My husband and I often say to one another, “Is Tyler ever going to get it?” We (my husband and I and the treatment families and staff at the Institute are trying to find a fine balance between behavior, medication, and therapy. We hope to find the right mix that sends the current to turn the light bulb on. As the institute folks say, the goal is for Tyler to become “respectful, responsible and easy to be around!” Sounds easy enough. Right?
We’ve worked with two Institute therapists at different times with our son. Their differences have allowed us to address Tyler’s attachment issues in diverse ways. We’ve dug deep to help Tyler uncover the pain and trauma of his early abuse as a baby.
We’ll never truly know why his birth mom did what she did. We do know there’s a cycle of abuse and neglect and mental health issues—a cycle we desperately want to stop with our son.
I admit that I get angry too. Why did his birth mother do this to him? Will she ever know how much pain she left behind? So, we’re all understanding more about attachment and the huge impact it has on a child’s development and relationships. As a result, my husband and I have looked inside too. Have we allowed a ‘cycle’ to continue in our own lives?
Tyler understands himself better and is learning to trust us as his parents. The time he has spent at the Institute family treatment home has taught him respect, responsibility, and empathy for others. His medications keep his mood more balanced and allow him to think clearer and with more focus.
We think we’re finally on the right path in this journey. Fortunately, we get to walk with him a few more years before he steps out on his own as an adult. So how do we keep going everyday? As I’ve said before, one day at a time.
What do you do to keep going? Share your tips with other parents below.