Tuesday, May 23, 2017. This post continues my thinking process from my most recent posts. In this process of recognizing paradox, I can say that I both do not want thoughts about trauma to appear to me out of nowhere – at the same time I of course DO welcome insights into this kind of invisible work that I seem destined to do!
So, here I am this morning with an addition to the story of dear Rose and her humble, troubled family.
Rose began to be sick last Thursday. Then came the hoop-de-da of one of her grandson’s high school graduation last weekend. Rose managed to make it through the events without major stomach eruptions until Sunday – when, literally, her body returned to sick sick SICK. Flu? Duress, stress and distress?
Skipping a whole lot of details of the past few days in that family I need to mention that last evening the little 6 year old great grandson began to have a severe stomach ache with vomiting. In the midst of that what did his mother do? (Read post at link highlighted above – the mother of this little boy is Rose’s granddaughter.)
This mother turned around and walked out the door, leaving her pitiful, suffering little son (along with her 5 year old daughter who showed no signs of sickness) behind.
Rose could NOT let this happen without comment – and yet ANOTHER horrible screaming, swearing fight between these two women took place. The mother walked away anyway, Rose was horribly verbally abused, the little ones witnessed and of course heard this raging abuse – and we KNOW were damaged because of it. (online search “teicher verbal abuse”)
I am in a proverbial pinch. I HAVE to explain to Rose how verbal abuse has been found scientifically to be the worse form of abuse for children to experience. Exposure to it, even in the womb, sends the developing body/brain straight off into trauma altered development. Verbal abuse, ALL KINDS of verbal abuse, not only that directed at children, is terribly harmful.
I asked Rose if she could AT LEAST pause last evening (she telephones me often as I ‘walk’ the path of life with her and those little ones) apologize to those children! Just to even say something like, “WOW! I am SO SORRY we yelled like that! It must be so scary to listen to the people you love be so mad at one another!)
Not a chance!
These patterns of harm to children through verbal abuse around and to them DO harm terribly, but in this real world, WHO is ready to recognize THAT?
These stresses/distresses are RUPTURES – as the neuroscientists explain – in the safe and secure continuum circuits – and if they are NOT repaired, the escalation of developmental harm from trauma compounds. (It is an essential pattern in safe and secure attachment relationships that any RUPTURES be REPAIRED ASAP.)
Rose needed to tell me that she is ALSO receiving “elder abuse,” a term she is obviously aware of along with its patterns. She is correct. The abuse happening in her home caused by her granddaughter is devastating to the peace and tranquility that Rose tries so hard to create and maintain for herself and the wee ones she cares for.
Epiphany! This morning it dawned on me that if we are going to truly learn about risk and resilience – protective factors and risk factors in combination and operation – along with (see recent posts) “Asset-Based Community Development” – new – and perhaps very strange patterns of thinking – are going to HAVE to appear among those of us who care to assist trauma healing.
The father of these children is in prison. I don’t know why. Haven’t asked. At this point I don’t care. He’s gone.
Good riddance? So….. Today I gleaned a strange piece of logic absolutely new to me: The BEST that could be realistically hoped for in situations such as Rose is in would be for that totally and seemingly hopelessly lost granddaughter to be arrested and removed from the scene of this family by being “admitted” not to treatment – THAT isn’t an option, so tragically) – but to the “holding tank” of prison.
This is the real world. This also means that although the CDC ACEs process is identifying as one of the top 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences ‘having a parent imprisoned’, there is MORE to the story. Sure we in general know this, BUT!!
It may very well be that it is a social grace for families that these probably totally traumatized, high ACE and troubled, often abusive human beings, be removed from the trauma drama stage of children’s lives – and from the lives of the people who are trying to adequately care for children.
THIS mother of these children NEEDS to be in prison, according to the pattern of this thinking that appeared to me today. Not only HER, but also true probably for many, many mothers. So it becomes in bizarre ways an asset for the men to be in prison. It becomes a risk factor that women are so far less likely to end up in prison.
As I have written years ago on this blog, DENIAL is a form of childish wishful thinking. There ARE no magic wands! There certainly are plenty of struggles.
I sure can’t see any possible way that any kind of useful, practical, GOOD intervention is going to come along to get this age-27 granddaughter of Rose’s out of that house. I asked today if there is any chance she could/would contact social services – and of course – no. That option was tried years ago about another child this granddaughter has, now age 8 and in permanent custody of her father in another state.
In a different world? Holding tanks of jails and prisons becoming complete ACEs healing centers? Women who are equally as troubled as are the masses of incarcerated high ACE men – or more so? Dynamics most often leave these women ‘our on the street’ – often having more children while not able to care for the ones they already have – not ending up in the ‘sort of short circuit’ prison might offer – what happens?
What CAN happen?
Hours later: Rose and I, with prayer and consultation, MIGHT have come up with at least SOMETHING we can tangibly do that MIGHT contribute something helpful to this situation. Rose is the only person in the world, really, who knows the story of her grand daughter’s life — going all the way back to her beginning.
Rose and I are talking about making a life history story book for this so-hurt, enraged and lost young lady. We would NOT give away an only copy of this – but I bet this summer Rose and I can put our hearts and heads together on such a project, and for all the pain and sorrow in the story, we can make the book beautiful.
This young mother has had a TOUGH life, and the only person safe enough to blame is Rose — safe enough to target the rage upon — and this must end, one way or the other.
NOTE: I have written over the years in posts about the Adult Attachment Interview as it is used to assess adult secure or insecure attachment. This narrative structure enables exposure of the incoherence present in adult life due to early trauma. Making this ‘scrapbook’ story of life can help line everything up accurately, thus contributing to healing — coherence — of one’s life.
Some prior posts:
+OVERWHELMED BY TRAUMA, OVERWHELMED BY WORDS: LINK TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT TRAUMA DRAMA THAT CAN HELP US
Click here to read or to
Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood. Click here to view or purchase–
It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge. A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.
Tags: adult attachment disorders, adult reactive attachment disorder, anxiety disorders,borderline mother, borderline personality disorder, brain development, child abuse,depression,derealization, disorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorder, empathy, infant abuse, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factors, PTSD, resiliency, resiliency factors, risk factors, shame