My bedside reading for the last few weeks has kept me very busy, hence the lack of blogging. I have been on a steep learning curve about attachment disorder - a category given to children who have experienced trauma and/or neglect (purposeful or not) in their early years by their parent figures. The result of this is an inability to form healthy attachments to others and a whole host of other psychological difficulties which result from them feeling the need to control their whole environment.
My neice for whom we are full time kinship carers has recently been put into this cateogory by her psychologist. She was initially referred because of her challenging behaviour especially at school which was being put down to her grief at losing her mum and all the changes she has had to go through.
It's a very painful realisation for me, I am having to face the fact that my mum and dad and my sister were not able to prevent this from happening and because of circumstances were unable to provide her with the structure that would have prevented the harm that probably stems from her dad leaving her and her mum before she was 3.
We are being supported by professionals in this, though it is not a common problem to find in children of her age (13 years), therefore they are learning as we are. It was suggested that we got a copy of Edward Hughes' book Building the Bonds of Attachment and though it was very expensive I am so pleased that we did. It is written in a very unique way following a fictional case study through therapy sessions and family life. After initially feeling quite dispondant on finishing it, as it made me feel very inadequate and not able to do what I felt I was being required to, I am now starting to be able to put some of the tips into practise!
This in no way means that things are getting better, actually they are getting worse, in many ways we are having to treat a 13 year old like a 3 year old in emotional matters. The resultant rebellion to new boundaries is difficult to handle, but handle it we will. I am so very thankful for my faith, without it I don't think I could dare to have any hope for this little girl. The majority of children with untreated attachment disorders go on to develop a whole host of personality disorders as adults. But FAITH I have, and FAITH I will hang on to, I do beleive that in Him ALL things are possible and if I can be a tool to help this young one then so be it!
This blog is a bit like a journal for me. I have found over the years that I can never sustain writing in a physical journal. However I seem to be able to quite happily tap out my thoughts now and again on this blog. My thoughts are often very random and sporadic. I would love to hear your thoughts on what you read.