Last week on the anniversary of my 6 year old daughters abuse disclosure she was diagnosed with PTSD.
It seems we are at the highest point of our crisis as a family, just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse we have a child literally beyond our control. I spend momentary periods crying on week ends when her behaviour reaches my breaking point as her mother. The despair and horror of her actions overwhelm me and my ability to respond in a nurturing manner results in me shutting down. She screams , she shouts, she hits and she yells ” I hate you” , spontaneously, without warning or notable triggers. She evolves into a monster I do not know, I am scared of and saddened by.
Upon meeting with our new child psychologist I have been advised to respond accordingly… to try to anticipate a fit or rage coming , note the hyper -activity that normally pre-ludes it and anitiate “grounding techniques” ( working with 4 of her senses.. what can you see that’s yellow, what can you feel in your hand, what can you smell, what can you hear outside?).This may diffuse the situation and bring her back to a rational responsive mode.
Then if the escalation follows, if I can tolerate it, place an industrial head set on my ears, take her in my arms and hold her in a tight hug to ride out the rage. While repeating over and over the words, ” I here, you are safe, you are not hurting me with noise”.
Signs of PTSD in children..
Regression to previous behaviour in younger years. Such as Screaming, thumb sucking , baby talk, rocking ect…
Crying for unknown reasons
Disassociation where they seem there but they are not listening and their eyes are not focused.
Constantly tired, especially in the mornings when awoken. Due to inability to fall asleep or stay asleep or restless sleep.
Unexplained and spontaneous reversion to regression “fits” .. hitting, spitting,screaming, verbal abuse.
irritable, angry, or aggressive behavior, including extreme temper tantrums
exaggerated startle response
problems with concentration