Candyland Nightmare

Oh my goodness, woke up from a weird dream, nightmare maybe.  I was sleeping in the dream and awoke under candy wrappers stacked to the ceiling.  There was sticky stuff, like melted ice cream, dripping down my neck.

It was flashback dreaming. Back to the time when hoarding candy, amongst plenty of other stuff, was a major force in my house.  Where does all the candy come from?  I watched so closely, and yet candy wrappers magically appeared by the dozens, stuffed in every nook, drawer, vent, pillowcase, and behind every bed, dresser, and door.  Amazing really.

Sweets, like alcohol, jingle the reward system in children (and adults for that matter).  Dopamine is the reward system’s candyman. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes all of us humans feel GOOOOOOOD. Soothed. Happy. Too much dopamine, however, can lead to psychotic behavior.

YOU can see why our attachment challenged children, who often have deficits in the happy neurotransmitters, would be seeking something sweet, eventually maybe sweet and alcoholic, to make all the pain in their hearts go away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work long-term and their urgency amps up. My traumatized children are sweet-seeking missiles, even today.
Part of dealing with this is managing diet, providing sweet natural alternatives, sensitizing your children to loving touch, and letting go.  YOU cannot control behavior, so you have to let go of trying so fiercely that it interferes with your relationship with your child.  
You can give soothing whenever you can.  Hold your babies (even if they are 18) when they ache.  If they cannot tolerate touch because of complex trauma, sit close, use soft eyes, and talk sweetly.  The positive neurochemical cascade can be ignited those ways, too.
Isn’t that term funny? Talk “sweetly.” Ha.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
Sweet talk is a love language.
Broken-hearts need a lot of sweetness to heal.

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