Did you know my last post on Felt Safety applies to parents as well as their traumatized children? Yesterday proved that I rely on felt safety just as much as my children do.
We were getting ready for church, it was 15 minutes before we needed to be out the door and the dam that has been steadily holding back the pain of the past weeks broke. It wasn't pretty, nevertheless I knew I had to go to church because I was scheduled to teach Sunday School. Dean told me to go to bed, assured me I wasn't going crazy and said he will take care of things. There is something about having someone strong and capable to take care of things that is so freeing. Dean decided to stay home as well since he wasn't sure he wanted to have both Lia and Joseph, plus Kiana when they were all worried about mom.
Of course Kiana panicked because obviously mom wasn't as strong as she thought and maybe it was her fault that mom was sad and maybe I was sick enough to die and ......
Later in the day I sat down with her and we had a little chat. I should have kept track of how many chats we have had in the past years. Anyway, I asked her why she throws fits for mom and not for other people. She immediately had the answer, "Because I know you are strong enough to handle it."
"Well Kiana, mom is kind of the same way, I knew dad was strong enough to take care of you while I rested. If it would have been a school day I would have kept going because I would know I need to take care of you. Just like you sometimes get upset and hold it all in until you are at home."
Kiana nodded and I asked her if she was worried that it was her fault that I wasn't feeling well. She nodded her head, because she knew her behavior has been a bit challenging here of late.
"It wasn't you," I said and went on to explain how my withdrawal makes me feel sick. "That is why mom has been sleeping a lot and why I sometimes feel sad," I concluded.
I know my withdrawal symptoms trigger my children because in some way or another, my feelings of instability remind them of their life before joining our family. Sometimes it feels as though my children never get a break, their past is always nipping at their heels ready to stir up trouble.
In hindsight, I think we all needed a day at home to recuperate. The children decorated a packaged gingerbread house, Dean played Q's Race To The Top with them, we read and took long naps. Now to conquer Christmas and vacation! Any tips on how to fill the day for children who need routine but cannot handle much stimulation?