Sunday, January 30, 2011

and more triggers....

Well, just after I got off the computer with you...I was handed a note by Girlie. She said she was sorry, kissed me, hugged me tight, and went to bed.

I was tired ...but truthfully, not too tired to read it right then and there. I did not read it.

Part of me was in self protection mode, I think. I do that sometimes. Delaying the revelation of what could turn out to be baloney until I am ready for another round.

I awoke this morning to my husband asking, "Did you read the note?"

There was no way I could put it off any longer.

I was right re: my educated trigger guesses. Both triggers were articulated. Clearly, transparently and with emotion.

There was another trigger though that I hadn't picked up on. Smack in the middle of all the frightening things we went through over here recently...Girlie had a check-up at the dentist. Our usual dentist knows her history well but wasn't there that day. Instead, we got a sweet, personable, funny older guy.

Dental road maps are very telling to those who know how to read them. He was obviously alerted...and perplexed to find evidences of...(insert confused look on dear doctor's face while he tries to put the puzzle pieces together)...

I jumped n and saved him.

"Girlie has a history of malnutrition."

The light bulb clicked on. His face registered understanding as he continued with the delicate conversation...fumbling here and there...but doing a great job overall.

Girlie did great too. She explained a bit about her history and some of her dental related insecurities.

I told her I was proud of her. She smiled and we left with no cavities!

Well, 10 days or so later...she lets me know in the note that she is bothered by her malnutrition, embarrassed about it's lasting effects and upset with the whole crappy circumstance in general.

Always...but especially when the spirals come...dig deep. Get them to articulate what's going on. If you cannot get then to say it out loud...give them opportunities to write or draw what is going on in their hearts and minds. And, be patient. It may take a while.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


We've had a bit of a setback over here. Girlie has been in a prettymuchalldayeverydaydownwardspiralwithoutmuchofabreak for approx two weeks now. I know what the triggerS were. That's at least helpful.

Trigger #1 Baby sister had 2 out of the clear blue sky, very frightening seizure like episodes er visit...and another hospital visit to see a neurologist.

Girlie did her best to put on a brave face...but just before entering the hospital room to see her sister...her voice cracked and she trembled, "Mom, I'm afraid...I want her to be okay." There wasn't time for a cuddle. I smiled and told her to be brave. She was as she entered the room and gave a kiss trying not to stare obviously at the IV which I know FREAKED her out.

Trigger #2 choked to death on a piece of roasted cauliflower. Girlie called 911 while Dad did the Heimlich.

After I was breathing again...we had a bit of a private cry together. She cried and cried and cried..."Mom, what would I ever do without you?"

She hasn't mentioned either incident since...but her behaviors are screaming, "I'm AFRAID!"

Over the years, I've seen time and time again that the spirals don't end until there is a verbalization on her part of the triggers.

She verbalized in the moments...which is huge and fabulous and great for her. There was a time when she would've lost eye contact & laughed out loud or tried very hard whilst failing to hide smiles/smirks during way inappropriate moments.

btw those smiles/smirks are so hurtful and drove me up the wall.

Identifying core issues is something Girlie has gotten very good at. We've practiced getting to the root of things and verbalizing what's discovered below the surface of circumstances for years now ....and she can usually put her finger on what's troubling her rather quickly. Lots of intervention from the Lord. Lots of intentional parenting. Lots of hard work on her part. Lots of growth.

She's totally twisted herself into a knot right now though...and can't seem to find her way out of the mess.

I try to keep my cool and offer hints like..."Gee...what do you thing your core issue is because obviously there is one?" ... or.... "Boy oh boy, it seems like you are having a difficult time. What do you think that might be all about?"...or.... "Wowsie, those seem like some pretty big feelings. What are they?"

She's working on it. It's not easy for some to realize that they love others. They might be able to say it...but to actually feel it...well, that's just frightening.

Big triggers for a healing heart.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love from Us

As Valentine's Day approaches, my heart is saddened by the lack of natural affection between my daughter and me. I LONG for that connection and for her trust. But sometimes, I have to be content with that "normalcy" coming from my hubby, other kiddos and girlfriends. I want to add to that affection for you this month. How about some Valentine's Day love for you???? A little hug from us. :) I hope this is something that will bless your heart AND give you a little something to enjoy with your RADaling! If your RADish is past this age emotionally, then you'll have a little something to re-gift. :)

The gift is JJ Heller's New Album, When I'm with You.

It is delightful! And her heart is even sweeter. I love when supporting artists also can bless others. The title song has been a sweet prayer for me to God lately. A phileo love prayer for one day with my RADish.

I also love the 5th song. It is JJ's song to her daughter based on the Runaway Bunny. So with your CD, you'll get a copy of the Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. A sweet reminder that you will pursue your sugarlump no matter how far they try and roam--physically or mentally.

SOOOO, to enter, just leave a comment on this post. We know full well that many of you share anonymously here. That is okay. You don't need to put your real name here. Just know that you will have to give me (via email) a real address or PO to receive your gift. :)

Drawing will be Thursday, February 10th at 9a.m. PST

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nap 'Em

How old is your child? Remember, you need to ID all four ages: chronological age, physical age (gross and fine motor), cognitive age (where they are academically) and emotional age.

The last is the one that I've been thinking about all day. It impacts our attachment healing more than anything else. We take them back through stages they've missed, we give them extra room to process and we let them play with toys that are immature for them.

But what about when it comes to schedules? If your 7 or 9 or 11 year old is only 3 emotionally, what can they handle? What is their "limit?" I think often we want them to push them to be doing things their peers are doing (e.g. youth group, team sports, etc.) However, for most of us, if we had a little three year old in our care, we wouldn't be scrambling around trying to get them into school or into soccer or piano lessons. I know for me I would say those things will come. We have plenty of time for those things. AND those things aren't necessary. We don't need to be doing XX just because the Jones' are. We need to do what is best for our family and what God is calling us to.

We also needed to look at the rest of our RADish's schedule beyond extracurricular activities. Healing is super hard work. It is EXHAUSTING. It is completely draining. By 2:00, my little RADish is done. She needs to be away from everyone. She needs rest. She needs to be in a quiet, darkened room and rest. Some days she doesn't, but almost everyday she falls asleep. Just like a preschooler. On the days that she doesn't get that break, she is a mess and she doesn't sleep as well at night. I know there are some that say you need to limit a rest time or not give it at all because being alone is not good for them. I can totally see that for a kid that is away from you at school, you need to use the few waking hours you have together.

For our little one, I couldn't succumb to what other people thought of a child "her age" taking a nap. I know it is what her little heart needs to recharge. She gets a break from the hard work of healing and usually is more regulated for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Each kid is different, but if you have one like mine, she may need you to slow things waaaay down. How much she can take--especially during a spiral---may be completely dictated by her emotional age. Remember, this is the most out of the box thinking and parenting you will ever experience. If it seems weird or awkward or backwards, it's probably dead on. :P

Hang in their friends!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Not Alone

I don't know about you, but having a child with a disability that manifests itself in a textbook fashion is comforting to me. It does make me feel less crazy when I hear from Dawn that she is walking through almost the exact same thing at the same time. (Both our girls on the same day "forgot" how to do aspects of their lessons that they have mastered long ago). I can hang up the phone, take a deep breath and know that it's not my parenting. THIS is what a child with a broken spirit looks like. Sooo, I thought, if you don't have a Dawn ;) then maybe hearing a bit of ONE of my days would help you feel less crazy:

When she didn't get to skip a part in a lesson she didn't want to do, she went ahead 10 pages without doing the parts she didn't want to do. When told she would then erase the pages she didn't do in an honoring way, she literally took 1.5 hours to erase the pages.

she has impeccable hand writing. all day she wrote all of her capitol letters backwards

she forgot how to read and spent 20 minutes painfully trying to sound out the impossible word "turtle"

She put all of the laundry away in the wrong drawers

She wore winter boots with a sundress

When asked why she came out of her room in the morning, made eye contact with me and turned around and went back to her bed, she very seriously said, "I just don't want to be with you. I heard someone and thought it was Daddy. When I saw it was YOU, I went back to bed."
(mmmmm, that one is super. it feels all warm and fuzzy)

A scary thing happened to a friend last weekend. Not immediately, but hours after hearing about it, she smacked her sister in the face with a toy. Mind you she is not a toddler.

When she does eat, she drops food on the table or lets it fall out of her mouth. Because, don't you know it is super hard to keep food in your mouth while you're chewing.

and on and on and on

As we say on the sidebar, you probably aren't crazy. This child is wounded and petrified. God has placed the child in your family on purpose and for a purpose. YOU are the Mom God wants for this baby.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My RADish is early elementary age and we've just started talking to her this week about attachment disorder. I think it came mostly from her leading. She kept saying "I don't know why I'm choosing this sin/behavior/to push you away!!" I don't like labels but I also don't want to shy away from giving hard things names either.

Have you told your kids about their attachment disorder and/or the other "labels" they are struggling with? If not, was there a particular reason why? If so, did having this information help in the healing process? How old was your child when you told them? I'd love to hear about other moms' experiences and the words they used to communicate value, preciousness to their child as well as honor to early experiences/people that you don't intimately know.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


How are your coming out of Christmas spirals coming? Last year it was about mid February. It seems to be much sooner this year with less intense behaviors. Just thinking about you guys this morning and wanting you to know you aren't alone.