The mother they previously knew, literally shut down in many ways. Don't get me wrong. I still got out of bed. I still made sure they were fed and supervised, but in many ways Eric and I were in survival mode. I remember my mom being frustrated with me because I would ignore certain behaviors that previously I would have immediately dealt with and corrected. I literally remember thinking, "in the scheme of my life, that certain behavior doesn't matter." I did not have the mental energy to deal with something silly like the child drinking juice in the living room. Does it really matter anyway? Compared to what was happening I was just happy the child wasn't having a fit or fighting with a sibling. If drinking juice in the living room kept the peace, so be it.
Although, this was what I needed to do to get through this time, it did not come without consequences. My four youngest children are still being re-trained.
Both of the middle children lost friends. One of them in particular lost one really good friend. They were a delight to watch together. Their personalities really complemented each other. This friend's parents chose to write a letter of support for Patrick and as far as I know to this day have continued attending Peninsula Household of Faith under the same elders. We have completely cut our friendship off with this family. Our child has actually cried over the last two years a few times over the loss of this friend. As a parent, it is so painful to experience their grief. This child has had dreams about them being friends again and has yet to make another friend that close.
The other child has had an easier time re-adjusting with friendships. This child already had a good friend outside of the church that they were able to continue to see regularly and has been able to make additional friends since. This child talks about the fact that they miss worship time at church.
TV was something that was viewed on a very limited basis by my children prior to what happened in our family. TV and DVD's were used to occupy much of my children's time during this period of our lives. I still feel guilty about that.