GIrl missing for over a year, police just find out

This news story hit my news feed today.  An 11 year old girl was “just noticed” to be missing, over a year since she was last seen.  Mother refuses to say anything about the girl’s whereabouts and is currently in jail for “contempt of court” for not answering the judge’s questions.  My first thought was, OMG, and nobody notices? Neighbors? School? Relatives? Seriously?  My next thought was, contempt of court? Are you kidding me? Such a minor charge for such a serious thing!

The final thought I had was, this is what trauma births.  Trauma begets trauma.  Everyone can rail and scream at the mom, but I am damn sure she is from a trauma background herself.  Untreated, most likely.  And the kids she had left at home, now in the care of so-highly-qualified-CPS (is there a sarcasm font?), who have obviously been exposed to trauma by the very fact that a sibling is missing and no one else cared enough to report it, but you can bet there’s a whole lot more trauma in their lives than that, are they going to get on a treatment plan to address their trauma, work through it, and deal with it so they can live productive lives as adults?  If they live to be grown ups, chances of them living a trauma filled life and causing trauma to their children are so high statistically that no gambler would ever walk away from that table.

Until we wake up (those not in the know, if you’re here, you know already – the hard way, through the innocent cherubs you adopted that turned out to be not so cherub-ic nor innocent), trauma will continue to breed it’s ugliness.  Unless we can treat the youngest victims at the earliest stages of their lives, unless we take this seriously, this cycle will continue.  How can we (as one in the “know”) make a difference when we’re already so under water with our own family situations we’re using a straw to breathe?  For one, speak up.  Enlighten those who don’t know.  Educate.  Yes, in little bits and pieces, not a long barrage of how your life sucks (save that for your support groups or your blog) but educate about trauma and how it effects children.  Speak up about the need to revamp CPS to actually “care” about the children.  Support each other, either online or in person.  Join a support group.  Start a support group even if all you do is pass the wine bottle around once a month and pay the babysitters hazard pay.  Write a letter to your Congressional and Senate representatives about the need for more support, resources, and aid for foster and adoptive families in your state.  Join a grassroots organization that is pushing for these things, I know of several that have been started by personal friends of mine, because they saw a need and didn’t see that need be filled.  Even if all you can do is lick stamps or share info on your Facebook page, you’re doing something.  It doesn’t have to be hours a week.  It doesn’t have to be hundreds of dollars.  Another thing you can do is when the public gossips.  You know, when the stories hit the news and your friends gossip, your co-workers, etc.  Even your Facebook friends.  Stand up for what you know to be true.  Be willing to get flamed and don’t flame back, but stand up for the truth.  An example is the Rosie O’Donnell story where her daughter ran away to be with birth mom.  Drug addict, still drunk and high after 18 years, birth mom.  Yes, what we all dream of for our kids, to have THAT as a role model.  The media, the general public, blames Rosie and believes whatever the media makes up about her or twists the truth into being something bad.  Those of us in the know realize that the kid probably had trauma, FASD in utero and could very likely have Reactive Attachment Disorder, or a mental illness, having absolutely NOTHING to do with Rosie or her parenting or her gayness or her celebrity-ness or whatever else someone wants to blame it on, the girl came wired that way.  (And for the record, I highly dislike Rosie the celebrity, as a parent I don’t know anything about her parenting, BUT I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and not judge and even defend her to those who are judging because I am “in the know” about trauma kids, lying media, and lying kids, the effects of drugs and alcohol in utero, etc).  And maybe Rosie did eff up.  I don’t know.  But I’m not going to START there because everything that the girl has said that’s been published or posted doesn’t have the ring of truth of actual abuse to it.  That’s how we start to change things – by speaking up, for ourselves, for each other, by teaching others.  We need to learn everything we can and teach everyone we can.  Yes, a lot of times we teach our kids’ counselors about RAD and how to treat it because there are no good counselors in our area within a 4 yr radius.  We teach our teachers, our relatives.  We get backlash, we get called drama queens, we get called over-reacting.  But if we are all speaking up, if we all have the research and the knowledge and we defend each other – won’t that make a difference?  Won’t that at least make a statement?

I wonder.



Why humanity has not evolved

Trauma is not new to the human race.  It may be new to the DSM.  It may be new to the general public that you don’t just “get over” traumatic events.  It may be new to the medical profession that emotional trauma physically affects the body and brain, not to mention the mind.  But the trauma itself, is not new to the human race, or to human experience.  From Genghis Khan to the Holocaust, from feeding Christians to lions to the Spanish Inquisition, from stick figure drawings in caves to child porn movies, humans have shown again and again the ability to harm another of it’s kind without conscience or compassion.  The effects of trauma are genetically encoded in each and every one of us.

So then why are there good people in the world?  Why aren’t we all murderers, sadists, evil?  How can a Mother Theresa come from such a history?  The ability to overcome trauma, evil, cruelty must also be built in somewhere.  Not that everyone can – I highly doubt if Genghis Khan had a nice, happy childhood, rocked to sleep and cuddled.  So as society evolves technologically, in math, language, science, knowledge – how is it that trauma and its effects seem to be tearing down that very society, with the overpopulation of jails (where a high number of that population were in foster care), and a basic disregard for another human being?  Animal instinct of “me” vs. the evolved “us” that is trying to become?

I have to wonder if it’s because the highly evolved “us” aren’t really as highly evolved as we thought.  We may be smart in language, literature, art, science, math – but we aren’t smart in the human condition.  Individuals may have evolved to a “us” mentality, filled with compassion, selflessness, a willingness to get dirty and do the hard work instead of expecting someone else “less worthy” or “less educated” to do it for us, but as a whole, we’ve only evolved the outside appearance of the human race, not the inside.  It shows by how we treat the homeless, the mentally ill, the foster children, the disabled, the refugees, by how our “aid” programs have CEOs that make upwards of a million dollars a year for their “service” to the world, where it’s workers can’t be bothered so sort supplies donated for flood victims and hand them out because it “wasn’t their job”, a society that puts on a pedestal a fat guy who became a skinny guy – never mind his little fetish, how our version of “giving” is throwing money at something, aka a relief project, and feel we’ve done our part, never caring that little or none of that money actually gets to the people whose lives were devastated by the tragedy to begin with.  In other words, we just pretend to give a crap.  Pro-lifers who are really “pro-baby” because you see them parading signs at clinics but you don’t see them at the volunteering at the homeless shelters, battered and abused womens shelters, free clinics, or becoming foster or adoptive parents to help those babies who lives they’ve just “saved” or help the women they’ve just judged and put down who can’t afford to feed themselves, much less a baby.

Yes, trauma is not new to the human experience.  It just feels new because we’ve put on bling and sparklies, and so the obvious effects of trauma in our society show up so much more against the backdrop of what we pretend to be.

If you’re not a trauma parent, but know one, find out how you can help.  If you’re pro-life, become pro-LIFE and assist.  If you have money to give, know where your money goes.  Hell, fly yourself to Haiti and hire locals to build houses for those lost in the earthquake years ago.  The “big guns” never did, even though millions were raised!  Get personally involved with your neighbors, your co-workers, that cranky guy down the street who sits on his porch and glares at you when you walk your dog.  Stop elevating the Kardashians and start elevating people who really make a difference in the world.  Take that Armani suit you never wear, sell it and buy cheap suits for halfway programs for people who need clothes for job interviews.  Stop watching reality TV and go meet some people.  Stop tweeting and start talking face to face.  Be the evolution.  We CAN do this – TOGETHER.


Everyone else is doing it

So, here we go.  Let’s talk about race.  On my Facebook feed I get lots and lots of posts about how the country is racist, how the cops are racist, etc.  I’m not denying or arguing that, in many places in that country it is so.  And not just against blacks, either, racism is not “white against black”.  It’s anyone who thinks “their” skin color makes them superior.  It can be light-skinned blacks against dark-skinned blacks.  It is everywhere, but it is not EVERYONE.

That’s what I’m tired of hearing.  That if I disagree on a point about everyone being a racist because they’re white or disagree on a point, that they’re racist.

In Ethiopia, being “black” is a bad thing.  (Wait, isn’t that in Africa?)  There if you are “black” then you’re second class, lower, a “slave”… but if you are “brown” then you are ok.  My kids who are from Ethiopia were very upset at being called black when they got to America.

Since then, they have continued to struggle with racism.  It was black people that took them away from their birth parents (in their eyes).  When they came to America, they were very frightened of black people.  I’m not sure what happened in the various orphanages or holding homes they were in, but whenever they saw a black person, they would hide and cry, afraid they would be taken away from us.  Even if it was a neighbor, they would shy away.

When my eldest child of color started riding the school bus, he was yelled at one day by a black child his own age, “Go back to Africa!”  Now this other child had no idea my son had recently arrived from Africa, so it was ironic and funny, and confused the hell out of my kid.

After years of working on the issue of my kids being afraid of people their own skin tone, we finally got to a place where they felt comfortable and didn’t pay so much attention to it.  And then when get screamed at by a large black man in a parking lot “How much money you get for them nigga boys?  It’s all about the money!”  (He said a lot of other things, but that’s about all I can put in print, and it was directed at us, in personal ways.)  So, back to square one with my kids, who are now once again scared that a big black man is going to come take them away from the second set of parents as well.

So yes, my kids have experienced racism – by black people.  It’s going to take awhile to turn this around for them.  (Thank god we have such great neighbors and we can keep reminding them “Miss C doesn’t yell at you and call you names, does she? Mr. D isn’t mean like that, is he? People are jerks, their skin color doesn’t mean anything about whether they are nice or not.”)

Am I naive to think that someday they might end up in a place where due to the color of their skin they will be mistreated?  No, of course not.  And we talk about that with them, prepare them as best we can.  But in their world, the people who have mistreated them were black people.  How do you wrap that up in a nice neat package and explain it to a child?

So when we have these “race wars” on the media, on Facebook, keep in mind that not everyone’s experience is the same.  For my children, their experience is that black people are the racists, belittling them because they have white parents, a Hispanic sibling, even though they are as African-American as you can get, being told they’re “not really” African-American.

Racism is not a one-way street.  It’s not even a two way thoroughfare.  It’s more like DuPont Circle in DC was in the 80s, roads dumping in, veering off, and if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re just going to end up going around and around in circles, never getting anywhere.


I think we’d be friends!

I almost want to print this out on a flyer and hand it to everyone I meet, and add “adopted kids” as well. – realmom

“What do you wish you could tell ‘society’?”

“I don’t really have much positive to say to ‘Society’.”

“My kids have enough trauma without people being insensitive. First off people need to find a filter. Stop saying crap in front of these kids that you have no business saying.”

“Seriously, they are people with feelings, ya know? Don’t ask me in front of them if they are my ‘real’ kids, or what their parents did, or if I am going to keep them.”

“Also I don’t need you to count my kids and ask me if I know what causes that and if they are all mine. I assure you I know what causes it: a broken SOCIETY causes it, as well as a call from God to CARE for these children. If you need to have an opinion then find a way to help. The system is broken and a lot more people need to follow God’s call for care of orphans to fix it.”

“Honestly, I am doing the best I can to follow that call. If ‘society’ is not finding a way to help they are part of the problem.”

Standing ovation for this hard working foster mom!

Shared with permission from Humans of Foster Care #HumansOfFosterCare and special thanks to Humans of Foster Care for their amazing stories into the lives of the people that work so hard to help these kids. I’d repost every single one – I love them – but I think that would be cheating as a blogger.   Humans of Foster Care

This generation

As parents of RAD or attachment challenged children, or with mental illness, or other special needs that causes us to cringe when we take them out in public due to their incredibly rude and uncontrollable behavior (that’s NOT due to bad parenting), we (I) might be super-sensitive to every word my kid says that could be taken as rude or offensive.  I focus on my kid.  Recently I’ve been noticing “other people’s kids”.  Kids called normal.  Kids called nuerotypical.  Kids without trauma, kids born without drugs and alcohol in their system, kids who have been raised in a stable environment by the parents who birthed them, parents who feed them, clothe them, and in general, are decent parents.  And those kids are still rude, obnoxious and overall disrespectful to adults, much to the chagrin and angst of the parents.  In fact, a lot of the times, they act like our kids!

This got me to thinking.  I remember my parents talking about how “my” generation was so disrespectful and rude, and I’m sure their parents said the same thing, and so on.  And we are saying it about the generations coming after us.  Could it be that the “collective dna” of humans are still fighting against authority and the inner cave man is still trying to get free?  I don’t know, it’s a thought.

But the reason I ask, is because of this:  Are we asking too much of our kids, kids with trauma, kids with a real reason to be disrespectful to adults in general, and distrust them, to ask them to be Beaver Cleaver, when all around them, literally everyone else, from kindergartners on up, are twerking, calling each other bitches, and arguing with adults and asserting their “own” authority as if they know everything already?  I’m not suggesting let our kids be little assholes – there’s enough of those in the world – but it is making me realize that my kids have a lot more to overcome than just their past.  They also have to overcome their environment and their peers in a way I never had to.  I mean, in my day, “crap” was a bad word.  I clearly remember my parents being angry with me for using the word “man” in a sentence inappropriately, as in, “Hey, man, whatcha doing?”  I laugh at that now, because today, the f* bomb is going off everywhere.  In our nice neighborhood elementary school, the kindergartners are twerking at recess.  Trying to buy my 3 yr old a pair of shorts that or a dress that ain’t hootchie momma is extremely difficult.

So maybe it’s not just “my kids”.  If I really watch and compare, in those situations, frequently my kids are cleaner mouthed and better behaved when adults are nearby than other kids who were raised well from birth and have no issues.  Maybe I would be less stressed if I take a step back and realize that my kids are fighting their environment, too, and I need to teach them the right way, the proper way, to be, so that they can be successful in life, but that I don’t need to be so anxious and upset about it in the moment, or freaked out, because it really is around them constantly.  Not just from birth, or their bio parents and a bad environment, but from the nice neighborhood school, from the well-dressed twins down the street with the mom who drives a Lexus and wears Prada.  And maybe instead of fearing my kids are going to hell in a handbasket due to their potty mouths and disrespectful attitudes, realize that the whole generation is going together – and it’s not MY fault.  Just hng in there!


Today in my newsfeed…

The media was talking about how the family – aunts, in particular – of the Boston Marathon Bomber (the living one) on what a nice boy he was when he was a child, how sweet he was, how he would never hurt a fly, etc etc.

Here’s why this matters to us:  This is one of our deepest fears.  That our child grows up and commits heinous crimes and kills innocent people, then sits there, passively, and doesn’t care one bit about the carnage he created.  At least that’s one of my fears that I keep pushing down so I don’t think about it, burying it as deep as I can.  But here’s this kid, who by all accounts had a decent upbringing and life and love up to at least age 8, according to this testimony – and look where he ended up.  So most of us got our kids and they did not have a great upbringing before age 8 or whatever age we got them at, there was trauma, addiction, whatnot.  This does NOT mean our kids will end up there.  Good parenting/life experience before age 8 does not guarantee a good person as an adult, and neither does bad experiences guarantee a bad person as an adult.

Just as that kid was changed by some radical whatever the excuse is into a sociopath, then why can’t our children be changed as well, with love, with therapy, with every resource we can possibly provide, why can’t we rewire their brains, little by little, piece by piece as well?  It doesn’t mean we’re going to see the results at age 10, or 18, or even 25, because the brain is still developing at that point.  But we are still making a difference.  Read that again.  WE ARE STILL MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

So don’t give up.  Don’t give up hope, don’t give up the future, don’t give up on your kid or yourselves.  There are no guarantees.  There are no magic pills or books or spells.  But the brain is an incredible thing.  It can be healing while it looks like it’s not.  Only time will tell.

Hang in there.  It’s a marathon.


Rock that boat, baby

This is an opinion. IMHO. Ok?

Child Services or whatever the name it is called in your state is completely and absolutely out of control.  There is no oversight.  There is no accountability.   Am > saying that every person who works th r really is bad, evil and callous. Hell no.  But in general, the individuals within can lie, threaten and harass foster and adoptive parents.  They can get a bug up their a@@ about a biological parent and harass them (MD free range parents).  But it’s not consistent – so-called “free range” in MD, whereas no one was charged or condemned in Washington state when a toddler actually WAS kidnapped when children younger than the ones in MD were playing at a park alone while in care of a babysitter.  Why?  Because there are no rules.  It’s just what that person feels like on that day, and whether or not they feel like it.  The laws are simple – pretty clear, for the most part, on what constitutes abuse – but without oversight, accountability, children’s services can pretty much do whatever they want.

They will turn on their own.  A family adopted a sibling group from foster care, child diagnosed with many things including RAD.  Kids with family for years, getting treatment, the other kids were healing.  RAD was not but he was somewhat contained and monitored.  Family moves to another state.  RAD gets first spanking in family, has school employees completely snowed and is going to get even with family – CPS gets called.  Kids are removed.  Kids are bullied, questioned without an adult present, asked the same questions over and over again because they aren’t giving the answer that lines up with what RAD says.  CPS decides to make “example” of family.  (Spanking is NOT illegal, by the way, and this spanking was witnessed by another adult, and was not a beating.)  Oh, dd I mention the person they’re making an example of was a social worker IN THE SAME OFFICE as the people who were crucifying this family?  Ruining careers?  Ruining the kids’ lives who were healing?  When documentation from previous state was offered as proof of child’s diagnosis, and issues, it was refused because “they do things differently there.”  So, thanks to the kind, wonderful, all – knowing CPS, this predatory child, who has molested, who has killed small animals, who has done things that no child should ever know about much less do now has a clean slate and has been placed in a foster family who have no idea the danger their children and their neighborhood children and the school children have just been placed in.

What about when parents willingly place a dangerous child into state custody because they cannot feasibly protect themselves or other children from this child?  A child who has raped other children, attempted or succeeded at killing a younger child or infant, tortured and mutilated animals?  The family puts this child into state care so the child can get the help that is needed.  Instead, child services places this child into a regular foster home, without any information of the child’s past given to the new family.  And… inevitably, another victim is created.  Who gets blamed?  The parents, the foster parents, but never children’s services, never the individual who knew the facts and willingly and deliberately put other innocents in harms’ way.  I can name case after case where this has happened, and never has children’s services been held accountable.  They threaten adoptive parents, they lie, they change records – but they are never held accountable for their actions.  They put up billboards asking for foster parents and promise support and services… they lie.

I distinctly remember asking a social worker what to do with a child we were desperately seeking help for.  We had figured out the child had RAD.  We had a disabled infant in the home and another child who was targeted.  We wanted to get this child help.  After several attempts at harming the older child (because I wore the baby 24/7, due to the medical issues he had, the baby was kept safe), I was simply told that I needed to “raise my fear threshold.”  Only later did we find out the child had already committed multiple object rapes against other younger children, which is why the child kept moving homes.  We were never informed.

I’m not saying these children are evil, bad, or don’t deserve help.  Just the opposite.  They do need help!  They need very specific kinds of help, a lot of times the kind of help that can only be provided in a proper inhospital stay to start.  They deserve that.  It’s not their fault.  But instead, children’s services moves them from home to home, making the damage worse, creating more victims, with absolutely no regard for the actual children involved.

It’s time to rock the boat.  Not only are the children not getting help, and not getting better, they are being harmed by cps’s actions.  CPS is out of control.  God forbid you should let your child play at the park next door – but they will happily let a known sexual predator into your home without so much as a warning.  And if something should happen to a child while in your care, they’ll take away the other children and leave you with the one that did the deed.

It’s time for this organization to have accountability, to have a set of rules and guidelines that are actually followed, that are published, that are not based on the whim or whether or not the social worker had the ugly barista at Starbucks that day.  There are lots of abused and neglected children out there who need help, and lots of kids who need foster homes.  But what they are doing is making things worse on all ends.

I personally know a lot of social workers.  I know a lot of good, kind hearted people who really care about the children.  But they are the minority, and they are boxed in by the weird policies and prejudices of whoever their boss is, or whoever is overseeing their cases.  There’s no objective here, only subjective.

Rock the boat.  Time to stand up for these kids, and for ourselves.

Rock the boat, baby.  Let’s tip the boat over!  Because something’s gotta give.


When they leave the home – NOW WHAT?

Many, many parents have kids that have had to go into residential treatment, foster care, or even hospitalization long-term.  The rest of the family sits around shell-shocked staring at each other for awhile… as if, “Now what do we do?”

Remember that you all have been in survival mode for so long, there’s going to be a period of adjustment.  Then will come the healing of the rest of the family, the time for rebuilding those bonds that got damaged.  You will probably hear from other kids how they felt left out, neglected, whatever words they use – listen.  And it’s true.  In survival mode, you can only put out the house fire.  You don’t worry about the dirty spot on the rug, the ugly curtains that should be changed.  Your only concern is saving the house.

Now is the time to focus on their – and your own – hurts from just surviving.  Work on those relationships.  Be sure to give your other children what you simply couldn’t before – your complete attention.  An understanding, listening ear.  What you shouldn’t give yourself is raging guilt over how your other children suffered during that time.  That’s not to make light of your other children’s needs and issues, but in the middle of a raging house fire, do you stop and dust the knicknacks?

Take the time as a family to listen to each other, to spend quality time together being relaxed and get to know each other in a non-crisis situation.  Just chillaxin’.  It will take some time for the stress to leave your bodies and minds, it will take some time for your over-reactive nervous system not to jump at every little thing.  But it can happen, it will happen.

Give yourself, your spouse, and your children lots of grace, as you learn how to live this “new” way.  It is a learning process.  Don’t carry the guilt, while your children are telling you their feelings, listen and understand, and apologize and explain if necessary, but don’t carry the guilt forward.  That does nothing but drag you down, and truthfully, what else could you have done?  If you could have done it differently in the moment, most likely you would have.  You did your best, just like you ask your children to do.  Tell them that, if they’re teens and old enough to understand.  But don’t dwell on it yourself.  Let your kids lead you on talking about it, and focus on building your family up and strengthening that bond.

You can do this.


This is why we’re silent… and yet this is why we must SPEAK UP

3/26/15 – Debra “Kali” Miller, psychologist, had her license revoked by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners.  The reasons the Board gave were based on a case where a tween she had been treating prior attempted suicide.  She had diagnosed the child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (Board says, wrongly).  Her methods to the parents for treatments that were considered serious enough by the Board to revoke her license included having the child drink milk from a baby bottle while sitting in his father’s lap, having the parents place small treats in his mouth for good behavior, having him sit for a certain time period in a cross legged straight posture.  They were also advised to separate him from his siblings, and put an alarm on his door.  The child was confined to his bedroom for extended periods of time.

Now whether or not Dr. Miller did do something that deserves to have her license revoked, I don’t know.  I’m not arguing for or against her.  But let’s look at what the media, and the Board, brings up as “harmful” and in their words “might have contributed to his suicide attempt.”

If the parents followed her recommendations, and the media says used it as punishment, rather than the way it was intended to be used for, then why aren’t the parents charged with child abuse?

Since when is giving your kid a sweet treat for behaving a bad thing?

He had to sit in a cross legged position for certain lengths of time – isn’t that called a time out?  Now that’s wrong too?

They put an alarm on his door so that they would know when he left his room.  No locks, no barring the door – simply a notification of the door opening.  Well, folks, turn off those damn house alarms – apparently Oregon’s Board of Psychological Examiners says that damaging your kids!  It makes them suicidal!  Well, guess we’ve just solved all the incidences of teen/tween suicide across the country.  And here we were, blaming the poor ole social media…..

I laughed at the misdiagnosis as being part of the reason:  how many times has your doctor misdiagnosed something, only to find out later, or after more tests, that wasn’t it?  Put any two psychologists in the room and they will always disagree on a diagnosis.  If that were a reason to take away a medical license, we’d have no doctors!

Looking at the other more unorthodox ways she suggested treating this child…. drinking milk from a bottle while sitting in his dad’s lap.  There is no indication that the child was forced to do this against his will.  There is no indication that it was a humiliating experience (like done in front of his friends, posted on Facebook) for the child.  It was an attempt to recreate a bonding experience the child may have missed….  maybe good, maybe not, but without further evidence in this case that it was abusive to the child, how does this play into it her license issue?  Doctors try medications “off label” all the time.  I guess because the pharma companies put big money into it, then that’s ok, even if in a lot of cases those are actually proved harmful… but if there’s not money in it, then it’s bad.  The other things – separating him from his siblings – do we know if this child was abusing his siblings?  Was he a danger?  We don’t know.  And I don’t care what some board says, if one child is bullying/hurting another child or pet in my family, I will keep them separated until it no longer happens.  Finally, putting him in his room for extended periods of time – didn’t most of us get sent to our rooms when we misbehaved?  What is an extended period of time?  15 minutes? 8 hours?  No details given.  So tell me, dear Board, what are the guidelines?  It seems children’s services doesn’t think (so far, anyway) any of the things the parents did were enough to bring them up on child abuse charges….  So why are these methods being brought forth as the criminals?

Anything we do – it seems now a time out can be considered “harmful to your child” – can be twisted into looking like it’s something more than it is, can be twisted into looking evil and abusive when it’s not.  This is one of the reasons why parents of traumatized kids, who need to parent differently, are quiet on how their households run, are quiet on their discipline methods.  The “normal” methods don’t work because our children’s brains aren’t wired normally.  So we adapt, we learn, we change how we do things to teach our children how to get along in life.  And yet this is also the exact reason we need to speak out, as a group, as a community, because methods are being demonized, ideas are being demonized that shouldn’t be.   Yes, these methods can be used abusively.  Anything can.  But that fault lies with the individual, not with the method or ideology.

Whether this particular case was a witch-hunt or whether Dr. Miller was a bad therapist, I’m not here to judge.  I don’t have the facts.  But what the media, and the Oregon Board, has done, it put these methods on trial and found them to be guilty.  And that I will not sit down for.  There are thousands of children with severe issues from trauma and attachment, whether this child was one of them, again, I don’t know, I don’t have the facts.  But I do know children that do have these issues.  I invite each member of the Oregon Board of Psychological Examiners to take just one – ONE – of these children into their homes for specified time period – I will provide not only the child but will specify the time period – and then we can chat about whether you call it RAD or depression or DSED and whether a door alarm will make your child suicidal.  Only then – when they have actually walked the walk… only then, will their opinion matter to ME and we can have open dialogue.


Why Wonder Woman?

Some of you may wonder why Wonder Woman is a theme in this blog…. or not.  I’m going to tell you anyway.

Although it started out as the mascot for the house I was assigned to at my first “trauma mommas” retreat, it has become much more than that.  Not only does Wonder Woman get to save the day – every time – putting down bad guys and keeping the world safe, she gets to look good doing it.  Her Lariat of Truth makes sure no one ever lies to Wonder Woman.  Oh the analogies…

The Lariat of Truth?  Our attachment/trauma kids lie to us constantly.  If we adopted our kids from foster care, we were probably lied to.  If we adopted our kids internationally, we were probably lied to.  If we are seeking out diagnosis for our children, we just want the truth of what is going on so that it can be treated.  We want therapists to tell the truth of what they are really capable of handling and not string us along for a year before saying they are in way over their head.  We want agencies to tell the truth and actually provide the resources they have listed on their brochures.  The truth is something we get so little of.  Sometimes we can’t even tell the truth to ourselves.  Sometimes we lie to ourselves about how serious the problems are with our children with they are extremely violent when they are really young, and we let things go too far.  Sometimes we lie to ourselves when we say that someone else could do a better job than us, maybe we should disrupt.  And sometimes we lie to ourselves when we say we are failing as parents to these children.  We listen to their lies as they tell us we suck, we’re mean, we don’t love them.  Lies, all lies.

And wouldn’t it be nice to win every time?  To put down the bad guys of the past, of our children’s trauma, and make sure that our children are never hurt by them again.  To lock them up forever and allow our children to heal, to be the hero that saves the day and have our children see that we did that for them, because we love them.  To be able to defend ourselves from whatever crap is thrown at us, without even getting a hair out of place, never breaking a sweat.  To know, that in the end, we will win and our children will be completely healed and the bad guys from the past are gone forever.  And – the icing on the cupcake – we looked good the entire time!

So that’s why Wonder Woman, at least for me.  She started out as a mascot, for lack of a better word.  (Yes, I grew up in the 70s with Lynda Carter gracing the air waves, one of the few strong female leads, but I never wanted to grow up and run around in a bustier and high heeled boots in my underwear.  I could never figure out how she could climb and do those high kicks without getting some serious wedgies.)  But the symbolism of Wonder Woman came to mean more to me as time went on.  And so – she has become my symbol for this life.  I am no Wonder Woman….  But I am trying to live up to the idea.  I am trying to fight off the bad guys for my kids.  I’ll even take the wedgies that might go with it.