The Crazy Years

When my children were in elementary school, I felt like I lived at the school.  It was always something: eating other kids’ lunches; telling the cafeteria staff that mommy is embarrassed to say so but she is too poor to send lunch (hot lunch would be so great); there was the constant screaming and crying under desks and running off campus. Once police were called because my 1st grader stabbed his teacher in the hand with a sharp pencil.  You would think my kids were born at the CDC because they were sick every day for months at a time, so they said. One time one of my children stole the before school care staff member’s cell phone.  The staff found the phone by calling it.  My daughter answered from her 2nd grade classroom. If I hadn’t been self-employed, I thought I never would have kept a job.

I know many of you are facing this insanity right now.  I remember the fear I experienced when the phone rang during the day (What now?) and the terror I felt in general for the years ahead.  Honestly, it did tip me over.  I had to get therapeutic help for my own dysregulation, when deep despair crept in around the edges.  It was overwhelming.  I had to accept that I needed antidepressants to keep my head above water.  That helped.  Later, neurofeedback further resolved my persistent dysregulation, which came out in the form of zero-to-sixty anger.  Slowly the mess calmed down into my beautiful, crazy life.

When one is in the mess, it is hard to see the beautiful.  Trust me it is there.  Our children from difficult beginnings are who they are.  We cannot control them.  We can only therapeutically parent them and learn to love the child within.  It is a process.

I gave myself so much respite during the elementary years.  I had to or I would have cracked (clinical term for prolonged adult tantrum).  If you feel on the verge of cracking, get therapeutic help.  Get respite.  Get love from the people in your life who can understand what you have gotten yourself into, as not everyone gets how adopting children from difficult beginnings can shake you to the core. I understand.  I needed help. I am telling you this so you can see that help will get you through in one piece and your children through with love in their hearts.

Sanity and love matter.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for February 20th and 27th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day. To sign up email 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.
Look for Ce’s Upcoming Book
Drowning With My Hair On Fire
Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents
Expected Release Date: February 27, 2016
Drowning with My Hair On Fire is a compilation of over 175 daily support letters to parents of adoptive children and other children from difficult beginnings.  With a forward by Dave Ziegler, Ph.D. and a brief personal memoir, this publication is a response to blog-reader requests for a book of letters that can be easily returned to day after day, when inspiration is hard to find.
Praise for Drowning with My Hair On Fire
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
In a real sense “Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents” is a daily mediation of struggle, success, failure and getting up and trying again.  If that sounds like too much to subject yourself to then don’t adopt a challenging child.  And one more thing, shouldn’t we require prospective adoptive parents to read “Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents” rather than another ‘All they need is love’ manual?
Dave Ziegler, Ph.D., founder of Jasper Mountain Center and author of many books on raising children from difficult beginnings.

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