Most days I feel sorry for my kids. I give them sympathy for their rough times in life. They have such difficulty enjoying the little things. They dwell on the negative, they have little self esteem, they fish for compliments. I feel badly that this is how they live. Especially when I compare their attitudes to Madeline’s. I realize each child is different, but she still has an innocence that her siblings lack. She looks for the best in each person. She starts the day with joy (usually). When asked to perform a task or lend a hand, she is eager to help/give/share. When her siblings are asked to do the same thing their attitudes are completely different and they often give push back either in the form of back talk, grunting/groaning/whining, or they cry. I realize that these are symptoms of trauma, and that is why I am angry. The kids have been off of school for six days (due to the snow day last Wednesday and having off tomorrow for the first day of hunting season in Pennsylvania) and instead of enjoying their time home to play with their toys, play in the snow, make crafts, decorate for Christmas, etc etc, they have bickered, instigated, lied, and just generally have been super miserable. I am not excited for their Christmas break which is 12 days long!! Eeeek.
Anyways, I am angry at the adults who have stripped these children of their natural attitudes, who have made them survivalists. I have rage for the parents who have let their children down, creating anxious, hyper, scared animals. I am sad that these three children cannot enjoy simple pleasures in life but have to compete with one another for attention, for gifts, for time, for LOVE. It hurts me to my soul. As I deal with these miserable behaviors coming from loving, caring children, I am sad. A big theme in our house is that Hubby and I will love them forever and forever but we don’t have to like their behavior. And while we realize that the Holidays are tough for a lot of people, many children LOVE the holidays. Our children have been stripped of all excitement and compassion–sitting in their place is greed and worry. They behave like this is the end of the earth and they have to compete to get food. That is how they compete for attention. It’s like Hunger Games but for love and affection. And while love and affection is given readily at our house, no amount of rewards or consequences will work until the children have attached. Best case scenario is that they will attach within a couple years. Worse case scenario is that one or all may never attach.
Usually I have empathy for our kids’ natural parents. This pair had little chance in terms of the cycle of abuse, poverty and violence. But today I am angry. Today I’m yelling “NO FAIR.” I’ve read the reports. These parents were given five years of Children and Youth supervision to get their acts together before Children and Youth took their kids. Then they were given a second chance with their kids after Children and Youth took them. Almost a year and a half at home, and they messed up again. Then they blamed their problems on other people instead of taking the blame upon themselves. They had the gall to lie openly in court. Natural mother and father showed the court time and again that they could not and would not provide for these children. And after the initial five years that they were under CYS supervision, it took another four and a half years for the kids to find a permanent home. It’s a total mind game. And I grieve that these children lost their natural personalities, joy and innocence. It is my ultimate goal to bring these children back to life. Bring them back to where they should be. But it could take years. They have lost their childhoods. They are in the Hunger Games for survival and love and they are looking in the wrong places and acting in the wrong way. It’s just sad.