Tag Archive | emotional security

Waiting for our Fairy Godmother

For weeks now I have been writing posts and dancing around topics, saying plenty but never really saying anything at all. Well, not what I really want to say anyway!

Why? Pride! Fear! Sheer cowardice! Or, as someone pointed out to me this week, have I skirted around the topic, because I am so hard on myself that I am expecting the same from others?

Just under 2 weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a 2 day DDP network conference and had the pleasure to hear many amazing speakers including Dan Hughes and Jon Baylin.

It was a wonderful opportunity to gain further insight into the practical side of DDP practise and remind myself of elements that were covered in the Level 1 course that I did earlier on in the year. Although at the time of booking it was not high on my list of importance, possibly more importantly, for the first time in a while, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with some lovely ladies that I have not seen for quite some time and in all honesty (gosh, I have just realised how often I actually use that word), I underestimated how much I have missed chatting with them about the boys, without having to explain anything about all their idiosyncrasies or feeling defensive about admitting how it is taking its toll on Bumble and I (there is very little they don’t already know about the boys, both good and bad). I can’t describe how refreshing that was at the moment, at a time when I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the boys’ needs and the chaos their ‘trauma bond’ is causing in the household, but at the same time there is a pang of sadness and grief for what we have lost (as in their wonderful support) and may never get back.

Maybe I am being selfish? Or maybe I am being realistic, but in the past couple of months two wonderfully different conferences have had me leaving with a very similar message – I need to start taking better care of myself, and that needs to start with asking for the support my family needs at the moment.

This has started me thinking about what would my ideal ‘post adoption support package’ look like, if money wasn’t an issue (LA or self-funding) or we had a fairy godmother who with a ‘BibbidiBobbidiBoo’ she could wave her wand and magic up everything we need.

Magic-Wand

Here goes with my wish list.

  • Relocation to a property with an attached beach, in a secluded area, with plenty of space around us for the boys to play and let off steam, and we can be a family without people scrutinising our parenting, making constant allegations, or making us feel like criminals in our own home.
  • Therapeutic/psychological support for Bumble and I from a qualified DDP therapist / psychologist.
  • Subsidised ad hoc childcare service, so that Bumble doesn’t need to keep using his leave to cover child care when I have to attend meetings (Must be CRB checked babysitters who have the hide of a rhinoceros, but experienced, caring and unflappable by the challenges they may face).
  • Complete Ed Psych, Occupational Therapy, and Therapeutic assessment for Buzzbee to finally assess his complete needs in order to return to school in the future if he should wish to.
  • 1:1 home tutor for Buzzbee to help him begin learning that mummy is not the only person who he can trust to show how ‘clever’ he is and not be fearful of showing the areas he struggles with.
  • Commitment to fund Specialist post adoption therapy, i.e. DDP qualified therapist (private as no longer available on NHS/CAMHS in our area) or other appropriate services until 18 and transitioned to any relevant/suitable adult provision.
  • Guaranteed specialist education placements/provision until 18
  • Ok I actually already receive some adoption allowance for Buzz but I would like to see adoption allowance payments which are in line with our LA’s foster care rates until children complete full time education.
  • ‘No questions asked’, Non-judgemental Post adoption handyman service that we could ring up after a violent outburst and arrange for them to come and repair damaged doors, walls, etc.
  • Access to holiday camps/activities with additional support funded (thinking of Buzzbee mainly on this one).
  • Proper and effective developmental trauma and attachment training for Waxy’s school.
  • Parent/school advocacy service to mediate disputes/misunderstandings – parent partnerships in our area not up to the job.
  • On-going opportunities for training (new skills, etc.), access to out of hours/in hours non-judgemental support/advice when needed (in person/email/phone)
  • Pupil premium for every child whether they are in full-time education or have been forced into home education because of the huge deficit in the way the national curriculum and ‘school rules’ are so rigid and unsustainable for some of our children.
  • On the ball Letterbox service – Oh hang on we actually have this already.
  • Access to a database signposting adopters to ALL support services and training available etc.
  • On-going support for us and NOT JUST when difficulties develop / Crises occur.
  • Crisis intervention support plan – violence, bereavement, allegations, sibling trauma bonds, and so much more…

Maybe I should also ask for:

  • The entire staff of Downton Abbey minus the backstabbing (I get enough of that already) to run my house for me.
  • Spa sessions at Center Parcs’ Aqua Sana at least 3 times a year.
  • Endless supply of chocolate and diet Pepsi for evenings and weekends when the boys are together (trauma bond survival kit), served by ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ male pros, bronzed Adonises, the ghost of Patrick Swayze, really any nice male eye candy, as and when needed.
  • Mummy rescue package provided by local Firemen.
  • Automatic hotline to Il Divo or Michael Buble to personally serenade me when I need an extra big slice of self-regulating/self-care mummy time.
  • Pocket sized Andre Rieu and orchestra, so he can come everywhere with me to keep me regulated all day long.
  • Pocket sized Dan Hughes, Bruce Perry, Jon Baylin, etc. who can be taken out as and when advice is needed.
  • Uninhabited deserted island with mute blonde Adonises waiting on my every need.
  • Soundproof, purpose built study for Bumble to play his online roleplaying games.

In the spirit of fairness, I have also asked the boys what their dream support plan would include.

Here it is:

  •  Weekly private training with a premier league football player for both boys.
  • Private street dance lessons with Ashley Banjo for Buzzbee.
  • Kate Upton as Beeswax’s 1:1 teaching assistant (lock up your daughters!)
  • ‘No Social Workers’ trapdoor/hidden ejector launchpad under front door mat.
  • Purpose built adventure playground and climbing wall for the garden.
  • Hypnotist to brainwash mum and dad into letting us play Xbox all day and night.
  • Girlfriend for Buzzbee (Waxy wrote “not that he has had trouble getting them in the past, LOL”) .

So that is our list! I am sure there are things I have forgotten but if you could do the same what you put on yours?

This post has been linked to The Adoption Socials’ Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO 

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Return to ‘Hushabye Mountain’

 “Sing to me mummy like I’m your baby” Buzzbee demanded this week at bedtime.

“You will always be my baby even when you are married with your own children! Why do you want me to sing to you tonight? I thought you said you were too big for lullabies anymore!”

Ok not my most sensitive response but the request came so out of the blue and I was a little confused about why he was asking now. He hasn’t wanted or been able to tolerate me singing to him since he became a ‘big boy’ and started school.

(Baby voice) “I really need to hear you sing me ‘Hushabye mountain’ like you did when I was your ‘Cuddly Koala Bear’” “Can you sit on the floor beside my bed and stroke my hair at the same time too?”

At this point I feel I need to state that I do not consider myself to be an exceptional singer and in my opinion I have a voice that only Buzzbee could love but I didn’t need asking twice to fulfil his request. I spent the next 30 minutes singing to him and stroking his hair and listening to him make gentle humming (self-soothing) sounds and for the first time in months Buzzbee settled quite quickly to sleep, but still at the time I was feeling somewhat confused about where this was coming from.

Please don’t misunderstand me. Buzz asking me to sing to him and wanting to be my ‘cuddly Koala’ again is fantastic.  He has always been very avoidant and extremely self-reliant, so anytime he allows us to get close to him, we take full advantage of the opportunity to strengthen his attachment to us (Oops, I better keep going because I am starting to get very soppy and welling up thinking about how much of both my boy’s life I have missed out on and how much I wish I could turn back the clocks and fill in all the lost and precious moments).

Buzzbee has always acted at home much younger than he really is and we have learnt to live with it (go with the flow), and school are slowly learning to respond to his emotional age and not his chronological age when dealing with issues during the day. But, this week his need to regain the years he lost seems so much more important to him.

So, why is it so different at the moment?  What is making him feel so vulnerable at the moment?

I have probably tied myself in knots this week trying to understand what is troubling him. Last week was the 4th anniversary of the boys moving in, so at first I thought maybe this could be playing on his mind, but when I thought back over this: Beeswax usually regresses at this time of year, but Buzzbee usually “claims us” by being helpful and a “big boy”. We knew that there had been changes at school which he was coping with pretty well and being very open about how he was feeling about them. No doubt in some way these were adding to his anxiety, but still I wasn’t convinced that I had got to the route of his need to take a step back in time.

I began to over-analyse every aspect of his usual regressed behaviour to see if anything had changed, but it wasn’t until I collected him from school yesterday and he started talking about Beedog and how she will never have puppies that it dawned on me.

We have had Beedog spayed and she has needed extra care this week.

Bad, Bad Honey. How could I have missed it?

Buzzbee adores Beedog and she is a very soothing influence on him at times when he is feeling at his most vulnerable and I guess this week he is feeling helpless and lost, seeing his ‘true best friend’ not feeling quite herself, add this on top of everything else that is going on for him at the moment and it is not surprising he is feeling so fragile. I cannot believe I missed it! In his mind Beedog is his source of unconditional comfort and affection but at a time when he really needs to snuggle up with her, he can’t because of the risk of accidently hurting her.

I cannot say whether his sudden need for babying is because he is feeling fragile because Beedog is fragile, or if taking away the opportunity for Beesdog to have puppies is stirring up something primal in him about his birth mum. I could spend all evening hypothesising about what is driving this behaviour/need and yes, it is important to understand what is going on for him, but far more important for me is to help him work through this in the most comfortable way for him and if in the process of I get to have extra snuggles, hugs and kisses with my ‘cuddly koala’ then I am not going to complain and for those time when I cannot be with him I will give school the link to the YouTube clip he likes (he is not keen on the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ version because of the child snatcher).

Earlier in the week I started writing a completely different post for this week’s #WASO about what the future holds for our family and how both boys were showing signs of regressing into old behaviours to help them cope with future changes but somewhere along the way, the regression that was happening for Buzzbee here and now took over. So I guess all I can say is watch this space.

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