I keep meaning to continue my ruminations, based on our family’s experiences, on complex trauma but, truthfully, revisiting everything is traumatic now for me. With this many children in a family, it has often been quite the ordeal. At the moment, our lives are relatively peaceful, a lull in the action that I am enjoying very much, but I know it won’t last.
Hitting adolescence is explosive in traumatized children; a landmine I’ve walked through over and over, yet I still know no more now than when I started. The one thing I can easily shout from the rooftops is that each child is so unique; there are few applicable blanket statements that I can use.
I have learned some coping techniques for me however, over the years, the most important one may very well be in me not taking the anger from my children personally.
They are not angry with me, they are angry with their own personal set of circumstances. I understand their rage, I’d be angry also if I were them. They have a legitimate beef. These are wonderful children who were not treated right in their early childhoods.
Neither justifiable anger nor a chip on their shoulder will serve them in adulthood; it’ll only sabotage their own efforts at maturity, so I need to constantly work with them in this area. Just as I vented yesterday, over unkind remarks, my children need to see me cope, see me not punch a hole in the wall, but rather see me release my anger acceptably, or better yet, just get over it.
Holding on to anger only poisons oneself. One grown daughter of mine realized that remaining angry at a birth parent only still chained her to the past; she was still empowering this woman to hurt her over and over. It’s been nearly a 16 year process, no one said it was easy, but this daughter of mine has learned slowly that she is truly loveable and successful. Her birth mother was simply incapable of valuing human life, preferring drugs at the time, abusive relationships, and her own drama over the needs of her darling children.
I don’t necessarily blame the birth parents either. I understand that they may not have been parented well in their childhood, it is usually generational, it is sad, and it deeply hurts my children, through absolutely no fault of their own.
This grown daughter of mine had a personal light bulb moment this past weekend; the literal light bulb dinged over her head in a cartoon manner. She watched her ultra-successful father-in-law desperately attempt to get his own birth mom to acknowledge him. She’d not raised him, his grandmother had done so, yet 50 years later, he could get no respect from her.
My daughter was able to see that the inability was within that mom, her father-in-law is an awesome man with many accomplishments. An Antwone Fisher moment. Some eyes may never be opened, some hearts may never be full of pride…I have no satisfactory explanations, just these observations.
His, and my, grandson, pictured above, will thankfully be spared the feelings of inadequacy. He’ll know only love and pride.