Dimples’ visit last weekend gave us opportunities to think about what she is going to need to be successful when she comes home. On the very top of the list is a bedroom of her own.
Over the years, we’ve had a lot of drama at bedtime; since the four girls shared a room and the little boys were in the room right next to them, everyone suffered. None of the children, including Dimples, had a place that felt safe – a place where they could go when things were difficult. In the worst times, the other children would all go in my room and lock the door with instructions not to come out until an adult came to get them. This may be hard for some of you to imagine, but I am actually trying to write this delicately without sharing more than I should.
It was very frightening for our entire family – Dimples included. She was in total fight/flight mode, reliving trauma from her early life.
We wanted to spread the children out, but there was nowhere to go. We have eight acres around us, so we considered building an addition. We dreamed it, designed it, and some days I feel I could walk right into it. But it wasn’t a realistic financial possibility. I wrote a series of posts about our thought process, if you are interested (links are below).
We thought the remodel would be done by now, but in reality, we have barely begun. Between Russ needing to take on extra work to cover the cost of residential treatment, and then injuring his back, we have barely scratched the surface.
As we prepared for the visit, we knew we needed Dimples to practice having her own room, so Samuel and Isaiah gave her theirs for the weekend. When I told her about this plan, she decided she wasn’t going to come home. She argued and made accusing comments, but finally was able to talk about feeling sad and being scared to be in another room. We made a plan that would help her feel safer: lights on in the closet and bathroom, a monitor so she could call us if she needed us, and her mp3 player on the nightstand.
As we moved through the visit, it was strikingly apparent that having her own room is essential for Dimples. When I tucked her in at night, I knew that every child in our home was safe. I knew that if Dimples couldn’t sleep, her siblings still could. I knew that if she needed extra lights, it was no problem, because the other children wouldn’t be disturbed. And she had everything she needed.
As I look ahead toward her return home, I imagine Dimples’ room. I see her favorite colors on the walls, fun bedding, a bulletin board with pictures and things she loves. Although she has her own room at her school, she’s not sure she’ll like it. My hope and prayer is that her room will become a safe and cozy place where she can go when she needs space or needs to regulate herself.
Deep in my gut, I think this bedroom has the potential to make a significant difference in Dimples’ ability to succeed at home.
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Have a great day, friends.
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