Thursday, August 7, 2008

Conversations & AT

Saturday night there was a very meaningful and moving conversation around the dinner table. J & I were doing our gratitude lists and another person asked to do one as well. Sure no problem.... This person then had a hard time thinking of things for which to be grateful. J jumped in to help.

J: You have a room to sleep in that's safe. People used to come in my room at night and hurt me.
Added to list
J: You have food to eat. I didn't have food because my birth mom wouldn't feed me.
Added to list
J: Your mom sings to you and rocks you. My birth mom left me in a box all day and wouldn't change my diapers.
Added to list
J: Your mom gets you when you have bad dreams. My birth mom never picked me up. I just stayed in the box and bugs crawled all over me.
Added to list
J: You've had one mom who took care of you all of your life. I've had lots of moms and one of them was really mean and she made me sleep in the bathtub and locked me in the closet.
Added to list
J: Nobody helped me when I was sick. Your mom does.
Added to list
J: My life was really bad until my awesome mom found me. You've had an awesome mom all your life.

Needless to say there wasn't a dry eye at the table except for J. She was very matter of fact. She has never told her story to other people except for AT. I had to wait a few days before posting this because I sob every time and I am NOT a pretty crier. My beautiful child has come so far. How I wish she didn't have to go through so much....

AT yesterday. Turns out J was pretty mad at Kristy for going out of town on vacation. She thought yet another person had disappeared out of her life forever. They've made a deal now where Kristy will tell her that she is leaving and when she is coming back. This is a huge sign of progress for J. Before we didn't tell her because we knew it would send her into huge meltdowns. Now she is well enough to handle being advised of someone leaving and they will be back.

Also discovered that in J's head she thinks she's really stupid and that if we find out she's stupid that we won't love her anymore. She's living in fear of being outed that she's not really smart. Many people in her life tell her she's smart. (I am not one of them). She is VERY intelligent! So now I am going to TRY to get everyone to quit telling her that. AT gave her a new rubbing mantra where she says, "Even though I'm really stupid, my mom still loves me. Even though I'm so not smart, Mrs. Kacak still wants to teach me. Even though I think I'm really the most stupid person in the world, my mom thinks I'm really great kid." Now my normal head that just doesn't make sense to have a kid tell themselves that and I think it sounds really cruel but the AT says it works and we've done it with other sentences for other behaviors and it works like a charm. So I go forth in faith trusting that this will help. So far yesterday and today it's working.

There's a poster in both AT's office and I've seen it elsewhere. It says: When you love someone more than they love themselves they will always attack you. This is very true and I understand that's where her fear of being outed comes from. How I wish I had Katharine Leslie's book Coming to Grips with Attachment, before I was blessed with J.
But then again I am not going to beat myself up today over shoulda, coulda, woulda's. Nobody wins then....

1 comment:

Alyssa's Mom said...

Doesn't it just break your heart to hear our kids stories? I think what hurts the most is that they are so matter of fact about it. It's almost like it isn't even traumatic for them because it became their "normal". I think the hardest part about therapy for Jeff & I is having to listen to Alyssa tell her story. We cry every time and she still looks startled that we are affected like that!

Great big HUGS to both of you!