Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Facing a Day Alone and a LOT of work

I'm a thinker and a doer. I'm not a be-er and I'm not a feeler. I like concrete measurable stuff.

And today I have a lot of stuff to do. When I get overwhelmed I have to see things ... on paper, or I have no idea how to tackle what is ahead.

So, I'm going to have to start my day by making a list with categories. It may even have to be color coded.

Call me a geek or neurotic, but it's the way I operate. My husband hates these comprehensive lists because he says they overwhelm him. Not having a list overwhelms me.

I am finding the older I get just how individual and unique each of us is. In the last chapter of the new book (which should be out in October we hope) I write this:

One of the most insightful things I ever heard a psychiatrist say was when we were getting help for our son John. He remarked that many adoptive parents are trying to change their children to fit into something that they can’t ever be. A very outgoing and talkative man, he said something like this: “My daughter,” he said, “is just like me. She talks a mile a minute and always has something to say. If she were adopted into a family of quiet, reserved introspective people, there is nothing that they could do to get her to become like them. And if they tried, her self-image would be damaged in the process.”

Kathleen Benckendorf, an Adoption Parenting Coach, reinforces this idea: “There is no consequence, positive or negative, that could motivate me enough to teach me to dunk a basketball. I am 5'4", and even when I was young and thin (which I am not now!), I had about a 3" vertical leap. If I was told that this was a necessary and important activity for me, I'd become very frustrated seeing other persons achieve, being told what I should do, and knowing that it is impossible. I'd probably "check out" of the process mentally. 

This is what many consequences are like for children with a trauma background - beyond their ability to obtain or avoid because they are living in fear, in fight/flight mode, in their brainstem.”

By the way, Kathleen, can I quote you in my book? How about on my blog?


1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Quote away! Just make sure you tell everyone how wonderful I am. :-)

Have tried a whiteboard for your lists? I love using a whiteboard when I'm making lists for the family...