By An Adopt4Life Community Parent
Today, my sons fish died. It was two weeks old, and developmental trauma reared its ugly head again. After getting a call from school that he was “melting down”, I knew exactly what the reason was. You see, none of this is about the fish, well maybe a little, but for kids who come from trauma, like my son, its rarely ever about the damn fish. After picking him up from school, we went for a little drive while he screamed and cried for his fish much more like a 2-year-old than a 6-year-old. Among the tears came the truth “was I this sad when I left my first family?” And there it was... trauma, loss and grief. Thanks a lot Mr. Fish. I knew that despite my son’s anguish, this was an opportunity to help him grieve the loss that I know he didn’t physically or mentally remember, but emotionally feels.
Although we know we can never get a formal diagnosis for developmental trauma, through a course offered through the Adoption Council of Ontario called, Pathways, I knew what to look out for, and this, this was it.
Today my sons fish died, and for the first time in 5 years, after spending time in attachment therapy, learning therapeutic parenting, taking courses and hours of research, my son was able to identify his real emotions. Thanks a lot Mr. Fish for giving my son the opportunity to learn from this.
We went home, we talked about how he felt, we talked about how his mental health will always trump his academics, we wrote a card and picture for Mr. Fish and had a funeral. He yelled, screamed, hit, kicked, cried…but also let me comfort him. A first for us. Perhaps not in the way that most parents do, as my son has a hard time with hugs and closeness, but I was able to comfort my son…so thank you Mr. Fish (or to my son Dequvis) for helping in his journey of healing.
There will be so many more fish in our lives, and I know its not always going to be like today, some days, its more about survival than healing. But on days like today I start to see the glimmer of hope that can be so lost among the hurt. Today my sons fish died, and from it a little boy was able to grieve so much more.