I am embarrassed by my son.
He looks fine out there on the basketball court – tall, handsome, athletic. But though he could be a star, he hangs back … too insecure to put himself forward and possibly fail. His team is losing, badly, so he yells directions at the other kids (he feels out of control so he tries to control the world around him.) The game is over (finally, mercifully) and he comes off the court blaming the coach, the referees, the other team – always the victim. All those broken, unhelpful, self-defeating ways of coping which have their roots in his traumatic beginnings – these strategies he developed to cope with a dangerous and unpredictable world in the orphanage – defeat him in his world now.
And I am embarrassed. It is so painful to watch. I talk a a bit to the other parents who acknowledge me with a nod and move on to talk to someone else. I feel their judgement. What kind of parent must I be to have a child who behaves that way? My son is burning my social bridges here in our small town. The other parents, the ones who are judging me, have no idea how hard I have worked to be the parent he needs to bring him healing: the books read, the seminars attended, the years of family therapy (God bless my good husband for taking 1/2 a day off work all year to join us), the money spent, the sacrificed career, the constant intentionality.
And they have no idea how hard he has worked, this handsome wounded boy of mine; the incredibly painful things he has had to face as a child: the abandonment, the starvation, the sickness, the neglect, the horrendous birth family story. We have made him face this awful abyss and talk about it, to relive his suffering in hope of his healing. What suffering have their children faced here in their comfortable suburban lives?
I go home, put my children to bed, and cry. These children of mine are a lonely road.
~ Trauma Mama