Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents


Praise for Drowning with My Hair on Fire…

In one of our first sessions with Ce, she told us that before we could work on our trauma and attachment-challenged child, we needed to work on me (Mom). I believe I may have audibly gasped. Work on “me”? I’M fine. I’M not the problem. I was oozing righteous indignation. Then came D-Day, when our parenting skills were failing us, and my mind desperately grasped for Ce’s pearls of wisdom. With no loss of life, limb, sanity, or self-respect, we witnessed a profound moment of therapeutic-parenting success; our epiphany. What we’ve learned from Ce is that it isn’t about us not being good parents, or the right parents; it is about how to be this traumatized child’s parent. Ce’s daily blogs have been invaluable lessons on how to effectively, lovingly engage a traumatized child when they’re melting inside, and her calming words have had a way of talking me down from my ledge—reminding me that “love matters.”
Kim Petersen, Adoptive Mother

Ce Eshelman’s daily blog is a therapeutic beacon to guide anyone who feels lost in their efforts to understand, support, and teach attachment-challenged, special needs, and easily dysregulated children. Ce brings an empathic and hopeful voice to those caring for kids who have been impacted by trauma and the significant barriers stress has presented to their healthy brain development. As a professional and a parent, I have benefitted immeasurably from her wisdom.
Brenda Vaccaro, PsyD, Founder & Attachment Specialist, SPARK Center for Psychology, Sacramento, CA

This woman saved our family. This book will save your sanity! After years (and many therapists) of getting it wrong, Ce Eshelman got our traumatized family on the right path to attachment, sanity, and big, big love. Ce’s unique therapy is grounded in the latest brain research, her own struggles raising traumatized children, and work with hundreds of families like ours. Her stories, contained in this book, are our stories: full of pain, confusion, hope, faith, love, and practical magic that really works.
Elaine Smith, Adoptive Mother

Ce’s daily blog has been a lifesaver, particularly when days are most dreary and hopeless. Not only have her words of empathy proven to be priceless to our family, but I have often forwarded them on to others. Such a comfort to feel understood, with no judgment.
Patty O’Hair, Adoptive Mother

Foster and adoptive parents often face very daunting challenges not experienced by people raising their biological children; how much more so for those raising children with attachment challenges. Full of the painful honesty of raw truth and lessons learned the hard way—as well as grateful humor—Eshelman’s Drowning with My Hair on Fire is an anchor of solid support for these parents and a helpful reference for helping others to understand this rocky path. It is a generous and loving book. As Ce always reminds us, Love Matters.
David Hafter, LMFT, Author of Growing Balls: Personal Power for Young Men

Ce’s words provide insight and relief on so many levels: practical advice based on brain research on how to do this thing called “therapeutic parenting;” emotional balm when life with my attachment-challenged child goes on tilt; deep empathy and understanding because she’s walked in my shoes; refreshing honesty about her own struggles and failings; applause for a tiny step forward and encouragement to keep on going. I need these words, sometimes like I need air to breathe! Ce has been a God-send for our family.
Debi Zacharia, Adoptive Mother

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Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents

You can purchase this on Amazon or here for a discount. 

Ce Eshelman has more than five hundred blog followers, many of whom pled with her for what is now this book. Her self-help memoir, which includes hundreds of letters to adoptive parents, is seriously messy, way too personal, mostly informative, sometimes disorganized, occasionally ridiculous, irreverent, and often pure crazy town. As a child of trauma herself, she weaves a compelling story of raising her own two adopted children from difficult beginnings and becoming a therapist with a thriving practice helping other adoptive and foster parents with equally huge challenges. These children with attachment issues, who have been abandoned, traumatized, and abused, have hearts that must be healed in order to love and receive love. Ce doesn’t tell you how to do that; she shows you what it takes to be a child whisperer for these special children. The first part of the book is her own harrowing confessional, revealing countless sins, mistakes, and struggles and letting us see the raw vulnerability of someone determined to get it right. There is redemption in that she eventually goes on to become an expert, with a multifaceted agency in Sacramento called The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships, but never losing her humility, gratitude, or the ability to forgive herself or others.

Dave Ziegler, PhD, a notable in the attachment field with his own books that were important to Ce, says in the introduction to this book, “People who have been there with challenging adopted children can only reflect their experience in raw, unfiltered, and honest ways. There is no room for sugarcoating the issues. Adoption agencies may try to say ‘All this child needs is love,’ but for those of us who have been there, we know this statement barely scratches the surface of what these children need, and yes, love is one item on the long list.”

Ce’s beautiful heart really shines through in the hundreds of letters to parents for them to read each day when needing hope, inspiration, advice, direction, reminders, or practical help. She deeply understands them and the chaos of their lives and families because she was there, but is now able to give them the wisdom culled from reading every book on the subject, attending hundreds of seminars and workshops, years of her own therapy, and fearlessly facing her own mistakes. If you are raising an attachment-challenged child, Ce is the friend you want, and this is the book you need.

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