Friday, February 19, 2010
The air itself feels better, holding the imminent promise of Spring. Yesterday I'd driven to two different schools, picking up CW who's on the track team, and Chuy from soccer practice, this before we even begin the rec league season. A friend, Coach T, flagging me down, to fill my van with what his own three sons have outgrown which is awesome to a lady with 21 sons. Sports equipment and apparel is costly.
A baseball game was underway and I'd even have loved to have had the time and the freedom to go watch it. I love baseball, just love it. It soothes my soul. I could listen to a baseball game on a transistor radio, just like my long gone Pa used to do in my childhood, wishing for a whiff of his cigar that instantly brings back the sound of a baseball bat cracking against a well-hit ball. I spent four year watching Daniel play high school baseball, ten years watching his Little League games and loving every single minute of it all.
I'd slap forgotten to be at the elementary school at 4:15 to pick up Scotty and Jonathan from their CRCT tutoring, the fifth grade teachers had a hoot over that, not like me at all, Ms Carr once totally covering for me, bringing Scotty home while I obliviously was sorting through stuff just given to us, an enormous truckload from Marianne and Elizabeth, delivered by Jon.
Paloma is still refusing to go to school, looking at me like I'm the crazy one for thinking she'd go serve ISS for a justified punch she'd given a kid. She's not allowed to have physical contact with any one for any reason, a lame attempt on my part to minimize friction, and it's not working on a child who doesn't know the difference between a friendly pat and a full-blown assault.
An article from Cathy, Multiple Childhood Adversities May Increase Risk for Wide Range of Psychiatric Disorders, stunned me.
In fact, investigators from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, found "that CAs explain (in a predictive sense) 32.4% of all disorders, 41.2% of disruptive behavior disorders, 32.4% of anxiety disorders, 26.2% of mood disorders, and 21.0% of substance use disorders."
In addition, the Childhood Adversities from a "maladaptive family functioning (MFF) cluster, including parental mental illness, substance abuse disorder, and criminality; family violence; physical and sexual abuse; and neglect, were the strongest correlates of disorder onset," report the authors.
To be dealing with this many cases of emotionally challenged children has long perplexed me. I came away with a better understanding of the 'whys,' but still am frustrated as how to either fix, ameliorate or, at least, teach kids to minimally function in the long life they should have ahead of them.
I was listening to a Dr. David Cooper podcast yesterday, him preaching from Mt. Paran Church of God in Atlanta, me still missing him as my own pastor, although he's been gone from Athens close to 20 years.
He can really get on a roll, on a tear, as only he can do, in that special anointed manner of his, hitting us all where we live, me most especially yesterday, as he went on about folks constantly asking God "Why?" Yep, that's totally me.
I sound like a toddler. "Why? Why? Why?" We do not have the mind of God. We are finite humans with a limited understanding. It'd be like God trying to explain quantum physics to a two year old. It can't be done.
Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. I cut off my Ipod and pondered that thought, as I walked around outside dreaming of Spring. Yeah, girl, that's where faith's supposed to enter the picture. I do trust God, I really do. I pray constantly, even more than I holler and carry one, which is a great deal, and I do accept the outcomes eventually, not always liking the answers, of course, but I'm fully confident in His abilities. It took me a very long time to get to this point.
I went back inside to face the music, the loud return of my children from school, thinking both about the sermon and this article, knowing always that doors open, that information or the answers I need will come to me, always incredibly glad for my rock solid faith, as I do face some tough challenges, choices and adversities.
In addition, they note that the findings from the second study, although modest, "suggest that not only are Childhood Adversities associated with an increased risk of mental health disorders, the nature of these disorders also appears to be more chronic."
The authors write that there is now more than enough evidence linking CAs and adverse health outcomes. "In short, we now must shift our attention to focus on the development of population-based strategies that target prevention and early intervention and ensure that these programs are carefully evaluated."
"The take-home message is that we need to intervene and prevent CAs and treat exposed children — the earlier the better," added Dr. McGrath.
I think about the three grandchildren living here with me, now 9, 12 and 13, who've lived in this house since birth, gone to the same church, same school, had the same routine, schedules and stability level, versus my other children who couldn't ever even count on a sandwich to be regularly given to them in their early childhood. That's a mild thought. Sometimes even I can't bear to think of what all they endured back then, no wonder there's mood disorders here.
Were it not for God's Word teaching me so much about patience and love, a servant heart, (an understatement) and fruits of the Spirit, I'd NEVER have survived much of this at all. It's been hard, it's been very hard. I do, one billion percent, trust in Him to see me through, to cover everything, and to show me how I should proceed.
There's a great deal of inner confidence in that for me.