I have been bloggy MIA. Things have sucked. Like unimaginably. We fell in a deep, black hole and can't seem to pull ourselves out. Then add in a blog stalker troll. Ugh.
A horrible thing happened, particularly to J, and she has been thrown back into traumaland to the degree that it's almost as bad as when I got her. A major loss and abandonment of catastrophic proportions to her healing.
I get why she's having such a hard time. Truly I do. But it's been feeling insurmountable and like she will never recover.
I have pulled out every. single. stinking. tool. out of my Trauma 101 Toolbox and nothing has seemed to be working. I've even gone back to laying down with her when she goes to sleep. Whispering in her ear, "I know you're really scared. It's OK to be scared. I'm right here for you." On the upside there was a time when she would've never gone to sleep with me in her room and now she's snoring in less than 5 minutes.
Yesterday..... I had an epiphany.
RAD HATES to lose. At a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. E.V.E.R.
AND everything is a competition. You do realize by everything that I mean E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.????
So at dinner I did the "Woo hoo! You forgot to be respectful". I caught you so therefore "I" get a point. Yay me! Insert surprised look on J's face.
Then "Hot dang! You tried to push me away. Score another one for Mom! It's 2-0."
By the time the score was 3-0 the light bulb went on in her head and she was getting busy trying to score some points. She was trying to do things right. Yes...you heard that correctly.
Side note: Keep in mind that even though we're in the throes of regressed RAD-like behavior she has still had LOTS of healing so she KNOWS the right way to do things. This would probably never work with a child that is at the beginning stages of healing.
By the the time the night was over it was 15-10. In my favor but still....she was trying to "win" by doing things right instead of doing every stinking thing in her power to piss me off.
Starting with a fresh slate today we're currently at 15-10. I'm still winning by points but more importantly I'm winning (and she is too) because she's trying.
Last night, when we were on the way home, Pink's Perfect came on the radio. After it was over she said, "mom, I'm just like that song." I asked how and she replied, "cause I feel like nothing." Insert mental sobs from me. I looked back at her in her turquoise shorts and shirt and said, "nah....you're not nothing. You're a turquoise blob with a pony tail." No, I did not say it with a sarcastic tone but with a playful one. She could take me calling her a turquoise blob. If I had said, "no, you're a beautiful young lady (which she is)." She would have thought I was lying and immediately went into meltdown mode because she wouldn't be able to internalize that statement. (There is a quote by someone that says: Never, ever, love someone more than they love themselves or they will always attack you.) If the child believes that they are worthless and you tell them they are priceless they will get very angry because what you are telling them is going against what they believe.
Then I congratulated her for using her words and gave her 5 points. This was an amazing feat for her lately.
Also today, I stepped out in faith and hope. I made reservations to go to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque in October for vacation. Scared to death to do it financially but also know that we both need something joyful to look forward to in the future. The thought of taking my camera to see 800+ balloons makes me very, very happy. It's impossible to be around hot air balloons and NOT be happy. Lucky for us the Helen to Atlantic Balloon Race was this weekend and I was able to make a lot of wonderful new friends AND let my camera do the happy dance. :) The pics above were from this weekend.