I'm currently handling things. You know those times when you can only say you're "dealing with things" because you feel like you're sludging through quicksand wearing swimming flippers and your bikini bottoms are on backward when you have no business wearing a bikini in the first place?
That perfectly describes the past few weeks for me and my relationship with Zane. It has been hell. I've been so angry that I've lost all touch with what I'm supposed to be doing. I begrudgingly cuddle him every night and read him stories. I do the things for him that I'm supposed to do but I'm just going through the motions. All along I'm mad at him and I'm on the edge of a cliff that doesn't even hang over water, for goodness sakes. And when I'm not actively mad at him, but I'm back in the place of compassion and understanding I'm mad at God for doing this to us.
I've been known to cry out to God pleading for an answer to my big, fat, overwhelming, omnipresent
I've yet to get a real answer, but when I back away from the ledge and I come back to reality and I stop feeling so damn sorry for myself I recognize some answers to the why.
A lot of parents would see him as a bad kid and add to the damage with brutality. Jon and I are willing, if not eager, to learn what we can about how to best help him. We're open to nearly anything that will heal his heart and we're really determined to never give up. We definitely have our days of fear that we'll be visiting our adult Zane in jail, but most of our days are ones with faith that he is going to be nurtured and loved through this and he will find a way to be healthfully loving and loved. We currently play this for him nightly, both while we cuddle him and for the rest of the night, on repeat. We reinforce the positive statements by saying them to him along with the lady. Because we really do believe in him. We just fear some of the possibilities.
I have a really, really troubled background. My parents have failed me across the board in numerous ways and Jon is downright amazed at how "healthy" I am, given where I come from. Frankly, if Zane hadn't started presenting symptoms of RAD years before we knew what it was I don't know how invested I would be in putting an absolute, 100% end to the legacy of abusive and neglectful women in my family. But, because I've watched Zane hurt and I've seen him struggle -and reach out for what hes most afraid of even though he usually fights it as soon as he gets it- I know, firsthand, how much having someone's unconditional love can heal that. And the love I have for Zane is immeasurable. I have experienced immense pain by being his Mom. Things I could never explain to you, because the layers of the actions are just too complicated to write down. And, I don't love him because of that. I don't love him in spite of it. I love him because I see what's really going on. He's SCARED TO BE LOVED. A crazy concept to most, but it is exactly that and the more I push to remind myself of that the more I can offer him in terms of absolute, unconditional love.
This has allowed me to see my own behaviors that directly related to my lack of attachment with my Mom. Thankfully, things never progressed or whatnot to the degree of RAD, but I had a very different first few years than Zane. Regardless, however, I've seen how easily I can detach when I'm getting close and I see how I can be cold and feel entitled and be afraid of those closest to us. I see how I can push people away who are here to help, because I'm quite certain that the more they get to know about our family the more they will be repulsed. And, it's all in my head, as it is in Zane's. As Christine has said before... raising kids with trauma will force you to deal with ANY shit you have been holding onto yourself. She knows what she's talking about, cause it sure does! I appreciate the opportunity God has given me to see my own shit and to deal with it. It may cause big anxiety sometimes and it may be extremely uncomfortable but I don't want 20 more years to pass and be in a separate place from my own feelings. I don't want to be miserable with myself and not even know why because I never spent the time to figure it out. I don't want to be stagnant.
So, sure.. there are some extravagant "why"s that have been answered, but when my heart is feeling like it's dying inside it's easy to fall in the trap of believing I'm doing it all wrong and I'm not helping him and I'm not a good Therapeutic Parent and I should just go away and he'd be better off. But, alas... that's me dealing with my own shit and that's my traumatized heart dying and providing room for my healthy heart to grow. Growth hurts.
So, during these past few weeks because I've allowed myself to lose sight of the positives in our lives and the change that is happening in our house I've not been doing what I should be doing. I've only been able to really help Zane out of his big feelings a few times and I've yelled more than I'd like to admit. I AM SUPPOSED TO whisper and I am supposed to reach out to my support and I am supposed to watch my therapeutic parenting videos and I am supposed to keep all of these tools and all of this hope at the very front of my mind. I haven't been and you know what? It's not okay, but it is okay to carry on forward and not dwell on it any longer.
So, I've decided to give it another go at the Attachment Challenge!!! I'm excited, of course. I know I need to get back into the groove of doing what I need to do every day (okay, well... during my period, I'm kind of forgiven, but I'm still aiming high) and I'm hoping that bringing this back up will help me do that.
And this, friends, is how I've moved from "dealing" to "handling". I put my hands back in the game and I'm not going to sit back and give the cards to everyone else. I'm getting back in the driver's seat and giving it another go. This time, though, I have no intentions of documenting it every day. I've got lots of pants to make in the evenings, anyway.