This post is not the original post that I wrote for this weeks #WASO link up. Somehow the words that I had written in that post seem meaningless.
I will post it eventually but at the moment I cannot align my current thoughts and feelings with the message I was trying to get across in my original writing about while sweating all the big stuff that is going on at the moment, I had lost sight of the simple and small things that used to be a source of calm and comfort to me.
Family has always been important to me (I guess that comes from having such a large extended family) and for weeks now I have been trying to support everyone who is dear to me through each and every one of their fears, dramas and upsets. Add to this Beeswax not coping with the news that the adoption is now official and our on-going battle with Buzzbee’s school over their absolute in ability to even manage him with a ratio of 2:1 staff to child outside the classroom without ringing me before morning break asking me to bring him home because he is “not coping” and their denial that the staff are failing him (but that is definitely a rant for another time and another place).
I have always been there for everyone and dreadful at asking for support myself (It is really irrational but it just doesn’t sit right with me. I do not like to feel like a millstone around someone’s neck), but I have nothing left in the tank although I still somehow need to keep on going because.
• Beeswax and Buzzbee still need me to be there fighting their corner and at the same time remain therapeutic when they are trying to fight every corner of their own internal and external world.
• Bumble no matter how much he wants to deny it, needs me to be there for him while he worries about his mum and the impact the boys issues are having on relationships with his family. He has been an absolute rock for me in the past and is still always there for me but I see how much he is hurting at the moment and how hard he is trying to hide it by burying himself in his computer games each night.
• My nan’s health has been deteriorating and my mum is terrified of losing her. I live to far away to take the pressure off my mum and my sister with all the hospital visits or night time calls from the call service to go over because she has pushed her panic alarm. So all I can do is listen when my mum calls and is upset, at the same time trying to not let her know how helpless I feel (that won’t help her at all)
• I need to be there for my dad also, while he is doing a fantastic job of supporting my mum, he is dealing with his own turmoil. His best mate of 45 years has had a stroke and is pretty poorly. It has knocked my dad sideways because is closer to ‘Ratty’ than any of his own siblings.
Sorry I will stop waffling.
The last 2 weeks have been horrendous and writing has been impossible but at the beginning of this week I felt positive and confident (something I rarely feel). I attended the first 2 days of a 4 day DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy) level 1 training course and by the end of day 2 I was feeling brilliant.
Why? Well, if we put aside for one minute the elation and joy that I was feeling about finally being the boy’s legal mother! My positivity stemmed from the fact that when I originally booked myself to attend the family focused therapy course, I thought I was off my rocker and that I was going to be so far out of my depth with it.
Yes, I knew there would probably other adopters attending but ones who also had a professional background in social work or therapy of some form. Very early on I realised that not only were there others adopters but the professionals who were attending had limited knowledge of substance of the course. Oh! Most of them could tell you who Dan Hughes was and had an acceptable knowledge of attachment theory but knowledge of the actual working model of DDP appeared to be new to some of them (that is not to say they were ignorant or unenthusiastic, quite the contrary. They were completely open to learning. Actually I wish there were more like them. A lot more adopters would receive the support most of us desperately need). Suddenly, I no longer felt intimidated or ill-equipped to deal with the course.
I have spent so much time in sessions working with Jemima and Beeswax that by the end of day 2, I was confidently engaging in role play exercises and openly discussing with “professionals” in my group, the dialogue I would be using with a child in several different situations (if you ever knew me or had met me you would know that I prefer to avoid involving myself in group discussions for fear of looking silly).
So what happened to that Honey?
Where did she go?
She is still around but reality has kicked back in and along with the on-going issues with school and some very unwelcome news which has knocked her sideways, about one of her most valuable sources of support and strength (next week’s #WASO will explain). She also has Beeswax to deal with. He is going through such a difficult time at home since returning to school a few weeks ago and he is making it very hard to live with him and the relationship is already complicated enough without all the return of the verbal, physical and emotional aggression and bullying tactics he is using.
I am constantly told how amazing I am at sticking with it or reflecting back to him about what may be going on for him but it doesn’t feel like that to me.
I know that is what he needs me to do and what others expect from me and if I dare to even imagine not doing what is expected of me, it doesn’t bare thinking about. The last time I opened up and let people know that I was struggling with him and how I felt about our relationship, we nearly lost the boys.
Nothing I do is ever right. He has anyone who doesn’t really know him wrapped around his little finger and does a brilliant “victim” routine because he does not have the capacity to acknowledge or accept responsibility for his actions or the impact this has on everyone.
Everything is always my fault and if I dare to challenge that then I am painted as the bad guy and they get sucked in.
• He hits me! Their response “What happened for him to react like that?”
• He tells me to “go kill yourself”! Their response “Oh most kids tell their parents that at some point”
• He trips me up or jabs his elbow into my side as he passes me! Their response “I’m sure he didn’t mean to. It was probably an accident”
Most of the time now I have stopped telling people what is happening because all it causes is more criticism of my “obvious lack of warmth” for my eldest child. I am made to feel like I don’t care about him. Some days I wish that was true because it would hurt a lot less every time I have to support him through the next drama. I could certainly do without all the “pips” being spat in my direction.
Sometimes I am envious of Bumble and his relationship with the boys, especially Beeswax (Buzzbee although he is a ‘push me, pull you’, he knows who mummy is). I would give anything to just hear Beeswax say “Hello” or “Hi” without it beginning or ending in a vile comment or a torrent of verbal abuse but in lieu of that if anyone has a spare ultra-thick suit of amour, please send it my way, I think over the next few years I am going to need it more and more (and not just to protect me from Beeswax’s abuse but from all the other directions as they come my way).
OMG reading this back myself, what am I saying? I sound so whinny and cold. I love my sons and I wouldn’t change them for the world. Both boys have been through so much, seen too much and they have enormous levels of emotional and developmental trauma. I know that neither of them given the choice would ever want to be in the state they are and it breaks my heart to see my sons so scared, angry, distressed and almost devoid of hope some days that it will ever get better.
• Can I fix all their problems? No of course not, no matter how much I would love to.
• Can I expect them to learn to trust me when so many adults have let them down before? I can’t expect them to but I have to hold on to the hope that someday they will.
• Can I promise them that in the future it will be better and that their past will not have an impact on their future? I would love to be able to but I don’t have a crystal ball and we make it a rule in the house to not make ‘promises’.
So for now all I can do is be the best mum I can be and be there for them when they need me even if they don’t want it.
And, as for the rest of my family! I am who I am! I will be there for as long as they need me. I just need to remember that I need to look after myself too and not feel guilty about that.
I must end this post with an apology to anyone reading this. I have waffled on and changed directions so many times, even I can’t work out where I was going with my ramblings.
I guess what I am saying is I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.