Saturday, September 17, 2016

If You Would Die Now, I Wouldn't Have To Worry About When It Will Happen - Learning To Trust

Our church has a week of revivals every fall, some years we are able to attend most nights and some years like this one, our children's trauma rears it's head and keeps us home.

  Yesterday we were determined to go, come what may. Then the children came home from school..... and two hours later our plans changed. 

   A certain little miss was over the top defiant. This defiance and blatant disobedience has been building up ever since school began and yesterday it boiled over. I know it stems from the fear of abandonment but is there ever a time for the child to face reality or do you just excuse the behavior and blame it on trauma? 

  Joseph was over tired so he went to bed and Dean took Tristan and Lia with him while Kiana and I sat down to tackle the problem at hand. 

   "Can you tell me what is bothering you?" 

Our children usually give a list of superficial issues in an attempt to keep us from getting to the root issue. Talking about big feelings is painful for them so they avoid it whenever possible. The trouble with that method is, you never resolve issues if you bury them and refuse to talk about them.

   Kiana listed the surface things that bother her such as, "I am wish I had as many gifts as Lia" (She just had a birthday), "I am sad about B..." all of which are legitimate big feelings, but not the root issue.

 "I am afraid you will die and sometimes I wish you would die now so I don't have to worry about it happening. If I am mean to you now, it won't hurt so badly when you do die," was what finally came up after 20 minutes of talking. Poor child! I had figured as much but to actually hear her say it was tough.

 Many years ago I had post partum depression which brought on a deep set fear that Dean and Tristan would die. The turning point for me was talking to a woman who's husband had passed away from cancer. She said, "Sandra, it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all."

I tried to impress that fact upon Kiana and we spent quite a bit of time talking about it, but Dean was the one who really helped her understand. After Kiana and I were finished talking she told Dean what we discussed and he had some good thoughts to add to it.

  "Remember how you feel after you have spent the day disobeying and being unkind? You feel like you have ruined your day, right?" Kiana agreed so Dean continued, "But think about the days when you are obedient, you get extra privileges and you are kind to mom and dad, when you go to bed you feel good about yourself, right? If mom were to die and you had spent your time being mean to her how do you think you would feel?"

  "I would feel terrible!"

"That would be an awful feeling," Dean agreed, "But if you had done your best, you would be so glad, right?"

 "I would be glad, but I would still be really sad," Kiana said.

"Yes, but think how it would be to feel bad about what you did and feel sad on top of that, that would be a really big feeling," Dean explained. 

  "So what do you think would give you the biggest feelings, obeying mom or disobeying her?" 

"Disobeying, but it is so hard to make good choices!" Kiana wailed.

"It is hard and you will mess up, we all do," I explained. "Sometimes when you are disobeying, I am kind but sometimes I get angry, right?" Kiana grinned at me because she knew what I had in mind, just that morning I opened my mouth before I got my frustration under control. 

"We all make mistakes but we must try, you haven't been trying  lately and that is getting you into trouble."

"If you try your best and ask Jesus to help you, he will but if you don't try he won't help you. You must do your part even when it is really tough. That is part of growing up!" 

She has been trying to make good choices and her mom has been trying to be kind and patient. It is a work in progress for both of us!!!



 We talked about Marshmallows kittens* and being kind to our new/adoptive mom but I will write another post about that.




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This post has been shared at Thank Goodness It’s Monday at Nourishing Joy.
Monday's Musings | What Joy Is Mine

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