You might be feeling like this parenting of attachment/troubled children thing is way over your head. Yes, you’ve given it your best shot, you’ve done so for years, but you are not SuperMom/SuperDad, and you’re just not cut out for this type of thing, so why are you even here in this life? Wouldn’t someone else be much better at this than you?
There’s only one Mother Theresa. There’s only one Ghandhi. The rest of us are, well, nothing special. We are a pile of achievements and failures, skills and lack of skills, strengths and weaknesses…… just like everybody else. So no, there’s not really someone out there who’d be better than us at this gig with our kids, and the fact that we are even in this gig at all IMHO makes us SuperMom/SuperDad.
You may look at your neighbors with jealousy, especially this time of year, with graduations and all the Facebook postings of caps and gowns and cakes… and you wonder if your kid will ever graduate. Or maybe she’s already dropped out completely. And you wish you had that life, the easy one. Easy is nice, of course, who wouldn’t want easy? But what you are doing is spectacular. Incredible. Astonishing. You are sacrificing your life – literally, your career, your finances, your fun-ness in a lot of cases, for the life of a child. You are in a life and death struggle on a daily basis to save this child. Wow! You are amazing! Anybody can do laundry for a kid who never gets dirty. But you – YOU – do laundry for a kid who lives in dirt. And you keep doing it!
I know you’re tired, I know you feel defeated most of the time, and I know this child has pretty much sucked all the life out of you. Get some respite, do some self-care, fill up your tank, but do not quit. Do not give up. What you are doing is more important than graduation caps and gowns, tassels on cakes. What you are doing is something even Mother Theresa and Ghandi did not. They didn’t take the people they served home with them…. so while they may have sacrificed earthly possessions, you are sacrificing yourself, pieces of yourself that you can never get back, for the life of this child. And you are doing it willingly. I say I’d rather have parents in for the long haul than missionaries that come through for a short time….
No one is going to make you famous. No one is going to put your face on the cover of Time or quote you. But that’s not why you’re in this. You are fighting for a child, the life of a child, against the dark enemy of trauma. This enemy has no mercy and it is relentless. But it can be beaten. You can win. The battle is not easy, and you will not walk away unscathed. But you can do this. Whether or not you see the spoils of your victory, and most likely you will not, continue the path. Continue to fight. Call it a spiritual battle if you will, a battle against an enemy you cannot see or touch but you can definitely see the wounds of.
Hang in there. You honestly and truly are – SuperMom and SuperDad.