When you parent kids with trauma, you learn to be open to anything that has a chance of working no matter how "silly" or hokey it seems. If it will help my child I will gladly feed her m&ms while looking lovingly into her eyes even though she tried to kill me last night. If getting my kids to spend 20 minutes belly crawling and crawling around the house helps their brains, then that's what we'll do. If it will keep my child safe I will alarm his doors, set up motion detectors, and video monitors in strange places. If it will help my child I will look like a fool/tyrant in front of my family and friends who don't get it because my child needs to know I will set boundaries for her no matter what.
My older children have done tapping and rubbing for years. Sometimes we have periods of time when it doesn't seem to be helping and other times it makes the days survivable or even pleasant. Corazon has a love/hate relationship with tapping even though she has seen the difference it makes. Because she has healed so much I started easing up on the tapping especially when she was resistant. A few months later I realized that she was only tapping two or three times per week and her behavior was out of control and generally inconsistent. As usually happens when I talk/text with another mom parenting kids like mine I realized that she needed to get back to tapping but we had stagnated a bit. My dear friend, Lisa offered to create a tapping script for Corazon, who she has met and interacted with on various occasions. Of course, I jumped at the chance and when I saw the script I thought, "hmmm I am not sure some of these are issues for her" but decided to let her try it. I gave it a big buildup telling her that as she is getting older her tapping needed to change. I also noted that she doesn't like to do it but that she also knows it helps her. I talked about it generally over the course of a week or so without taking the time to introduce it to her (mostly because I was dealing with someone else's traumaversary behaviors). When I finally did it with her she was ready to try it and in a good space. I don't know if it was the script, renewed interest in tapping, or the fact that she or I hadn't created it but that day was one of her best days in months. For the past two weeks she has tapped a couple of times each day using this new script and the difference in her is noticeable. She is calmer, happier and so much more relaxed. In fact, C. commented last week that she had noticed how much more "fun" and appropriately "playful" Corazon was. C. didn't know we were using a new tapping script.
Earlier this week we celebrated her 8th "anniversary" of the day she came home. As part of the celebration she wanted to see pictures of herself growing up so I made a slide show similar to the one I made for Pollito last month. When we finished watching she was very happy and commented "I really have had a good life." She has thanked me for it a few times and asked questions about some of the pictures because she didn't remember when/where they were taken. I don't know if the slide show triggered "stuff" for her but yesterday, she hit some bumps in her science project which is due in a couple of weeks (for an outside class she is taking) and she took out her anxiety on me. After several attempts to redirect and refocus she still couldn't get it together so I called a time-out and sent her to her room for 20 minutes. When I checked on her she was tapping. I didn't say anything when she came down except that I was happy to see her and I gave her a quick hug. The rest of the day was a little bumpy but ok for the most part. As she was getting ready for bed she gave me a hug and spontaneously added "I am sorry for the way I behaved to you this morning. I don't know what made me act like such a jerk to you when I was the one who made the problem bigger." I was so proud of her. She apologized AND took responsibility all in one breath. This is huge for her.
When I was checking on her writing this week I came across this entry, which was NOT assigned. She didn't even tell me about it.
Dear Ms. Lisa,
How are you? I hope you and J. are doing well. Thank you very much for my tapping script. The first time I did it, it made me feel better saying them because I knew they were true. I was afraid to fail, to make a fool of myself every time I make a mistake. I do feel ashamed sometimes. Saying those outloud, I felt better and I also had a great day. Thank you so much for thinking about me. I hope to see you soon.
This daughter of mine is blossoming into an even more amazing person each and every day.