Tuesday, March 6, 2018

9 Thing's Trauma Parents Need

We need people to listen. I sometimes fear I sound like a broken record when I share details of parenting brain challenged children. My children have various levels of trauma and brain damage so our lives are spent preventing behavior's. Sadly, we are finding that while our children grow physically, in a lot of ways their past trauma still has a huge impact on them.

We need empathy, not sympathy. A smile, encouraging word, or hug means so much. Don't feel sorry for us. We realize what a privilege it is to parent our precious children, but we sometime's lose sight of that. When we begin to feel that meeting their needs is more of a burden than a privilege, your kind words may be just what we need to help us get our thinking back on track.

We need friends who aren't in the trenches of trauma and brain abnormalities. It is healing to be able to unload your latest "poop fiasco," to a friend who can share her own horror stories in that arena, but we need friends with whom we can talk about everyday things like flowers, coffee and the latest book that just came out.

We need people who will encourage us to step out of our trauma life from time to time. It is so easy to get caught up in the chaos of day to day life that we forget to maintain relationships. Constantly having to think ahead to avert a melt downs drains my brain so that the thought of planning, going and doing seem's overwhelming. Then I just stay home. This isn't healthy.

We need people who won't give up on our friendship. I shudder to think of how many times I have forgotten to return a phone call, forgotten a birthday, forgotten an anniversary.... caring for brain challenged children is a full time job, but we still long to be connected with people. Sadly sometimes a full brain means we simply forget. A special thanks to all my wonderful friends out there who continue to include us, even though we are forgetful.

We need people to pray for us. I cannot count how many times I was sharing a particular struggle and a friend said, "I will be praying for you!" That means so much. I have two people who often assure me of their prayers. It makes me feel so unworthy! They have their own family's to care for, but they take the time to pray for us! What a gift!

We need people to acknowledge our pain.  When someone comes alongside you during a dark moment and says, "I see you doing hard things, and I just want you to know that I care," it somehow makes you feel as though you can climb mountains.``

We need people to remind us that God has a purpose and plan for both us and our children. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that there is a reason for the struggle's we face. We need to be reminded that even though it feels as though we are losing ground, God is in control.

We need a break. Getting a babysitter can be tough, but there are times when you need some time away from the chaos to regroup and refresh your brain.

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