Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Real Actual Therapy

So, we recently began weekly therapy sessions with Meadow and Flint.

((Deep breath)) 

(((And another)))

It's something I've put off for a long time for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is their inability or unwillingness to convey their thoughts or emotions or feelings verbally. They are both, largely, nonverbal with adults. I wondered if it would be a waste of time, effort and money to see a therapist if they would not speak truthfully, or if they would not speak at all. And then there was that wicked flip-side concern they would open the floodgates of communication and start outing all my deep, well kept secrets to a perfect stranger paid to solve all our ugly BIZNESS. Um, scary. So, there was that too. 

But as the years have waxed on, I can clearly see that the stability of a family unit is not going to be enough to bring these kids the comfort and security and healthy bonds they need to thrive. That's not easy for me to admit. We are such a close family. A really, really close - spend oodles of time together - dinner every night and big breakfasts on Sunday mornings at the table - game playing - YMCA swimming - reading aloud - movie watching - tons of conversation and nonstop interaction - family. I thought they may come around, learn to trust us, come to see their parents as essential and helpful and beneficial to their lives, if given plenty of opportunity to recognize the *obvious* FABulousNESS of their Deutsch people. It's humbling enough to express, that's not the case. Their child to parent attachment has been labeled as avoidant and disorganized. Those gnarly pride snatching diagnoses. 

Though our new therapist assures me it's not a reflection of me, this all feels like a pretty giant Fail Plus in The Motherhood Department. If we were better at the adoptive parenting gig, we wouldn't be sitting in these seats, now would we? He tells me not to personalize, that our children missed some extremely crucial key ingredients necessary for forming a truly healthy brain very early in their lives that keep them from developing secure attachments and I had nothing to do with that. Maybe he's just being nice, saying that so I won't grow angry and cease our therapeutic relationship? See there? The unhealthiness in my own brain starts seeping out all over the place, questioning our wise and capable therapist. And then there are the 4 years I have spent nearly every day with these children, unable to draw them out. It's the thought that nags the prone-to-guilt recesses of my mind. I must learn to take his word for it. I'm considering a giant "it's not your fault" tattoo to remind me. 

Nevertheless, we are ready and excited about digging in and getting down to business. Thus far, I have found it wonderfully validating for someone to see what I see, to fully understand my concerns, to address areas of need, and to provide tools to help us all cope and ultimately move forward.

We are very early in, but he has helped me see the toll parenting these children has taken on my life and to understand how it has changed and traumatized me, which leads me to realize my own need for proper self care, which I must make a higher priority.

I share this with you to say that if your children are still struggling and you have found yourself ineffective, unable to heal the wounds that bind and divide and burden you and your children alike, you are not alone my friend. I am here, with you.

Here we go, let's get the ball rolling. God be near to us all. 


Lindy said... like him?? I'm so anxious to talk to you and hear in person what you're learning. And see if you think he'd be able to help us as well. In these final weeks of school--let's shoot for coffee one more time??

Erika Stanley said...

H and I started therapy together about six weeks ago. I keep meaning to write my own blog post about it, but I keep waiting for everything to get better first... Humbling, frustrating, gut wrenching... And, that about sums up life. I pray earnestly for healing in your family- that your kids would be at peace, and therefore, so would you. :)

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