Tag Archive | Grief

Moving on up through the tears

There has been a distinct lack of post from me lately and it probably won’t come as a surprise to some of you the reasons for this, but it hasn’t stopped me beating myself up about it. Yes! I know it is not helpful to anyone, me being so hard on myself, but as ‘Blame Honey for everything’ seems to be a common theme at the moment. I guess if I can’t beat them, I might as well join them. This way maybe I won’t feel the painful sting left by the unending feeling of desperation and isolation.

Last weekend was a difficult weekend.

NO WAIT! Last weekend was a complete mess! Decisions were made that I have resisted for so long, and as I sank deeper into the dark pit of failed attempts at trying to therapeutically parent an angry and emotional, vulnerable teenager, relationships and emotional health crashed and burned along with it.

I guess you would say…… We hit rock bottom! (I certainly did anyway).

hittherocks

Calling the police on your child was never going to be an experience that I could or would relish. After Waxy’s early life experiences, he is understandably anxious (and angry) with the ‘boys and girls in blue’, and for a very long time I have used this knowledge as justification for not drawing a line in the sand sooner – Some would say I was being too soft and making excuse for his actions, and in some ways they were right and I wish it was as simple as that, but as many of you will know:

Nothing is ever simple when it comes to living on ‘Planet Adoption’.

So if in the past I have been a repeat offender and tried to manage the consequences and restitutions ‘in house’, which has almost certainly backfired, what was different about the weekend this time that prompted me to change my mind and report Waxy to the police for criminal damage?

Was it, just simply I reached the end of a very long and crumpled straw and felt I was left with no other option?

Was it because this time it wasn’t just myself or an inanimate object of some kind that was at risk of harm? He had lost control and Buzz, Beedog and Waxy himself were all at risk of serious harm.

Or, was it the fact that this time Waxy had lost so much control that he was displaying everything for the world (okay neighbourhood, which he would never usually do) to see, and I no longer felt safe in my own home?

I could hypothesise and dissect the ins and outs of the events of last weekend but it wouldn’t help anyone.

Nor would be having a VERY long rant about Post Adoption Support, or should I say the lack of it (5 minute phone call, 5 days after the incident happened and complete disinterest from PASW about the impact the weekend had on Buzzbee or myself – she just wanted to tell me how she had had a lovely long and pleasant chat with Waxy and he only did what he did because he felt I was being too strict – Hmmmm so wanting to treat my sons to a day out with Nando’s for supper is being too strict is it?).

Anyway, this weeks’ WASO theme is ‘Moving on up’ and I suppose through all my waffling, I am trying to come to some kind of rational conclusion as to the fact that I cannot change what has happened in the past, and while it WILL this time take me some time to bounce back, we have hit the bottom so there is only one way we can now go and I need to move on and move up (and not move out as I was ready to do Sunday).

How I am going to do this?

I really don’t know at the moment.

I guess for now, all I can do is wait out the storm and not beat myself up so much for events and choices that are not in my control, and pray that one day our family’s equilibrium will be once again be restored.

lifeisabike

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Between a rock and a hard place.

At the beginning of this week I wrote a post, titled ‘Tiger feet’ about the emotional but ultimately cathartic, rollercoaster that I found myself on with Bumble and Buzzbee.

What I didn’t say in that post (because it wasn’t relevant) was 30 minutes after Buzzbee’s meltdown, I received a phone call from mother that turned my recovering internal ‘calm’ back into a broken hearted ‘storm’ and it has knocked me sideways this week.

Without going into the gory and very personal details of it. Monday night I learnt that one of my cousins had died, leaving my auntie and the rest of my dad’s side of the family devastated and in absolute shock, myself included.

Most of my dad’s family live close by to each other, as does my sister, so they are all able to be there for each other at this time.

**warning: selfish comment to come** On the other hand, I do not live near my family home and much like when my grandparents died. I am left to deal with it on my own and in private – OK I have Bumble but it’s not the same.

For practical reasons (the boys wouldn’t cope) it is not possible for me to be with them at this time and I know when it comes to the time as a family we will unite to lay him to rest, Bumble will as always find a way to ensure that I can get away to attend the funeral. On my own, as always!

Please, please don’t get me wrong, if you are reading this thinkimg I am bitter and twisted about the situation. This is not the case, but it has reared a feeling of resentment for me about the choices and sacrifices I have had to make being the boys’ mum – As Freddie Mercury sang “I am the great pretender”.

This week I have also met with our new PASW and while in the long term (or should I say for as long as she is with the team) I am beginning to think that, maybe she is someone who I can work with (so far she is really demonstrating that she ‘gets it’ and she understood when I said “sometimes I just need to know my experience is being validated and not dismissed”). Yet I still kept her at arm’s length during the meeting. Each time she began to show any sign of empathy or concern for the impact of parenting the boys, I could feel my whole body tensing up with emotional discomfort and alarm bells were ringing saying “Be careful what you say next. Don’t give her the wrong idea”.

Again my “Freddie” switch was flicked. Although I am not completely convinced she was fooled, but decided to not push it.

not ok

OK enough about my woes! This week has been a mixed week, Buzzbee has been up and down more times than an elevator and boy, has he been a stubborn so in so at times this week. On more than one occasion, when it has come to getting him to do his work, I have come up against a giant (ok, a 133cm) brick wall and proved challenging to persuade him to do what was asked – actually it has taken us all week just to do one piece of work, which once he finally started and finished it he was extremely chuffed with himself. One of the many things we have learnt about Buzzbee (and I kind of forgot at the beginning of the week) is the more you make it clear to him you want him to do something, the more he will dig his heels in. The trick is to make him think it has been his choice and that he is in control – forget threatening to not let him go on his tablet or computer, or anything like that because this boy has staying power and when fear of working/failure is driving him, personal enjoyment and privileges just are not on his radar. Well, not until he decides he wants them anyway.

On the flip side, this week the staff at his forest school commented on how amenable and delightfully helpful he had been this week (last few weeks he has been a little prickly and dug his heels in a few times over activities that he felt uncomfortable with). In fact, when I arrived to collect him I could hear him shrieking with delight all the way from the car park. Unbeknown to me, this was because he was having a water fight with the staff and children. A fact I very soon found out when he raced over and threw himself into my arms to give me a hug and a kiss as always – soaking wet boy + hugs = very damp mummy (but I’ll forgive him because he gives such good hugs).

waterfight

Beeswax’s school have been in contact several times over this week, mostly winding me up big time with their petty concerns and stating the bleeding obvious “Beeswax is demonstrating childish and silly behaviour and allowing himself to get drawn into negative foolishness. We feel Waxy is extremely emotionally immature for his age and compared to his peers” – Funny that! They seem to have forgotten to look at his records and see that his previous therapist had noted that his emotional age was significantly lower than his chronological age. If that is their biggest worry with him, then I will swap my weekends with them anytime – from 3.30 when he walked in the door yesterday he has been on TOP FORM and in BATTLE MODE.

The school have always underestimated the impact Waxy’s early history has had on him because he is so blooming good at hiding it from them and presenting himself at school as being extremely precocious and articulate, so they forget about the other side of him and refuse to take it into account.

woman-frustrated-1

Rather than my usual, getting into a pointless exercise/dialogue where I for the hundredth time find myself attempting to get them to take a step back and look at what he may be trying to tell them (In this case. Girlfriend trouble and they are STILL talking to him about GCSE options and repeatedly moving the goal posts for him). No instead I did something probably very foolish and I most certainly need my head read because rather than ague with them again, I have instead put my name forward to stand for the parent governor position that is currently available – in my head the time it sounded like a good idea, now I am wondering what the heck I have done. Not that I will need to worry because there is another adopter I know well also putting herself forward and she will most certainly be elected to the post and do exactly what I planned to do but with so much more style and experience.

Please accept my apologies for my rambling this week. Lots going on and brain not functioning at optimum level.

On a positive note: Today we have achieved the unthinkable and after a VERY slow start leaving the house. We have managed a pleasant and fun few hours as a family with Beedog visiting a beautiful local Rhododendron garden/walk. The boys had a great time racing around all the colourful and aromatic bushes and trees and Beedog was in ‘scent heaven’, although I am pretty sure the bluebells did not appreciate her flaking out on them at one point. Oh and despite Waxy and Bumble having a silverback’ moment before leaving the house, Bumble and I have got to enjoy a precious few hours feeling like a ‘normal’ family and enjoying being in the boys company rather than playing referee or ‘good cop/bad cop’

bluebellThis post was written as part of this weeks’ The Adoption Social #WASO.

Tiger Feet

First of all. No! I am not about to break out into a song.

When Bumble returned from visiting his dad and brothers, bringing with him a dusty old pair of tiger feet slippers, which had belonged to my late mother-in-law. Nobody could have imagined these orange and black, fluffy fellows were going to bring about a complete emotional meltdown for Buzzbee that would reduce Bumble to tears also (Yes the tears were flowing for me too but there is nothing new there – if my boys are in pain, it breaks my heart).

Ok let me take a couple of steps back. When Bumble arrived home from work yesterday afternoon, he brought in with him from his car a pair of Tiger slippers which his dad had found while going through boxes of at home and they believed that had been Bumble’s mum’s at some point. Bumble and his dad thought that Buzzbee would like them for his dressing up box as he already owns a Tiger onesie – absolutely wonderful idea, I thought and Buzzbee was delighted with them.

Throughout the day Buzzbee had been….. Well, let us just say. I suggested to Bumble that it might be a good idea to meet up at lunchtime as my therapeutic mummy juice was rapidly running out. So when Buzzbee volunteered to read in the evening with his dad (NEVER happens) and did so while wearing his new “feet”, I couldn’t help but let my guard down and believe that his dark mood had lifted and bedtime would be relaxed and positive before our babysitter arrived.

Silly mummy!!!!

Once Buzz had finished reading with Bumble, the nervous, fizzy energy came out to play. He had done such a wonderful job but struggled with one word and he began to fall apart. He couldn’t tolerate any suggestion that he had done really well considering on how difficult he finds reading and all he could focus on was, the one word he struggled with.

Beedog picking up on his energy began to join in with his ‘bubbling’ and herself begun to get over-excited. In the process of the chaos and madness, Beedog tried to remove the Tiger feet from Buzzbee’s feet which Buzz was finding oddly funny, considering how close her teeth were to his toes. In an attempt to prevent the slippers getting damage or Buzz’s feet being chomped. I slipped the slipper off Buzz’s foot, with the intention of retrieving it from Beedog before putting it back on Buzzbee’s foot.

Oh dear. Bad mummy. Buzzbee suddenly feel completely apart and raced hysterically out of the room and into his bedroom in floods of tears, completely inconsolable.

What had I done that was so wrong? Why was he throwing a wobbly?

Although it took me a minute to realise it. It wasn’t that I had taken the slipper off his foot that upset him. It was that I had taken ‘Granny’s slipper’ off his foot and in doing so I had taken Granny from him again in his mind.

All the grief and loss that he had experienced over the years was suddenly coming crashing to the surface and he had become overwhelmed by it all but he couldn’t let me near – painful as it was to see him in such distress, I needed at the time to remember that he wasn’t trying to reject me. The pain was just too much for him to accept comfort.

In the meantime, Bumble was conspicuous in his absence (usually he is great at stepping in when Buzz is in this state). Again, I didn’t need to think too hard to know the reason why. Bumble was trying his hardest to hide his pain at the realisation of Buzzbee’s connection to the slippers.

Buzzbee needed Bumble and no matter how much Bumble denies it, at that point he needed Buzzbee too. The boys haven’t really seen Bumble cry when it comes to losing his mum (they saw him cry more when our old cat died). Bumble’s has been quite stoic when the boys have been around (Neither of them cope well with seeing myself or Bumble upset. It really upsets their equilibrium and over the years we have subconsciously reined ourselves in when they are present).

Last night was different. Bumble couldn’t hide from it and he knew that Buzzbee needed him at that point and needed to know that it was OK to miss his granny and that Bumble misses her too.

So what started out as an innocent pair of old slipper being brought home to be put into a dressing up box and have some fun with, actually turned into an important but emotional evening, where Bumble had a rare opportunity to be the one to give Buzzbee the support and emotional connection that he needed at that time and strengthen their attachment just that little bit more.

tigerfeet

Many of you will think I am completely crazy but I have long believed that our loved ones are always watching over us and send us what we need, when we need it.

And, boy did they both need it.

Things we do – learn a new skill

The Things We Do
OK so living with Beeswax is pretty horrible at the moment. I don’t know if it is driven by his hormones or leakage from suppressing his greif. I am certain his trauma is exsabeting the current situation and as I mentioned in my recent #waso post. I have been less than therapeutic at times..

While not wanting to harp on his misdemouners (aggression) this week, it has inspired a ‘things we do’ post.

The pictures speak for themselves but has made me think.  Neither I or my sister have ever been helpless women when it comes to DIY – I suppose this comes from my parents only have daughters. Our dad taught us what he thought we would need to know. For my sister these skills have not been nessecary but it would be fair to say 90% of the repairs in ‘the hive’ are done by me.

However more recently – and maybe because I am getting a little fed up of ‘patching up’ the house after one or others latest “outburst”, I have begun trying to teach Beeswax how to repair the walls himself (the doors well I have no choice but to leave them unless they become dangerous).  I can’t say I am having much success so far but hopefully eventually we will see results of some kind. At the least by the time they are old enough to have their own house they will have at least a basic knowledge/toolkit of DIY skills. But, *whispering* secretly I just hope by making them help repair damage they will be so bored of it they will eventually stop putting holes in windows, doors and walls. And, will think twice about trashing bookcases and chest of drawers – I can dream.

Can’t I?

crunch

Doing what has to be done

I am frantically trying to put a post together for The Adoption Social’s #WASO in a week that can only be described as an ‘emotional’ and ‘hectic’ week shrouded in secrecy in order to allow Beeswax to enjoy celebrating a milestone birthday without it being overshadowed by grief and resulting in yet another birthday for him being sabotaged by circumstances which were beyond anyone’s control.

I started to write a post last week but never managed to finish it but I think before I write about what it is we have been hiding from the boys, I thought that I would add the original opening sentence of the unfinished post

In the coming few weeks and months, I have a feeling I know emotions and tensions are going to reach an all-time high in ‘the hive’ (but for now I can’t go into why) but I know I am going to have to dig deep into my tool bag to support everyone.

I like to think that my tool bag has an inexhaustible amount of skills and tricks and is extremely flexible, but I suspect that to keep everyone on track I may have to use some of my ‘safe bet’ activities more than I would usually prefer to in order for one or all of us to have the breathing space they need without the boys misinterpreting responses from others – thank heavens for annual memberships.

When I say a ‘safe bet activity’! What I mean is a trip or visit somewhere that I can take the boys on my own without worrying about needing a second adult to help me manage them.  To be fair I have a couple of places where this is achievable because there is so much for the boys to do and interact with appropriately, or there is the opportunity for the boys to have their own space and do their own things while still being monitored by myself.

Ok! So at the time of writing this sentence, Bumble’s mum had just told him that her treatment was no longer working and she had made the decision to stop any more treatment. Obviously Bumble needed time to process this information himself, but we also agreed that we would wait until after Beeswax’s birthday to tell the boys and begin preparing them for her eventual passing – she was terminal but everyone believed we had time to plan for telling them.

Fast forward to the beginning of this week (only days before Waxy’s birthday) and Bumble received the phone call he never wanted to receive and my father-in-law definitely did not want to make.

My mother-in-law passed away suddenly that afternoon.

Wheels had been set in motion that we hadn’t prepared for, but very quickly (or in some people’s eyes, quite alarmingly considering how emotional people know I can be) I have switched into pilot mode, making arrangements for Bumble to be able to drive up and join his dad and brothers, contacting people who needed to be informed of the reason for Bumble’s absence (work and the director of the show Bumble has a role in) while at the same time making sure that, at home everything still ran as usual so that Buzzbee could not pick up on anything.  I will not lie – having Beeswax at school during the week made this a lot easier. I am not sure I would have been able to keep my composure for very long – he is in ultra-button pushing mode at the moment and he would almost definitely push either Bumble’s or mine and then….. Well that would be a whole different post.

Although I have hated lying to the boys this week, it has been the right thing to do I believe.  Beeswax has for as long as I have known him justifiably felt that his birthday is jinxed and that something always happens to ruin his birthday – I was determined that I was going to give him a birthday he could enjoy and remember with happiness before he found out and would once again confirm in his mind, his negative view that his birthday is ‘Jinxed’.

Tomorrow I will have to tell them. I won’t be able to put it off any longer (I should have been telling them today).  He has already made comments, wondering why Granny and Grandpa didn’t ring him on his special birthday.

We got around it by yet again lying and telling him that they probably thought he would be having too much fun on his day out for his birthday.

Will I be for the high jump tomorrow? I really don’t know but I have to hope that they will understand why we made the decisions we did.

I honestly do not know how they are going to take the news – hey, I don’t even know how Bumble is really doing. He has been morphed into Winston Churchill and putting up a ‘Dunkirk spirit’ persona – he hasn’t shut me out, but he is certainly not giving anything away either.  But as I said at the beginning! I will have to dig down deep into my bag of tricks and tools to help them all through the coming weeks. At the same time I have to also decide whether it is best to begin preparing the boys for my nan’s failing health (I don’t know about this yet).  As for my own grief – I am sure it is there somewhere. I was very fond of my MIL but for now I need to be in Mummy/Wife mode and I have become quite skilled at pushing my emotions to the background.

Oh I almost forgot!

The special birthday present for Beeswax’s birthday!

A private Skiing lesson at an Indoor Snowdome, and it was a HUGE success. But, more about that in the week (I have photos to edit first).

Rest In Peace GrannyBee

Rest In Peace GrannyBee

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