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This Is for the Mom Raising Kids Who Survived Trauma

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This is for the mom who feels like she betrayed her children. The mom who has to answer countless questions (often in front of them) about all the difficult behaviors they exhibit every day.

• What is PTSD?

This is for the mom who is emotionally drained because she spent hours sharing details with professionals that she never really shares with anyone but her spouse or closest friends. The mom who desperately wants to scream because her struggling kids have so many good qualities too.

This is for the mom who is so afraid no one really sees her kids, that no one recognizes they may never be completely free of the effects of the trauma they endured, and that trauma can disguise itself as bad choices and problematic behavior. But it’s always about more than that.

This is for the mom who has to excuse herself to go to the bathroom to control her tears, even though the people asking the questions are there to help and show no judgment about what she’s sharing.

This is for the mom who knows she is the best advocate for her child and being totally transparent is the only way to get the help and services they desperately need. But she just as desperately doesn’t want to uncover them in this way.

This is for the mom who doesn’t have a clear diagnosis, because how can you put a label on the effects of trauma from having the adults who were supposed to care for, protect and provide for them fail them? Whether they were selfish or unaware or damaged or just plain didn’t know how to help themselves, much less a vulnerable child, the child is still suffering.

This is for the mom who fiercely wishes she could be the one who could help them heal but knows she’s not equipped to do it on her own. This is for the mom who would fight to her last breath to defend and protect and shield them from the yuck life gave them, and prays earnestly that God will continue to redeem the years the locusts have eaten. This is for the mom who tries to help others recognize that her kids will probably be dealing with the impact of trauma for the rest of their lives.

For that mom, I promise you’re not alone, and I know you’re doing your best. Your kids know you love them. They know you’re on their side. They know they can count on you, that you are a safe place.

So breathe. Cry in the bathroom when you need to and never doubt that you are their champion. Their greatest defender. Believe that the love you give them will slowly restore some of the pieces that should never have been broken in the first place.

I see you. I am you. I’m fighting too. And we will win, because losing this battle is not an option. I believe the lives God has entrusted to us are too important to give up. So keep fighting, mama. Keep taking care of yourself so you can take care of them. Keep asking for resources; keep seeking clarity. Keep searching for the professionals that can make an impact on their lives. Oh and buy more Kleenex — the good kind.

Photo provided by contributor.

Originally published: November 4, 2019
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