I have been thinking a lot lately about RAD and FAS and all of the various aftereffects of childhood trauma. Children are not as resilient as we adults wish them to be.I believe that childhood resilience is a myth. I am not saying that the children of trauma cannot go on to have “normal” lives. I am saying that their lives will never be what they could have been. The scars last a lifetime. The very core of their beings have been altered. Their brains miswired. Their souls fractured. The damage done does not vanish no matter how much we want it too. The pain may be papered over. There may be bridges built to bypass the worst of the damage. Or not. Bypassed or papered over,the damage remains. Always. Forever.
All we can do as parents is try and mitigate that damage.
Sometimes we cannot even do that.
No matter what we do,how hard we work,how hard we pray, how hard we will them to get better,they may not change much at all.
They may,in fact,get worse.
We cannot silence the voices in their heads. We cannot grow new neurons in a petri dish and inject them into their skulls. We cannot make a RAD child love or an oppositional child obey. We cannot do a whole lot of anything, really.
Those who do not love our children want them to “get over” their issues because it is not comfortable for them to see the results of our societies lack of care for its children. Because they are uncomfortable in their guilt,they blame the parents who are doing their best to mitigate the damage already done. They blame socioeconomics or racial differences. They blame the liberals or the conservatives. Mostly, they blame the victim. (This works out well because the victim also blames themselves)
We who do love our children want our children’s suffering to stop for slightly different reasons. We want our child out of pain. We want to kiss it and make it better.If we are honest with ourselves,we want to have a “normal” family. When it doesn’t happen we feel defeated.
We can do everything text book right and still fail in our quest to make our children well. Our children can grow to adulthood and marry,become parents themselves and still cry out in the night. They can “put it all behind them”,”move on”, or even relegate the memories to their sub conscience and still their burden remains.
I admire those who have come to terms with this. I am not there yet.
I wonder if I ever will be.