Friday, October 23, 2009

why is it so hard for my child to go to sleep?!

This was a question someone asked, I think in exasperation. I thought wow. My son has trouble too. Sometimes, it is so painful to him and I am so tired myself that I want to cry. I want to have adult time. I want to be with my husband. I want to spend time with my the rest of my family. Is there some thread common to adopted children that makes sleep a dreaded experience? All kids, I guess have times when they don't want to miss out on what's happening. Even children who are not adopted have sleep disturbances. I am not suggesting that adoption is the answer to all questions pertaining to issues of childhood with adopted kids. But, I think the fear of monsters, of something bad happening is prevalent and perhaps, prolonged with children who have already experienced trauma. And while yes, there are wonderful, joyous aspects to it, adoption is also a trauma. Fears of being taken away from all we love are not so irrational, when they have already happened. The meaning of monsters takes on greater fear when it is known that bad things DO happen. I heard someone share that as a child, every time the family would pack to go on vacation, he would retreat inside himself and worry that he would be left with another family. Never mentioned it to a soul. Going to sleep means letting down one's guard, surrendering to the world of conscious awareness....letting go of control. Not something so easy to do for many adopted kids. Of course, there may be another explanation....

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