This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What it takes

Lulu at the blog, What Now, posted her thoughts about Faith A's blog at Adoption Under One Roof about what it takes to parent a traumatized older child. This got me thinking about my own answer to that question. In addition to agreeing with everything LuLu said on what traits a parent needs, which you can see here, these are a few more of the things I think it takes to raise my traumatized older children. Still not a comprehensive list, and I don't pretend to have all these traits, but like her, it's what I strive for!

Faith - a strong belief that things have happened for a reason, that you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing.

Counterintuitive - willingness to fight against your own instincts, sometimes even having to stand up to EVERYone believing that you are absolutely wrong, but you keep going - trying to do what you think is best for your child.

Stubborn determination

Acceptance - of your limitations, your child's limitations, the "system's" limitations... except when you need to fight against them and NOT accept them. (The Serenity Prayer comes in handy here)

Willingness to put your self and your marriage first - above the needs of your child(ren). Taking care of yourself, in spite of that feeling totally impossible because you just don't have the time, the energy, or it feels "selfish" to "neglect" your child to pamper yourself and choose your needs over the needs of your child.

Ability to continue on in the face of the absolute hatred of another human being for you, someone who is pushing you away as hard as they possibly can, who trusts no one. Who may even be abusing you or other members of your family.

Ability to deal/cope with the guilt - from your failure to "fix" it; your inability to protect a child (you didn't even know) from the horrible trauma that they suffered in the past and are continuing to suffer because their perception of the world is so skewed; of not being "enough"; for "inflicting" this child on your family, friends and neighbors; for not being able to always protect this child from family, friends, neighbors, the "system"; of not being able to protect your other children from having to deal with the realities of living with a traumatized sibling...


J. said...

yes, yes and yes - well said Mary.

Carol said...

Hi Mary, thanks for stopping by my blog and....more than that....thanks for this post and the included links--I needed that. A lot.