December 11, 2010
Hi Everyone –
This post is partly for fun — because you know I just can’t resist sharing more pictures of these puppies — but to be fair, I do have a few thoughts related to trauma issues when I look at these pictures. I am starting to think that I might just have to make a “puppy series”.
First, let’s do the fun part. The fun part is when I get to show you all another puppy picture. This particular picture is picture of the two oldest puppies sleeping peacefully when they were just a few days old. The little black puppy is a boy, and he is the oldest. We’ve been calling him Dolce (taken from the incredible cologne Dolce & Gabbana). The brown puppy is a girl – you can, of course, tell that she is a girl by her pretty pink toenails — and she was born second. She has a little white diamond shape on her tummy, so we have been calling her Diamond. Plus, there are a number of different perfumes with the word Diamond in the name.
You know how puppies smell so good? We’ve joked about naming each puppy after a cologne or perfume. Maybe having nice-smelling names will help the puppies to not make the house so stinky as they get older!
Aren’t they just adorable?!
Mind you, both of these puppies are considerably bigger this week than they were last week, so I will have to get updated pictures soon. But for now, I wanted to show these pictures to you and make a few comments that are actually related to trauma issues.
What do you think when you see little teeny tiny babies?
Baby puppies or baby kittens, or even baby people are truly amazing to me. When you look at the tiny perfectly formed selves – they are so very little — but everything is there. The purity, the innocence, the newness of life is just so prevalent. These little puppies are alive and well, comfortably sleeping, but completely trusting of and relying upon those around them.
Do you see how sweet and vulnerable these little ones are?
Now, put yourself in the same place that these little puppies are. At one point in time, you were born with as much purity and innocence and newness of life as these puppies were. So many dissociative trauma survivors believe they were born bad. I have heard dozens and dozens of trauma survivors with dissociative identity disorder make comments such as “I am bad” or “I was born bad” or “I have always been bad”. But how can this possibly be true? How can this be true for any of you?
Have another look at the innocence of the newly born. When you see the truly young, you can see how genuinely innocent they are.
I’m sure that most of you can see the innocence of these little puppies.
You had that same innocence.
I can hear the arguments already, so I’ll say it again.
Yes, you had the same innocence. You are not inherently bad. You may very well have had a lot of negative, bad, painful experiences in life, but you are not a bad person. You may have had people tell you that you are bad, and you may have begun to believe them at some point in time, but you were truly born as innocent and pure as these little puppies are.
Parents and caretakers are supposed to nurture and care for a child. They are not supposed to convince a young child that he or she is bad. This scars a child in many ways, as so many of you already know. Overcoming the “you are bad” messages takes a great deal of work in the healing process.
The parents and caretakers are making a serious mistake and they are being poor and inadequate parents when they teach their children that the child is bad. It is very wrong to beat this message into a child. The adults are being criminally abusive when they hurt or assault young children in the claim of “you deserved this because you are bad”. Children are not bad.
Children are not bad.
You were not bad.
Your child parts are not bad.
Children are not bad, inside or out.
It is wrong for any parent to blame any child in these ways. This is an error and an inadequacy that belongs to the parents. A parent doing or saying something wrong does not make an accurate description about the worth or value of the child. Parents projecting their poor behavior choices onto a child is about those parents’ projection and a displacement of blame. It is the parents externalizing responsibility instead of owning responsibility for their own behavior. It is the parent blaming someone that is young and innocent, instead of honestly accepting that they are doing something wrong and unacceptable.
For the child parts reading this blog: all those big words mean that you are a good kid. They mean that even if your mommy or daddy told you that you were bad, or that you deserved bad things to happen to you, your mommy and daddy were telling you something that is just not true. I don’t know why your mommy or daddy said those mean things to you, but you are not bad, and no child is ever ever to blame, and none of those bad things were your fault. You are a good child, and that’s that!
Simply put, children are not ever to blame for the inadequate and improper behavior of their parents.
Children are young. Children are tiny. Children are vulnerable.
But they are not bad.
Children have a lot to learn, and they might make little mistakes as they are adventuring out in life. But children are like young puppies who know very little about life. The young of this world are allowed to learn, and they need guidance, gentleness, and care as they make their way in this big cold world.
Please remember, as a child, you were absolutely as innocent and precious and unknowing as the puppies in the picture. And just like these tiny puppies, children should be treated with tenderness and caring so they can grow up to be healthy and happy.
Kathy Broady LCSW
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