Out of the Attachment Closet

I miss writing.

I don't know how to write what I refer to as "secondary content." I am just no good at that. I am a "primary content" kind of girl. I write about what is actually happening to me, right now. And if I write about something from the past, it is because it is what I am dealing with, right now. 

I almost feel dishonest if I write secondary content, it feels like I am skirting the real issue or something, and what is the point of sharing my life if I am just gonna skirt the real stuff.

But, I am in a hard place. My family is in a hard place, and I don't know yet how to share the primary content of our lives with the world in a way that makes the most sense for everyone involved. 

But I miss it. I miss splaying all my baggage out for the perusal of friends and strangers alike, in hopes that one of us gains a little insight, encouragement or, at the very least, the sense the we are not all doing this life alone. I miss writing because I process my life through writing, and right now... I have a lot to process.

So, in relatively vague terms, I am going to share and process the primary content of my life. But it is not just my life in crisis, but the lives of Tom and my children as well. So, please know that I am not trying to be mysterious and string anyone along for the sake of drama... It's truly out of the desire to honor my family.

My oldest son is struggling. He has always struggled, which probably comes as a surprise to anyone who knows him. He, more than any of my kids, is social and charming and engaging and is so loved by people it's like he is the mayor of a small town and everyone knows him and loves him. Everywhere we go, people remember his big, beautiful eyes and charming manners. He has always drawn people in. 

The other side of that is what we have learned is a heartbreaking sense of insecurity in his ability to attach. While he can superficially engage anyone he meets, he has never been able to make and keep deep, authentic attachments. Even to me.

Because of the circumstances of his pre-birth, birth and adoption, Harper has always struggled with attachment. It has always been a very challenging road for him, and for our family... But in the past few months, the effects of Reactive Attachment Disorder have escalated significantly.

We were asked to do an interview about this disorder, to bring awareness and hopefully support to families who are experiencing the exhausting battles we are facing. We agreed and to be quite honest, neither Tom or I remember anything we said. Still, I will soon share the video and I hope that it will reach the mom who has relentlessly loved and pursued her child, only to be violently attacked in return. I hope it reaches the sister who grew up hearing her sibling threaten to kill his mother, or himself, just to make her upset. I hope it reaches the child who spent a lifetime pushing away love, out of fear and self-protection. I hope that it reaches potential adoptive couples, that they would learn the signs to look for early on and be able to intervene at a much younger age than we have. I hope it reaches school social workers and child psychologists who have blown off parents saying "boys will be boys" or "all kids have tantrums" or "have you tried a reward chart?" I hope it reaches my readers and you all know that I have not intentionally kept you all in the dark out of pride or a desire to seem like we have the perfect life or family, but instead, I have had a deep sense of responsibility to protect the sacred story that belongs only to my son.

But now, we are in crisis. And we need support. And it has gotten so bad that there is no longer secondary content, this battle, this primary content, has taken over everything else and has become our exclusive content. So, it's time. I have come to a point where I believe that being isolated and keeping this season of our lives a secret would not protect or honor Harper, but would only isolate our family and ultimately, make him sicker.

So, here we are. Broken and in despair, fighting for our son's precious life, just as he fights against me... believing he too is fighting for his life. I will be blogging throughout this journey, but I don't know what it will look like or how much I will feel free to share. My prayer is that we are able to love Harper into the wholest and healthiest possible version of himself and since we believe in a God who does that very thing, we trust that it is possible.