Friday, September 4, 2015

Why Trauma Sucks

The really cool thing is that these children have a great chance of healing. The screaming rages that come with the healing process eventually give way to more effective forms of communicating the fear of intimacy, the sorrow of self hatred, the grief of losing birth parents, and the anger that its all unfair. 

These kids DO absolutely heal. By the grace and very hand of GOD, these children, DO absolutely heal. Its an ugly, messy, and very loud process....

The screaming....
it serves several purposes. 
One purpose is to push away the people trying hardest to get close. Its scary to be close to someone...intimacy is painful for these children...the fear of losing that closeness is greater than the secure feeling that lasts only moments.

So they say awful, horrible things, scream as loudly as possible directly in the parents face, seek out things precious to the parent to destroy them, anything they can do to push the buttons of the one person saying, "I love you". Oftentimes, this destructive behavior would work and the child would receive a new caregiver (move to a new foster home or a different orphanage worker). 

It is really hard to look through those behaviors and know the motivation behind still see the scared and hurting child beneath and continue to reach out to the same child again and again, to want and desire to make those small momentary connections that slowly build to create trust. 

How often we adoptive parents get it wrong! We forget, for only a moment, but its long enough and we take the bait and snap, yell, react, seethe...and inside that child feels victorious that they finally succeeded in causing the parent to react. 

What's a parent to do when they realize they've been duped into reacting? 

Apologize from the deepest part of your heart... "Junior, you deserve to be treated better than I treated you. I am deeply sorry for yelling at you. I could have handled that with more patience and I could have told you, without yelling, how I felt." 

Believe it or not this can build trust. It is not often that a caregiver apologizes to the child for negative behaviors. When the apology happens it can catapult the relationship to a new level, but, no, not always....

Trauma sucks because it isn't fair....even the abuser is likely to have been abused and was a victim and the cycle continues.

Trauma is awful but they do heal...there is HOPE!

Psalm 31:24 
Be strong and take heart,
    all you who hope in the Lord.