The recovery of an abduction victim largely depends on the relationship with their parents. If their parents are able to cope in a positive way with impossible situations, their children feel that they can move forward and recover. Therefore, parents must know about their children and their history.
If your child has gone through a traumatic experience, she/he may be struggling with upsetting emotions, a sense of constant danger or frightening memories. She may feel disconnected, numb and unable to trust others. When bad things happen, time will be taken to get over the pain and feel safe again. However, with right treatment, support and helping strategies, you can speed up the recovery of your child.
Psychological and emotional trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events. It can shatter the sense of security of your child and make them feel vulnerable and helpless in a dangerous world. Experiencing trauma in childhood has long lasting and severe effect. When childhood trauma is not resolved, the fundamental sense of helplessness and fear carries over into adulthood. When your child is abducted, it disrupts your child’s sense of security and safety. As a result, your child will show some psychological and emotional symptoms such as:
* Self-blame, shame, guilt
* Anger, mood swings, irritability
* Disbelief, denial or shock
* Feeling hopeless or sad
* Withdrawing from others
* Anxiety and fear
* Difficulty concentrating, confusion
* Feeling disconnected
* Being startled easily
* Nightmares or insomnia
* Aches and pains
* Racing heartbeat
* Muscle tension
* Edginess and agitation
* Difficulty concentration
These feelings and symptoms may last for a few days to a few months and they gradually fade away. However, even when your child feels better, they may be troubled from time to time by painful emotions and memories, especially in response to triggers such as sound, situation or image that reminds the traumatic experience.
Spend More Time Together
After a traumatic experience like abduction, fear or worry may disturb the sleep patterns of your child. Lack of sleep can make them trauma symptoms worse. So, your child struggles to maintain their emotional balance. Your child needs to sleep around 7 to 9 hours each night. You can give your child a soft blanket, stuffed animal, or flashlight to take to bed. You must spend extra time with your child in the evening, reading or doing quiet activities.
Healing from psychological or emotional trauma takes time. So, you must be patient with the pace of recovery. You must also remember that the response of everyone to trauma is different. So, do not judge the reaction of your child against your own response. Many children may try to return to the earlier stage when they felt safer. Younger children may want a bottle or wet the bed. Older children may feel that they are alone. If your child responds in such a way, you must show patience.
You must communicate openly with your child, which has significant role in Helping Your Recovering Child. You must inform to them that it is normal to feel upset and scared. You must deal with the symptoms of trauma positively, which help them to respond to such situations. You must also encourage your child to engage in physical activities, players, seek out friends and other activities.
After a trauma, you must listen to your children without judgment. When you listen to them, you are letting them know that they are still validated and valued regardless of what damage they may have experienced. When you let your children express their feelings, you are giving them a chance to grieve. Do not allow your child to comfort you. Make sure to express your love and care through your words and actions. So, they will feel that they are grateful to you.