Archives for category: attachment disorder

I tell myself the reason

I am up at 2 am is actually shark attack

Because I think I could stay away from those

The truth is more mundane, but no less devastating:

The first time I was proud to be called your mother

And the last time

Years apart

Far apart,

But not far enough to help with sleep

So I count all the pieces

Looking for the big picture in there somewhere

And all the missing pieces


When I was young and pretty I used to teach English to people who spoke other languages first.

Perhaps you have learned a language like that–lists of words, string them together, memorize their sound and shape and function.

Most of us do not remember learning our mother tongue, because memory is tagged to all those early words.

Yet we learn to cry for help long before the words are spoken

For love, for shelter, for food

And now I learn that when we are young or old, fat or thin, the indifference, apathy, and fear associated with stories of crime and trauma and worse, quotidian silence

May deprive us of words

Or more incisively–the belief they will be heard.

I know this because

I have stopped believing people will listen. And let me be clear–listen means “do something.”

Do something

So I have decided to teach a class

To the broken

The crying child who begins to think no one will come because no one has yet

About being a falling-tree-sort-of-person

Who instead of crashing down to make one big noise

Makes a billion little ones strung together

With words of dangerous import

About faith, hope, and love

From the One who Absolutely never fails

To come to our rescue

My oldest daughter is in prison. She was never really mine, having once been a foster, then adopted, then finally returning to kin.

It has been one of several brutal expediencies to hand her back to her real mom, I care but am a coward.

All of this is merely prelude to questions of silence and why I would frame something about my own anger around the anger of a little girl I knew once, her current predicament, and the nature of prisons.

If you put me in a box like that I might go crazy.

If you put me in a box like that I might get jittery.

I spent two days on slow trains going from the south to the north of a country and the men in the seats around me became my family, my only loves.

Until the next train.

I remember getting to the final train station and emerging into the thick soot from the ubiquitous winter coal fires all over the city, city full of people.

Thousands of miles from home, but closer by a little.

Such relief to be almost home.

Words are home. I fret when they leave me

On the quiet island with my anger

Coiled, logical, an animal raised on grief. And the ghost of the living.

Perhaps youth is always hubris 

Although not always so baldly unhinged

I can still see

The mistaken room, ensuing melee

As though an intimate troupe of primate acrobats 

Had used their clever

Prehensile tails to

Tornado the borrowed room

Swing from the wooden dowel in the closet

Tear the beloved childhood

Memories apart, just words on pages

isolated pictures

can summon the ghosts

Of me and you and us

All gone now

Illusion I could

change you into angels


Sleep or

Administer the antidote

With words of

Your mispelled sins

All our


Promises rise

To life.

Quiet sits across the table
Unfurls his bearly hands
Explains without words

Why I must be
Quiet, Girl
Quiet girl
When you wanna shout loud

Quiet sits upon my chest
Holds the stick between my teeth

Bite down hard
Hard girl, bite-down- hard

He knows the pain is fierce
Knows the cut is deep
Knows the wound is fatal

Without him

Quiet waits for
Days, weeks, months
Years to pass

Then one day the barest nod

Go girl, go
Use these words so close to swords

I read a heartbreaking story tonight about a 3 year old girl who died from injuries sustained by a fallen dresser.

I cried.

But because I was insomnia reading I also got to thinking…

Yes. Securing furniture is a good idea. Heavy objects are dangerous for toddlers.

And it would be a screaming nightmare to lose a baby like that.

Before I found out my children had been abused by their adopted brother my public quest was to educate against back-overs and other preventable deaths.

And for the first month after I found out about the abuse I grieved in shock and thanked God constantly that they were alive.

I know too many sexual abuse victims who were not so “lucky.” They were murdered by their abusers or committed suicide after years of isolation and loss.

I used to pray for all those victims, now I know them:

The rape victims who never shared their stories.

I know why now.

I bet you do too.

No one shares my blogs. And I am ok with that now.

Unfortunately so are all the predators.

Because it takes more than a 5 dollar kit from the store to stop a child molester. It takes our voices. It takes our fearless voices.

I knew they were being disrupted from their first foster placement because of behavior issues.

I tried to get as much information as I could. This included talking to her early intervention preschool teacher.

We spoke on the phone.

She said,

She rarely smiles. She does not interact with others. She is withdrawn and only comes out of her shell for snack time. She loves her cookies.

I was warned. I was even given names for the storm.

Only. To understand the nature of a hurricane is a very different thing than living through it.