It’s amazing the way God uses time to bring healing. It’s now coming upon a year to the day when the kids were taken away from me and no contact was ordered by the court. A year since I was falsely accused of parental alienation syndrome by my husband and the GAL.
This morning, my best friend and I sat with a few of my older kids, remembering that day.
My son, “H” said he felt it would have been easier for them to accept if they had been given a little time beforehand to prepare mentally and emotionally for no contact. He said it was just so totally shocking to hear it out of nowhere, and remembered how there was only enough time to pack a black trash bag with his things. He had no idea something like that could even happen to him. He was almost frozen with anger at the time.
My 17 year old, “N”, said it felt like they had no mom, and no home. She was feeling guilty this morning, that during the four months of no contact, she didn’t tend to the younger kids’ emotional needs as much as she wanted because she was so concerned about being a burden to my sisters (the kids’ caregivers) that she was continuously organizing, cleaning, or instructing the younger ones to be quiet and obedient.
I encouraged “N” that it wasn’t what the Lord needed her to do for them. She was their sibling, and she was sharing in the pain and trauma with them, and therefore unable to be a source of any type of deep emotional healing or support during that time.
Besides, despite the GAL’s words in her report that the kids should use the no contact time to “be kids and remember happy times and fond memories”, this was impossible because of what they were torn away from. It was a really ludicrous and cruel idea, without compassion for the kids as people. They were cut off completely from their deepest, healthy emotional source – me. They had no friends, no home, no mom.
Their world turned upside down, and they were angry and in pain. Angry with the giant for lying about them and keeping them from me and their best friends. Angry with the GAL for ignoring them and not believing them. Angry with a judge they had never met, but who cared so little for their best interest that he took them away from their mom.
At the core of what the legal system did to the kids and me, is treat us like our feelings didn’t matter. No matter how many times we repeat those words, it still is somehow shocking. So cold. So heartless.
Many adults tell themselves that children are resilient. They carelessly talk about kids “bouncing back” from painful events as though they don’t feel it deeply; but that’s simply not true.
Yet these experiences don’t only have the ability to affect children negatively, I believe God uses them as part of His providential work in our lives. I see Him using this trial which my kids and I (and our best friends, and some of our family) have been going through to work perseverance and faith in us. Faith that He is working all these things together for good and to His glory.
But it’s hard, and takes time. Sometimes, in the middle of a painful talk, at least one of us wants to walk away. But we help each other stick it out, and the Lord gives us the ability to deal with it.
Adults, please talk to these kids who are hurting. Ask them how they are doing, how they feel, and what they need from you. Kids, talk to the adults who love you – who you trust – and tell them what you feel and what you need help with.
My son “H”, told me that it’s the conversations he has with me and my best friend, who loves him, too, that have been the key to his healing these past months. He only sees the therapist occasionally, and then for an hour or less. But I am with him every day, and although we don’t have deep, long talks every day, we have frequent ones – and at least once a week – when I drive him to piano lessons and it’s just the two of us alone in the car for 20 minutes there and back. Lots of times we talk about what was hard for him during the week, and what was good. How he feels God is changing him in good ways, and how he is doing in his relationships with his sisters, his friends, and God.
It’s these conversations that help you both go to deeper places, that help you talk through hurt and anger – so the Lord will bring you both to healing.
The conversations will help you understand how valuable you are – how loved and important – to the ones who know you and want to help. So please, go to someone you trust and ask them to come and talk with you!