I'm very frustrated. According to his social worker, we discipline too harshly. I'm not sure exactly what she expects us to do with a 7 year old that bites, hits, screams bloody murder, tears up books, breaks windows, kicks holes in walls, breaks beds, .... you get the point. Don't get me wrong. Muscles is an amazing little boy with a huge heart and I wouldn't trade him for anything.... ANYTHING. But he is difficult.
He usually gets to a point in his fit, where he realizes he's doing something really, really dumb. He tries to backpedal, but knows he's in too deep. It's at this point that he starts putting his walls up around his heart. He thinks that since he's gone too far, we're going to send him to another family to live with. "It doesn't matter, you're going to call Jenn* (social worker) to come and take me away anyway!!" He has reason to feel this way. It has happened before... several times.
After about an hour of his fit, I went outside to take a break. Charming had returned home and began taking the bunk beds apart so that no one would get hurt on them in the midst of the fit. When I came back, I found Muscles crying at the top of his lungs for Mommy. I went back in his room and with a great sigh, asked what he needed. He needed a hug. From Mommy. This is the point I'd been waiting for. Once he gets here, we are good for the night. He sat in my lap and I held him for a few minutes, reminding him that we love him no matter what. He tells me that he is so scared that we will not keep him. I assure him that we will. Then, we go a little deeper...
"Muscles, why do you think we won't keep you?" (knowing the answer already, but wanting him to realize the answer himself)
"Because no one does."
"Why do you think Kim* and Kevin* didn't keep you?"
"I was mean to their kids and got in trouble a lot."
"Why do you think Rebecca* didn't keep you?"
"I didn't obey her very much."
"Why do you think Chris* and Darlene* didn't keep you?"
"I was bad and threw fits when they told me what to do."
"Why do you think your birth parents didn't keep you?"
"They weren't taking good care of me." Ahh, we're getting somewhere with this one...
"Sweetie, you are right about your parents. They weren't taking care of you like a good Mommy and Daddy should. But Chris and Darlene couldn't keep you because they were just too old to handle small kids. They couldn't keep up, and wanted you to have a better life. Rebecca didn't keep you because she had a lot of bad things happen in her life at one time and she couldn't handle the responsibility of taking care of you and Princess. Kim and Kevin didn't keep you because of their own selfishness and immaturity. You were not safe there. NONE of this was your fault."
This is what it always comes down to. He is protecting his heart from more pain. This is a battle that I'm afraid we will have for many years. He has been told too many times that, "We will love you forever" and "One day we will adopt you and you will be one of us." and "Nevermind, goodbye." Why would he believe that we are any different? We have told him, "We will love you forever." We have told him that, "As soon as we're allowed, we will adopt you." Now, he's just waiting for the, "Nevermind. Goodbye."
Pray for my little one's heart. Pray that he will learn to trust us. Pray that we (okay, mostly me) will be more patient with him. Pray that when he's throwing a fit, he doesn't destroy property or injure anyone. But mostly, pray that Jesus gets ahold of him and Muscles surrenders to the Love that is greater than any Mommy and Daddy can give him.