After weeks of seeing the changes in Ozzie, I feel like I can safely say we have turned the corner.
That is not to say that we won’t continue to have harder days mixed in with the better days, but we are no longer drowning.
I remember this moment with Tyler. When you suddenly resurface after months of fighting to get your nose above water, and your breathe deeply again.
You look around and realize you have finally settled into your new “normal.”
Life is good.
It was a long road getting to this point and I give much of the credit to our God-sent therapist who has worked miracles in our life for the last couple months.
For the last few weeks our therapy sessions have been spent reading a book together:
A Safe Place for Caleb by Kathleen and Paul Chara.
It is an amazing book that I highly recommend if you are raising a child who has experienced trauma or has a diagnoses of Reactive Attachment Disorder.
The book is written through the eyes of a boy with RAD telling his story of healing. Ozzie has connected well with the story and although I see him emotionally struggling as we talk about hard things, he continues to push forward, longing for that same healing himself.
As we read about Caleb’s journey toward healing Ozzie said, “I don’t want to hurt anymore.”
Our first homework assignment after beginning the book, was to make a list of healing thoughts.
Tina talked about the hurting behaviors Caleb does, behaviors typical of a child with attachment issues. She then asked Ozzie if he does any of those behaviors.
She then went on the explain that hurting behaviors come from hurting thoughts. Thoughts like:
“No one will ever love me.”
“I will always be a bad boy.”
“The abuse was my fault.”
“I am unloveable.”
My heart broke as Ozzie listed the hurting thoughts that he struggles with.
She then explained to us that to change hurting behaviors into healing behaviors we must first change our hurting thoughts into healing thoughts.
addressing the outside behaviors that are manifested without addressing the inside hurts that lead to those behaviors is like sewing up an open wound without cleaning out the infection within.
Although it will result in a temporary fix, there is no real healing happening and the infection will eventually bring about much greater pain.
The wounds must heal from the inside out.
So this week we began the process of replacing those hurting thoughts that have been his “truth” for so long with healing thoughts that are the truth.
Ozzie created his list of healing thoughts…
those things he wishes someone had said to his 5-year-old self in the midst of those abusive years.
We have posted his healing thoughts next to the bathroom mirror where he stands twice a day, looks himself in the eye, and speaks these truths:
I am a good kid!
I am lovable.
I have a choice to do right.
I have a choice to be nice.
I can love people.
I can heal each day.
I can care for other people.
It is not my fault I had to move away.
I am loved!
I think we all have hurting thoughts that lead to hurting actions. Perhaps not to the same degree as Ozzie, but we all have lies that we embrace as our “truth” and whisper to ourselves daily.
What hurting thoughts consume your day? Perhaps we could all benefit from this exercise.
What healing truths does the young child within you need to hear?
Take a moment today to speak the truth.