Archive for Complex Developmental Trauma – Page 2

High Road Parenting

Dear Parents,

Dan Siegel, MD coined the term “high road parenting” in his book Parenting From the Inside Out–one of my favorites for helping parents understand their mission as parents and how to achieve it.  High road parenting isn’t any different from high road anything.

When one is cut off on the freeway, high road driving is called for–not the middle finger with a side of Mad Max road rage.  When one’s mother-in-law looks sideways at you while referring to today’s slackers, high road son-in-law behavior is ignoring the slight and offering her another piece of cherry pie.  When your partner, under stress, acts a tiny bit “hole-ish,” high road loving is to ask if you can do something to help–instead of “hole-ing” back an insult of greater proportion.  Where is the love, baby?

Taking the high road may seem like being a doormat, and I am not suggesting that at all. It is perfectly fine to kindly take care of yourself.  I am, however, saying that the world is a better place when people are attached to their own humanity and the humanity of others. Relationships are stronger when we treat them with love and respect in the face of adversity.  And parenting is healing when it is served up with a dose of kindness, empathy and sensitivity to the wounded hearts of our traumatized children.

The next time you get to a crossroads during a moment of heightened stress, take a moment; take a breath; and choose to take the higher road.  You and those around you will be grateful for your personal awareness and your dedication to being love in action.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

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To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Never Underestimate Dysregulation

Dear Parents,

I had a therapy session today with an eleven-year-old boy whose dysregulated state looked just like paranoid schizophrenia.  If his parents were not there to tell me he is not always that way, hands down, I would have misdiagnosed him.  He was dysregulated by my miscalculation about his tolerance for role play.  Instead of getting my point (which I genuinely thought he would), he became humiliated and interpreted me as simply mimicking him.  I didn’t mean to humiliate him though, and he couldn’t recover despite my apology.

That is a bad feeling.  I don’t usually use that method to break through a child’s defense and now I remember why.  It sometimes backfires in a big way.  I hope I can gain his trust back.

If you are a parent who is prone to sarcasm, you may have found yourself resorting to mimicry to get your point across to your attachment challenged child. Take a lesson from me, they have tender underbellies and little tolerance for the gut-stabbing feeling of humiliation. The wound can be deep and long lasting.

Make yourself as safe as you possibly can to the tender parts of your defense-protected child. Our children need to trust we will not hurt them.  I will be making great effort to get this young boy’s trust back.  If you have hurt your child, on purpose or by accident, work very hard to re-establish trust and safety by making a sincere apology and taking the high road every chance you get.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
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Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents

 

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

This Really Is My Life

Dear Parents,

I took my 20-year-old daughter for a psychiatric evaluation today.  I have somehow escaped this for the last two years, since she became an adult.  I offered to pay for an eval outside the Medi-Cal system in order to get a legitimate diagnosis and medication that is not dependent on the amount of money one can pay.  So, today was the day.

In a very short period of time, the psychiatrist leveled one of the diagnoses I knew would be given–Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In that moment my heart cracked open and my mother blood leaked out onto the floor.  If you are not a therapist, this diagnosis may mean nothing to you. However, the diagnosis is often considered the bane of a therapist’s existence when a person labeled with it walks across the threshold.

I am breaking the therapist code of silence right now, because, as a therapist, I am not supposed to say any of this out loud.  As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I will be stoned for daring to speak this. Most therapists (though not all) only take one or two people labeled “Borderline” into their practice at a time.  Why is that, you might wonder?  It is because they are so difficult to treat.  BPD person’s are predominantly female and well known for love you/hate you outbursts.  They often burst out of therapy the way attachment challenged children outburst over parenting.

My daughter had love you/hate you outbursts from the day I brought her home at three-years-old.  And, she still does.  Reactive Attachment Disorder grown-up without successful intervention is often called Borderline Personality Disorder in women and Narcissistic Personality Disorder in men.

I want you to know that early, effective intervention is possible.  Healing is possible. You can change the trajectory of your sweet, attachment challenged child.  How?  With consistent, trust-based, brain-based, therapeutic parenting.  That is how.

When my children were young, I wish I knew then what I know now.  I desperately wish this.  Right now, I am pleased my daughter lives with me and I have a chance to help her heal from the horrible wounds of attachment trauma in early childhood.  It is never too late.  Never.  I know this in my bones.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
picture of cover

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

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Change Makers

Dear Parents,

Our children do not change easily, but we can.  I know it seems like it is hard to change.  As a matter of fact, I think people go to therapy to change and stay too long “trying.”  Trying to change is the problem.  One must simply do it.  Do the mindful trick of changing your mind.

I read a study once that said the degree of one’s denial is the best predictor of a long, happy marriage.  Basically, those who are happy for the longest time in attachment relationships are those who ignore the stuff they don’t like about their partners and who focus on what they love instead.  Really, this is actual research.

By experience, I find that research to be true.  For example, I can focus on my husband’s repetitious restacking of the dishwasher and find it irritating, annoying or even personalize it as a comment he is making on my competence to stack the dishwasher correctly.  On the other foot, I could notice my husband’s repetitious restacking of the dishwasher and find it meaningless, his deal, or even a cute little behavior of his.  Which version will be the most attachment promoting way of seeing my husband?  I personally find it cute; also, I never have to put dishes in the dishwasher. Works for us both and I can feel perfectly in love with him while we clean up the kitchen after dinner.

Look around at your life.  What triggered feelings are you focusing on, memorizing today that you will play tomorrow when you encounter that trigger again?  Right now the garbage is overflowing in my kitchen.  I can allow my thought, Someone who was supposed to take it out has disrespected me, to make me annoyed or angry; or I can take a moment, wonder why it didn’t get done, take it out myself, or put it on the chore list for tomorrow. Which version will be the most attachment promoting way of seeing my children?

Much to the chagrin of many friends and family members, I have a tendency to take my children’s repetitious behavior in stride.  It is the way they are.  I don’t love it, and it isn’t about me.  That is what I know.  If I were to think their behavior is about me, then I would be angry and our attachment relationship would be compromised.  I want to be happy, so I choose a form of denial about my children. They do their best.  It isn’t always that good.  And, that is not about me. That thought keeps me happy.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire. Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

It Was A Sweet Book Party!

Dear Parents,

Many of you were able to make it to the book launch party on Saturday and I was so happy to see your beautiful faces.  I wanted to put pictures of the party in this post, though all you will see are empty rooms, me and only one of my lovely colleagues.

My husband (very quiet, unassuming, introvert) was the DP (designated photographer) for the day.

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At the start I told him he couldn’t take random pictures because there would be some parents here.  He took that to mean he would be taking pictures of food, empty rooms, and me, plus an office mate here or there.  So cute, he is.

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Despite how this picture looks, there was a lovely group of celebrants and I had a wonderful time.  I hope everyone else did, as well. Wish you all could have been here for the cake because it was to die for.

Thank you for all the love and support.

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Jen Nguyen, LMFT,  being the hostess with the mostess; and baby makes two. The quilt in this picture was handmade for me by two incredible, adoptive parents.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationship

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

TIME CHANGEMonthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire. Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Respect Begets Respect

Dear Parents,

Disrespect is not a given with children from difficult beginnings.  It can be trained out.  It cannot, however, be stomped out.  How we speak to one another is one of the ways we transmit love or disdain.  If you speak dismissively, your children will speak with disrespect.  If you speak with love, your children will learn to speak that way, too.

Training takes time.  There is no fast fix to disrespectful reactions.  There is only corrective parenting in the form of respectful repetition.  Imagine you are teaching a three year old to engage respectfully.  You don’t use a smart mouth to do it, right?  You take time to look them in the eyes, smile, and let them know how a respectful response sounds.  That is the way to teach all children regardless of their age. With kindness and deference to their difficult beginnings, you can bring your children along to loving engagement with you.

This will take the patience of Job. If you give it, they eventually give it back.  I promise.

Love matters,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Ce

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The public is invited to celebrate Ce Eshelman, LMFT’s new book, Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents at an open house with brunch bites and bubbly on April 16th, 2016, from 11:30am to 1:30pm.  RSVP here.  Probably not the best event for children though.
To purchase a book click here or go toAmazon.com. Leave a review, when you can.

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Group and childcare are free.

Parents Rock

Dear Parents,

You are made of true grit.  I know you are because I am in your presence all day long every day.  You amaze me, lift me, humble me with your tenacity to heal your wounded children.

You parents are regularly faced with keeping your children safe by choosing between restraining, closing them inside a room, or chasing them through the house, down the street, and around the corner.  How do those things even rate as choices?

I know you feel horrible about some of the things you have to do to contain the pain, the hurt, the grief, the rage.  It is as though you must inflict harm to reduce harm.  The internal turmoil alone is tormenting, yet you carry on like holding these contradictions is simply part of walking through the dark side of raising children who refuse to be parented.

Here is what I learned from raising my own wounded children: little by little, they change. They grow up, and they grow more aware. They may not be everything you imagined at the start, but there is definitely a payoff down the road.  When you get there, you will actually feel delighted that you took this harrowing road less travelled. You may have to trust me on this.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Group and childcare are free.

Parenting in the Internet Age

Dear Parents,

I know you know this.  Parenting was much simpler without the Internet.  When I was a teenager in a small town (pre Instagram and Deep Web surfing ), my parents had only drive around a few hangouts to find me red-handed with Boone’s Farm Strawberry Wine and Budweiser boyfriends behind the A&W Root Beer stand. No kidding.  This all seems rather bucolic now.

Children, especially teens who have difficulty in relationships are lured by the Internet into the dark underbelly of life they have no idea how to navigate.  Extreme sexuality, gender challenging, and cross-country would-be paramours are only the beginning.  The naivite of children from difficult beginnings turns the curious into victims of web trolls and pedophiles of the most devious sort.

One of my children is gender curious and not trusting me because I refuse to “support” the notion of a gender re-assignment decision that is relatively based on air.  I might be wrong, but I don’t think so. I’ve been here with other parents over the years and never thought I would face it myself.  Yet, here it is; out of the blue, like an angry seagull swooping down on the crown of my unsuspecting child.

Tough love tactics are all I have.  No phone.  No electronics.  No access to the Internet by any means.  There is gnashing of teeth and anger that actually scares me.  My mind wanders to my bedroom door where I no longer have a lock, and I am reminded of an earlier time with my other child, where I felt compelled to sleep with one eye open.

I survived that time.  I suspect I will survive this one, too.  Raising children who were previously traumatized and abandoned is an ongoing challenge to my parental senses. I keep wondering what I did in my last life to be living this one now.  Of course, I don’t believe in that…I just think about it sometimes.

Love matters,

Ce

You Are Invited!

Friends of The Attach Place are invited to celebrate:

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

by Ce Eshelman, LMFT

Drowning with My Hair on Fire is a lifeline for adoptive parents trying to navigate the choppy waters of raising adopted children from difficult beginnings. Author Ce Eshelman’s beautiful heart really shines through in the hundreds of letters to parents 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 a traumatized, attachment-challenged child, Ce is the friend you want, and this is the book you need.

“Ce is the real deal. She’s one of those rare gems who deeply cares about the people she serves. She is willing to freeze frame and blow up her mistakes for you to see so you can avoid the same pitfalls. She then points to the path of secure attachment. The book itself is a secure base you can return to again and again when things get difficult at home.”       —Jennifer Olden, LMFT, Certified EFT Therapist

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

11:30 am to 1:30 pm

at

The Attach Place Center
The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

 3406 American River Drive,  Ste. D

Sacramento, CA 95864       

RSVP here.

Purchase your copy of the book here.

 

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Group and childcare are free.

UPCOMING HOLD ME TIGHT WORKSHOP

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Jennifer Olden, LMFT presents a “Hold Me Tight” Couples Workshop at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships in Sacramento, CA..  If you are looking to improve your relationship, this workshop will teach you how to create a stronger bond, lessen conflict, and increase trust and intimacy.  Based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s model for couples therapy:  Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Proven effective. Research based. Read more and register here.

If You Give A Mouse A Car…

Dear Parents,

I hesitate to tell this story for fear you will judge me insane, stupid, or just really stupid. Oh heck, you must already know what I am (a mother of attachment challenged children), so what’s to lose?  In the last two years I have given my 20-year-old daughter four cars. Yep, you read that right–four.

In my defense, she has a two year old disabled child, and I keep trying to make her life more reasonable; hence, the cars.  Admittedly, three of the four I gave were not of the beautiful people kind, and actually my daughter can’t even drive; so, theoretically, I gave the cars in her name to her boyfriend so he could drive her around.

Despite the fact that my daughter is my first born (and therefore my shiny, prototype child), her boyfriend picker is broken.  The driver boyfriend was at best not a good one, and at worst a complete driving idiot. Two mini vans and a PT Cruiser later, she dumped him and a few months later acquired a new one to drive her around.  So, of course, I acquired the fourth car. I decided to lift her out of beater car hell and elevate her to Prius land. She still can’t drive, so her new driver boyfriend is very happy.

A couple of days ago I went to work around 3am (I do that sometimes) and around 6am my phone blew up with texts: Mom did you take the car keys by mistake?  We can’t find them anywhere.  We have looked, Mom, everywhere.  We think we locked them in the glove box (not possible, it is a Prius.)

A few days before that I received a different frantic string of texts:  Mom, we are at the gas station and we cannot figure out how to put the gas in.  We have been here for 20 minutes and we can’t get the cap open.  We need to get gas, Mom, can you call us?  No, no I can’t.

One day before that:  Mom, we got a coupon for a free car wash and we have just rolled straight through it. The car didn’t even get washed.  We looked online and it says there is something about the drive train in Prius’ and other people have had this problem, too.  Mom, can you call us? We are here and no one knows why the car just drives through by itself when it is in neutral…  Oh, never mind Mom, we didn’t really have it in neutral.  We got it, Mom, never mind.  Sorry to bother you.

Upshot, these people should not be allowed on public roads; and the keys, to date, have not been found.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters, I think.

Ce

Ce Eshelman, LMFT is the author of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents and an Attachment Specialist at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships.

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Group and childcare are free.

UPCOMING HOLD ME TIGHT WORKSHOP

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​Jennifer Olden, LMFT presents a ​“Hold Me Tight​”​ Couples Workshop at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships in Sacramento, CA on May 28-29th.  If you are looking to improve your relationship​,​ this workshop will teach you how to create a stronger bond, lessen conflict, and increase trust and intimacy.  Based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s model for couples therapy:  Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Proven effective. Research based. ​Read more and register here.

Caught Cookie Handed

 

Dear Parents,

When your child looks at you like their hands are proverbially caught in the cookie jar, take a look at the way you discipline.  As a matter of fact, you might want to re-visit the origin of the word discipline–knowledge (Latin and Old English)  or punishment (Old French). I prefer the Latin root (no offense to the French). The Latin root of disciplining means to teach or create learned followers. Without realizing it, you may be scaring your children when you are correcting, rather than teaching them to be learned thinkers.

For correction or corrective parenting to work to support behavior change, you must have your relationship hat firmly affix to your own prefrontal cortex or you may be instilling fear of you into your child.  Fear of you is just that–fear of you.  Fear creates memory blocking cortisol to your child’s brain, effectively making you mute to your child’s learning center. The negative behavior you were trying to stomp out will persist in one form or another and your child will look caught or in trouble no matter what you are saying.

Be a gentle, sage teacher to your child and s/he will learn to be disciplined from the inside out.  That’s the best way to become a learned person with a solid sense of self in the face of adversities of life.

Love matters,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Ce

Ce Eshelman, LMFT is the author of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents and an Attachment Specialist at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships.

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Group and childcare are free.

UPCOMING HOLD ME TIGHT WORKSHOP

cropped-couple-two.png
​Jennifer Olden, LMFT presents a ​“Hold Me Tight​”​ Couples Workshop at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships in Sacramento, CA on May 28-29th.  If you are looking to improve your relationship​,​ this workshop will teach you how to create a stronger bond, lessen conflict, and increase trust and intimacy.  Based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s model for couples therapy:  Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Proven effective. Research based. ​Read more and register here.