are about catching up. And unfortunately, you chose to use your school time having a fit...so now you'll have to use your free time finishing school. "   I held my breath and she said, "Yes maam." 

I gave her a big hug!  She got right to work. 

Then, she regressed in a healing way.  She was happy and secure once again and acting abit like a baby. She opened herself up enough to be vulnerable to us.  She had found a baby bottle and for the very first time asked if she could use it.  We never do baby things unless it is child initiated.  I filled it with milk and she let daddy feed her. I was really surprised by this, because she has never asked about it really.
After she and daddy finished rocking, she seemed so satisfied.  She relaxed in his arms and he babied her a bit.  He is so good at going with the flow!
 So that was our day with Trauma over to visit. She is  now knitting gambling, with Erika in the other room.
WHEW!  What a day!  These times can be baffling.  But God knows what is going on in her heart and mind.  He know way better than I do, and I MUST remember to pray FIRST and speak Last.

Better days are ahead!  I think we made it over a few humps today, even though I feel drained and exhausted. :)

Erika and I picked out this sign yesterday and we hung it up.  Alli LOVES it! Tonight she pointed it out again and said how much she likes it. :)


Keri said...

Thank you for that post. I needed it:) And every single time I come here I am positively awed by how alike alli and my Nastia are. two peas in a pod. Its uncanny.

Thank you for the reminder that He works through our weakness. I forget that alot. Like ALL THE TIME:)

JJ said...

Hmmm...similarities indeed! ;)

Milena said...

I learn so much from these posts. I'm deeply impressed by your ability to handle those situations - and so thankful that you include the part where you're unsuccessful, because it adds to the understanding (since that is where I personally get lost...). I only wish that our host child was better at my language - or I better at hers..... because I don't even identify these situations when they happen due to lack of language, nor can I solve them if I do. But I will try better this coming summer, with all my new knowledge!!

:)De said...

So what do you do to fill your cup? I know last week we were going through the pits of Hades around here and after 2 days I was feeling so depleted and unsure if I had any more to give. I needed to refill. I forget to replenish some times. How about you?

Christie M said...

De , that is a really good question!

For the most part, I retreat into my room and just pray that the Lord will help me in my weakness. I also get into the bath tub and soak in a nice bubble bath and relax....(sometimes that can't happen, but when the kids are asleep it SURE CAN!)

I go to the grocery store alone or just with one. This seems to help me gain energy.
I attend a Monday night bible study which really is rejuvenating and also, plan to being a support group at a local coffee house.

I go out to the auto shoppe and talk with my husband who is always an encouragement and a great coach.... While I don't like to hear, "Why did you do that?" He also offers much encouragement. As a team, we work together to come up with ideas when we run into brick walls. :)

For the most part, things are rather nice around here, so those are always nice breaks. All of the the things I have mentioned are not costly.... (except the grocery store) I also think a nice trip to Starbucks with a lap top or to read a little is nice, IF you can.

However, I am not one to just try to get away. I don't like the thought of trying to 'get away' vs. "trying to regain energy". I think those are very different, and our kids KNOW the difference. I may blog about this. :)

Jo's Corner said...

I am crying. My heart feels warm and soft. I am so moved by the great love you have in your family. Not many would be willing to hold and bottle feed their hurting baby, their hurting 11 year old baby. Oh, but it needs to be done! It is healing for a hurt, broken little spirit. And, this is my opinion, but it's Necessary! It needs to happen for both of you involved. I just know that it helps brain cells to heal and recover from hurts that cannot be actively recalled. Babies thrive and grow and learn from being nestled in someone's arms..being pulled into an embrace that allows them to hear the heart beat. To feel the breathing...inhale, exhale. It just makes me SO happy that Ally and all of your children, get to experience something that is so Natural. Natural between an infant/baby/toddler and the Mommy and/or Daddy who "love them TO life". Knowing that orphans miss out on this CRUCIAL bonding hurts me so much!
Having said all of that, I am touched that Ally has reached a place in her bonding to actually "ask" for that comfort. And, that You and Daddy are able and willing to "do" it, when it would be easier to go with the anger and anxiety that so often accompany those "trigger" moments. Those daughters of yours are Blessed! And, they are Blessings! I can only imagine how He will use them to help others, because of the impact of what they get to see and experience during those moments! It's not a type of compassion and caring that is experienced and learned in just any family unit. Pure Love.

You Are Still Holy