By Rosie Jefferies
I recently came across this quote saying “the kids who need the most love ask for it in the most unloving of ways”. For me this summed everything up about my childhood. When I think back at all the times I was at my angriest, I would do and say awful things.
I wanted to push away the people who were close to me or anyone who was trying to help me. After a while people didn’t enjoy being around me because I was angry, unpleasant and unpredictable – no one knew when I would erupt with anger.
People described that being around me was like walking on egg shells. Most of my family, friends and even school withdrew from me because they did not know how to cope with my anger. The one person who did not withdraw, and actually drew closer, was my adoptive mum. The more I pushed, the more she would show her love. At the time I did not know this was what I was seeking, but looking back I can remember how sad I was, but could not explain how I felt and could not make sense of my emotions – I only understood how to be angry.
Being angry meant that I did not let people in…I was scared.
Being therapeutically re-parented helped me to understand my emotions, make sense of my feelings like sadness, that it wasn’t wrong to feel sad and what I had to do when I felt this way. As time went on I realised why I felt sad, because I had felt a lot of guilt about my early childhood and many unanswered questions that I had bottled up inside, which created this angry persona to show on the outside.
I felt that showing my emotions meant letting people in and made me feel weak. But all of the hard work that my mum put in with me, through therapeutically re-parenting, taught me to self-regulate and understand my emotions. I was able to start looking into my past and I now have answers to some of my questions.
I know there are some questions I will never get answers to, but I am fine with that and have come to terms with it. I no longer feel the guilt and have dealt with my sadness with the help of my mum. Therapeutic parenting has helped me to become a much stronger person and has taught me that I don’t have to be angry to be a strong person – letting people in is good and has definitely made me much happier. When I feel sad, angry or anxious I now know how to deal with these emotions, and I can now ask for help without erupting with anger.
Therapeutic parenting involves high nurture parenting that helps children feel safe. It allows children to relax just enough to begin to heal, make sense of their emotions and build healthy attachments. I believe if I hadn’t received this kind of parenting I would still be a very angry person. I probably wouldn’t be able to hold down a job and would not be able to be in a long term, happy relationship. Mine and mum’s relationship would not have been able to survive.
I now have the strongest relationship I have ever had with my mum, I have been in a long term relationship and recently got married. I am able to work for Inspire Training Group as a co-trainer alongside my mum to give foster parents and adoptive parents the skills to therapeutically re-parent and understanding to help them heal their traumatised children.
Rosie Jefferies is a co-trainer for Inspire Training Group and part of Fostering Attachments.