Dreaming of Acceptance and Understanding and Carefree Days 9

©DelightfullyDifferentLife

Can you see Pegasus in the clouds? Pegasus is the white-winged horse of greek mythology and a constellation. He has always been special to me. I am not really sure why. Maybe because I grew up with horses. I fell in love with Colorado before I ever moved there listening to John Denver and watching his specials, so naturally when I saw these clouds I thought of the old John Denver song, “Pegasus.”

“A kid knows what he wants to be before he’s nine or ten,
cowboys, clowns and men of war, someone else’s friend.
But nine grows into big boy’s pants and then to scars and pain.”

“…..Tell the one about the man who saddled up the wind,
Pegasus and flying fish and woodmen made of tin.
Pegasus and flying fish and woodmen made of tin.”

©DelightfullyDifferentLife

Do you see the flying fish? It is really a bird, but it looks like a fish doesn’t it? If you use your imagination you can see an angel just above and to the right of him.

I do not have a woodmen made of tin cloud picture, so you’ll have to use your imagination for that one.

You see in the words of Joni Mitchell, “I really don’t know clouds at all.” But, I do know that perceptions of autism frequently are illusions based on limited experience, and I know that nine and ten-year olds or anyone else should not experience bullying. I know it grows into scars and pain.

I had a dream when my daughter was born. A dream of a life filled with joy and happiness, of a house filled with her friends.  I imagined them walking to and from the mall together chatting along the way. I believed with all my heart that it would come true. The bullies and the teacher who had an illusion of Asperger’s and the long-term effects of bullying put a huge hole in my dream, but they did not destroy it.

Her future still holds promise. She dreams of leaving this island and going away to college to somewhere no one knows her. She dreams of starting fresh. She can still grow up and live a full life. She will make friends that share her interests and see her kind heart one day. Tween and teenage years are not the end of her story. I know this because I have met some of my closest friends as an adult. We share a bond of friendship stronger than teenage friends.

The world will be more understanding one day because I and others refuse to allow it to be otherwise.

Groups Set Aside Days for Forgiveness and Today Is One of Those Days 4

Luke 6 verse 35 – 37

Do you have someone you need to forgive? You already know I do if you have looked at my Forgiveness and Gratitude page at the top of my blog. And, what better day to forgive or at least to work on forgiving than Global Forgiveness Day?

Apparently, there are multiple dates set aside for forgiveness including International Forgiveness Day, the first Sunday of August. While doing research for this post, I found conflicting information about Global Forgiveness Day. An article at the Huffington Post stated Global Forgiveness Day was on July seventh; so forgive me if I have the wrong date.

My Bible

The exact date is probably less important than actually forgiving. The problem is how do we truly forgive? I am not going to rehash my prior posts since you can read them from the link above if you choose.

Instead, I want you to read a post from my friend, Phil Dzialo, Moving from Apology to Forgiveness to Closure … It Can Happen! He and his family found some closure after their experience with their son’s near drowning while at a summer day camp. He mentions a book, On Apology, by Dr. Aaron Lazare in his post. It is a book I highly recommend as I have been reading it upon Phil’s suggestion. It has helped me to understand there are times when we need an apology to help us to continue healing.

However, there are also times when you can learn to forgive without actually receiving an apology as noted in my prior posts about Dr. Frederic Luskin’s book, Forgive for Good. This seems to work better when the offense is in the past. However, even then it does not always work. This is especially true if you keep hearing stories about how great the people who offended you are. Imagine hearing this when you know that they really have not changed.

This is when an apology becomes extremely important. Otherwise it is too easy to get lost in anger, and that is not a good thing. Anger consumes you rather than those with whom you remain angry.

Photo taken at the FDR Memorial in Washington, D. C.

PTSD and Ambiguous Loss 6

In When Someone You Love Suffers From Posttraumatic Stress, by Claudia Zayfert, PhD and Jason C. DeViva, PhD , they define ambiguous loss as a “term used to describe any situation in which a loved one is absent in some ways but present in others.” They further explain that this can be when a person is present physically, but is not participating in family life. This describes my family.

The thing is we are still a family and at times we still act like one. However, there are other times, we are not. This may sound like a typical family with a teenager to some of you. It is not.

I am not talking about typical teenage rebellion or pulling away. I am talking about a talented, kindhearted child, who wants to be alone, yet still wants me to be present. The two are contradictory I know, still there it is. She needs me to be present, yet invisible. She needs control of the boundaries she establishes, while at the same time she cannot accept that I too need boundaries. I frequently walk on eggshells as I try to help her.

The more I learn, the more I understand and believe me I understand more than most. Yet, I am at risk. I am at risk for what the book describes as “secondary trauma.” Many family members of those with PTSD have signs of anxiety, depression and PTSD themselves. This is why I get angry when I see people related to the year my daughter experienced bullying. They are all moving forward; this includes the bullies and their families.

We have done many things right to help my daughter. She still talks to me, she still has goals. We take baby-steps in positive directions. She has relived the events too many times already, and does not want to talk about it anymore. She received counseling after the event and was doing better until the school that previously had been supportive let her down completely.

She knows in her heart that it is not her fault, but in some ways the school’s failure caused her to start over at square one and to lose the years of progress. All of the professionals who let her down previously make it hard to trust any of them, and I understand this.

Today I found a wonderful book to help her,The PTSD Workbook. I am also trying to take care of myself, so I can continue to help her. My husband gave me a better camera for Christmas and I am taking pictures of nature as I take my walks. Like the faint rainbow above, there is a glimmer of hope.

Trust Is a Fragile Thing 14

Every Child Deserves Acceptance and Love

This is a picture of my innocent child with her grandfather in a shared moment of happiness.  She did not get to know her wonderful grandfather because this was his last birthday.  This child like every child on earth deserves understanding, acceptance, and love.

How Do You Recover Lost Trust?

Two days ago the Word Press post-a-day topic was a question.  “How do you recover lost trust?”  The bonus promote was:  “If someone lets you down or betrays you, how do you learn to forgive?  And can you possibly learn to trust them again?  Why or why not?”

I have repeatedly mentioned that I believe in forgiveness.  I have explained why in prior posts so I am not going to repeat myself today.  You can click Forgiveness and Gratitude from the menu at the top of this page for more information. However, I do want you to understand that I too still struggle with forgiveness as my child still struggles with the effects of being misunderstood and with the effects of past bullying.

One of the effects is lost trust. My child lost trust in doctors because doctors misdiagnosed her when she had classic traits of Asperger’s and  sensory sensitivities from the time she was a toddler. We took her to these doctors. We listened to their poor advice before I finally said enough and took her for a full evaluation with a neuropsychologist where we first heard the word Asperger’s.

More Trust Lost

Our family was just starting to mend when bullies made things worse. This resulted in more lost trust as we had to force her to go to school on the advice of the school and the psychologist. We tried to convince her to switch schools the following year; however, Asperger’s makes change difficult and we did not insist because the school worked with us.

Prayers and Education

I pray everyday for help to forgive those who hurt my child. I am not sure how to get trust back, but I believe forgiveness will help. This is why I wrote the book. That is why it is so important to educate others.

Please help me educate others so no more sweet innocent children are misunderstood or mistreated.

Addendum

My daughter left the school of her dreams after this publication when an English teacher single-handedly decided that my daughter was too “high functioning” to have Asperger’s. This same teacher reported my daughter as a disciplinary problem when she missed school due to sinus infections with laryngitis brought on by stress.

This was while the school counselor and I were trying to help my daughter with issues related to the long-term effects of bullying and still having to deal with those involved. The combination of the teacher’s attitude and the other things she was dealing with caused my daughter to shut down. Yet, she managed to bravely tell the school dean of her decision to withdraw from the school due to their failures. You can read about it here: Gratitude for Inspiring Daughter. That was almost two years ago and during that time I have helped my daughter with symptoms of PTSD while working to forgive all the people who failed her including us.

She is on the mend and dreams of going away to college to escape Oahu and start fresh. You can help her accomplish this goal by sharing our story and purchasing my novel. Right now her dream college is out of our budget. BTW We live on an island in the middle of the Pacific, so the only way she can go away is to pay out-of-state tuition.