Today, for the first time, I heard the words, “nurturing enemy” used to describe the way a child with an attachment disorder may perceive their mother, particularly an adoptive mother.
That’s me – the nurturing enemy.
If you are parenting children from very “hard places,” kids who have experienced severe early childhood trauma, this unflattering, yet painfully accurate, name may ring true for you too.
We may try to nurture our child, showing love and care, but our very nurture triggers deep fear in the child who does not feel safe trusting a mother. Deep in their core, they feel their very survival is at stake.
We become the “nurturing enemy.”
This title also lends some understanding to the fact that children with attachment disorders may be very comfortable with teachers, youth pastors, and other adults who take an interest in them. Those adults are not attempting to create a parent-child attachment and are not a threat.
Read this powerful post about parenting children with developmental trauma, or Reactive Attachment Disorder, as it is referred to by the author. The video below is included in the post. [edit: I don’t know this organization or any of the people, so I can only recommend this particular post.]
I’m feeling very broken today, and “nurturing enemy” seems to sum it up with some of my kids. I’m tired.
Russ and I fly to Texas early tomorrow morning to speak at a retreat for couples whose adoption experiences are very challenging. We’re walking side-by-side with them and want to offer hope, even in the midst of the hard.
If you got my friends-letter earlier this week, 5 Thankful Thoughts, I hope you like the streamlined format. I do! If you haven’t subscribed yet, take a quick second to join my inner circle of readers. Life is better with friends.
Courage and hope, my friends. And much love from me to you.