When dealing with a child that has trauma and attachment spectrum disorders, LOVE is all about keeping the child safe from not only physical harm (outside of them self). But safety in the realms of emotional, verbal, psychological, and spiritual realms as well.
Many families are hiding under the load of LOVE. We are accused and misunderstood, because love for us comes in the form of "Tough Love" versus the reciprocal relationships in attunement with each other. The special smiles, the hidden notes, the acts of kindness, or genuine appreciation for the heart and dedication put forth from the parent by the child.
Our children do not fear the physical issues of safety, crossing the street, talking to a stranger, bumps and bruises from play. They have lived through much more unimaginable things. What is a consequence that we can put forth in discipline that is not shrugged off for the power of control in the immediate self gratification?
For us, love is SAFETY. Safety from the memories of nightmares that try to creep in from the past. These are triggered by their senses. The BROWN sofa, a certain smell, a flash of light, the bang of a noise, a game or TV show.
We need to keep the family safe from the threats or attempts of murder, fire, rage, or any other foul declaration that escapes the lips. And, we need to protect the child from them self and the vile damage that they can achieve that pours forth from the belief system that has become a menacing stronghold.
The triggers from daily living scream in outrage as a child may throw them self down the step or ram into the stomach of an unsuspecting victim. The force causing physical damage to one or both. The parents fear: The child may get hurt, or I may be in legal trouble if I touch the child in the process and blame is laid at my door. Again, if I do not yank them back from the road full of speeding cars I am still risking the set up of legal accusations.
The word SAFETY is beginning to feel like a noose around my neck. It is what I teach. It is what I know needs to be the deciding factor in making decisions for my family and each individual child so that healing and life may be obtained. Yet what I experienced is, that SAFETY has become a jailer. To protect my child from the worst of all, well meaning people who do not have all the facts, we avoid certain areas of community so that the triggers do not produce death when we get home. Or, the other side of safety, tears my family apart when one must go away ... so everyone is safe. Is there really major help in going away? Or is the only reality safety. Is it all reduced to SURVIVAL. First for the child, then for its family members... not so much the family unit. Is there help? Is there hope?
Because of society rules and ways of operating many of us are isolated from each other. We doubt that anyone else could be experiencing the same thing. Community supports do not believe us, laughing, "he is only a child, how much damage can he do?"
Power comes in unity of voice. In sharing our story. Of penetrating into the mindsets of past perceptions. Consistency in our involvements as parent advocates for our children. We need to encourage each other and then not shy away in embarrassment when help and hope is offered.
We need to STAND together in our community for change and supports. Let's try innovative approaches to programs, therapy and treatment. Only when we, the community, can stand together in practice and success of recoveries will our county, state and higher levels of governing and decision making bodies take the time to stop, look, and consider what we are doing to: BE THE Difference.
(c)2006, Kaylene D. Scholl Carousel Project
The purest LOVE
Puts positive traits into action
When the situation is
Challenging our self control