All parents feel overwhelmed sometimes when their children do normal things, like have temper tantrums or act demanding. But for parents who have experienced trauma, those difficult moments can remind us of painful childhood experiences when we felt terrified or overwhelmed by someone who was out of control. When that happens, we can respond by getting too angry or by shutting down.
Susan Chinitz, the director of the Early Childhood Center at the Albert Einstein College … Read More
For 25 years, I’ve been smoking marijuana to cope with a lifetime oftrauma.
When I was young, my family life had some order. My sister’s father and my mother had strict rules for us. We went to church and my sister and I sang in the choir. I remember singing on the fire escape with my sister. People passing by would stop to listen.
But my mom also hit and kicked … Read More
When my daughter was an infant I showed her a lot of love, but when she was 4, our lives changed in a terrible way, and I began to feel that hugging and kissing my daughter was wrong.
Child protective services took my daughter from me when she was 4 and returned her 9 months later because I had been sexually inappropriate with other children in my home. One day when my nieces and nephew, two … Read More
When I was young, life with my mother was good. I used to love going to her job, playing and watching her work. We played little hand games like “thumb war” and “boom-boom clap-clap.” At day care, I didn’t want her to leave. She always knew how to make me feel good.
But as I got a little older, it seemed like my mom was always stressed out and depressed. She looked like a big cloud … Read More
When parents are facing a child welfare case, they often keep silent about their past history of trauma. Sometimes parents’ past experiences are too painful to talk about. Other times parents fear that talking openly about experiences of violence or victimization might hurt their case. Parents are right to be concerned that what they say in court or to their worker can be used against them. At the same time, keeping all past … Read More