“Childhood trauma does not come in one single package.” ~ Asa Don Brown
So the kicking, hitting, and spitting are now being replaced with angry words and tears. As much as I welcomed the change, I wasn’t convinced this new path was any easier.
I mean at least when Kiddo was sending me unexpected blows to the face, arms, and legs, I felt somewhat in control. Lately I have been barely able to hold the space whenever Kiddo opens up about past childhood events that are so gruesome and disturbing, I nearly lose my lunch.
Thankfully we have the assistance of a child counselor who is guiding me through it step-by-step.
One late afternoon Kiddo was triggered by another memory so heavy it hurt my heart. For privacy sake we’ll call this particular perpetrator “X.”
“Aren’t you angry at “X”, Kiddo?” I asked, slapping a cushion for emphasis.
Kiddo turned and slapped the cushion too. “Yes, Mama, I mad.”
Knowing the importance of giving this pain a healthy outlet, I led Kiddo outside and together we took turns naming each abuser, including “X”, as we kicked a soccer ball “to the curb.”
Once there was no more anger left to give, Kiddo started walking toward the house only to turn and run into my arms.
Sobbing, “Mama,” Kiddo said in between each spilled tear. “I feel very sad ‘cuz I miss “X” a lot.”
I held and rocked Kiddo for several minutes as we spoke about confused feelings such as loving and loathing “X” who was a primary caregiver in recent past.
A little later as our day was winding down, I intuitively asked, “Kiddo, are you ever angry with God because of all that has happened to you?”
Kiddo thought about this for a moment. “Yes, Mama. I angry at God and the angels ‘cuz they made very bad choices.”
“Do we need to go kick the ball again before bed?”
Without hesitation, Kiddo’s kind eyes met my soul. “No, Mama. it’s okay. God and the angels are making good choices again because I am safe with you and Papa now.”
(Be still my heart.)
(Note: For confidentiality reasons, “Kiddo” and “them” refers to the child in our foster care at the time of this post.)