This excerpt is from a post written for and published on the Kindred Voice (formerly Holl & Lane) Blog.
In this first month of the new year, I’ve spent the time equivalent to five days wondering if my teenage daughter was alive and ok. I cycled through the gamut of emotions each of the three times she disappeared—fear, anger, sadness, uncertainty, and most importantly, failure. Every time my daughter slipped away under the cover of night, I sat and questioned exactly how much I was failing at being a good mom that would lead her to run away from the home I have worked so hard to build for her.
The first two days of the new year were the longest. For 53 straight hours, I wasn’t sure if she was alive or dead, if she’d truly run away or if she’d been kidnapped, if she would return home unharmed or completely traumatized. When she finally came home, I collapsed into a sobbing mess that was rich with relief and disappointment. She showed no remorse or concern about what she had put me through and even went as far as to wonder out loud why I cared so much.
It was like a knife sinking deep into my heart. I wondered how I could be failing my child so much, after spending so much time fighting for her the past several years. So many well-meaning comments are intended to reassure me that my daughter’s behavior is just a phase and that we’ll get through it. What most don’t know (or fail to recognize) is that my daughter is also a trauma survivor.
The blend of pubescent hormones and trauma is a dangerous combination. Read the full story on Kindred.