Friday, February 19, 2016

Trying To Regain A Lost Bond

       Sometimes I want to make everything okay for my children. I want to make their decisions for them and set a course so they have no choice but to take the right path, even though forced obedience isn't true obedience. It would be noble of me if I wanted to do this to help them, and don't get me wrong, I do. However another equally large part of me, wants them to succeed because I don't like working through the junk their junk stirs up. Selfish, I know, but unfortunately it is the truth.

   There are times, like now that I wish I would have given my children anonymous names so I could share a little more freely about some of the things we experience. I could just be quiet but I have this burning desire, a need even, to share what we are learning. Perhaps it is a passion of mine due in part to all the pain we could have avoided if only someone had told us about Connected Parenting, about parenting traumatized children back when we started on this journey. Anyway, I didn't use pen names and even if I had many of you would know exactly which child I am referring to. I will simply refer to this particular child as Johnny. 

   Johnny is afraid to love me. I can guess at his reasons why. Reasons like: what if you stop loving me, I don't want to betray my loyalty to my birth mom, what if you would die and so on and so forth but none of those fears is the big reason that keeps Johnny in constant emotional pain. 

  Johnny won't talk, his lips are sealed. We do know that Johnny is afraid he will hurt my feelings, which is ironic, because he is continually hurting me by his nasty actions.

  The light has gone out of Johnny's eyes and we seldom see a genuine smile. He smiles plenty of fake smiles, laughs and plays with his siblings but he usually ends up in tears because his big feelings get the best of him.

  We have tried everything from begging to pleading and even a few things we knew wouldn't help, like bribing. I know bribing isn't helpful but when you are desperate, you are willing to try almost anything. I long to have my happy little Johnny back. 

   We placed Johnny's name on the waiting list with a local therapist. This problem has surfaced off and on over the years since Johnny's adoption and Dean told me he thinks it is time we introduce a third party into Johnny's struggle to bond with me and I agree. Although I must admit the thought of more attachment therapy, makes my stomach churn. Seems not so long ago we were doing this very same thing with another little man.

   Those memories make Johnny's rejection of me extra hard, it brings back memories. Memories that bring pain. It is amazing how quickly I can be transported back in time to those days. I can feel the utter loneliness of being the only one is on the receiving end of a little persons big feelings, my heart races and a cold sweat breaks out on my brow. I struggle to remember I am dealing with a totally different situation. I panic and worry that Johnny has RAD even though I know that isn't true.

    I am trying to go out of my way to connect with Johnny, hoping that with time, love, patience and lots of prayer we can regain the ground we lost. It would be easier if I knew how we lost our bond. I go over and over it, trying to figure out what went wrong, where did I fail? I think it just can't be, why didn't we see it before now?

    But when I look over the past year, I know why we didn't see it, our minds were occupied with B. We were working through the emotions his move brought on and we thought the children were doing okay. Living in regret doesn't help and with God's help we will conquer this new battle.  

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