trauma across the generations

I don’t talk about C much on here. I don’t know why really, but I think part of it is because it feels like I’m protecting him from something. I’ve talked oodles about my non-existent relationship with M and all of the trials and tribulations that have come with that but lately I’ve had some developments with C that I thought I could share here.

C has ADHD Combined and Anxiety NOS (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) that he was diagnosed with about a year ago. As usual my family doctor has been completely useless in the whole matter telling me that it’s up to Family Services to help me and not him so I’ve been working with them to see if I can get some additional help for C for the past year and to be honest the wait times have been quite agonizing.

To tide us over we recently just finished a 6 week program called Taming Your Fears for kids with anxiety. I didn’t really find it all that helpful (actually I found it quite triggering a lot of the time) but continued with it because I had hopes it would help C settle a bit. Honestly, I don’t think it did but it was something while we were waiting for in-person therapy.

About a week and a half ago I finally got a phone call for in-person services for C. Since then, C has met with Marc once and I had a conference call with just him and I yesterday. He seems really nice, a bit hyper and disorganized, but I have a good feeling about him. We talked medication and the fact that I’d like C to be seen by a psychiatrist to determine whether or not that could be an option for us (especially around bedtime because that’s when his anxiety tends to be worse). We talked about both M and my ex and their relationships with C. At one point I was explaining how horrible M is to C and how C absorbed so much of M’s anger when he was living with us. At that point Marc asked me if I thought it was a traumatic time for C. I stopped for a minute and didn’t know what to say. Finally, I shook my head yes. I do believe it was traumatic for him. I also mentioned that his anxiety was probably worse for longer than I noticed because I was so busy trying to deal with M that C sort of got lost in the mix. And I feel really bad about all of it.

Trauma is a word that I never wanted to be part of my children’s vocabulary. I wanted them to escape it, to not experience it and to not have to deal with the lifelong effects of it. I didn’t want them to end up like me, dealing with something from my past that I had no control over. But I guess I didn’t work hard enough to prevent that from happening.

Marc didn’t judge. But that’s okay because I have enough guilt to judge for both of us. What went wrong? Was it my past trauma and inability to deal with it properly that caused trauma for my youngest child? Does M suffer from trauma rather than ODD and is that my fault too? Their father doesn’t believe there is anything wrong and it’s all in my head but C’s diagnosis is from child psychologist and M was diagnosed by a psychiatrist from Sick Kids in Toronto. So it isn’t just me, right?

Marc took lots of notes, let me talk about what I wanted and 45 minutes later we were making a second appointment for C. It’s going to be virtual because the building where he works is being renovated but it’s better than nothing. I hope it goes well for C. I hope he can talk about his feelings, his worries and his trauma openly and honestly with Marc. I hope he doesn’t end up like me–an anxious traumatized mess hiding his secrets inside of himself.

I worry for C. I worry for his present. And his future. I just want him to experience joy and love and openness. I want him to be happy and healthy and untraumatized. I want him to always feel like he’s worth something. I want him to grow into whatever he wants to be. I feel like this is going to be a bit of a bumpy road for awhile, but I have hope that things can get better for him.

7 thoughts on “trauma across the generations

  1. It’s such a good and helpful thing that he’s getting support NOW, while he’s young, and that he has an involved, loving parent ensuring he has support. Not everyone who experiences a trauma ends up long-term traumatized. You are doing a beautiful thing by making sure he gets what he needs to learn and grow from this. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Q. I think I just got to thinking about my situation and how difficult it’s been but perhaps it would’ve been easier if I’d gotten help when I needed it and not years later. I agree that he most likely won’t require long-term therapy because we’re intervening now….xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The fact C can see his mum advocating for him, listening to him, and actively trying to get him support will go such a long way. He’ll know you see him and you’re on his team. We can’t undo trauma but we can face it safely and that’s what you are facilitating for him at a young age. Imagine if we’d had parents that saw our struggles and got us help… I’m sure things would be better than they are x

    Liked by 2 people

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