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Is There Life After Attachment Disorder?
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I've been thinking for awhile now that I should write about what it has been like, since taking Kim-12 yr to her new home away from home. (She'll be there for about 18 months, getting treatment for Attachment Disorder.)

So, how has the last month been? In all honesty, it's been great. Yes, there's life, and it is better than I dared hope. I miss her. Who she was a few years ago, anyway. Who she was before the last two and a half years of hell.  And sometimes it's hard to remember that person, to be honest. I look forward to meeting her again, and I know I will one day in another year or so.

In the meantime, each day there are new things to appreciate and enjoy. Each day a small part of me comes back to life that I had long since assumed was dead and gone. I'd more than forgotten who I was - I'd figured I was someone else entirely. I thought I was someone who hated social stuff, hated fun, was constantly battling depression and was someone not inherently likeable. And I was actually ok with all of that.

Turns out all of that was just byproducts of years of stress brought about by a situation. Not me at all. It's kind of fun to figure out who I really am again. I know, I know - most people do that at 13 and 14 and it IS NOT fun. Well, without the raging hormones, and an adult perspective? It's FUN!

This new version of our family changes every single day. We're all loosening up - learning how to be ourselves without this constant stress of how to be safe, how to manage her latest impending blowup, how to talk about her normally, how to tell people where she is, how to enjoy life. How to live life without walking on eggshells. How to sleep without nightmares about what she's wanting to do or has already done.

Turns out that without the emotional and mental drain of dealing with her issues and their symptoms, we all have time and energy and patience to pour into so many other areas. How nice!

I guess we're all recovering and healing from the last years. Every day there were blow ups, manipulations, stealing to deal with, violent thoughts, actions, words or threats to deal with and survive. Without even noticing, our family had slipped into Survival Mode, and gotten comfortable. Accepting it as our lot in life, and counting it a successful day if we were just still standing and not broken down completely when everyone was safely in bed for the night. Or hoping they were safe in bed, rather.

So, if you've been wondering, we're great. REALLY great. And trying not to feel guilty for it, and usually succeeding now. We're busy collecting new hobbies and hangouts and friends that we never had the time or energy for before. Can't wait to tell y'all all about them!

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Your Comments

Shalee Said:

Oh Kelsey, this really is an answer to prayers. I know you miss your girl, but it is nice to have a new lease on your own life. Doesn't mean you love her any less - just that new priorities are being defined, developed and explored.

And I, for one, can't wait to hear all about the new hobbies, hangout and friends.

Praising God again for His hand in all of this change,


on Jul 6, 2006 2:34:54 PM
bluepaintred Said:

look youa re the perfect parent, despite th ehardship you cause to yourself, ie people critisizing your decision, you did the right thing, you did what had to be done to help your child and the others at home, not to mention the added boinus of helping yourself!
parents have to do what is best for the child, and each child is different! it seems that you are bothi willing to do right by your daughter and in the end i am sure she will thank you for it!

way to go !

A++ in parenting

on Jul 6, 2006 3:07:58 PM
Ellen Said:

Only you and your family know what is right before God. Hang in...

on Jul 6, 2006 3:20:17 PM
millicent Said:

how awesome for your family...you guys deserve it. and when your daughter comes home I pray that she will be able to enjoy this wonderful new life with you!

on Jul 6, 2006 3:26:52 PM
Addie Said:

Oh, so happy for you guys! All of you. The recovery can begin for you all. That's just beautiful. Here's praying the next 17 mos. gets y'all back to a healthy place!

on Jul 6, 2006 3:30:36 PM
aggiejenn Said:

So happy to hear that things are beginning to heal in your household. I can't imagine what you've all been through. Praying more healing over the next year or so, for the whole family. May you all grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ in the months to come.

on Jul 6, 2006 3:56:59 PM

HM!--So, so glad for you. Sounds like you've learned much already. Accepting the peaceful days without guilt is much like receiving God's grace, isn't it? Praying for your daughter...


on Jul 6, 2006 4:41:40 PM
owlhaven Said:

Glad it's feeling better at your house.



on Jul 6, 2006 4:42:09 PM
Carol Said:

You have no idea how great it is to hear this. You've been in my prayers for...months now. I'm going to let it go for now until you tell me to put you back on my list. Meanwhile, I thought you had this blogging hobby. And don't forget about your writing. I'm waiting to hear how things are going in that department. And did you ever re-hook up with the playgroup ladies? Bought any new shoes lately? Coming to DFW in Oct? Gonna get back to your regular bloggy self now?

on Jul 6, 2006 4:50:21 PM

Your courage continues to blow me away. I know, I know...it probably doesn't feel courageous on your end, but just your honest...well, it's courageous in my book. I'm so happy to hear this good news and I'm praying for your daughter. And I echo all of Carol's questions above, mainly, ARE YOU COMING TO DFW IN OCTOBER? You have to!

on Jul 6, 2006 5:21:03 PM

That was supposed to be "honesty" not "honest".

on Jul 6, 2006 5:21:28 PM
Jeana Said:

I am so glad, Kelsey! I had been wondering.

on Jul 6, 2006 5:56:25 PM
theart Said:

I am glad to hear an update-- and listening with more than just a casual interest, as we have a 13yr. old daughter (adopted at 9, foster kid) with what I am SURE is attachment disorder, though not officially diagnosed.
Though she does not seem to exhibit the violent behavior (anymore!) yours has, there are still all the other issues (lying, stealing,etc) that all the good intentions on our part (including prayer, therapy, and "love") have not been able to resolve. I hope you'll be able to use this time to breathe again, and experience grace, and not guilt. Blessings!

on Jul 6, 2006 6:07:46 PM
Blaine Said:

This is wonderful news! The transition will will surely continue to take place over the next 17 months. I am so happy to hear that you are all off to such a positive start. Good for you!!

on Jul 6, 2006 6:42:57 PM
Geekwif Said:

I've been wondering how you're doing with that, but figured you speak when you were ready. Thanks for the update. I'll keep praying for continued grace.

on Jul 6, 2006 7:44:20 PM
Damselfly Said:

Been wondering how you are your family are doing after making that tough decision. I'm glad things are looking up. I hope Kim is doing better, too.

on Jul 6, 2006 7:57:28 PM

Oh, that is so wonderful....for your family to experience normalcy again. =) I'll bet the boys are so wonderfully blessed because of it. It's so hard to deal with adolescent problems...big or small (and I can't imagine this huge one you've been dealing with!). You've done the right thing in getting her the help she needs. I'll be praying that she recovers from the violence and anger and can enjoy life and her family again...and know God's love in her life.

Updates are great...they remind people to pray pray pray!


on Jul 6, 2006 9:27:54 PM
mamakraft Said:

Your family gives me hope!

on Jul 6, 2006 9:47:42 PM
Sara Said:

That's great to hear, Kelsey. May God continue to bring healing to your family.

on Jul 6, 2006 10:33:31 PM
Julie Said:

I was just thinking about you last night and wondering how things were going with the family. Thanks for keeping us posted and I hope you discover all kinds of fun new things about yourself.

on Jul 6, 2006 11:39:07 PM
Robin Said:

Please keep us updated. I am happy to hear of the changes in your home and pray that when she returns, she will have seen some fabulous changes too!

on Jul 7, 2006 9:33:39 AM
GiBee Said:

God is so good, isn't he? He is healing your entire family from Attachment Disorder... Praise God for his mercies. They are new every day!

on Jul 7, 2006 9:46:23 AM
MusicalMom Said:

I am so excited for you!

I can totally relate to a lot of your emotions--even if I can't relate to your specific circumstances.

Good for you for being strong enough to do what needed to be done, and for not being ashamed to admit it. :)

on Jul 7, 2006 10:33:12 AM
Stacey Said:

Kelsey, I'm so glad you guys are able to relax and enjoy your time together. I know a little about what you're going through and it can be tough. I will continue to pray for you and your family as you go through this journey!!

on Jul 7, 2006 11:50:15 AM
Dabbling Mum Said:

I am glad the transition has been such a blessing. I hope there will be a blessing for your little girl, too.

on Jul 7, 2006 2:41:30 PM