Oct 052017
 

Bruce wore tiger-striped reading glasses today. Some I picked up from the dollar store. He has no fashion sense and doesn’t care, so it’s amusing when he is accidentally in style.

He needed a bandage because he just had something on his face treated by the dermatologist. So I heard him yell, “Don’t tell me this is all we have for bandaids?”

I responded, “What? You don’t like bright purple ones? Lime green? How about the ones with hearts? Oh, and we have some with Minions on them!”

Tiger stripes framed the resignation in his eyes. He must have sensed what was not fashionable right then. Imagine that. 🙂

Bruce has always had my back. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did with Lilly without him. Working with a traumatized child is an uphill climb, and you have to have some help along the way. Maybe the “Bruce” in your life is a close friend, a brother, or a group of parents supporting each other. Don’t try to go for any length of time by yourself.

Where can you find some support? Try your local foster agency, either county or private. They will know about support groups. Ask around if you belong to a church. Here are organizations that are helpful:

BEYOND Trauma and Attachment (BETA)  A Facebook open support group . They offer humor, information, and retreats.

Attachment & Trauma Network (ATN)   Great international resource with a crisis hotline: 888-656-9806.

The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children is on Face Book. TLC 

Institute for Attachment and Child Development IACD

See my RESOURCE tab on the home page for more help. <3 Nealie

*(Minions is a trademark of Universal City Studios LLC)

 

Oh Boy!

 General Humor, RAD parenting, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Oh Boy!
Feb 012017
 

Do any of you take your special child to public places with caution, and hold your breath until you get home? I’m laughing, because it still happens, and Lilly is in her twenties. Lilly is hyper-sensitive to strangers around her, and will often react to their appearance, clothing, voice, or demeanor. We never know what to expect!

Bruce and I were at a Wendy’s restaurant with Lilly, standing off to the side waiting for our order to be filled by a sweet black woman, who was running things behind the counter single-handed with a smile. But the smile instantly vanished when a chubby white man came came up to the counter and held out a soft-drink cup.

“I need a refill of Hi C.”

“We’re all out,” she snapped.

I held my breath, and hoped that Lilly’s interest hadn’t been piqued by the terse exchange. Lilly was looking at them, waiting for what would come next.

And then the man said, “DON’T toy with my emotions.”

The woman laughed and held out her hand. “Give me your cup.”

He handed it to her, and she filled it with Hi C!

Wow. Who would have guessed that they were friends, just messing with each other? We need to save our quick judgements, don’t we? It was nice to witness some fun, even if it was suspenseful.

And remember, don’t toy with my emotions, lol!

-Nealie  😛

 

 

 

Jan 292017
 

Taking Care of Children by Ari Kuzmik

Remember the swimming pool mental picture from Chasing Lilly?

Picture an empty swimming pool in your mind. It represents a damaged child’s life. Then someone dumps a bucket of dirt into the pool. That dirt is the abuse and trauma experienced by the child.

Your job as a healer is to dilute the dirt by adding bucket after bucket of (healing) “water” by loving and connecting with that child.

The trauma (dirt) is still there, and always will be in that pool, but the healing water of goodness, love, and acceptance will dilute the the bad things, and that child will be empowered to have a better life.

The healing will take much longer than the period of abuse did. Sometimes it takes forever.

Forever is a long time, but if I have done anything in my life, let it be that I have helped an injured child heal.

But not at the cost of damaging and traumatizing other children. That’s the catch.

You must protect other children from being harmed, and don’t assume that kids are resilient and everything will be okay, just like you don’t assume that your pets will be fine without added protection.

-Nealie

P.S. Don’t you just love Ari Kuzmik’s art? 🙂

 

 

Oct 252016
 

If you are married and have a special needs child (or children), you know the unbelievable strain that parenting  puts on your marriage. You have extenuating circumstances that can destroy your relationship over time if you aren’t careful.

Child comes. Parents are ready and excited. The child has physical, behavioral, and/or emotional disabilities. Parents think they are prepared. The child’s care requires more than expected. For a longer period of time. The situation never seems to get better. The once-united front of the parents begins to crumble, because needs are not being met. One parent leaves the marriage -usually the father. What was a bad situation is now an impossible situation for the remaining parent, because, if two couldn’t do it, how can just one?

The politically correct way society often thinks (because they haven’t lived it), is that the parent who left is bad, and the one who remains must carry on regardless, for the sake of the child.

Carry on what was impossible before, with two people?

I must clarify a little here at this point, and say that I am talking about a child with more than a simple disability; one that is severely wounded, damaged, or physically incapacitated. If you lose the core family unit, then you lose. The child loses. Everything falls apart.

Taking care of the marriage must come before the child in this situation, because you can’t help that kiddo by yourself. Ouch. I know.

This is an explosive conversation, and most people won’t talk about it. Bruce and I put our relationship ahead of Lilly, and because we did, we were able to continue to be in her life, even to this day. Had we not taken care of our marriage, and if the stress and conflict involved in her care had torn us apart, then Lilly wouldn’t have us today as her parents.

I don’t know what might have happened to her.

-Nealie