Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pause Button

I am not going to lie

Today was a horrible day


and it's not over yet

double ugh

Funny how things actually start moving along, a lot less bumps during the day and you almost begin to forget what an "off" day can look like then


It smacks you upside the head.

Well on the bright side it isn't subtle. I don't do subtle so well so thanks for that.

I know the main reasons why C is so dysregulated. I understand it but it doesn't make dealing with the miscues any easier when I had no one to tag team with all day. I didn't always handle myself well. I would sometimes forget the things we learned recently in the Circle of Security attachment group I went to for 10 weeks.

I have included this video, which is a very simplified summary of what the program is. There is not a lot available for posting here as the researchers are very tight on what they release so that it is not misused. I attended a version of COS that was for caregivers of children who had experienced disruptions to their attachment but this video at least gives an idea to those who aren't familiar with this particular intervention program

So as I was saying, I would forget for a time that this seemingly happy and hyper boy that was driving me insane was actually miscuing. Which is what our kids with trauma backgrounds do - they miscue. They act like they are happy when they are scared. They act angry and push us away when what they really want (and usually unbeknownst to them) is for us to come closer and to make it better. But then I would remember. I would see the miscues for what they were. Signals that my poor boy was really struggling (and thus at the bottom of the circle in COS terminology). So then I would envision the circle with the outstretched hands. And I would know what he needed was for me to be "bigger, stronger, wiser and kind". And then I could say things like "You are yelling at me and you seem angry. I'm thinking you are actually really scared because Gwen (his AMAZING tutor/worker) has the flu. I've seen you like this when people you love and care about are sick. It makes you have a really hard day".

well lo and behold that stuff actually works. Instead of a yelling and screaming and full on meltdown he actually calmed down.


you could see his back and shoulders just relax as he kind of slumped in his chair. His eyes lost that wide, wild animal look. Instead of looking like he was tightly wound looking for a fight he suddenly looked so scared and tired and defeated. He looked at me with those puppy dog eyes and through tears he said "In all the time I have known her she has NEVER been sick. Maybe she's going to die"

Shit that is some powerful stuff.

Then we were able to talk and we sent a text message to Gwen and she responded and the worst of the absolute drive me up the wall behaviours stopped. He continued to struggle all day but we have managed.

I know it wouldn't have been the same if I tried saying what I said to him even a year ago. Yes the Circle of Security technique absolutely would have helped me years and years ago. It would have given me something to draw from, it would have helped remind me that our kids can heal. It would have focused me on being a detective and figuring out his miscues even faster than we did on our own. It would have helped us parent. But if I had said that even last year he would have screamed in my face that I was wrong and I probably would have given up pursuing that line of thinking.

He has come so far this past year, things are changing, his brain seems to have rewired in so many places - leading the way to reduce the flight or fight response time. It's like a pause button has been installed. It doesn't always work and he might still flee or fight but at least now there is one.

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