But I can't stop by help thinking... Why now? It's been two years.
Perhaps I had just put my head in the sand...? Perhaps I was too preoccupied with my own issues to realize that her issues are actually my issues. Perhaps I'm just too damn overwhelmed by the thought of it. Attachment in a pre-teen? It's not like I can carry her around in a sling or do Taming the Tiger with her; she's almost 11 for heaven's sake. I don't mean to whine, but this attachment thing is so much harder with bigger kids. Especially kids who have such memories to compete with. I really hoped it would all just fix itself. I know. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
So what do you do when you realize you put away the attachment books too early? Well, you dust them off and unfortunately, start all over again. You get out your attachment tool box and begin researching again. You educate yourself.
I also checked out the book A Safe Place for Caleb for kids. It's an interactive book for kids with issues of attachment, grief and loss, or early trauma. I'm muddling my way through this book as well, as a preview before I jump into it with Jameson.
I did find this advice in the back of the book, and sadly I realize I haven't done a lot of these things. To be perfectly honest, I haven't done most of these things. At least... not very well.
- First and foremost: take care of yourself.
- Guard your marriage and relationships with other children.
- Learn as much as possible about attachment disorders.
- Acknowledge and grieve your losses.
- Ask for help.
- Follow your gut.
- Pick your battles.
- Have "No Attachment Disorders" time.
- Allow "down times" after therapy.
- See the child beyond the behaviors.
- Keep a trauma/loss perspective: Don't take it personally.
- Create a safe home evironment: Act with a plan, avoid sarcasm, squelch rage.
* list taken from A Safe Place for Caleb by Kathleen A. Chara and Paul J. Chara, Jr.