Friday, June 20, 2008

Fortress of Fear

Victoria is fairly predictable at this point.  She is hard as nails when it comes to expressing her true emotions.  She is so wired to say the right thing rather than the thing she is really feeling.  It makes it very difficult to get to the heart of the matter.  What is that anyway?  What is this fear that motivates and directs her every move?  Because she is so inconsistent and contradictory, it is hard to say, but this, four years later, is my best guess.

A fear of being abandoned again is her biggest fear.  The hurt that doesn't answer questions about her birth mother? Why her? Why the orphanage? Why she doesn't have any baby pictures? When is her birthmother coming back to get her? What color of hair does she have? How old is she? How will she recognize her?  How will she find her?

A fear to trust.  This would require her to give up control; to be dependent.  She would prefer death.  She trusts me to feed her and take care of her but she does not trust that I will always love her and keep her and that I really know what is best for her.  She is trying to wear me down, seeing how far she needs to push for me to give up on her.  I am amazed at the intensity, still, four years later.  

A fear to feel.  Right now, all of her feelings are a result of pure selfishness.  The product of selfishness is the misery, the low self worth, the hopelessness, the defiance, the lack of remorse. Empathy and sacrifice feel different than anything she has felt before.  It feels vulnerable, risky, hard and submissive.  She is really not interested in any of that.  She will not allow herself to feel any of that long enough to feel the good that comes from opening her heart to others.  To me.

It is hard trying to find creative ways to show her love that she cannot misinterpret or use as a substitute for the real thing.  The love she requires takes time and very conscious effort.  It cannot use many words, candy, food, toys, other people, favors.  It needs to be intimate, directed and purposeful.  It has to be done in such a way that she doesn't feel like she has done something to deserve it.  Somehow I have to make her feel that it is unconditional, sincere and lasting.  Before I can ever reach that place I have got to get over some huge obstacles.  That fortress of fear.  

2 comments:

miggy said...

Jodi--I used to work at Enhance with Jay...just so you know who I am. I first became familiar with RAD from the radio show This American Life. There is an episode on parenting and one story was about a family who adopted a child from Romania who ended up with RAD. It was a very eye opening story for me and it gave me a little perspective on the tremendous challenges of parenting a child with RAD. I admire you for facing this challenge the way you have and for continuing to love in such difficult circumstances.

Jodi said...

Thanks so much. I listened to that episode and it is so accurate.