Monday, November 3, 2014

They Trained Him Well

They trained him well.
Our little son who spent 6 years in two different institutes.

They trained him to stay put when they placed him in bed.
No getting up.
They trained him so well that four years home he still worries, agonizes.
The bathroom is close and he has learned that he can go when he needs to but it is still scary and part of him is still afraid, four years later, that he will be caught out of bed.  So he sneaks.  Quietly.  When he needs to go.  Hoping it is okay. 
They trained my son well.  So well that when his older brother is in the bathroom and he needs to go, he lays in bed with tears streaming.  So well trained that all he can do is call for me.  Beg me to come.  Afraid to come to my room to use our bathroom without permission.  It is too far and the consequences embedded in his brain too scary.

So he calls.  Mama. 

I didn't hear.  I was deeply asleep and missed the call.  Missed his voice. 
I slept through his frantic pleas.
Thankfully, Papa heard.  Rescued him. 
They trained my son well and I want to cry out on his behalf.  Rail against the threatening words spoken to my son for so many years. 
He fussed at me in the morning.  Upset that I didn't come to him.  I apologize.  Tell him for the thousandth time he CAN get up.  Children in our family are free to get up when they need to go.  He listens.  Then he apologizes when apologies are not needed.  He apologizes for not remember that about families.  He apologizes for being upset.  Oh Aaron.  Four years home and he is still learning about families and freedom and love.  Four years home and he still worries and struggles that he somehow isn't getting it right. Four years home and he still apologizes even when he hasn't done anything wrong.
They trained him well.
Too well.

And it breaks my heart.


  1. It breaks my heart too. What a sweetie! Maybe put a sign in his room that says it's okay to go to the bathroom, or a note on his pillow every night? If he doesn't read well, you could do one of those recordable picture frames or something, with your reassuring voice.

    Is he in counseling for this post traumatic stress? A good counselor could help with strategies.

  2. It breaks mine too and I don't even know either of you..... How upsetting and sad that he was taught that way and that he can't get rid if it! Awful :-(

  3. My four year old still knows that lesson. He rarely gets out of bed, but when I see him walk past my door and go out to put him back in bed he cowers and covers his head ready for a beating. And he sometimes flinches when I pick him up and rock him, "You're fine. Need water? Need potty? Okay back to bed. Mommy loves you. You're okay." When my foster child got out of bed and I did my typical comforting routine she gave me funny looks. :) Institutions are not families!

  4. So sad too read. Poor Aaron. :(
    But think about all teh progress he's made so far. I might take some time, but I'm sure love will win in the end!!

  5. Oh Julia, I too see this in my 3 older boys. I see they were trained too well not to ask for anything. My heart aches for them. ((((((HUGS))))))))) My heart breaks tor Aaron too. He is so precious.

  6. So thankful Aaron has been rescued from that. God's love, and your family's, will not fail.
    PS- Hurry home, Harper!!!! xo kelly

  7. Our daughter was trained well also. She is learning we don't stare at food and people eating, we ask for food. Ditto on the potty. I know we will overcome; I am angered we have to.

  8. Abuse exists in many forms, shades and degrees.
    These children mentioned and this dear boy are emotionally wounded and need help. These group homes, institutions, and some instructional places only abuse our kids and adults. As a counselor and teacher of behavior issues and cognitive challenges, I see people constantly who suffer the emotional scars of such abuse. Purely criminal.

  9. Oh my goodness, this describes my son so well... We had to get out the door early one morning so I was up and in the shower before he woke up. When I turned off the shower I heard him crying in his room. This is not unusual as he will cry when he wakes up until I tell him he can get out of bed. On this particular morning I went to see him and found that he had wet the bed because I didn't hear him calling from the shower and no matter how many times I tell him its ok, he will not get out of bed without my permission... Our sweet, sweet boys... Those who have not lived it simply don't know how hard it is for them, how much they have to relearn and how many things that are so natural for others are just so unnatural for them.

  10. It breaks my heart just reading this. I am glad he is with a good family now. : ) I just found your site through Elizabeth's blog and am so happy to see that you are the new parents of little Harper! I just saw her beautiful picture on Reece's the other day and couldn't get her sad face out of my mind. I prayed for her that night and was so hoping she would go to a good family. And then I saw your response to Harper on Elizabeth's blog! What a small world. I am so happy for you all.


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