Confession time, here, folks….. I’m not SuperMom. I’m not Wonder Woman. In fact, I spend most of my days thinking my attachment challenged child would be better off if raised by wolves than by me. (Thank God for his father!)
So if I feel that way, you ask, why do I write this blog being all cheerleady and gung ho and you can do this? Is this my “public” face and behind the curtain you see an entirely different person?
The first six years of dealing with the attachment issues, I was alone. No one else saw what I saw, including said father. I didn’t have the support, the encouragement, the little pushes, that are necessary to get through the rough spots. In fact, I couldn’t even find any blogs that told the truth about the other side of adoption, where the rainbow pony eats the heads off neighborhood children and poops fireballs. So I thought it was really all just me. By the time I found a blog that told the truth, and found my way to a support system, I was pretty far gone. I’ve come back a long way since then, but I’m not back. I now have the support, including therapists and spouse and teachers who now all see the behaviors I’ve seen for years, but too many years of thinking and believing it was all my fault has taken it’s toll. I don’t know if I can help my kid. His father can. I believe if I keep trying I will help him, and knowing that right now I have a problem and if I keep working on it I can help my kid as well, that it will happen. I believe that, my heart says differently, but my mind tells me to keep moving forward.
And so I hope to prevent others from getting to the point I got to, where you’re so down on yourself that you are ready to give up. Where you think you are the only one who has the problem, because the internet is filled with happy rainbow ponies pooping Skittles, where even your spouse thinks you have the problem and not your child, and no one else sees the side of the child that you see. I want to encourage you to keep going. Keep searching. Keep trying. You are not alone. Lean on your brothers and sisters when you need to, and lift them up when you can. I came back far enough to be able to do that – encourage others. And I’m not lying. I do believe these kids can heal. I do believe parents are run to the ground and feel like failures when the reality is, they are not failing, this is not a short term recovery but a life long one for these kids. We may never “see” the change we’ve made in their lives, but it’s there. It may be not perfect, they may still end up making really bad choices in their lives, they may still end up in jail, but we have made great changes in their lives for the better. Because we can’t see them as “normal, neurotypical” kids we think we’ve failed, but what we have failed to see is where they would be had we not been there for them and a part of their lives. Things would be so much worse. Yes, he may rob banks for a living but he would never, ever hurt a child or kick a puppy.
So hang in there, and I am by no means claiming I’m an example for anybody. I just don’t want you to give up on yourself, because doing so will give up on your kids whether you mean to or not. So hang in there, fight the good fight, and know with your brain and your heart that you are making a difference for the better, even if you don’t see it.