adoption

The Month All the Mommies Leave

cblankie

It’s March again, and I can never stop this month from coming! This is the month our children were removed from their biological home during a drug raid. It was a particularly warm March the year they went into foster care. I know this because I looked it up. Carl is 11 now. After living with him for a few years, we’ve noticed that his fear and/or misbehavior increases drastically every spring. As soon as it gets warm, Carl’s “traumaversary” kicks in.

In all honesty Carl’s been cranky in a pre-teen sort of way so far. He yells at us and stomps around, slamming doors. He reminds yells at us for being “stupid,” or “aggravating.” Then my sweet boy runs to me, head hanging down, for a hug or a snuggle. He admits that he is very angry and can’t figure out why. I’m hoping this is the worst of it. things seem to get a little easier every year. I really hope I’m not jinxing myself by writing this!

Anyway, as things get easier for Carl, we are noticing some significant separation anxiety in Mary. I’m not sure if this has happened every year or not. Have we overlooked her because Carl’s reactions were so extreme? Are her reactions more extreme this year because she has started puberty and gone through some medication changes?

All I know is that when I am out of sight, Mary starts to become agitated. At a recent doctor’s appointment my husband brought me to, they sat in the waiting room. When the nurse came to get me Mary started kicking the seat, trying to bait Carl into an argument, and being defiant to Luke. These are all signs that her fear is increasing. Her fight or flight response was taking over.

Luke took her outside to the car, where she could safely tantrum, and get all of her screaming and kicking out. It didn’t last very long and everyone was safe. She just really needed to let her big feelings out. She’s also having big feelings at school about missing me. I sent in a picture of Luke and I that she can keep in her desk, and look at when she is lonely.

Mary has also started to sit outside the bathroom door when I am showering. She is sleeping upstairs outside of our room. We’ve taped a picture of mom and dad on the wall next to her pillow. She’s like an extra cuddly  mom-magnet following me around everywhere. When I do my physical therapy exercises, she does them too. When I sit down, she plops herself as close as she can to me. Short of crawling directly into my ribcage, I’m not sure she could get any closer.

Somewhere, deep inside, they remember this as being the month that they lost a mother. This is why the month of March is a tough one for our kids. As my mom explained to me, this must be the month when our kids feel like “Mommies Leave.”  Every year, I hope their fear eases a little more, as they heal.

Too bad March. I’m not going anywhere! This mom is here to stay!

 

 

**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

 

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7 thoughts on “The Month All the Mommies Leave

  1. Gladys Garcia Mitton says:

    February! We dread February in our home! My boys were 3 and 6 when they were removed. Sirens, cops, social workers… the full experience. When the red and pink hearts start to populate the stores and the hallways of school, my husband and I get ready. Outbursts, tantrums, disobedience, disrespect, fights at school and so much more. It all comes out. We actually remind the teachers and principals as we get close so they know there is a reason behind the behavior. My boys don’t verbalize what is going on, I don’t even know if they consciously know it, but the hearts make it impossible for them to ignore the month. Both boys suffer from PTSD and we treat Valentine’s day and decor as a trigger.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had never thought about how children might feel that way in the certain month or time of year, but it makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing this and for all you are doing for your kids, and for others going through similar situations.

    Like

  3. DJNSKKT says:

    Such an important reflection for all adults who are loving on, caring for and parenting child who have experienced trauma. It also resonates for me personally, as a woman whose mother suddenly died when I was 13 years old. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I realized the feelings of gloom, dread and sadness that enveloped me every late April coincided with a psychic countdown to the day my mother died.

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    • I am so sorry for your loss. I think that the body sometimes remembers what the brain does not. It must feel so confusing to not know why you are having those feelings. Kudos to you for personal insight. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Like

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