vulnerable

For Impromptu Promptings Sandbox Writing Challenge 22: vulnerable.

I took this yesterday. She ran to the tree, no parent in sight. The parent was out of my sight but knew where she was.

Norah Jones : “a little girl with nothing wrong is all alone”.

Here: Seven years.

Prayers for the children who are frightened, and not safe, and lost. Alone or not alone.

 

 

young alone

I have a double lot, L shaped, because the 1930s garage extends 5 feet into the second lot.

I don’t mow the second lot. It is in the center of the block and has an apple tree, a plum tree, a maple with a tree house, wild roses and weeds.

The deer leave their young to stay. Intemittently there are young alone in my lot. I went to go in the tree house this weekend, but this small one was alone. I don’t like to scare them into the streets or more exposed yards, so I backed off.

Mundane Monday #166: parent and child

My theme for Munday Monday #165 is parent and child.

I have this small statue in my clinic. I have a small collection of parent/child and mother/child art that I have collected for years. I was separated from my mother at birth, from my father and his family at 4 months and back to my mother and father at 9 months. I was sure that adults loved me but I did not trust them: they kept abandoning me.

As an adult I understand that it was because my mother had active tuberculosis and that the first separation saved my life. But…. I can love people, but trust must be earned.

A patient said last week that I had a political statement in my waiting room. “I do?” I said. He was talking about this statue.

If this is a political statement, I stand by it.

Attach your parent child picture, political statement or not. And much love and hope for every parent and child and love.

One entry from last week, Mundane Monday #165: sand:

KL Allendorfer: Sand.

 

 

small child

my small child was locked under rock for years

she came out shy reluctant distrustful

you are special, the first adult in whom
she recognized another small child
locked in and called you
out to play

and we played hard

now she stomps her foot at me
“He does not play fair! He won’t come to my house!
He makes all the rules! He doesn’t listen!”

yes, bear, I know

time to go home, small child
you have had your first playmate
since you were locked away
but he is still locked in a dungeon
of monsters and zombies
you unlocked him for a little while
just a tiny bit

but he has decided not to play
he is locked down

come, small child

she is in my arms, head on my shoulder
sucking her thumb, crying
until she is too tired
and falls asleep

she will always love you, you know

anything, to have someone to play with
she let you make all the rules
for a long time

but now she wants
someone who will play fair
and share the rules
and love her back

 

12/2015

Adverse Childhood Experiences 3: Attachment Disorder

I ought to have an attachment disorder, which now is called “separation anxiety disorder” in the DSM IV, now redefined in the DSM IV-TR and then the DSM V. That is, they keep changing the definition of psychiatric disorders. It’s a bit unnerving, isn’t it? Not only the brain is “plastic” and can be rewired throughout our lives, but the psychiatric diagnosis manual is being updated.

When I went into allopathic medicine, I was under the impression that I needed to learn everything I could and apply it. Spectacularly wrong. I needed to learn everything and then track everything because at least one fourth of what I learned was wrong or was going to change. I just didn’t know WHICH 25% was wrong.

This is why older doctors have a healthy skepticism towards new medicines, new equipment, new ideas. Older doctors are more likely to use old cheap medicines and eschew the new-fangled samples. It’s not just that the pharmaceutical companies only give us samples of the new expensive stuff. It’s also that some of the new expensive stuff is not as good as advertised and has a chance of hurting people. I still would advise my patients to use coumadin (warfarin) if they have a clotting disorder. Yes, you can take the new drugs without doing a monthly blood test — BUT if you bleed, I can’t reverse the new medicines. So I wouldn’t take them: if I need a medicine to keep me from clotting, I want coumadin. I will decide about the new medicines in 5-10 years. Old and cynical, that’s me….

As previously written, I had five “experiences” under age three that left me not trusting adults. However, the adults seemed to love me, even though they kept abandoning me to other adults. At under three, this did not make sense. I could have decided never to trust anyone and presumably would have really gone off into some sociopathic bad place, but I didn’t do that.

The clue to what I did is in my mother’s stories. My sister was born five days before my 3rd birthday. She came home right by my birthday, at Easter.

My mother said, “You asked if you could dress Chris. She was two days old. She was nearly ten pounds and had a triple chin. You wanted to put a lacy dress on her. I decided that you could try and told you to be very gentle.

You put Chris into the newborn baby dress. She was so big that it barely fit and in fact, that was the only time she ever wore it. You had to stuff her arms through the sleeves. She cracked her eyes and looked at you, but she did not object at all. You were gentle.”

That doesn’t seem like much. Next story:

My mother said, “You would meet visitors who came to see Chris at the door. You would say “Come see my baby.” I let you open presents for Chris because she didn’t care. You would show the visitors your sister.”

My baby. That is the key.

I think what happened is this:
1. The adults who took care of me did seem to love me.
2. Even though they loved me, they kept abandoning me, or giving me to other adults. I really really disliked this.
3. I thought that adults were misguided and wrong to give me away. I thought there must be some explanation. I would try to figure it out. Meanwhile, I was going to take care of my sister: she was MY BABY. I was going to show those stupid, loving, confused adults how to take care of a baby and NO ONE was going to give HER away. I could love adults but no way was I going to trust them.

That was my crisis brain wiring by age 3. Adults are loving and untrustworthy. You can love them back but they may abandon you to someone else at any moment. You can’t predict what they will do. They may be even LESS trustworthy if they are loving and you know them, than if it is a stranger.

My mother again, “When I got you back at nine months, you didn’t know me. You wanted to be as independent as possible. You missed your (maternal) grandmother. In the grocery store, you would cry if you saw a white haired woman. We couldn’t comfort you.

I thought that you didn’t like us at all until you ate a cigarette butt and got really sick. You let us take care of you. Then we left you with friends for a night. You were absolutely furious when we got back and I thought that you really did like us….”

Poor young mom, 23 and recovering from tuberculosis and still not strong, with an angry and grieving nine month old who really didn’t want much to do with her and didn’t trust her at all…..

Changes from the DSM IV-TR to the DSM V: http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/changes%20from%20dsm-iv-tr%20to%20dsm-5.pdf

The DSM IV criteria for separation anxiety: http://behavenet.com/node/21498

Theme song: The Devil Makes Three “All Hail”