We have a visit with baby sis coming up in 2 weeks. It's the first one since kiddos sweet 16 party. After the party, baby sis went off the deep end and trashed both tv's in the group home she was in.
When siblings get together and they’re reminded of the past and everything bad that’s happened, they may transfer their fears and anger onto their sibling. It makes sense, given the person that did the abusing isn’t there for them to lash out at. It can be worse than the anger they have at the grown ups in their lives. They are there with each other and the one constant. It has to be dealt with and not ignored.
Many times they can’t be together without supervision. Sometimes it can result in being separated, like our daughter and her baby sis and not live in the same house. Sadness, fear, frustration and fatigue turn into anger. The separation is working for the girls and they are nice to each other and love each other. The first visit they had after kiddo had a break in residential went very poorly and was scary for everybody involved. It was at that moment that it was presented for them to be separated.They are learning to be kind to each other.
Activities between them need to be kept fun, but relatively low key and short. Burning off energy is also good. All that keeps the drama at a minimum. I noticed that after 2014 with the frequent visits that our daughter got much worse temporarily. 2015 there were very few visits and by 2016 our daughter was a completely different person and acting like a regular teenager. The trauma history was no longer evident in her behaviors.
It will be interesting to see how their relationship ends up as they grow up and become adults. Kiddo thinks her baby sis will want to move in with her and she said she can’t do that. We promised to do what we can to help her be close without being in her face.
Baby sis is very rough in her play. It happens frequently and it’s because of the trauma bond. Trauma bonds are frequently considered as the bond between victim and perpetrator, but it can also happen between those that shared these traumas together. Because of the girls difference in age and understanding, they were at different developmental stages at the time of trauma and their healing processes run differently.
The intensity of what the girls experienced and no suitable outlet? Can you imagine going through that? How would you react? Why are people judgmental? Why would people call kids and their behaviors bad, when it’s really the only coping skill they knew? They can’t use positive coping skills until they learn positive coping skills. They can’t learn positive coping skills until they trust those that are trying to teach them these skills. They can’t trust these people until the grown up has earned the trust. That trust will take longer than your average person. Why? Why not? It’s logical that trust would hard to come by. They were unable to trust those that were suppose to love them best. Why would somebody outside the family be trustworthy?
Today marks 4 years since the day that the judge pronounced us family. It's been 5 years since our daughter was our daughter in our hearts. It was just last year that our daughter finally said she knows this is forever. 4 years to get to the point of knowing you're home forever.
As adults, when we get together with our siblings, we can find ourselves taking on the role we did as a child in that sibling set. My hubs, for example, has a trauma bond and after more than 30 minutes of time with his sisters, his accent comes back. Kids may go back to acting as they did when they were in the chaotic environment they first knew. If adults regress around siblings, wouldn't it stand to reason that kids would too?
Just the act of being separated creates sadness and loss. They've lost their parents and most bio family, then they worry they are losing each other. But sometimes, they need different things.
What they really need though:
- Parents that are open minded and willing to keep contact. Baby sis is scared to death that if she's adopted, they will not allow her to still see her sister
- Parents that are able to listen to the childs needs, both the verbal listening and the behavior and body language. Our daughter tells us what she needs now, but before we had to read between the lines.
- Parents that recognize this is a loss and that a desire to be connected to their birth siblings doesn’t equate to a lack of desire to be connected in their new family. After acknowledging curiousity and normalcy of this, the searches in kiddos history of her bios quit showing up in her internet history. She knows we'll get the info we need.
- Parents that are honest, open and compassionate
Our daughter first saw the separation as a punishment and a loss that was dictated to pay her back for all she’d done. As time went on she realizes not, it wasn’t about her behavior, but about her needs.
And that brings us to survivors guilt…..