January 12, 2010 04:05 by Landon
Some of you are reading the title of this post and remembering a suspenseful thriller that came out about a decade ago starring Harrison Ford. The movie title, of course, took on double meaning in that there was literally something lying beneath the surface of the lake adjacent to his home and the main character had his hidden double life exposed.
CALO families must also remember to examine what lies beneath student emotions. One of the most prevailing themes of individuals who have experienced trauma and/or disrupted attachment is the apparent craving of power and control. When one takes a step back and truly examines “what lies beneath” these individuals, it is not surprising to discover that a young person who had innocence stripped often lacks the ability to trust and form meaningful attachment to caregivers. When a child believes they can no longer trust others s/he has a choice: wither away and die or find a way to survive. Our students are survivors. That is the good news. It is also the bad news. Survivors often are left to develop core beliefs about themselves, others, and the world—“I don’t trust others,” “adults are not dependable,” “I must take care of myself,” “the world is unsafe.” As a result, survivors subsequently practice and develop talents of manipulating boundaries, relationships, and programs in order to continue to survive and hold on to their core beliefs.
With this quick attachment and trauma 101 lesson in mind, parents are urged to continually answer the question, “what lies beneath?” When your son is sabotaging his relationship with you, what lies beneath? When your daughter defies every boundary you give her, what lies beneath? When you try to lead your family in positive ways and your adolescent is determined to be the one in charge, what lies beneath? I propose what lies beneath power and control is usually fear and anxiety. “Huh?” you may be thinking. “My child is incredibly powerful and domineering in those moments and not fearful and anxious” you might also add. If so, I will point you back to the reality that your child is actually a survivor and is trying to maintain control so their life is not headed for more heartache (loss, abandonment, rejection, depression, etc.)
“Okay, so what do I do?” More...