Recently I had a few well meant conversations with a few well meaning people who felt compelled to share their observations of a weekend/hour/minute spent with our oldest little (who is by far the most severe in terms of trauma behavior). In a nutshell they consisted of how well he behaved in their presence and then the usual “perhaps you are too hard on him”
“if you treat someone like they are bad…”
“you are always upset with him”
“he can’t move before you are after him”
This based on how kind, sweet and obedient these children are in the presence of others.
I understand the motives behind this, I really do….but lately I am not up for it. Lately I have been running like a chicken with my head cut off to fiber shows, visits with far away parents, my step father’s funeral in TN and when I am home the little is very angry. Understandably angry, I have been gone a lot; but until you’ve lived it….it’s really hard for me to listen to your advice. You just don’t understand. I can not explain to you adequately the exhaustion, the frustration, the grief that watching a child destroy the world around him (even at times himself) causes a mother.
Yesterday Todd and I both were able to be with the boys. We had some hiccups but it was a noticeably better day for me.
“Wow, today went really well! The boys were great!”
“Are you kidding me?” my husband said, astonished “They were horrible today. I had to correct them all day long. They are never this badly behaved with me.”
Yep. That paints a pretty good picture. The smiling child you see is not the one I live with…and most of the time that’s okay. Much of the time I understand the grief and sadness that compels him to punish me in the first mom’s place. But the words hurt. The judgments burn and honestly they make a hard job just that much harder. I know you want to help and I understand your concern but leave the advice to those who are trained to understand the wounds these children have endured. They have a therapist and case worker watching closely over them, they will not allow them to be mistreated. I am not doing this rogue, trust me. Please, Please understand that the behavior directed at me is not a result or in response to my treatment of them. Yes, I become overwhelmed at times but I love them deeply and I am doing everything I can to help them heal.
I love this post: The Whipping Mom I think she explains it well.