How to love a child who doesn’t love you back – a mother’s honest narrative of raising a child with reactive attachment disorder : Institute For Attachment & Child Development

When people dream of adoption, they often picture a child to love who loves back and settles into their family beautifully. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the reality.
— Read on www.instituteforattachment.org/how-to-love-a-child-who-doesnt-love-you-back-a-mothers-honest-narrative-of-raising-a-child-with-reactive-attachment-disorder/

Rumors

Rumors are the shards of glass that fall from the shattered chandelier of adolescence.

They stick in your feet as you try to walk by them with your head held high and scar your hands when you try to clean them up.

When you get dressed and try to go about your day, they constantly sting and burn.

Everyone notices your hands. They heal quickly though, that’s the good news. People will forget.

But at night, when the world is quiet and the shoes you had to wear come off, the shards are still there, so deep you can’t extract them.

They’re still there in your 20’s when you’re deciding what kind of life you want.

They’re still there in your 30’s when you’re asking “is there anything more?”

They’re still there in your 40’s when you’re teaching someone else how to navigate the world.

Maybe you can find a way at some point in your life to overcome the pain and help someone else through theirs. You can’t get that time back though and sometimes it all comes rushing back.

Something to remember though, that’s helped me down the road, is that nobody starts a rumor about someone who doesn’t matter. Your magnetic qualities, your strengths and your charisma made you a target. You get to keep those things.

You couldn’t have prevented it. That’s how rumors work. Rumors are the things you didn’t do. Someone else is responsible for causing that kind of pain.

Just don’t be that someone else. You’re better than that.

Continue reading “Rumors”

SHARED Trauma and a Facebook Post

Dear William,

I wanted to write a response to you regarding your comments on my post but I needed to do some digging first. Like, the real deep kind. My knee-jerk reaction was just to make a snarky comment and set you in your place. That’s not what I dreamed up when I made that blog post you didn’t bother to read with my picture attached, that you so harshly judged. See, that blog post was about my insecurities about my arms. Then you used it to hurt me. But, I am in a place that you are not yet and in this place, I can be candid. I am in control. I am going to give you some grace.

So as I was driving today I decided to take a good long look inward and decode my emotional response versus my pro social therapeutic response options.

Several times I thought maybe I should just pull the car over and have a good cry. But I didn’t do that. Someone might pull over and try to rescue me. AND I DON’T NEED TO BE RESCUED!

But, maybe YOU do. So allow me. I was also in an abusive relationship. I also got hurt. I responded in life in a variety of damaging ways. I’ve not always been proud of the choices I made when I was trying to get over the whole ordeal.

When I finally got out of ‘said relationship’ and began to try to heal it was NOT EASY.

Healing is a process, the length of which is akin to the length of the process that was used to alienate me from my family and friends. To make me feel worthless and useless. To make me want to please someone at my own expense. To walk around in my own home every day and wonder what I was doing wrong. What was I going to do today that he would berate me for? Why can’t I just get it right? The process that made me believe that I was the terrible wife and mother that he wanted me to believe I was. It took a long time for him to train me.

It took one split second for me to suddenly and violently realize that I was not all of those things he accused me of being and I was going to get out. It took another three years before I actually did.

It didn’t matter that he wasn’t much bigger than me. It didn’t matter that I was skilled with weapons and COULD fight back. He may have very well been able to physically overpower me if he came at me just right, but he didn’t even have to do that. His words cut me deeper than any of the beatings I took. The anxiety that I had just wondering if I was gone too long at the grocery store was enough to send me into a panic attack.

And it took me A LONG TIME TO HEAL FROM THAT! I’m still not done. I will come out of every corner I am ever backed into swinging still to this day. But here is what I have become.

I am strong. I am proud that I am strong. I survived. I am proud of that too. I am proud that I didn’t become another statistic. But I know that there are two sides to every story. Maybe you didn’t want to know mine. Maybe I don’t know yours. Here is what I do know.

Men can be victims of domestic violence too and I would say that many, much too many, frequently are. And they’re never going to tell. As stigmatized as I feel right now admitting it, I can’t imagine what you feel, as a man, because you aren’t supposed to admit that you let her hurt you. Of course that’s garbage talk, but that’s where we still are as a society.

I think you are brave to admit that a woman overpowered you and physically hurt you. Because you are not supposed to admit such things. You are a man afterall. I can’t compare my pain to yours and I won’t.

But brother, let me tell you something, you have got to do the work on yourself now in order to heal from your trauma. Read the book. Take the class. Join the f***ing support group. You need it. Don’t spend years denying that you do. It’s a waste of time and you and everyone you love pay the price.

I am not afraid of men who are bigger and stronger than me. No person’s physical appearance is threatening to me. I don’t find strong men unattractive because they’re strong. I don’t think they look like monsters. I don’t find less muscular men unattractive because they might be weak. My trauma didn’t manifest the way yours did. I know that no matter what a person looks like on the outside, they are who they are at their heart. There really sometimes is no clue to who they are until you give them a chance to show you.

Don’t carry your trauma around for the rest of your life making assumptions about what people are capable of or what kind of pain they may inflict on you because of the way they look. You are gonna miss out on a whole lot of awesome. Do the work on yourself and keep your mouth shut about the way other people look.

And for the record, I wanted to be strong, not so I could fight back against some man if they ever tried to hurt me again. Not so I could show off my muscles and take selfies. I’m 44 and I just want to still feel good when I’m 66 and beyond. I want to be able to make the damn bed without giving up and asking for help. I want to be able to do the fun things I like to do without the amount of pain that I was in before I started lifting weights. And it is working. And I’m happy about it. AND I want to inspire other women to take their health into their own hands. Eating right and exercising takes a lot of dedication, but it’s worth it. It’s another step I have taken on the road to being my best self. I will never be ashamed of that, regardless of who finds me attractive.

Healing….. means wading through the trauma you experienced and ending up standing on top of that mountain of bullshit that life threw at you and screaming “I F***ING WON”!

Continue reading “SHARED Trauma and a Facebook Post”

Cliques vs Friend Groups

Ladies, hear my words and rethink your attitude toward other women!

Cliques still kill me. I’ve never understood the need to stand shoulder to shoulder with other women and make other people feel unwelcome. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to be accepted or that I’m somehow immune to the sting of rejection.

When you’re a teenager you can travel purposely in groups of peers if you happen to be lucky enough or skilled enough to be accepted by a clique. (Still not sure what it takes) But as an adult you find yourself trying to do things your kids enjoy, break new ground and “get out there” or you find yourself in some obligatory situation where you have to go somewhere for a function and you try to find some joy in it yourself.

Anxiety grips many of my friends and keeps them from going out and enjoying life.

I’ve never been a clique type of girl and honestly when I was a teenager I wanted nothing more than to be accepted by certain groups. To be invited to the movies with a group or to go skiing or to the pool together. It may not look like it now but high school was the worst for me and I just knew there was a better world somewhere out there where I would find my people.

I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons since then and one of them is that this mentality doesn’t go away with age. I’m pretty sure this is where social anxiety springs from and it’s completely unnecessary. You might look at me and come to your own conclusions and say “she fits in everywhere” and you know what, I do. You know why? Because I don’t believe the lies that other people tell about me.

I am a seeker of the outcast at parties. I am the girl you can walk up to and say without words, “I have no one to stand with and people watch” and I will hear your call and stand with you. If not for the rejection I felt as a teenager I might not be this person today.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I was never able to teach my children how to fit in to cliques either. But I really like the adults they’re turning into so I’m going to go with “fortunately”. They have all had a hard time with other girls at school. They are all fiercely independent and passionate people who defend others who can’t defend themselves. All have a heart for the outcast.

My oldest daughter got kicked off the bus one time for a day because she stood up to a bully who took a a special needs child’s book bag. She pushed her down and took it back. The bus driver called me and said he was sorry he had to suspend her for the day because of the rules but she was his hero. ♥️

So to all of you who have a super strong bond with your female clique and refuse to accept new people into it, I am sorry for you that you will never meet and know all the awesome women I have met who still today don’t travel everywhere in cliques.

“Adult women still do this? Yes. Very much yes. Just go try and find a chair at the pool.”

I’m not shaming anyone for having friend groups. I have those. There’s a difference. And when you’re grown and you purposely shut other women out who are clearly seeking someone, anyone to cling to in an awkward social engagement, then you’re in a clique not a friend group. You are the kind of people who would let someone figuratively drown in a social situation and watch them leave and laugh about it.

You know if you are someone who doesn’t reach out and offer those women to sit beside you, even if they might say “no”. You know if you are one of those women who purposely shut other women out because you are jealous of them or worry someone might judge you for spending time with them. And good news ladies, it’s not too late to change.

Am I saying you have to be friends with them? No. I’m saying you can be kind to them, offer them a seat. If you decide that they’re bad news well then I’m all about some boundaries. But don’t let Mean Girls be your theme for life and pretend like it isn’t.

Love yourself enough to love other women and the world will be a better place, I promise.

Continue reading “Cliques vs Friend Groups”

Finding YOUR PEOPLE and ACCEPTING YOURSELF

I used to hate my stomach. Then I hated my arms. Then I felt insecure about all of the things. ALL OF THE THINGS….

I used to wish I was smarter. I used to wish I had more tact. I used to wish I fit in everywhere with everyone. EVERYWHERE WITH EVERYONE….(sigh)

And then one day I noticed that I was healthier and happier and didn’t hate so many things about myself. But there was a lot of stuff that happened in between.

One of those things was realizing that not ALL of the people are MY people. I had to find my people. Not everyone thinks they need this but I’ve never known anyone who regretted finding theirs. It’s like this giant step I made toward ACCEPTING myself.

Finding other people who accepted me first. I didn’t know it was happening. I didn’t feel that anything was changing. I just know that when you are around people and you don’t have to hold the real-you in, good things happen. When you don’t have to pretend to be more confident than you actually are, when your sense of humor doesn’t have to be checked, when you don’t fear that they’ll cast you aside because you said something offensive accidentally, you’ve found your people.

The weird part is, they don’t have to be LIKE you. They don’t have to eat the way you eat or workout at your gym or do the same thing for a living. They don’t have to be people that politically see eye to eye with you. They don’t have to be the same religion or color or size. They just fall in love with who you are and you fall in love with them. You love their life and how they’ve built it. You feel their struggles and want them to succeed. And they feel yours and you can tell they want the same for you. Those are your people.

I can say that I wish I had found them sooner. But really, I might not have appreciated them so much.

And I say all of this to say, it’s okay to insist on improving yourself. To constantly try to mold yourself into your idea of a better you and LOVE YOURSELF ALONG THE WAY. Some of us feel unlovable because we aren’t the best version of ourselves yet. Love yourself anyway.

Every day I still look at my arms and wish they were tiny like they used to be. But I love that they are strong and I see their potential. My arms don’t bother anyone but me. My people could give two shits about my arms. I know this because I couldn’t care less about what their arms look like. I might not realize this if I hadn’t found them.

If you haven’t found your people yet, you will. It’s going to happen when you least expect it but it’s going to happen when you need them the most. Cheers.

Link to Part 2 of this article in reply to a comment I received on my FB (you need to check this out)

Continue reading “Finding YOUR PEOPLE and ACCEPTING YOURSELF”

How to Eat Like a French Woman

How to Eat Like a French Woman
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.vogue.com/article/eat-like-a-french-woman-how-to/amp

I thought this was an interesting read. I was remembering having read an article somewhere where a woman described having lived in France and how even the children waited for mealtime and didn’t snack all the time. I was looking for that and ran across this. I mention it because over the summer break we eat most meals at home and knowing what’s coming next, we don’t snack often. During the school year my kids have a snack in the morning before they leave home. Then they eat breakfast at school. They then eat lunch, an afternoon snack, another snack at afterschool care and come home asking for more food before dinner. I need a snack sometimes too, but I think it’s really gotten out of hand in America and if you think I’m wrong, well, look around. And it’s not just how often the kids are hungry, it’s why they’re hungry so often. Look what they’re eating. There are very few vegetables going into their bodies and a whole lot of processed, pre-packaged junk we are calling food. I can feed my kids 100% healthy at home but 180 days out of the year, even if I pack their breakfast and lunch they are still getting a ton of sugar and chemicals in typical American snacks.

DisturbingClarity… from the Garden

Every season is a chance for a new beginning. A chance for success and a chance for failure. And they will come. Some failures will seem insignificant. Some will floor you. Some successes will seem small and unimportant. Some will leave you with a renewed sense of purpose. But every season is an opportunity for improvement on the last.

Hardships will come and death is imminent, but we must try. We must continue. We have to care and love.

An untended garden looks untended. The signs are all around. Weeds are inevitable. They will always come. Pluck them out while they are small but be diligent. Some weeds are beneficial. It’s important to do your best to identify them early. Pluck them out and get rid of them if they serve no purpose. Relocate them to a safer place if you want to keep them but they’re choking out something purposefully planted. You are in control.

Each day go out and see the growth, the damage, the thirst, the bounty. Serve it. Recognize it for what it is. Call it by its name. Be grateful and glad, humbled or sad if that is what the moment calls for.

Each day we start anew with dreams and goals and plans. In the beginning you doubted every step. You agreed with them when they said you would probably fail, but you did it anyway. And now you have the confidence to break new ground and start fresh. You know when and how to pluck things out of each space in your garden where you don’t want them to grow. You have the knowledge and bravery to let some things you didn’t plan happen anyway and the freedom to allow yourself to be excited about their possibilities.

img_3656

Just open your eyes each day and remember that journey you’ve taken so many times that often began with fear, loneliness, self-doubt and ended in joy and bounty. Do that, and each season remind yourself that this is the beginning of something new. Recognize the challenges and anticipate the hard work.

Remember the pride of the harvest and the laughter over shared meals and all the good things you are going to get to make out of it. Some things will immediately be consumed but you will have extra. Extra to share and to save. Extra to turn into something completely different and useful. To use as a teaching tool when you have the opportunity.

img_3664

Soon the ground will be frozen again. The soil will be cold and barren in some areas. That’s ok, it just means you need to see to other important things and wait in faith that your favorite things will come back around.

img_3658Everyone’s garden looks different but there isn’t one single person who cannot benefit from tending his own. What do you have? A small container on the balcony or in the windowsill? Plant what you hope will grow there. It will be enough. It will be something where there once was nothing. You can say, “I grew this,” “I am proud of this”. You can reach out if you get into trouble and ask for help. Ask anyone you can find. Don’t take just anyone’s advice though. Mind your instincts and be patient. Some things take a long time to come to fruit. Sometimes they’re beautiful. They are sweet and perfect and truly something special.

img_3653

The hard truth is though, they aren’t always worth the trouble that you put in. Sometimes they just don’t work out. And my best advice to you is, make damn sure you get something out of the journey or the season will seem to have been wasted. You will be hurt and bitter, maybe resentful or sad. Maybe all of it.

But did you know that it’s ok to be sad. When you’ve taken the time and given the love and effort and it just doesn’t work out in the end, why shouldn’t you be sad? But be sad and grateful for the knowledge. Be humbled and excited about what you could do differently next time.

Did something get in and destroy your whole crop this year? Do you need to build a new fence or just repair a spot in the old one? Do that. It doesn’t matter if you got lazy and did something careless. If you didn’t know you needed to make your fence stronger this year than it was last year.

You are not responsible for predicting what everyone else will do. Just learn from it. Make sure intruders know you have your boundaries clearly marked. Get back up and dry your tears and put the pieces together a little differently this time. And go try again.

There are some things that other gardeners in my area grow every year and they have beautiful harvests. Some things that I have tried several years in a row to grow and failed. It just isn’t meant to be for me and my garden. It was disappointing at first but at least now I know. I still keep planting them hoping they will surprise me and grow well, but I don’t spend any time worrying over them anymore.

img_3654

I plant other things I know will grow here because they always do. And each year I plant something new and experimental just to see if I can. What will it be this year? I haven’t decided. It’s too late to start some things. I know this. That’s what all the books say. That’s what my gardener friends or mentors will tell me. But I also know that my whole life has been a series of the world under- estimating me, telling me I can’t or I shouldn’t. So, I might try it anyway, just to see if I can.

 

8fa7346e-cca4-47ff-ba42-b0a8b87c33d4-373-0000004430de06fa_file

Enjoy the time you spend making the callouses my friends. Let them heal for a season and start again. You and your garden are worth the daily watering, every day you got up just a little early to beat the heat, every fence you built to protect what’s yours, every repair you’ve made to the landscape and every tool you’ve bought that you bought because you needed it for one specific purpose. All worth it. Pay attention and enjoy.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

~Karen Bradberry

Hi! I am the owner and sole writer for “DisturbingClarity”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.disturbingclarity.com. I began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like myself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster. I have also found myself writing about food and gardening and living your best life! I hope you enjoy these articles and please feel free to make suggestions. I would love to hear your ideas!

disturbingclarity@gmail.com