Thursday, May 26, 2011

Therapy ... A Reminder of Which One of us is Crazy

I love when we have a great therapy session.  Really, I had a great session with Lexa's Attachment Therapist.

Lexa watched a movie during the entire session as I vented.  Boy did I need to vent.  Here is a summary of the session as a reminder of the challenges we face.

Trying to parent a child with:
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Actue Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
...will drive the most 'normal' of people nuts.  I needed to be reminded that Lexa's instinctual patterns of behaving are not typical, in fact, they are crazy.

There is no shame in calling it crazy, in fact, there is great acceptance and understanding.  She does not know how to relate in a typical, healthy, loving, attached manner.  I am growing increasingly okay with this reality.

Her trauma has wired her brain to react to everything in fear.  Her fear produces a hyper-need to control ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!!

She is wired to push me away.  This means she is constantly rude to me to the point of being abusive.  Her #1 goal in life is to make sure we do not have a relationship (This alone will drive the most sane person crazy!).

Her fear, from which she does not know she is reacting, makes her try to stop all true closeness and relating.  She only feels safe when she keeps people (especially me) away.

She knows when she is driving me nuts, and this brings her comfort. (The unhealthy part of her is at peace, as the teeny tiny healthy part of her craves true love.).  She does her crazy behaviors over and over again - to make sure I don't like her, so I don't love her, so she doesn't come to love me. 

This is how her past has trained her to react to people.  People cannot be trusted.  People hurt her.  People bring suffering.  She can absolutely only ever trust herself.

Our job is rewire this f#$%&! ed- up way of living!

We must go back and teach her as if she is an infant.  Unfortunately, we are not working with a blank slate, but lots of strongly ingrained negative beliefs.  We must undo her wacko way of relating, and replace it with a healthy love.

This is not easy.  This is why it takes approximately 3 years to fix every 1 year a child has lived in chaos/trauma/stress.  Yeah, by the time she graduates from high school we may be able to relate - at least we have something to look forward to!

The more I realize how broken she is, the more I am learning how to best parent her.  I must out crazy her crazies.  I cannot parent her in a 'typical' manner because she is not typical.  

I am having fun being unpredictable, weird, funny, loving, clever - I even talked to my invisible friend Sally yesterday (modeling a healthy relationship).  I love seeing how it challenges her patterns of fear and control.

I feel I am building my base of how best to parent a traumatized child, and it gives me great hope.  There can be healing and I believe there will be .... in time.