Thursday, May 10, 2012
I'm scared to put this out there because I don't want to offend anyone. I'm certainly not trying to challenge anyone's faith or beliefs because it's not my place. I make a conscious effort to never blog or speak on issues around religion or politics. I have my own personal beliefs and choose to live by example and actions rather than words. Hopefully. Some days I'm just an example of "how NOT to be." Being J's mom has also taught me so many lessons in judging others too. I'm much more careful today not to judge others. It's really not my place.
I do have faith, even though during this journey I have lost it and found it many times. However, for my child, who was punished (before me) in the name of religion too many times to count, faith is difficult. In a previous foster family she was told she was the devil, she was evil and God was going to get her. Then she was locked in a dirt cellar with no lights. Understandably faith comes hard for her.
In fact, there was a time when it was a huge trigger for her. Shortly after she came home I made the decision to not take her to church because this was not a hidden trigger. It was easy to figure out. If anyone mentioned God, the devil, Jesus, the cross, angels, Holy Ghost, etc. there was a huge tantrum almost immediately thereafter and weeks of night terrors followed.
Looking at a normal attachment cycle it's easier for me to understand. When a baby is born they have no idea about faith or religion. You, as the parent, are their god because you are meeting their needs. They cannot think outside of what they see because Hello....they are infants. Faith comes later in attachment when they are able to trust you, verbal skills are attained and they are able to see outside of their world. It comes in time....not in infancy but after they have built a trust with their parent and are emotionally older than 5.
1. Baby is born.
2. Baby has a need.
3. Baby cries.
4. Needs are met by caregiver.
5. Trust is developed.
Somewhere between #4 and #5 is where faith starts to form. They start to have faith that the caregiver will show up and meet their needs.
When this cycle is broken, how can they have faith or believe in anyone or anything???
If she didn't trust me and I was standing right in front of her, how on earth was I going to teach her to trust something that she couldn't see, feel or touch???? The answer: Attachment had to happen first.
When J first came home she was five and had verbal skills but I wrongly expected her to have faith in God or some other higher force. But how could she? Emotionally she was an infant. A very hurt infant whom all those people she could see, feel, and touch had hurt her on a cellular level. This was not going to be easy.
So I didn't work on her faith until after she had achieved the emotional equivalent of age 6 around year 3 of her being home. We worked on gratitude (and still do) instead. Slowly she was able to start building on the gratitude into something more. Then she started developing faith. It has been a slow process of her finding her own faith and a God of her understanding. Her God is a God of love and acceptance now, not a punishing God. It took a long while for it to happen but first we had to have a good attachment.
In April, I read this post by LT. I didn't comment but honestly, she spoke what was in my heart and exactly how I felt when J first came home. I was pretty pissed that God had allowed all these horrible things happen to my child. It took me a long time to forgive God.
Then shortly after I read an enlightening blog post by my friend, Sunday. You can click here to read it.
She wrote, "Anyhow, I think people who deal with kids from trauma have to remember that they do not process things the same way as they do. One person's source of comfort could be another's source of terror."
One more thing to tell me I need to be more open to seeing the world as J sees it. Her perception and mine are two entirely different things. Praying I can be mindful of her needs....
My boyfriend (he doesn't know it so does it count?), Brad, is going to be on the free tapping world summit tonight. Here's the link. I believe it's on healing childhood stuff tonight. You can attend for free for 24 hours from original posting. Then tomorrow night there will be another posting available for 24 hours.