28 Jan

Dear Pickle,

Today, I looked Trauma square in the eye. I saw him like I have never seen him before.

He wasn’t just defiant, disobedient and rude. Not this time.

Today, I saw him encapsulate and possess you with such ferocity, it scared me.

I witnessed his Herculean strength burst through your 9-year old body, bulldozing furniture with unfathomable rage.

I heard his distraught, deeply-embedded roars mushrooming through your chest.

Trauma was in charge today.

He took you to new place of deep self-loathing and heightened emotional distress.

I crouched down, away from you. Trauma wouldn’t let me come close. All I wanted to do was hold you. At that moment, I hated him for keeping me from you. He burned through your eyes with fear and apparent hatred for me. He screamed at me to “GO A-WAAAAY”

Then he relented. You invited me to sit next to you. Briefly.

Trauma never lies dormant for long. He detonated inside you again and he made you run.

Trauma often makes you run. He steals all rational and logical thinking when you are in that deep dark cavern of wildly looping guilt and shame.

But today, when Trauma made you run, he made your body clamber those railings with such determined and incredible agility, it was shockingly impressive.

I think I must have managed to portray a calmness that made you trust me and, in turn, to silence Trauma.

I told you that it looked so high and scary up there. And you came down.

Once down, you sat next to me on the step where I had remained, fixed. My mind whirring but my body open.

You placed your head on my shoulder.

We hugged.

You sobbed.

I suppressed my tears.

Then raising those long, beautiful eyelashes, you looked at me and said “My hands smell. Can I go and wash them?”

You have no idea why Trauma does this to you. That makes me so angry and so incredibly sad.

I’m learning all the time but I don’t always get it right. In fact, I have no idea what “right” is.

As welcome as I have had to make Trauma feel, I loathe his presence. I hate that he lives inside you. I hate that I can’t protect you from him.

I hope one day you will be able to read this and smile. And maybe say: “Wow, was that really me?”

I hope you will be able to read it and feel no shame; only pride at how much you have achieved.

I hope.

Mummy x



11 Responses to “Trauma”

  1. gemlifewithkatie January 28, 2016 at 22:34 #

    Scary day by the sounds of it. It’s so heartbreaking to see them go through those emotions and not know why and to feel so helpless to help. Lots of love xx

    • Clairey January 28, 2016 at 22:38 #

      First time I have really felt angry about his past. Completely frustrating and heart-wrenching.

      • gemlifewithkatie February 1, 2016 at 23:26 #

        I understand that feeling. It’s hard to know what to do with those feelings as well xx

  2. Sal xx January 29, 2016 at 07:36 #

    Claire, your words make me cry. You are both on a journey with no known route through, but you move on, dealing with every twist and turn together. The day will come when you’ll walk it together, smiling faces, holding hands, in the beautiful sunshine, with ‘Trauma’ a distant memory. You are wonderful, as is your beautiful boy xxx

  3. Louise January 29, 2016 at 07:43 #

    Eleven years on from trauma joining our family, its presence is still oh so felt, but, there are moments, hours and sometimes even whole days when trauma takes a break! Hang on in there. Xxx

    • Clairey January 29, 2016 at 09:17 #

      We had 3 whole weeks not that long ago. And actually in general we have always been seemingly inching forwards (with blips). Things have taken such a downward turn recently. There are some obvious and some potential triggers. His levels of sensitivity and vigilance are at an all time high and self-esteem is rock bottom. Thanks Louise x

  4. Eve and Ella January 29, 2016 at 08:35 #

    Ella here – trauma doesn’t go away. Not ever. I was lucky, I was only stripped, beaten and starved. Compared with others that was nothing. It stays in your head and heart for ever.

    • Clairey January 29, 2016 at 09:13 #

      An unimaginable and horrific experience. Something nobody should ever have to suffer and subsequently live with. :(. You’re right (of course), it never leaves. He is here to stay, so we have to get along. I have to learn ways to manipulate him. It’s his unpredictability that I struggle with the most. Thanks for sharing, Ella x

  5. J (@ahopefuldad) January 29, 2016 at 16:43 #

    Hope you’re OK. I can’t imagine what it must be like. Thank you for sharing the experience. So important for is prospective adopters to get a the full story of adoption – warts and all.

    • Clairey January 29, 2016 at 17:34 #

      It’s definitely a good idea to go into with your eyes open. It’s the support that’s lacking, primarily. But that’s a whole different post 🙂

  6. Louise March 5, 2018 at 10:10 #

    Gosh, reading this and a couple of your posts above was like reading about mys own little 9 year old bundle of trauma created rage, sadness, confusion and love.

    My goodness it makes me so cross at how we adoptive parents have to fight and fight, read, invent, push, argue, etc etc to get help for our children.

    We’ve recently been told by CAMHS that our little boy needs long term therapeutic intervention – yes, we know that, we told you that – but they can only offer short term which would be detrimental so instead they will offer nothing at all, other than the dismissive line … it’s goibg to be very difficult for a long time, but you are managing and you will continue to manage. Wow, thanks so much!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Take care, Lx

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