I had planned in my mind to write this before Christmas, but you know what it’s like. The hours and days just seem to roll on by and before you know it you’re sitting in a new year wondering how time passed so quickly.
It is early morning and my household is still asleep. I really do love this time of morning as there is very little distraction and nothing has started to clutter my brain for the day. So I’m going to dig back in my mind to what I wanted to write on December 17th 2017.
We have not long returned from church and my heart is full today. Today was the last day of Sunday School for 2017 and our poppet has graduated from one year level to the next. This morning she climbed up the steps to the stage and stood there with another group of 5-7yr olds and beamed. She sang her little heart out and had the most amazing smile on her face. The thing I noticed most about her was that as she was singing she was watching the crowd of faces and many times as her eyes locked mine or someone else’s in our family those gorgeous eyes lit up with a sparkle. As I was watching her I found my own eyes sparkling with a few tears.
My thoughts ran back into the week that had just finished, the school year that had ended and indeed the last 4 years. As a regular reader you will be well aware of the journey we have travelled as our door has been flung wide open to trauma. The week leading up to this Sunday had not been the greatest as I was reeling from hurtful words from someone who should have known better.
” J feeds on attention, controlling others and being in control of everything around her. Looking out for what she can do to get attention. I wish J all the best next year and hope she finds the courage to be the best she can be.”
I am happy that I did not let missy read these words because they cut deeply into me and I suspect for her they would have been just as painful. We then proudly flicked through her workbooks that had come home to be confronted with comments of a similar nature, “too busy attention seeking to finish this work” “didn’t do this, having a meltdown.”
My first instinct was to confront this person and “put them in their place” but then the rational part of my brain stepped in and felt sad. Firstly, I felt sad because they have clearly had many unkind words spoken to them in their past and perhaps the trauma responses in my child had triggered some memories for them which made this year hard and then I felt sad because they had truly missed the joy that is hiding behind all that trauma in this precious child.
The words we speak and the words we write have a lasting impact on those around us. I can still remember the words from my drama teacher at the end of year 7,”domineering and struggles to let others take the lead”. How is it that I can remember those words spoken more than 35 years ago? Those words made me angry at the time, as a teenager wanting to liked and approved of they are not great words, however, now I’ll happily wear those words because I am an excellent organiser and leader, I have learnt to allow others to take the lead and even have a turn…sometimes!!!
So, yes, the words attention seeking, feeding on attention and controlling DO fit this little person. But I like to think of her as attachment seeking, loving the fact that someone is finally taking notice of her and still not feeling safe enough to let others be in control because when she’s done that in the past it’s turned out really badly. And to the harshest of words “Finds the COURAGE” there can only be one response! If this person had taken the time to really know and understand her she would have been in AWE….that’s right…she would have been in awe at the courage that this little one has displayed. This is the child who has battled more battles than many will in their whole life, this little one has survived at the hands of abusers, this little one can get up every day and go out into this crazy, scary world and still function and this little one does it most days with a smile on her face.
At the moment she tells me that when she grows up she wants to be a teacher and follow in the footsteps of her big sister and brother, I don’t know if this is where she will end up but I know if she does she will have a deep compassion and understanding for her students because of the battles she has faced and with COURAGE has overcome.
As I looked into the face of that child standing on that stage on that Sunday morning I felt a deep sense of AWE for who she is becoming in spite of everything going on around her.