We have been quasi "stable" at our house for a little while.  Sure we have our "over the top" moments, but by and large things have kind of become "normal".

Then came the holidays.

Holidays are complicated with trauma.  There are traditions that the boys want to keep, but don't articulate...just get mad when we aren't doing them.  There are things I like to do that "don't say holidays" to them.  There is GRIEF over their biological families.

This manifests itself in a variety of ways.  Sometimes anger.  Sometimes reverting to the age of major trauma.  Sometimes no sleep.  Lots of defiance.

Right now Younger Boy and Middle Boy are going with reverting to the age of major trauma which in both cases is pre-school and NO SLEEP.

I am wiped out and not handling their not sleeping well.  I have tried going to bed and just letting them stay up, but they have woken me FOUR times the last two nights.  Plus their decision making seems to be similar to that of a toddler so letting them stay up is not logical.

We aren't celebrating with extended family until next week so I am praying things will settle down a little bit by then.

Prayers for a Merry Christmas to all of you.
In my opinion education isn't something to be taken lightly.  Relationship with God and education...paramount.

Middle Boy doesn't agree about the education piece.  It makes me angry.  I feel like he is short sighted.  No matter what I say he doesn't seem to get that what he is doing now is LITERALLY affecting the remainder of his life.

A term of his probation is to "work to his ability" in school.  Pretty subjective, but I know what he is doing is NOT IT.

Seven classes and a study hall.  Finals the next two days.  Four classes which could go either way...pass or don't pass.  One class that there is no need to bother with the final, because he has a 2% in the class.  Yup...TWO PERCENT.

Why are the grades like this...APATHY.  No work turned in.  Tests turned in with NO ANSWERS written on them...COMPLETELY BLANK.

He is working with a tutor and he doesn't bring the right things home.

At this pace he WILL NOT graduate from high school and college is NOT an option. 

He jokes about it and thinks it is funny.  My offers of help to study are blown off.

Middle Boy writes music.  It is his escape.  Honestly...he is pretty good.

I get frustrated by the amount of time he wastes spends on it.  But it is currently his passion.

His tastes have changed since he moved in.  He used to be an "explicit lyric" rap kinda guy.  Now his favorites are country and some contemporary christian.  He points out his favorites every now and then and I actually know some of them!!

He is working on his fifth or sixth CD.  The title track of the current one is White Fog.

Amazing song.  I am going to try to get his permission to post it here.  It is about how he gets into a fog and believes things about himself he knows aren't true.  Its how this fog overcomes him and how he fights to get control while keeping his eyes on the light.  It is deep.

More than being good at music the kid is an AMAZING writer.

Middle Boy has had some breakthroughs in the past couple of weeks.

The enraged episodes are coming far less frequently these days and I have become more attuned to their triggers.  Most often it is due to fear of some kind.

In fact a whole lot of his current behavior is driven by fear.

He was scared to drive in snow and he melted down.  Mad that I hadn't taught him.  Never mind that it hadn't snowed yet and there hadn't been an opportunity.  It was supposed to snow the next day and I had been delinquent in my parenting.  It spiraled from there.

Just this week we figured out school is such a struggle, because he is AFRAID to graduate.  In his mind it triggers a whole series of events which includes leaving home.  Just this week he admitted the thought of EVER having to leave my home terrifies him.  That is big on so many levels.  In a weird way I wanted to cry tears of joy.

We are working on knowing it is okay to be successful.

The coolest thing though is he is DISCHARGED from regular therapy and is now on an "as needed" basis.  He is so excited about this.  He has been in therapy of some sort for TEN YEARS.

I'm proud of him.  He is trying...really hard.

Praises for the therapeutic discharge letter.  Prayers for continued healing.
Younger Boy is on a cycle in therapy.

I know this because his therapist pointed it out to me this week.

They film him at every session...for a couple of reasons.  They are trauma therapy trainers and they use him in their training sessions.  He is also able to dissociate in a way that no other therapists believe without seeing it on video.  He is part of some trauma research being done and it is part of the documentation.

The cycle looks like this.  We have a "breakthrough" in therapy and a GREAT session.  The following week at home is complete chaos and the next session is spent talking about kooky behaviors and why they happened.

They believe that it is a subconscious effort to feel NO FEELINGS.

We had a week where we talked about past abuses at former homes...he cried and cried in the session.

The following week we talked about why he stole things from a store.

We talked about how angry he was at his biological parents.

The following week he had to be given a protection order for our dogs, because he was hitting and kicking them.

We talked about how he doesn't need a mom, because moms are mean and can't be trusted anyway.

The following week he shot himself in the finger with a BB gun and lied to the doctor in the emergency room.  Told her he slammed his finger in a door and the BB had been there since childhood.  Has to have surgery on his finger to remove the BB.

We talked about how he wishes he lived with all of his biological siblings and trauma bond.

Last night he banged his head on the bathroom wall so hard that there are three holes there that he "might have" done.

Slowly...we are getting there ever so slowly. 

Pray he can feel safe enough to actually feel his feelings and to know that he can handle them.