Archive | October 2013

Past, Present and Future

I started out all geared up to write a wonderfully gushy post about my hopes for the future for my family now that we are only a few days away from our celebration hearing and can finally moving on with our life without living under a microscope but somewhere along the road between deciding on what I wanted to share in my blog and getting it written down, life happened and that euphoric feeling has left me feeling raw and fearful for what might truly happen to our very much wanted future.

As I said we are a week away from our celebration hearing and I am brimming with excitement, as is Bumble and Buzzbee (Beeswax is still finding it difficult but he is slowly getting there). For Beeswax’s sake we are keeping the actual celebration day strictly a private occasion and we are not inviting any of our family or friends to the court. Yes, we would love to be sharing this wonderful moment with our nearest and dearest but it feels right that it is just the 4 of us.

We are having a party a few weeks later which Beeswax is only too happy to get involve with and if the boys had their own way would bankrupt us.

On paper to outsiders it looks like we are finally going to have our “Happy Ending” after more than 4 years of fighting to make it so and I dearly wish this was the case. I want this to be the case.

OK so what has gone so wrong this week?  To be fair this is a culmination of several weeks of stress and worry. It is just events to the end of this week have given me that final push into irrational (self-absorbed), negative thinking.

How can I think of the future when there is so much uncertainty around Buzzbee’s emotional and educational wellbeing?

School have made it very clear that they don’t want him there anymore but they have caused so much damage over the past couple of years that everyone is at a loss as to where he could go and what the solution that is best for him is.

  • Do we remove him from school completely and home-educate him? But in doing so how can I be sure that I can provide him with the stimulation he will need.

It breaks my heart to think about the damage that has been caused.

Yes, he is no angel and he certainly finds it very difficult to regulate himself but school had all the tools they need and refused to use them and as a result he has gone from a child who loved learning to a child who is so afraid of learning that school cannot even tell me what levels he is on or get him to sit in a classroom for more than 2 minutes without him panicking.

CAMHS are going to start working with him but already Bumble and I are getting the feeling that they believe his problems with school are because of me and nothing to do with his early years history or school’s lack of empathy (too complicated to go into), so I can’t even contemplate how this will turn out.

Then there is Beeswax and my relationship!  So much has gone on between us as a result of his own (and my) trauma that I am afraid we will never have the ‘mother & son’ relationship that I have with Buzz (actually I would settle for micron of the relationship I have with Buzz).  It is the hardest thing, loving someone but being so afraid to show them for fear of their reaction and at the same time finding it very hard to physically like your child because you resent always having you attempts to get closer thrown (quite literally sometimes) in your face.

I hope that there will come a day in the future when he will feel that he can trust me and I will feel that I am good enough for him.

And then just when you think that all your fears are for the future. Something or in this case someone comes along and reminds me that no matter how much I want to look to the future, the boys past is always present in their hearts and minds.

After more than 6 years, Birth mum has decided that now our application has gone to the courts and everything is done and dusted, she is going to now come crashing back into their lives and has finally written to them a very emotional letter including an up to date photograph of her and if repeatedly telling them through the letter that they will always be her children and she can’t wait until they meet again, wasn’t bad enough. She also signed it ‘Mum’.

Ok I am not ashamed to say it stirred up feelings I always believed I wouldn’t have (naïve I know). Signing it off in this way was like a dagger being jabbed through my heart.  It is true she is their biological mother and both boys given the chance would choose her over me, I have no doubt of about that but she isn’t their mum and hasn’t been for a very long time.  But knowing now how I have felt about her coming back into their lives (even if it is only for now a letter) makes me wonder what I will do or feel in the future when the boys announce that they want to see her (and they will).

I really wanted this #WASO post to be a positive and upbeat but instead it has turned into a post filled with sadness and self-absorption. So in an attempt to claw back something positive from this post I will return to Buzz’s excitement about our celebration hearing and share with you a letter/short note he has written for the judge asking her for a favour and sharing his wishes for the future with her (I suspect Beeswax helped with it as it is Buzz’s best handwriting).

 letter

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

Pillow talk – telling the ‘tooth’

I don’t usually write a second #WASO post but Buzz’s nocturnal activities last night has prompted me to share a 2am bedside conversation that he and I had. Although I have decided that it needs sharing at a more civilised hour.

Since falling off his stunt scooter a few weeks ago Buzzbee has been slowly losing his baby teeth and despite his best efforts, the tooth fairy has managed to successfully negotiate his many ‘fairy traps’ and collect his teeth without getting caught! He has coped well with this despite his anxiety about blood and his obsessive behaviour around his looks.

tooth

Fast forward to our late night dialogue.

(Scene: Bumble away for the night so mummy has bedroom to herself.  Small but loud footsteps come racing across landing into bedroom)

Buzz: “Mummy, mummy.  I have lost another tooth”

Mummy: (sleepily) “Wow, wonderful darling. Go and put it under your pillow and maybe the tooth fairy will make a last minute call before she goes home to bed”

Buzz: “I don’t mind if she doesn’t come, but I don’t want you to be sad”

Mummy: (suddenly wide awake) “Why would I be sad?”

Buzz: “Because I am not your baby anymore.  I am a man and soon I will grow up and have a wife and children of my own – I want 4!”

Mummy: “4 children?”

Buzz: “No! Silly mummy. I want 4 wives and 4 four children”

Mummy: “Wow that is a lot! Now I think I better take you and snuggle you back into bed because it is very early”

Buzz: “No wait! We need to talk about this! I really, really don’t want you to feel sad”

Mummy: “I am not sad. I think it is wonderful that you have lost another tooth and no matter how big or small you are, you will always be my ‘baby boy’”.

Buzz: “But what will you do when I move out, and have my own Penthouse and Bugatti Veyron? Will you miss me?”

Mummy: “Crikey Buzz your little brain is Buzzing tonight.  Of course I would miss you but I want you and Waxy to grow up happy and have a wonderful family of your own and if you moved a long, long way away I hope you know that this will always be your home and that I will always be there for you”

Buzz: “Ok now stop talking mummy, it is late and I want to go back to bed. I need my beauty sleep you know!”

I have got used to having late night chats with Buzz. They are usually very random and always make me smile, but I know at the moment he is struggling with his identity and it is stirring up a lot of thoughts and feeling about his birth family and the reasons he is now with us.

He is always worried about me leaving him and given half the chance he would have himself at the moment surgically attached to my side but at the same time still is super independent.

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out
This entry was posted on October 13, 2013. 2 Comments

Loss – finding comfort in words

This weeks #WASO theme is ‘Loss’ and if I am being honest, my first thought on finding out about the theme was “Where would I begin?” Each member of ‘The Hive’ household has experienced more than their fair share of loss, and in all honesty the boys have experienced far more loss than any child should ever have to in their early childhood; and yes, every part of me wishes I could magic all that pain away with a truly powerful magic wand or a Genie in a lamp, but back in the real world I cannot change the past for any of us.

So how can I describe how ‘loss’ plays such a big part in my family? For me ‘Loss’ is a very personal thing and at some point in our lives we will all lose someone or something that we care deeply about and no matter how big or small that loss appears to other people around you, each of us will experience it in different ways and we will all have our own ways of managing that loss.

I have grown up in the knowledge that when we lose someone we love, that while there is great sadness in the family and a sense of a huge, gaping hole being left in our lives by their passing, my sister and I were brought up to celebrate their lives and treasure the memories we had have of them and not feel guilty if we stop thinking about our loved ones for a while.

My dad’s family have what I can only describe as a family anthem – “Never Walk Alone” and it is always played at loved one’s funerals and family parties, and to this day the song is as poignant and important to the youngest members of the family as it is to the three generations over them.

Just thinking about it sends a rush of mixed emotions.

Another important family tradition revolves around a favourite poem by Christina Rossetti, that my Gran loved and which she always used when any of the grandchildren were upset about the loss of one of our pets or missing a sibling and it always made my sister and I feel better and, although at the time we never fully understood it, we have both since used it to help support our children in their grief.

remember

Over the years since the boys have moved in, this poem has become a part of my therapeutic parenting toolbox. So many people, pets, even buildings have come and gone in the boy’s lives and there is no hiding from that, and each of them grieves for their ‘loss’ in very different ways. Beeswax is very introverted about his grief and cannot bare feeling vulnerable so will try his hardest to pretend everything is Ok, while his demeanour and behaviour speaks volumes and on the VERY rare occasions that his barriers do drop, the floodgates open and for a tiny few minutes he allows himself to grieve for his past.  Buzzbee on the other hand wears his heart on his sleeve and although, like Waxy, he cannot bare to show vulnerability, he does not have the ability to regulate his emotions and so when a wave of grief hits him, he unleashes a tidal wave of heart-wrenching emotions.

They need me to help them both with accepting that it is OK to feel sad (or more often angry) for what they have lost. I also need to help them realise that when they remember a loss, it is OK that they weren’t sad the moment before. With children who struggle to trust anything an adult tells them, this is always met with a degree of suspicion, but as the years are going by, they are slowly making progress and confiding in us more, and for those days when it is too hard for Waxy to let us in (although I can see he is hurting), I notice that my poem book has either moved places on the bookcase or has completely disappeared for a few days.

At the beginning I wrote “where would I begin”? Well, I have definitely not gone in the direction that I thought I would. I have taken my thoughts about the effects loss can have on my nearest and dearest, and ended up turning it into a post about finding comfort in the words of a poem and song at difficult times.

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out
This entry was posted on October 12, 2013. 2 Comments

“Stop challenging the Silverback”

I have mentioned in previous posts that Beeswax is having a really tough time at the moment both at home (coming to terms with adoption order finality) and in school (clamping down on attitude to female staff) and heaven knows we are trying to stay calm and therapeutic with him but there is only so much the household can take. Buzzbee is picking up on waxy’s mood (actually he has usually picked up on it long before Bumble and I) and so he is like a “cat on hot bricks” all the time. Even the cats and Beedog see Beeswax coming and head the opposite way, which is unlike Beedog, usually she will stay near when the boys are struggling. And, where as usual I bare the brunt of most of his angst and aggression, a stranger dynamic has begun happening. He is challenging the ‘silverback’ (aka Bumble) for seniority in the home.

Everyone who knows Beeswax has always assumed that he views adult males as dangerous (women unpredictable and untrustworthy), and where he will consistently challenge women and not accept their authority, with men not only would he not challenge them but he goes out of his way to keep them ‘on side’.
However since returning to school in September his relationship with Bumble has become tense and in Bumble’s words “I am the adult but at the moment Beeswax can make me act like a petulant child”. All who know Bumble, know that he is placid and easy going but oh boy – Waxy is really pushing his buttons lately! The rescuer has needed rescuing from petty (and some not petty) arguments and Bumble is the first to admit he has lost his therapeutic edge at the moment.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out part of the reason for Waxy’s challenging behaviour. He is 12 and his body is changing. Currently the Hive is full of testosterone (even Buzzbee is having a boost of it, I believe), but because emotionally Waxy is so much younger, he is finding it hard to deal with the changes. Blend this in with his already complex developmental trauma history and significant attachment issues and the result is an extremely volatile young man.

So what is with the title of this post? Well I am thinking of having it carved into my headstone. No, only joking! But, I am finding myself using this phrase on far too many occasions to playfully ‘defuse’ Beeswax when he and Bumble have got into one of their war of words and neither are backing down and I have to call time on it. At the time I desperately need to be the one to remain therapeutic with Waxy and at the same time not undermine Bumble (although I know inside Bumble is kicking himself for getting drawn in again and needs an out). One particularly heated afternoon I decided to walk into the kitchen and start beating my chest. The first time I did it both of them stopped swiftly and in unison asked me “what on earth are you doing” too which I replied “I just wanted to see what it was like beating my chest like an ape”. It worked a treat, Bumble took the hint and chuckled and Waxy just responded with “one day women they will find your marbles” (with a fleeting glimpse of an amused smirk).

So although I may be no Dian Fossey. I do know my own “Gorillas in the mist”

Now I understand why my granddad left me this book in his will

Now I understand why my granddad left me this book in his will

This post written as part of the Weekly Adoption Shout Out (#WASO)

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out