Needing a Break?

Lately, some people who I care about have been struggling with their trauma children, their health, job, marriage . . . and seem to be drowning.

cat in a windowI know the feeling.  Parenting a traumatized, damaged child (or children) can pull you under so easily. Nobody on the outside looking in knows what you go through, unless they’ve been there. You feel like my cat looks –wanting a way out. You just want to escape! But there is no going back.

In Chasing Lilly, I tell about my struggles and the crazy, desperate things that I did to stay above water. (The swimming pool story tells you that it didn’t always work!)

Some things are imperative if you are a parent in this situation:

1.  Take care of your health. If you die or go to an institution, “ain’t nobody gonna make it!”

2.  Have a support system of professionals, as well as friends that understand. Beyond Trauma and Attachment (BeTA) is an excellent group that has it together. They also have a Facebook page.

3.  Have a relationship with your heavenly father. If there is no God, then don’t look for miracles. I believe that there is a God, and He cares and listens. Many times at a breaking point, prayers were answered. Time and again we have seen this.

4.  Don’t be afraid to seek emergency help through a hospital stay for the child, or a residential admission. You can recharge during those times when the child is away. Visit them, but don’t let it consume you. They are in good hands, and you need some self-care.

5.  Laugh.  Okay, cry first, but then laugh. (Did I ever tell you about 13 year-old Joy stealing the car and driving down an interstate with a 12 year-old friend –at night?) If you can’t laugh, then read my book.

Praying for all who struggle with traumatized children, Nealie




  1. Violetta Gammon says:

    You are so right, Nealie. Sounds like a great book and I expect to order it. No one knows unless they have endured life’s break downs. I can’t believe Joy drove a car down the main highway. Vi

  2. sherree rummer says:

    You said….1. Take care of your health. If you die or go to an institution, “ain’t nobody gonna make it.”

    When in an airplane they tell the adult if the need arises,they are to put on their oxygen mask first and THEN the child’s. Yes, you can not help anyone until you first take care of yourself.

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