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And while I could spend forever trying to explain to those NOT in the trenches what it’s like down in the trenches, I’m not going to waste my time. Others will swoop in to be your kid’s knights-in-shining-armor just when you’ve almost made it. You are scared because you never know what the day will hold—violent threats? Forget that you used to be esteemed as a wonderful parent. Forget that you used to actually teach classes on parenting and adoption and the like. But try to parent a kid of trauma who inflicts trauma at home, and it’s crickets, crickets, crickets. Forget that people loved you and lauded you before. Forget the fact that you’ve spent tens of thousands of hard-earned and worked-for dollars just to bring this child home. That you and your spouse are drowning in debt because you will stop at nothing to help your kid. By definition, they know how to survive by lying, charming, manipulating.
The Beatles song “Eleanor Rigby” is a poignant vignette of loneliness in later adulthood. This is a serious issue, because loneliness is linked to all sorts of psychological and medical problems. You wanted to make an impact for eternity on the life of someone who needed you to step up. But right now you’re crying out and screaming because you don’t even think you can make it through today. And you are sure to come out on the other side someday with fewer friends, less pretense, and more grit. You were never guaranteed the outcome, but that doesn’t change the kind of warrior you are. However, the advice we usually give lonely people — go out and meet new people — just doesn’t cut it.That’s because loneliness, like all human experiences, is a complex phenomenon.
And you must attempt the ABSOLUTE ONLY thing harder than the parenting job you’re already doing: Forgive those who mistreat, malign, slander, or betray you.