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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dear Friend or Family Member

Dear Friend or Family Member Who Doesn't "Get It,"

You are receiving this letter because you are someone we love and value as part of our family.

Parenting children is one of the hardest tasks we can take on as humans and doing so in the best of circumstances has many challenges. We have had challenges and have tried always to put them before God and wait to receive His guidance and then commit ourselves to following that direction.
We don’t pretend that we have always done the best job of that nor that we always acted in a Godly manner. We will answer to our creator for our mistakes, just as anyone else will have to.

One of our greatest challenges, parenting in our unique situation, is the fishbowl effect of it. Our family’s challenges are often played out in more public ways than others’ may be. With that brings the opportunity for those other people to watch and formulate an opinion without necessarily having all the facts. Those ill-informed opinions in and of themselves may be harmless (we don’t believe
they are – they negatively affect relationships) if not acted on. When they are acted on, at the least they cause pain and hurt feelings, at the worst they undermine our parenting and do harm to our child.

What we ask is this: “let no word proceed from your mouth but what is profitable for building up.”
  • Understand that the decision you are judging is not yours to do so. 
  • Understand that we laid it before God and are acting on the guidance we received. 
  • Understand that we don’t know what will happen next year or even the next minute, but we are being obedient in this minute and leaving the future to God. 
  • Lastly, understand if you cannot do this, we will have to pull back from our relationship with you.
We have always needed your support, but if you can’t give it, please don’t tear us down.

Blessings,

A Trauma Mama
Shared with permission

Other good letters: 

A letter to grandparents of children with RAD - written by a grandmother

Letter to friends and family hosting holiday parties

Preparing the school (and others) for your child - includes lots of links to good articles

Trauma-informed approach for teachers and other team members

Other good letters and articles are in this post about School.
And this post about Holidays, Birthdays, and Other Traumaversaries

 The Frozen Lake Story

"In order to understand what an unattached child feels like, one must understand his perspective. Imagine that you are the young child who must cross a frozen lake in the autumn to reach your home. As you are walking across the lake alone, you fall suddenly and unexpectedly through the ice. Shocked and cold in the dark, you can't even cry for help. You struggle for your very life, you struggle to the surface. Locating the jagged opening, you drag yourself through the air and crawl back into the woods from where you started. You decide to live there and never, never to return onto the ice. As weeks go by you see others on the ice skating and crossing the ice. If you go onto it, you will die."

"Your family across the pond hears the sad news that the temperature will drop to sub-zero this night. So a brave and caring family member (that is you, the parent!) searches and finds you to bring you home to love and warmth. The family member attempts to help you cross the ice by supporting and encouraging, pulling and prodding. You, believing you will die, fight for your life by kicking, screaming, punching and yelling (even obscenities) to get the other person away from you. Every effort is spent in attempting to disengage from this family member. The family member fights for your life, knowing you must have the love and warmth of home for your very survival. They take the blows you dish out and continue to pull you across the ice to home, knowing it's your only chance."

"The ice represents the strength of the bond and your ability to trust. It was damaged by the break in your connection to someone you trusted. Some children have numerous bonding breaks throughout their young lives. This is like crashing them into the ice water each time they are moved, scarring and chilling their hearts against ever loving and bonding again." By Nancy L. Thomas

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