June 17, 2010 23:29 by Rob
Love and relationship is incredibly challenging, amazingly rewarding, and often simply terrifying. There are no guarantees and those that need to experience the love are sometimes the most resistance. This is the case for many families that enter into CALO. Parents have continually provided loving touch, words of nurturing, and care only to experience the child pushing away and engaging in behaviors which feels in direct opposition to the love which is being offered. Many parents have verbalized their frustration at the pure irrational act of a child refusing to be cared for and actually doing something to sabotage the love which is being so passionately given.
One parent accurately described the feeling as though, “The child is like a bowling ball with no finger holes. No matter how much love is poured out or shown, there appears to be no penetration”. The parent expounded and said, “Though I and others have saturated the child with love for so many years, it continues to run off the sides of the ball with no affect”. This is clearly a very hurtful, hopeless, and terrifying place for a parent to be.
How does anyone experiencing this not ask why? Say to themselves, “Could I have done more or something different. What has caused this that love and nurturing cannot overcome? Why would this loveable being choose to hurt themselves and others around them? It just doesn’t make sense that this child received love, safety, care, and nurturing and yet they choose to make their lives so awful, difficult, and scary”. These questions as well as countless like them come up in therapy constantly. They are a normal response and a necessary part of the grieving and healing process.
It is an extremely bonding and healing moment when the parent can begin to authentically share these feelings with the therapist. The hurt, frustration, anger, guilt, shame, and confusion associated with the child becomes a shared experience with the therapist and an intimacy which creates healing is formed. These moments develop a connective therapeutic relationship from which the parents trust in the therapist to coach, guide, and lead the family into healthy, intimate, and genuine interactions. As this relationship progresses, love and relationship become less terrifying, more accountable, incredibly gratifying, and amazing rewarding.