I appreciate the fact you took the time to read the entire blog before commenting on it. I think you have misunderstood a few things. Attachment Therapy does have a terrible wrap. There have been a few wackos that went off on their own and tried some things that proved dangerous and even deadly to the children they were trying to help. We do not agree with or even recognize it as AT. There is a lot of proof it helps, I can see a huge difference in my children. OUR therapist's way is very simple, I hold my child in my lap and my arms around them. Like you hold a baby but they are much bigger. We talk. It's not a restraint nor even tight. In fact, they hold me way tighter during the session than I hold them. It is a hug of sorts. They could get down and move to a more comfortable position anytime. They love it. They love the attention and snuggles they get. We recently showed the Jury a tape of it and they commented to the A.D.A. how sweet it looked. It helps my children feel loved and safe enough to talk about the ugly/scary things. It is very normal looking and feeling. We do not do any re birthing or force any power over on them. They have control over what we talk about and how we proceed. It is very empowering for THEM. None of it is about me. It is about what they need and what I am willing to do to help them. We tried traditional therapy and it didn't work. They did not trust people or therapists. Still have problems with that. They trust me more than anyone and it builds on that. Now that they do trust me, they are learning to trust others. It is taking forever b/c we are undoing a lifetime of abuse. They still have moments they think I will hurt them regardless of my demeanor or words. All of the professionals/therapists that know/knew our children told us to run not walk to AT.
We do encourage them to give up control over some things and encourage them to take control over more appropriate things. My children do things like refuse to eat b/c they are mad to have control. They are allowed to eat or not, I expect them to join us at the table or at least, the room. It is still not forced. We do not force control over things like what they wear, their hair, how they do things or what order they do them, and many other normal activities and things in their life. We try to help them learn to trust us by proving we are trust worthy. A day in my home and the last thing you would think is I force any of them to give up their power. We work hard to show them they are in control of themselves. They can not control every one else by raging for hours and holding us all hostage without consequences. We do not spank, threaten to beat, lock them in their room, or restrict them. We wait until THEY are done, unless they are in danger or attacking another person we do not intervene a tantrum physically, they are expected to pay restitution. They will all tell anyone (when they are not tantruming) that the way I restrain them does not hurt them, I am the one that gets injured if any one is hurt and I gladly take that so they aren't further traumatized. I am only holding them to protect them and others. In fact, last night my son threw a plate at my head. He was not restrained b/c he didn't continue to hit, scratch, chase another child to beat them, try to cut himself with a fork, or ram his body into the glass window. Those are all reasons I would hold him, if he tries to kill us, harm us physically, or himself in a deadly way. A hole in the wall is not cause for a restraint. Hollering nasty things wouldn't even get my attention. I try to make sure they are only used when I have to protect us from serious bodily harm. Most of them have seriously injured me in a rage. The guilt they had to deal with was devastating. They have yelled at me that I'm not keeping them safe b/c I haven't moved to restrain them so I must not care about them. Patches is clear, it makes her feel safe. It is hard to accept if you haven't heard it from it from her mouth. If they break something that belongs to someone else, they replace it. They are expected to clean up after themselves and often do w/o a word from me. If they keep us in a public place with a tantrum, they may have to help out with extra chores that needed to be done during the time we were stuck there. Most consider what we require too little. Most want to punish their misbehaving child. We do not. We understand they have problems and have an extremely difficult time regulating their emotions. We constantly tell them how proud we are when they do and point out how much better they did when they lose it. We also talk about how they feel. What do they think they could have done differently to prevent it from happening. We always forgive them. ALWAYS.
It is difficult to understand our life and others like us when you only have your own experiences to draw from. Normal well adjusted children. We do not wish or encourage them to act out at school. It is something I complain about here b/c I can. I am proud they have been able to control themselves there. It wasn't always that way. They have worked hard. My only issue with it is that it makes it even more difficult for people to understand how hard they have it at home. It is b/c they were abused by the very people that were supposed to help them. They are constantly triggered by normal, every day activities that occur in every home. They have severe PTSD from their birth homes. The school secretary is simple. She feeds his baby talk, she bribes him, she rewards him for lying to her, and more. I am not the only one that thinks this woman crosses lines. I want their teachers to like my children. I do not want them to tell them they love them and wish they could take them home. My children think it is an invitation to move in. It has happened to them before. It is confusing for THEM. All kids threaten to run away or want another family, I am never offended by this. I am concerned when they make plans to send me to jail so they can go live with their teacher. Imagine the stress of having to hide a part of you from the rest of the world. Imagine the shame of feeling you can't be yourself with the people you spend most of the day with. They are afraid they will find out. They are afraid they will hate them. I try to teach them there is nothing to be ashamed of. It is very common for children with the issues and background mine have to do this. It is so uncommon in general society that is is not believed by most. It is pushed off as a poor mother or crazy woman trying to make her kids sicker than they are. We all crave to be accepted. I am no different. I wish others could see this side for a moment to understand their struggles better. B/c they don't' see it, they don't think I am credible regarding other things surrounding my children. It doesn't feel good to my children b/c people make it obvious they don't believe me, they go out of their way to "make it up" to my child.
I do not demand obedience. That would be impossible for them to achieve. I give them choices. Usually, a good choice and a bad choice. They can do things at their own pace. I suggest they may want to do it in a timely manner to avoid missing out on such and such. We try to make the consequence a natural one. For example, every one needs to do their chore before we watch the movie. I give them ample time then start it. If they are not done, they miss that part, if they are done, they get to watch. No punishment. No screaming. No anger. They are welcome to take their time. I expect they do their fair share. They each have a small chore. Our chores are things like vacuum the LR, take out the trash, clear off the stairs, pick up the bathroom, wipe off the table, unload the dishes, and sweep the kitchen floor. They are small chores compared to most households b/c they each have one and there are so many kids.
Because of their sexual abuse, we are very careful about their ability to have complete control over their bodies. We do not force anything. We give them the good and bad or why it is needed and wait for them to agree. We teach them ways to feel safe. We practice ways to keep themselves safe and ways to handle situations. The leaps and bounds they have made in this area is shocking. Ruthie alone is one of the more traumatized and yet she is the most confident now. She is a safe child. I couldn't be more proud of her.
Their mental illnesses were brought on early b/c of their traumatic lives. We are focused on the sexual abuse b/c it is what puts all our children at risk today. We have to closely monitor their sexually acting out. They are focused on it all on their own. We do not bring it up. They do. They know other children do not worry about their privates tingling or if the nice teacher will touch them in the bathroom. Other children do not worry they will want to touch their friend's penis or won't be able to quit thinking about it. We let them lead the way. If we see them struggling, we ask what is wrong. We can tell by their body language that they are uncomfortable and we never push them to talk about anything. They want to talk to me. They feel better knowing they can share the tough topics and I never judge them. I accept all their issues, they are not who they are just something they have done or something that has happened to them.
I do a lot of venting here. Most my children did not know most of this ever bothered me or that it was any kind of issue. I do not throw their disabilities in their face. EVER. I do explain why some things are hard for them. They deserve to know. They ask. They do not know most of the terms I use here to clarify things to my readers. I would never tell them they were not normal or suggest they were perfect. They feel they are different. I tell them they are perfect for me, everyone is crazy in their own way, and I assure them nothing can change he way I feel. I point out all their strengths constantly. We have changed strategies many times and what works for one child does not work for the other. They are each a complex little person with their own personality. We let them decide what they don't like about their behaviors and what we focus on. My son tells me all the time he wishes he was nicer to me b/c I am nice to him. We search out professionals with experience and get their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. I am sorry if I haven't been clear but I feel you have grossly misjudged our intentions and actions. Please consider that I only write part of our story. You do not get all the wonderful times we share and all the details of the very bad things. I share a lot here but it is not nearly enough for you to fully understand the complexity of our home and children. They are each praised and adored. They can't accept it. I promise them to keep trying to help them believe. I know I have rambled quite a bit and I apologize. I hope I don't sound like I am attacking back b/c that is not my intention. I see that I need to be more be more clear in the future.
I welcome any comments or issues with anything I say or do. I will not allow anyone to hide behind Anonymous anymore. Tell me who you are. If you want to share your thoughts, it's only fair I know who's doing it. I do not expect or even want every one to agree with me. How could I learn from to hers if I wasn't willing to hear their points? I have noticed in the last few weeks I haven't been as positive as I would like. It is just so hard right now. Obviously, I need to try harder.