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A Thought

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

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“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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Friday, May 3, 2013

Peering Over The Edge

In my
last post,<---(linked) I wrote about why traumatized children cling to chaos.  Today, I'd like to write a little bit more about our experience this past week.  It was a journey into chaos and the journey back out.  Please join me. :)

As many who read my blog know, our newest daughter, home 2 years and 2 months, came to us through some very difficult circumstances.  She was full of fear, anger, resentment, misunderstanding, and much more when she came into our lives.  We know that the Lord called us to bring our darling home, and and that He also promises to walk with us as we trust Him.  And walk with us He has!

As I write this, my girls are getting ready for Friday Night at the Movies.   They are laughing and cheerful.
This was not the case much of this week.  Instead, chaos came to visit, and tried to stay.  It would have been easy to allow it, or join in by buying into fear, buying into the negativity of trauma, and doubting that healing really does take place. It would have been easy to say, kids with this much trauma can't heal, or obvious FASD issues make healing futile.  Those are lies.

As I have said before in other posts, when somebody takes many steps backwards, they are getting ready to lunge forwards in healing.
But why the downward spiral?  I touched on some of this yesterday, but would like paint a clearer picture. 

I know that our sweetie has seen the "Grand Canyon".  Not the real Grand Canyon, but,  if the Grand Canyon could represent all that is wonderful and right about the world she lives in, and all that will be wonderful and right about her future.... she has peered over the cliff and seen it.

Getting there has been hard work, and that was just the rim.  Getting a glimpse of the canyon, was a fearful experience for her. Why?
The reason is, because even in the world of normal, problems are still there.  Bad things still happen to people, and there are hard things to solve.  We learn to walk through them,  and conquer them.
She chose  to cling to the old familiar.... chaos..
This past week, a perfect storm brewed and came to a head.  As our social worker Kathi put it,

"This sounds like the perfect storm of hope, fear, anger, need, and trauma. It is all that Purvis and Post and Forbes talk about in one huge dose."
    And she was right.

It was a huge dose.  But remembering to stay present, stay calm, presenting a united front (tidal wave) of unconditional love brought the Perfect Storm to a halt!   I love the words of Christ in Scripture when he calms the stormy sea, "Peace! Be Still!".

We rested last night, and made some plans to bring our sweetie closer for a little while.  That means, going back to a more therapeutic parenting style, as some of her fears have returned.  The explosions in Texas and the Bombings in Boston had a huge effect on her fear level.  To a child with a trauma background, it can feel like their entire world is collapsing.
The memories of the past rushed in and reared their ugly head and before we knew it, she was a big mass of anger and fear.

Many do not get that an angry child is a fearful child.  If we only dealt with the obvious anger and not the root of what was causing it, it would be like pulling the top of a weed off and expecting it not to come back.

Instead, we addressed the entire problem.  But we had to start from a place of love in ourselves, not fear of the future or what may happen.

It is hard to look past the behaviors into the root cause.  But there is peace there. And in being at peace, we can help our children who are suffering, through a crisis.

Today, our sweetie is doing really well. We have definitely made her world smaller and will continue on that trajectory for the forseeable future, until she feels completely safe once again. She is relaxing in our love for her, and in our conversations, she fully understands that the life she can have, living in a healthy, peaceful way, is attainable!

 It doesn't mean the past never happened, it just means that how you interpret it, and deal with it, comes from a strength within that will turn all things into life lessons to achieve something better.

You don't have to let your past dictate your future. 
And you don't have to let your fears overcome you and rule over you. These are the lessons we learned this week.

We also were reminded in a very practical way, that LOVE NEVER FAILS, and love never gives up. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever!
I can see her hiking in that Canyon someday, with great confidence. :)


MamaV said...

I had a very safe and loving childhood, but was indirectly exposed to violence and trauma. I definitely recognize signs of fear in myself when something happens to remind me; bombings and dissolving marriages both make me edgy. This post is so helpful! I am so happy that you have been given the grace to love Alli unconditionally. I pray for that for all of us who are parents.

Aus said...

Lot of great stuff here! We too have notice that there seems to be a "back slide" before a leap forward - and concluded a long time ago that the cause of the 'back slide' was the "fear" that the change would bring - no one likes change - at least on a basic level of "personal growth / change". So we just love and accept it - support it and push on! I personally find that keeping my "eye on the prize" helps me parent through these times - but what ever works for you is what you need to rely on! (Or just fake it til you make it!!)

As for the raccoons - OK - but remember that as they mature their true nature will come out - there is NO SUCH THING AS A TAME RACOON!! And - until you have tangled with on you have no real idea how much physical harm they can do to you - claws and teeth! Move 'em out as soon as they are weaned!! Honest - their DNA does not support taming - it just doesn't!

hugs - aus and co.

Christie M said...

Thank you Mama V.
I too recognize signs of fear in myself because of past trauma. It helps me understand my girls. :)

Aus, I agree about the raccoons. But they are not ours. My guess is they will learn from experience. The babies already have some huge claws!

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