Have you ever had to do something that you knew would be SO hard and yet you knew it was what was best?
Have you ever had to go against everything you believe and do something because for that one person it was right?
Our L doesn't like to be with her mom. Which of course is me.
This has slowly sunk in and I am now starting to understand her a little better.
The idea that a child can for no other reason than knowing that their mother exists dislike their mother seems to go against everything I have ever been taught both religiously and temporally.
Children come out wanting love. They find those persons they can latch onto and trust and then love begins.
Not my L. Not any child born with trauma. Not any child who comes into the world neglected and unloved. These children look at the world completely different then you and I do.
Getting to understand how she thinks has been one of the hardest aspects of my part in her therapy. I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that she indeed trusts no one. Not mom, not dad, not grandma, or grandpa, not sister, not brother, not even God.
The only person in this world she trusts......is herself.
Therefore she think she needs to be in total control of herself at all times.
When I hug or kiss her...she isn't in control of that feeling....however she can control anger, stealing, lying, hurting others, yelling, breaking toys or furniture, crying, throwing a tantrum, peeing in her pants or on the carpet, speaking rudely to mom, dad, our nanny, and her therapist...these are things she can control. All of us can.
But can we control who we love or who loves us?
And this scares her to death. She has no say in this strong feeling and so she is scared of it. So scared, that the one person who has shown her the most love, me, is her mortal enemy. She in fact, would rather me be dead than give her the love that I so desperately want to give her.
Her entire world is turned upside down and the only way to make her want to turn that world around is to make her world so small that she can feel safe at last and hopefully want to trust me.
In this small world of hers, going out or going somewhere is like taking a child who has cancer and pumping them full of sugar water for their last chemo treatment. It is actually damaging to the child. Her overactive senses can't trust anything or anyone and so she goes into manipulation or control mode. You, the outside world, may not see her rage or her anxiety...but it is there waiting to attack the one person who loves her the most....in most cases, mom. She moves into fight or flight mode and stays there until she can get back to what she knows, her room. And that's when her rage comes out.
With all of this in mind, we have three other children who live with this, who have seen the worst L has done. They know her raging fits and have been at the harsh end of her hurtful words and sometimes fists. They too have suffered as we have struggled to work with L and rarely get a break when we travel with her. And because of her fear, her anxiety, her rage, traveling with L is a nightmare for everyone, including L. Thus, we have been asked by our therapist and L's school to travel without her.
When I heard this seemingly backwards idea, I cried. I cried because it went against everything I knew to be true. We are a family. We should be together...always.
They assured me that it was what was best for L and that our children deserved a break as well.
So we tried it. We went to St. George without our L. She was here with our amazingly wonderful nanny, who is trained to work with RAD children. It was a hard trip for me. Hard because I didn't feel complete and hard because we had such a nice and relaxing time without her.
I felt like the worst mom in the world for enjoying myself.
When we got home, I went into her room, expecting her to run to me in tears of anger or sadness for leaving her there. She looked at me, I asked for a hug, she casually came over and hugged me as she always does, what I call her dead fish hugs, no embrace (I've never been embraced by her) she simply just puts her arms around me so I can barely feel her. She then started crying...I immediately asked her what was wrong, knowing that she was going to say, I missed you! Don't leave me again! How could you do that to me? But instead she simply said, her nanny had put her in time out that day and she was upset about it.
I was stunned. I asked her how her week was, she thought about it and said, it was fine, other than being put in time out.
I didn't know what to say. I was in shock.
She hadn't missed us one ounce.
In fact she had done great! Her nanny said she had only had a few issues but none were about us.
She hadn't missed at all. Not one bit.
The reason I am writing this, is, you will be seeing us on vacations now without our L. And before you jump to the conclusion that we don't love her please know that leaving her is what is best for her and her therapy.
We love her so much we are willing to do what is unpopular and hard in order to help her and our other children heal.
Lots of love,