Traumatized children can be quite abusive to YOU and other children in your family. This is one of the more disturbing realities of adopting children who have been abused, neglected and abandoned. They often live on high alert in a dysregulated state, so it doesn’t take much for them to go from zero to 60. If you are in the way, YOU will get hurt.
Prepare yourself for the truth that it requires a certain amount of emotional and physical engagement to raise a hurt child. YOU will likely get punched, kicked, bitten, spat upon, and yelled at. YOU may get this on a regular basis while you are trying to create a sense of felt safety for this very same child. It will dysregulate you, scare you, and at some point it may cause you secondary trauma akin to posttraumatic stress.
It is up to YOU to decide when you cannot maintain a consistently safe home for your child. I know you are getting all the help that is available to you. If you hit that wall, you do. No shame. There are limits to a parent’s ability to hold the stress, emotional duress, and physical insults of trauma re-enactment. YOU decide when enough is enough. It is not your therapist, your doctor, your mother or best friend’s decision. It is solely up to you and it is okay to decide that your beautiful child needs a higher level of care than you can provide at home.
That decision will break your heart (I know all too well), but it may just save your relationship with your child (which I also know quite well). That is the ultimate goal–get your child consistent, patient, informed, and safe treatment for the trauma that cannot be addressed at home. That does not make you a bad parent. It makes you a traumatized parent who needs help to help your child. Once again, no shame. There are limits to everyone’s capacity. If you hit yours, do yourself, your child and your family a favor and get a higher level of trauma intervention outside your home.