Psychology and Mental Health Forum

Author:  Johnny-Jack [ Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:50 am ]
Blog Subject:  Pip, the orphan runaway, finds a home

Sometimes you have a realization that is small and simple, but the effect inside is profound.

Pip is a near-four-year-old alter who has been oddly active lately. He's been out walking around, his thoughts and memories have been leaking into our consciousness, he even posted here in the littles thread about his now daily quest to feed bunnies in a nearby park. Pip doesn't hold trauma like most of our alters so his being active felt less "critical" than those who experienced trauma. Pip holds hopes and dreams.

In this first entry about little Pip we noted that he wanted to run away from home. And that's the reduced thought we had about him -- he imagined running away for us. Pip, the orphan who dreamed of running away. But as I can now see in the post above and in the memories we've know that he holds, this was only half of what he dreamed of.

Pip used to lie in bed on summer nights, listening from our open window to the sounds of the giant trucks rolling along the highway just a few blocks away on the outskirts of our small town. He especially liked the air-valve sound that only semis made, maybe the driver hitting the breaks, I don't know. He wondered which drivers would welcome a little boy passenger, either in the front seat or as a stowaway. He wondered where these vehicles would take him, what other towns and families were out there who might take in a little boy like him.

For a four-year-old, the thoughts were detailed. He was aware they would ask him questions about his family, where he came from, why he was alone. He practiced stories they might believe, things he'd heard in storybooks, things that would prevent them from sending him back home. He wasn't naive, he knew some people were bad and he would watch for that and be ready to run again, but about most people he was cautiously optimistic.

I've felt Pip's presence over the past few weeks, watching from inside, occasionally pushing to the front for a while, going back inside when things like a heavy backpack, were too much for him.

Pip was never just looking to run away from home. That was just the first half of his quest. The rest was to find in a nice, safe, loving home where he could live. His watching our life and home recently, seeing our son and I interacting as a family, has led him to the awareness that we -- and he -- actually did "run away" from home many years ago. We found a new life far away, across the country, and have our own house and family.

What he realized was that he no longer needs to run away. His journey, his dream, has been fulfilled. He's home, we're home.

Even though we hadn't ever really felt that before, we can feel it now. Logically, we've known, of course, that we own the house we live in and we adopted a son. But it never felt fully real or complete. Emotionally, it didn't all quite feel like ours. Something was missing.

We've said to our son virtually every day for the past seven years some variations of "this is your home," "do you like your home," "do you know this house is yours," "do you feel safe in this home," and "you never, ever have to leave here unless you want to." It's felt odd and obsessive but we felt compelled to saying these things aloud. I know now that emotionally this came from Pip. He needed to have it confirmed that someone else considered this to be a rock-solid safe home and that, in the act of providing a home to someone else, our son, and him accepting that as permanent, we might finally accept it ourselves.

Pip has found the home he dreamed about so many years ago and so have we. Nothing has really changed, yet everything feels different.


Author:  Johnny-Jack [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:28 pm ]

Well, we've been wrong, Pip has held trauma and a lot of pain. We got in touch with some of that yesterday. Not due to direct abuse by the parents or others, but the trauma of a young child torn between escaping people he didn't want to live with -- the people some of us called parents -- and protecting the defenseless little sister, who was 2½ years younger.

In the end, he was no longer able to entertain the thought of leaving her behind. So the reason he is "almost 4" and not 4 is that, just before turning 4, he decided on his own that even though he was an orphan, she was somehow his obligation, just as several others of us would do. Perhaps he included her as his orphan sister, we don't know yet. At that point she would have been walking and interacting with us rather than lying in a crib. She was now a constant in our life, a tiny companion, and he couldn't abandon her.

Author:  Johnny-Jack [ Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:58 am ]

Another reason why we have asked our son the many questions about whether he likes his home is that as a kid he was thrown out several times, as early as age 5. He's always been in terror about that and many times has been sure that he made me angry and I was going to kick him out.

I know this could never happen. Given our own safe home issue, we simply couldn't kick him out no matter what he did. But his most frightened parts couldn't accept this until fairly recently. So we were also asking in order to make sure the safe, loving home we craved our entire life and had given to our son was being experienced that way by him, someone very much like us.

We never felt in danger of being kicked out of our childhood home. We just wanted to escape and find something better because we knew it existed.

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