Children with relational trauma find it very hard to trust that we will care for them, nurture them & guide them. They’ve been hurt deeply in the past by adults who should have protected them. They close their hearts to relationships, to avoid the risk of more pain.
Unresolved trauma creates a sense of loneliness & isolation. Imagine never experiencing the warmth of social connection, or the confidence that someone is holding you in mind & truly accepts you just as you are.
These are the children who need us the most. Who need us to look beyond their fear & all their strategies to push us away & make us mad at them. Who need to hear we know they are hurting & understand why it’s hard for them to allow us to get close.
In the face of constant rejection or challenge from a traumatised child it can be very hard to maintain confidence that we are what they need. That we are enough & that our relationship with them is our best resource to promote healing & growth.
Take a moment to think of someone you know who has made your heart warm, simply by being by your side. Think of their kindness & positive regard for you & how it has made you feel. Know that this is a very powerful gift.
I hope you can find courage to be gently but persistently PACE-ful with your traumatised child. Take every opportunity to stay as close as they will allow you to be. Keep turning up. Show them you will carry the hope for your relationship in your heart, even while it is hard for them to do so. Surround yourself with allies who will support you in this loving work. Be the love beam your child needs.