Trauma Training Isn't Enough
Much of life around here is happy and peaceful and sweet. But the rest of it? Well, it’s not.
Some of the needs and struggles of some of my kids make for a dynamic that feels impossible. Because it all relies on me, at the center, holding everyone together. My kids need me to remain calm, be the source of direction and warmth, and help them regulate. Their ability to be ok depends on my ability to stay ok. And yet, I can only take so much.
Sometimes I can’t handle the hour long meltdowns or the what’s-even-going-on-here trauma behaviors. So I hold it together and I say the right things and I make everyone alright. And then I hit my breaking point. Sooner or later, if it goes on long enough, I’m going to break and either loudly lose it or quietly shut down. I can’t be everything my kids need me to be all the time.
I believe in educating yourself for your children's needs. It’s important to have the tools. Know the research and use the strategies and fight hard side by side with your kids as they struggle. But the tools aren’t enough. Trauma training isn’t enough. You need to arm yourself with the gospel. Because that last straw is going to come, and you’re going to fail, and you’re going to need something to catch you when you do.
My hope isn’t in TBRI (which I love). My hope is in Jesus. To empower me to be what my kids need, to forgive me when I’m not, to help them in all the places that I can’t. I need the saving grace of my Father for my failures, and my kids need it for theirs.
The good news is that this is something I can always give them. When I’m the strong glue holding us all together, we need Him, and I can speak of Him and live a life that reflects Him. And when I’m the weak link, crumpled at the center of our family mess, I can point to Him as the One who forgives us while we’re still down and gives the grace to pull us out of it.
I cannot save my kids. Thank the Lord, I don’t have to. And thank the Lord that He made a way for them—and for me—to be saved.