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“I Don’t Think We Can Do This Much Longer.”

That’s something so many people say when they are struggling with a traumatized child.

Specifically, a Developmental Trauma Disorder child, like Lilly. Or like your DTD child.

What I would say to you is this:

  1.  Stay safe! Physically stay safe. Keep other children out of the path of danger. Lock yourself in a room and call the police if you feel in danger. You cannot help the DTD child (or any other kids in the house) if you are injured. Deal with broken windows later…better that than a broken you.
  2.  If you are having trouble being believed about the craziness and danger, secretly film it. I never had to do this because I was believed, but do it if you need to. Ann and Marty Wells in Chasing Lilly had to film Lilly to be believed. (If the child knows you are doing the filming it will up the ante for them, so do it secretly.)
  3.  Don’t hesitate to allow police intervention. We had the police involved many times, and at the beginning they didn’t want to do anything but lecture our little darling because she was sooooo little. (What self-respecting officer is going to haul a 50 pound little kid to the police station?) But after a while the lectures end, and they call an ambulance for a psychiatric trip to the hospital. More and more, younger children are ending up with police interventions, and it’s scary! But if it is the only way to eventually get help for that child then it has to be done. If your kid is a teen they will be charged with unruly child, assault, etc., and sent to a juvenile detention center. Once there, if the center cannot handle them, then you have even more documentation and hopefully the needed services will be made available. Nobody wants to pay for anything or pay attention to the huge need for help, until the chaos is in their corner.
  4.  Never give up on being therapeutic! But do it from a safe place.

Love my Readers,

Nealie

 

 

 

Lilly is Smoking

Canva-Dry-leaves

 

Ah, the lure of nicotine! When Lilly was younger she used to call out people about their smoking, telling them they should not be doing that. It used to agitate her a lot when people smoked near her, because her birth parents burned her with cigarettes when she was under the age of two.

Despicable and horrifying as that is, Lilly’s mother was a fourth generation foster child herself, and she may have repeated ugly things done to her when she was a little girl. If people don’t know how to break a chain of violence  or addiction, it continues through generations until someone does break that chain.

Back to the smoking. Lilly found out about nicotine gum, and would ask for it whenever she had a hospital admission, which was frequently. I found out last week that Lilly is smoking two real cigarettes a day at her group home. They are lit for her outside, and staff keeps the lighter.

Lilly is in her twenties. She doesn’t get to drive, have a real job, get married, have kids, or do anything that she sees “normal people” do. (That’s what she calls you and me.) And she is frequently angry about that, because she observes the differences between her life and others her age. She’s no dummy.

I have fought back on this for years because it’s not healthy. Is anything in her life healthy? The psychotropic drugs? The many other various medications? The lack of any exercise? Eating only high carb, greasy foods because that’s all she wants? Remember the lady that made me laugh all the way home in Chasing Lilly, because she told Lilly to try OxyClean? (trademark) Why would a girl who wipes her mouth on her shirt, care if her shirt was white and clean? It’s not that I don’t care about Lilly. You all know I do, but some things are too impossible to fight, and I have enough other battles.

So let her smoke.

-Nealie