The moon was very visible today. Late afternoon even, it was still completely visible in the sky, and I couldn’t help but marvel at it as I walked to my van. But even when I can’t see it, I know it’s there. I don’t need to take it on faith, really, because it’s effects are constant: it affects the earth itself, the tides, and it can even block out the entire sun at times. It is a constant force.
Such is trauma with our kid. My mostly healed son was ranting at the misbehavior of some foster kids who were visiting our home. He was going on and on at how the siblings were attacking each other, not listening, etc. He ended his tirade with “Boy, you guys sure got lucky with us!” An expression must have crossed my face in that split second, because his big grin faltered and he said, “Didn’t you? We never acted like that, did we?” I just smiled sweetly at him, which he knew (correctly) meant oh hell yeah and he turned way muttering to himself, “We were like that? Really? Oh my gosh poor Mom and Dad! I can’t believe we did those things! Oh boy!” That’s the first time I think he ever crossed that line of understanding in his mind. Now in a day, a week, a year, that trauma will raise it’s ugly head again in that child and his behavior will show it and he’ll have yet something else to work through and he’ll forget all about this experience, but for now, he is starting to understand himself by learning through their life experiences. But the force beneath the surface, for now invisible behind the sunshine, is still there, is still guiding him, driving him to some degree. Our goal is to weaken the force, but it will never be completely powerless.
As parents of trauma kids, we need to remember and understand the force the trauma will always have in our kids, even when fully healed and attached – it does not mean the force is not still there affecting their decisions, thoughts, and emotions. Like the moon, it will always be there. It doesn’t mean we have failed as parents, or even screwed up at all. It truly is a power in and of itself.
Hang in there –