Mad As Hell

 Dear Parents:

When your child is “mad as hell,” flashing eye-daggers, hating you out-loud and personal, you can know that she is dissociated.  What does that mean?  Well, there is a complicated, psychobabble explanation, but I will put it here as simply as I can:  She is split off from the part of herself that is monumentally overwhelmed at the core because of some kind of emotionally devastating experience, such as attachment breach.  Even babies experience attachment rage; a survival tantrum that supersedes feelings of fear, despair, hopelessness, and a sense of impending death.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

No, I am not being dramatic. Attachment breaches are dramatic, creating trauma to brain development that impacts the life trajectory of a child. If the breach occurs before 2 years old, then the brain forms around these experiences, often triggering later in life whenever the child feels deprivation, fear, or threatened by the large and small interactions of everyday life.  Even closeness (via therapeutic parenting, for example) can cause fear that triggers dissociated rage.

Therapeutic parenting is more than just keeping your cool in the face of rage.  It is learning how to hold and process the feelings beneath. You might need help from a trained therapist. Even then, it is a journey with no map.

Do everything you can not to personalize dissociated rage.  It really isn’t about you.

Love matters,


UPCOMING Sacramento/Local Area EVENTS:

Take the Capital Adopted Families Alliance needs survey here.

2017 CAFA Conference
Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The goal of this conference is to give adoptive parents, foster/kinship
parents and professionals the opportunity to meet and learn from four
therapists who have worked successfully with adoptive families in the Sacramento area.

9:00 Ce Eshelman, LMFT – How parental attachment patterns impact
parenting challenging traumatized children
10:30 Kate Messina, PhD, LMFT – Identify and coach your child’s
temperament and “protest style”
12:30 Edye Swidler, LMFT – Social Media and your adopted child
2:00 Debra Wiegel, LMFT – The Hidden Disability: FASD and its effects
on the building blocks of relationships: empathy, conscience, and self-control
Location: River Oak for Children, 5445 Laurel Hills Dr. Sacramento
Time: 8:30-9:00 a.m. check-in 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Conference Cost: $25 a person, includes lunch
*No childcare available
To register: Go to and click “Training Conference.”
Or send check to 6875 Poca Montoya Dr. Granite Bay, CA 95746
Questions: (916) 834-3700
Capital Adoptive Families Alliance was formed by adoptive parents in the Sacramento area.

Healing Difficult Beginnings — Trauma-Informed Parenting with Teri Gelgood, LMFT.
8 Saturdays: September 30 – November 18, 2017      9am-12pm      
493 Main Street, Suite D, Diamond Springs  (Gust Bros Building)
Cost:  $800 (second person caring for same child – free)        530-503-7040    

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on September 13th, 2017! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Free child care provided.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.

FOLLOW US:  Twitter @lovingradkids and @Attachmenthelp or Facebook.

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