Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Snake Oils, Kitty Litter in Capsules, and such witchery…

Yup, here she goes again, talking about alternative methods to get into our children’s brains, hearts, and souls.
Dang-it, cause I am not going to leave well enough alone. I am not going to stop at Weekly visits to a therapist, and Monthly visits to a child psychologist and believe that is all my kids will need in order to heal? No mam’ …because if that was all it took, I would pay the bill and have everything, all better. Like magic.

But healing, deep down healing, well it takes a lot of things. It takes miracles, it takes taking chances, it takes trying weird things that just.might.work.

I know, I know, I understand your hesitation…”but Linds, I am walking on egg shells over here, what if I try some new fangled thing and it all goes to hell, all blows up in my face, I mean I am barley hanging on here, every day I am one second away from someone, (including myself) blowing in a major way.”

I so get you.

I so get the desperation of wanting anything, being willing to try, do, have them swallow A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. that would help my kids heal….


and you know some things have worked.
Remember my husband is a therapist…and weekly I am busting something out, that he is super skeptical of…
Things people scoff at, things that get responses like “That’s just CRAZY talk”..yeah, well, maybe….but it is WORKING….how you like them apples darlin’?
And then my therapist-y husband, uses them with his clients… see founders fee’s people, he should be paying em.

What I am talking about is :

Hula Hooping, Strengthening my kiddo’s core, helping them become more coordinated, stronger from the inside out. Creating a healthy pattern of movement, building their self esteem…my children began being able to retain information and learn better, with hula-hooping.

Crawling techniques: There we days we crawled everywhere….crawled and crawled, taking my kids back to basic play and discovery they lost in their toddler years, not having enough freedown to explore and discover. Also allowing them to mourn babyhood, see the world from a perspective they were robbed of. That’s it people crawling…and sometimes BIG, and I mean HUGE feelings came out.

Essential Oils: See there will be one I lose you on…hmm maybe I lost you at the title, and you have read on out of sheer “sheah right-ness”….
I use oils for calming, oils for headaches, oils and scents for healing. Oils for Energy….and you know what, as my children become more in tune with them selves, they ask for them. My two year old can go pick up a vial with Germanium, Lavender, and clove and know, this one makes her ear aches go away….and the tea tree heals her rashes….I am just saying, don’t knock something until you have tried it…
*cough* speaking of knocking,,,, er “Tapping” maybe…that would be the biggest gift I have tripped upon.

Tapping: As my now “in real life friend” and person I adore to the moon and back Lisa says, “Even bad Tapping, is good Tapping.” Tapping has given my children an unexplainable gift in their journey to healing. I do not have words to explain the mountains I see being moved EVERY DAY , all in the way EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is working on them. Lisa has “how to” tapping video’s on her blog here, and here, and here. I am not here to reinvent the wheel people ( just loving it up like a fly on cow poop), go somewhere where someone already has this covered learn..give er a whirl…and then try it again later. And then again, and again.

And then, you should try it again.

…and then go find Brad Yates on you tube….

and then do it , again.

I have a little testimonial…(it’s the Tammy Faye Baker in me)…but you know, I am so sure , tapping can help your child…I will get all cheesy and testimonial on your butt, just to get  you to try it, and comment on here what a total dork I am. Fine, do it, I dare you.  

TESTIMONIAL: (warning shameless bragging involved)

I got a phone call from Chatters school this week.

Surprisingly some of the Tapping words we had been working on were. Stealing: “Even though, I sometimes feel I have to take things that don’t belong to me, because deep down I think I have to have them to feel O.K., I am still a really great kid, and my Mama loves me.”

Lying: “Even though I think if I lie, instead of giving someone the whole truth , I am keeping myself safe , and not having to give them parts of me I am afraid to, even though I feel that way, I can free that fear by telling the truth, and with that truth the fear has no place to go, so it leaves my body.”

This is my child that steals and lies 100 x a day. It is what she does. How she controls that which she can not.
Enter phone call:
Principle: “We had a little problem today, we had a student of the month award today, the little girl who won, is in fact Chatters best friend.”
Later in the day, it was noticed, the candy bar, and certificate that the little girl got, was in fact missing. The teacher created a safe environment, and told the class…that whoever took the candy and certificate, if sometime today they wanted to come up and tell the truth, she would help them deal with it quietly.
My little girl. My sweet girl, full of anxiety and shame, the one that would lie about the color of the sky on bad days to feel safe…bravely walked to the front of the classroom, and told the truth, retrieved the wrapper from where it came from, and apologized to her friend.


When she came home, she shared with me about how much her heart was hurting and beating so fast she thought she was going to be sick, and then she whispered…”but I did it Mama, I did it, and I am not carrying it around with me now, it’s not here hurting my brain, or here hurting my heart.”

We tapped again to this video….and then let her take a big rest….afterward making plans on how she can make it right….doing chores in order to buy her friend a candy bar and replace the stolen one.

I can’t give words for what that day meant for me. The hope and healing I saw. There was not a 5 hour long rage. There was not destruction of her things in the shame of what she had done. Months ago I would not have thought this scenario was possible, yet here we are. Standing in the middle of miracles…

Snake oils? Maybe…
but why the heck not give em a whirl?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kids with Attachment Disorders are like Onions…

YOU mean you leave them out in the sun, and they get all brown and sprout little white hairs?...nope…


I think what hurts the most in this journey of hoping and helping my kiddo’s heal is EXPECTATIONS. Expectations people, family members, community put on them to “hurry up and get better”, “Get over it”, “Change”, “adapt”, “Heal”…and my personal favorite “be normal”.

Yeah, could you kids get on that for me?

Trust me even more than me wanting them to function on a level that takes the shame and sabotage, rejection and fear out of everyday for them, they want it more. Deep down, they do. They just don’t know how to get there.

When Papillion was at her 8th hospital/RTC she had this therapist, the one that finally diagnosed her with Borderline Personality Disorder.
My heart was breaking, the violence was terrifying, and as only a desperate mother can, I asked this woman “WHY?, why won’t she just choose the therapy, choose to get help, choose our family and the life we have to offer her, over this?”

and her answer still haunts me when I get stuck in the SAME “why” with my other hurt children…whether it be new clothes being cut up and destroyed “WHY”, items being stolen they don’t even like “WHY”, random unimportant constant chronic lying “WHY”, urine everywhere “WHY”.

She told me, “What has kept her safe, and alive is this six feet of dilapidated rope she has been clinging to. (the way she controls her environment) and no matter what you tell her, she believes in her soul it is what has kept her safe and alive….
and here you are offering her a professional grade ladder, not only for her to hold onto, but to climb up, and she doesn’t trust it, there is nothing in her being that tells her this will keep her safe, this will change her circumstance, this will make her happy

Because lets be honest, what the hell does she know about happiness anyway?

Our sweet neighbor is doing a neighborhood Easter Egg hunt for all of the kid’s in the surrounding block. Prior to my adoption, prior to the Earthquake, prior to them coming home, this was the stuff of which my adoption daydreams set their stars.
Imagining my darling bi-racial children in matching garb eagerly holding their baskets, lovingly helping one another find Easter Eggs, giggling and in innocent childhood fun, collecting their bounty to come show their adoring mother…

No one mentions the fact that the Easter Baskets have been torn apart or *cough* worse. No one mentions, once they find one egg, they sit and consume the treats so quickly they choke. No one mentions your older child taking younger kids eggs/candy and running off and hiding to eat everything. No one mentions how that evening, or the next day will be fraught with so much anxiety, tears, and hour long tantrums. No one mentions any of these things.

So when my sweet little neighbor dropped by with a flyer and an invite. I wanted to hug her, and thank her for the invite, and honestly tell her, our family would not be able to participate. Her sweet eyes looked confused, “I thought maybe they were doing better?”

 I felt like I lied and said “They are, but they are still not ready, thanks so much though, and let me know if you need any help.”

As I closed the door, jealous, frustrated, selfish tears leaked out.
This wasn’t my kids stuff, it was mine. My sadness in that silly little daydream in my head not being a reality, and I ran a tub, got into it and let the tears loose, and I let my self mourn that for a little while….

I did the “Are they EVER going to get better, whoah is me” sob….and then I started to think. “Ya know, they have gotten better, they have moved mountains in their healing.”

They can now share hurts and feelings, where this time last year they would have just shut down. Rages are not everyday for 6 hours. Stealing, Lying and inappropriate behavior has decreased. Sure new behaviors pop up, some easier, some that make my head spin
…and that is when Shrek popped his green little face into my head.

Perhaps sometimes what we think is digression in our children’s behavior, is a new layer, because we have peeled one of them off?

I know my kids are healing, and trusting more. I know they consider that ladder I have for them more often, than completely rejecting it. I can’t imagine how desperately vulnerable it has to be for them to even consider letting go of what has kept them alive.

The Layers SUCK, the old stuff replaced with the new sometimes makes me miss the old behaviors… “PLEASE go back to peeing, the boogers are grossing me out”…

but change is still CHANGE.

Even if they are a stinky, stinky little onion, I want to keep on working towards that core….and maybe, once we get there…what we have been working towards will feel more like a Parfait instead of an onion…maybe, I doubt it.

As for right now, Layers, onions, and parenting this…stinks....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Parenting in Space 2012

Soooo I am not going to beat-around-the-bush about this. Nope.

I am going to lay it out, plain and straight and true.

Parenting in Space Conference it is in 3 weeks. It is in Chicago. It is a gift.
….if you are parenting kids from Hard places, if you are trying to help your kids heal from Attachment and Trauma related issues. If you yourself feel alone in this battle. If you are alienated, have little support, few resources, and exhausted and feeling helpless at the future relationship, as will as the future ANYTHING with your child. You. Need. To. Come.

I have been to what feels like 100's of parenting, Early Childhood Trauma, adoption, foster parent conferences...My husband is a therapist, I get into things...most don't. As an adoption professional for 4 years, I have had other resources not offered up to other parents.  You name it, Behavior, Cognitive Development, Adelrian theory..and a GAZILLION others, this is not counting the online Webinars I have participated in...I am dedicated to getting as much information and support I need to help all six of my special needs children. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING has held a candle to what I experienced at Parenting in Space. The safety I felt in being honest and asking real questions, the peer relationships and life long friends I made...no other conference has even touched what this was, and continues to be for me, and the people that attended.

I don’t talk about “all” that goes down in my home. I can’t and won’t and well, it is really overwhelming some of the things that go down…but there, at "Parenting in Space"…a parent can ask REAL questions, the ugly, hard nasty ones, and they don’t push it under the carpet, or change the subject like I have experienced at other conferences…

When you bravely raise your hand, while sitting in the middle of parental peers as ask…”What about over sexualized behavior, what do I do when my child is masturbating in the grocery store?”….and Billy Kaplan stops, meets your eyes with love, and understanding…and simply says “I am so sorry, and yes, let’s talk about this.”


They cover, school needs, play therapy, the physical and psychological effect od what Trauma really does to the brain, how to connect, repair, communicate and love your child in ways they need you to…and how to heal YOUR heart. The staff is phenomenal. They truly care about helping you, they listen, because they know, regardless of their degree’s and professional expertise, the recognize, we, the parents do this work everyday…and respect and support that. I will say that again, professionals that respect and support you, the parent.

So let’s go over this again.
Parenting in Space.  House Calls Counseling. Amazing. 6 seats left…only.six.seats.left.

And…Christine (whom I LOVE with words that haven’t been invented yet) will be there, giving pre-conference amazing-ness….if you are going, you don’t want to miss her.

….and I promise I will hug you if you come, and give you a cookie…but most of all a HUGE HUG.