Monday, October 17, 2005
Troubled versus Traumatized
Jose and Fabian
Somehow God has given me the ability to live with a bunch of unfathomable children and not go nuts.
It could be due to my goofiness that I am usually not bothered by their antics. Sometimes they push my buttons but, overall, I think I handle the ridiculousness of my life fairly well.
It could be said that I live with several quite troubled children but, you know, they wouldn't be troubled had they not been traumatized by losing so many caretakers. Even those that abused and neglected them still broke a bond. How many bonds can be broken before the child is too traumatized to be reached? This I don't know but I am certain, from experience, that it takes many, many years to heal, and then to learn to love and to trust.
I was dogging Chuy this morning about not loving me. He is undemonstrative but is a very intelligent child. He's been here for 40 months and has never initiated a hug. NEVER. This morning he said, " I DO love you but I don't want a hug." That's actually progress folks. I can live with that. Interestingly enough Chuy is very drawn to a caretaking role with my grandbabies. They are not an emotional threat to him like I am.
Jose, Chuy's birth brother, was labeled LOC 3 (Level of Care) and was nearly at the unadoptable stage due to his emotional disturbances. When I visited him in Texas I also was alarmed and I've put up with quite a bit of emotionally challenged children. The entire first year that he lived with me was demanding and emotionally back breaking. He had huge rages, meltdowns and attempted runaways. I was called to school on numerous occasions. He could hardly go 10 minutes in the house without a problem. He was also on huge doses of Remeron, Tegretol and Risperdol 4 times a day.
40 months later he is medication free, helpful, charming and a teacher's pet at school. His Sunday school teacher told me yesterday that Jose is hungry for knowledge.
To what do I attribute his turnabout? I don't know. Maybe it was due to love, commitment, stability and security but if that were the case...what about my other kids like Fabian? I du truly believe in my heart that all my children were placed here by God. Not by my homestudies, my pushiness or due to the fact that I was the only study in on many of these sibling groups. I deeply believe that each child was placed here for a reason that I may not know yet. So if I believe that, which I do, then I have to believe that we will survive and thrive through all our many difficulties.
I thank God that I was given the ability to see them as traumatized children and not as little Hitlers determined to exterminate me. Just because they act this way sometimes does not mean that they are this way.
I know that they love me and I know that they are grateful although many would rather gnaw off their left foot that express gratitude to me in any way as that would then be their admission that they do actually trust me and that they appreciate me. That would be giving me the power to hurt them and it's going to take awhile before they'll trust me with at that level.
I'll see that later as my other children have demonstrated to me.
I sat on the sofa watching a TV show last night with Marcela (age 24) and Daniel (age 20) and silently thanking God that my cool grown kids will actually hang out with me.