Where to start?
I’ve been through it. I remember things from my childhood that I honestly wish I didn’t. I know the games predators play. I know the games that confused and abused kids play. It’s because they learned them by someone who played those games with them. And hurt them. And confused them. And horrified them.
Yes, I am a victim. However, I haven’t lived my life like a victim for a long time now. I didn’t do the normal thing and seek therapy with a trained professional. I sought my therapy in music, some family, and most importantly, my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time.) I had a lot of junk back then and miraculously made it through. I am determined to not let that define who I will be. On my own, I chose to not allow myself to do those same things. Instead, I counsel other teens who have been through some of the same things. Instead, I’m open about what I’ve been through and help other potential adoptive/foster parents who have been fortunate enough to never experienced those things, understand the mindset of not only the abused, but of the predator as well. It’s not easy sometimes because the emotions can flood back in. I’m so hardcore against abuse, that I can feel myself angering and wanting to lash out.
And today? I’m an adoptive father of three of the most amazing kids. Each one has their own strengths and weaknesses. Each one is super intelligent. I know this because we had the psych tests done. In many ways they’re ahead of developmental targets and in others, behind. Just like any other kid. The issue is that two of the three has experienced physical and sexual abuse. They have experienced enough to set them into post-traumatic episodes and acting out their fears. There is a lot of confusion for both of them. We just had a break-through in my oldest’s therapy after an incident. With every break-through, comes a time of regression. In many ways these past two weeks, it seems like he hasn’t been able to control himself. He seems happy for the most part, but then there are those moments. He’s been having night terrors again. He’s confused on the good relationship/bad relationship right now because abusers will twist your thoughts to think they’re the kindest person in the world. He’s gone back to screaming like a siren when upset or gets into trouble. He made prank calls to 911, and has to some degree regressed back into his fantasy world. Through all of this, though, he seems to be working it all out and therapy has been helping.
As an adoptive parent, it feels like insanity at times, but we make the best of it and try to stay as patient as we can. It disgusts me to no end that someone hurt my son and daughter. And it feels like there’s not much I can do for them at times. Thank goodness for our therapists, they’ve been a blessing in letting us know that we’re doing all the right things. They’ve taken the reporting against my son’s previous foster home more seriously and to a higher level. I don’t know if we’ll hear anything back, but I hope someone closes that place down, or brings in new administration and parents. They act like he’s an autistic retard and is making everything up. Then they don’t want to do anything to ensure that none of the other kids don’t get hurt or therapy for those who have. Ridiculous, just frickin’ ridiculous. Just another piece of a broken system.