Archive for the ‘Childhood Trauma’ Category
Posted in ADHD, Childhood Trauma, Family, Homeschooling, Special Education, tagged ADHD, gifted & talented and learning disabled, improving children's behavior, understanding difficult children on June 1, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
“Probably,” I said.
He thought for a minute. And then he said, “I wanted to stay with Daddy when he died. But I just couldn’t.”
I told him that none of the kids were with Sean when he died. That only Mommy and Pop and I had been there, and that Mommy hadn’t brought the kids into the bedroom to say good-bye until after the rest of the family had arrived.
He repeated, “I wanted to stay with him. Lizzie and Jamie stayed longer than I did. I tried to stay. But I couldn’t.” His eyes welled over, and when I held out my arms, he got onto my lap and cried. “I miss Daddy,” he said.
I said, “I know. I do, too. But all the times you had with him will always be inside you. And you’ll always be sensitive and understanding to people in pain, because of your own experiences.”
And he said, “I know.”
Then he wanted to walk around and look at the other stones. He read me the dates on the markers and asked me to do the math to see how old they were when they all died. He wanted to find the oldest person.
Then his behavior started to change. He started breaking clumps of dirt from Sean’s grave with his hands, muttering to himself. Soon he was pulling larger clumps up from the grave, his voice getting louder, saying, “I hate it! I hate it! I hate it!” He started smashing pieces of dirt against a rock, to see them explode. I talked to him a little—”Yes, I’m angry, too. Yes, it’s horrible. It’s not fair. You’re right.” But mostly, I just let him do his thing. He did it for a long time.
He made a huge mess. I watched and listened. He said things like, “It’s like losing all your food.” “It’s like losing your home.” “It’s like seeing a butterfly, and it was your best friend, and then it flew away, and you never saw it again.”
He stomped his fury back and forth over the surface of the grave. He said, “I’m angry! I hate it!” But as angry as his words were, his voice had more of an aura of concentration and deep thought.
After awhile, he calmed down and just sat on the grave, sort of digging, and found a rock. My eyes fell on a small, red, plastic flower about ten feet away, and I walked over to pick it up. Kenny asked for it and began to bury it in the grave. He said, “I’m going to bury it, just like Daddy.”
He covered it with dirt and dug it up three or four times. The last time, he said, “Make a wish on the flower, and it will come true. Make a big wish, and it will come true in a hundred days. Make a medium wish, and it will come true in five days. I wish Daddy would come back.”
I asked, “Do you believe that will happen?”
He said, “Yes. It will.”
Quietly, I said, “Kenny, you know that’s not going to happen.”
He replied, “Yes. It will.”
I let it go. Shortly after that, we left. We brought the plastic flower with us.
The next morning before school, he wrote a letter to Sean that said, “Dear Daddy, I wish that you didn’t get cancer.”
That’s why he just couldn’t stop laughing and shouting and running around the room in circles as the water seeped out of the bathroom. Other kids made fun of him. The grownups got mad and yelled. Don’t do that! Be quiet! Stop that! I told you to stop that! Act your age! You know better! Why can’t you keep that in your head? What’s wrong with you?
Oh, boy. It’s really painful to remember all that. It hurts. It hurt at the time. That’s what gave this old/new idea so much power. It rearranged the whole picture, brought it into focus. It was a new light in the tunnel, a new ball we could keep our eyes on. It was—a plan.
If it’s true that what we are is the sum of our days, then for the first time, we actually had a clue about what we should do. The goal, at least, was simple: start racking up the good days.
Posted in Childhood Trauma, Education, Family, Special Education, tagged ADHD, behavior problems, classroom behavior problems, families coming together, gifted & talented and learning disabled on April 11, 2012 | Leave a Comment »