For the last 12 years I have parented children with significant trauma and as a result I am often find myself tripping over my own trauma when I am least expecting it. The resulting stumble that trip creates might overwhelm me for days and sometimes for much longer.
That is where I am today.
After the first set of trial days for Kevin in October, my own childhood trauma memories moved their way back into my daily existence. Some were new pieces of a puzzle that I did not know existed and some were old, I thought I had processed them the first time I worked with a trauma therapist in my early 20's. Clearly, (although I did a lot of work) I was going to have work through them all again, especially the new ones.
That's the thing, I had no idea they had happened, my brain had protected me for all these years because the truth was more than I could handle. It it still more than I can handle because I have so many blank spots where things do not make sense and no matter how hard I try to figure out what happened all those years ago.
Even though I can't fill in all the blanks my body remembers, things scare me or make me oddly uncomfortable. Last night I worked through a physical reaction to something I had discussed in therapy and it was so hard to manage. I was nauseous and filled with anxiety and felt as though my chest was going to explode with each deep breath I took to try to calm myself down.
I am 42 and this is so hard.
How do my children manage it? How did I manage it as a child?
Why do we live in a world where children are hurt by adults or other children? Why do we live in world where this okay and people are not held responsible for the choices that they make.
I know that part of my struggle last night stemmed from what happened this week. From the fact that I spent almost an entire day and night in an ER with Randall as we fought to get him the psycheratric help he so desperately needs. Then, the next day, I learned that Kevin had accepted a plea deal that would see him getting probation and therapy rather than serving time for what he did to his siblings. And, although I never wanted him to go to jail, I am so upset that he gets to walk away only accepting the smallest amount of responsibility for his actions.
Much like the people in my childhood and in the childhoods of so many others, he is not going to be held accountable for what he did. It is complicated to wish that your child is going to be punished for the choices that they made when you know that hurt people, hurt other people.
Who hurt him?
Why cannot we be in place where we just love and support each other either rather than hurt and destroy as we try to manage our own intense pain and brokenness...
I wish I could answer that. I wish that this was not my reality. I am trying so hard to be okay. To not go back to that very dark place I was in last week where the best option was to just cease existing.