My Mama Heart breaks in those moments, when their trauma causes them to respond or initiate something, far beyond their years in knowledge or out of character. The process of healing souls and rewiring pathways will take years and layers.
Those trauma leaks are heavy, on one hand you look at your child and think, “you are ---years old you should not know that or that should not be your coping mechanism.” Trauma is triggered without warning, your child spirals to a place of brokenness, claiming lots of collateral damage on the way. Some days you see behaviors pop up that have been gone months and then other times it is a completely new manifestation of trauma, a new behavior you hadn’t been expecting.
As a parent you feel helpless and honestly a little sick inside. It has been in those moments that I feel the most helpless as a parent. I have learned early on in my parenting journey to whisper to myself, “hide your emotions.” Knowing that in that moment of discovery, I do not get to feel anything.
Dealing with trauma response means, my feelings are set aside, they do not get to engage in this battle. Many nights, after they are tucked away safely sleeping, I have grieved the reality of trauma in our home, seeing the ripples it has. I have to be calm and ask my child the questions, in that moment petitioning for them. Stepping into their trauma and experiences fighting for them desiring to bring them back. Sometimes the rescue mission is mere minutes while other times it is hours of processing.
Our triggers show up as anger and aggression, as shutting down and disassociating or as explosions of tears over the wrong socks. My crew is no stranger to hurt, they are processing a lifetime of hurt with little to no coping skills, that equation means it will be messy. Some days the best thing I can do for them is sit in the mess with them. Climb into those beds as they cry, embrace them as they fight and sit and wait as they pull away. I have learned that my crew have all been conditioned to be left, they have all experienced that loss in their lives.
The ache of trauma is never gone. It seems just when we almost forget our past, when we are so far removed from those traumatic days, where we think we maybe have escaped trauma’s vicious clutch, it seems to come back reminding us of its bitter roots. Each day that goes by is filled with seeds of truth and freedom seems to make those visits from trauma less and less powerful. Each day is a chance to process another layer, rewire another pathway and take another step forward in the healing process.