This weeks’ #WASO theme of ‘rejection’ is a difficult topic for me. At the best of times, I struggle not to take it personally when the boys try their hardest to keep me at bay but, when it comes to the damage that has been caused by previous professionals believing that the relational, attachment and behavioural difficulties with Beeswax were down to my responses to him, and that I was using his previous history as an excuse to keep him at bay….. (enough!!!)
Over the past couple of months there have been some significant and memorable changes in the hive. Some have been happy and some bittersweet.
At the moment so many people are expecting us to be bathing in the light of the finalisation of the adoption order and being the happiest we have ever been, but there is a part of me that still doesn’t seem to be able to quite reach the dizzy heights that maybe I should be striving for.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am over the moon and couldn’t imagine anything more amazing than being able to say they are “Our Sons” and our celebration party recently was more than I could have ever possibly wished for or imagined happening.
So what is holding me back? Or should I say ‘why don’t I feel able to fully commit to the excitement of it all being finalised and legal’?
After a couple very difficult weeks with Waxy, I have found myself reading back over entries in my old diary desperately searching for an answer and torturing myself with the knowledge of how much blame I put on myself for the relational difficulties between Beeswax and I.
We have come so far as a family and I have much more self-awareness of my own triggers and reactions. While reading my diary it occurred to me that there is one area that has barely changed and I fear never will – and that scares me.
Waxy’s need to reject me the moment he senses we have had a glimmer of an emotional connection. It scares me that I will never be good enough for him. No matter how much he openly declares that he hates his birth mother and “never wants to set eyes on her ever again”. I have accepted that there is a very strong primal connection between them and that it controls his relationship with me. Although we know very little about his early years’ experience or his relationship with birth mum, every day he is home I feel the impact of his early years loss and his feelings of rejection and I am often left feeling that it doesn’t matter what I do or say, I can never win, because he simply cannot trust that I wouldn’t let him down if he allowed himself to get close to me. As a result, over the years, he and I have slowly become more and more disconnected on the surface as we both slip into self-protection mode (subconsciously both boys will always show me when they really need me to be their mum).
I wrote a post recently about how while both boys used to stay with Bumble and I on respite, Waxy was unconsciously claiming us and that he had a strong desire to have a forever family but the realities of this have proven to be very painful for him and all around him.
I have always tried to explain to onlookers who are unable to understand the dynamics in our relationship that I am living with 2 real life push-me-pull-you’s and that I accepted a long time ago that this may always be the way my sons relate to me.
But, who am I trying to kid? It kills me every time the boys feel the need to push me away and keep me at arm’s length. I constantly strive to not take it personally but fail every time.
If I am lucky I manage to avoid letting the boys see it affecting me, but, being someone who is known for wearing her heart on her sleeve, I pretty much suck at doing this.
Enough of that Honey! I am not sitting here writing a post that sounds like a pity party for one.
As the boy’s primary carer it is difficult when they feel the need to reject my attempts to create a relationship with them and it is bloody hard sometimes but I do ‘get it’, well I hope I ‘get it’ which in turn helps me to depersonalise it when I am strong enough.
Several readers will know that Beeswax attends a specialist EBD boarding school during the week and this decision was made as a result of his bravery in admitting that the intimacy of living in a family 24/7 was too hard for him.
His fear of abandonment meant that he went to great lengths to make sure that he couldn’t begin to feel something for me or believe that I wanted to love him. He is so hurt and angry that allowing himself to feel safe enough to contemplate trusting another mum is still too much for him to handle.
It is easy for me to say that I hope that I will never let them down, but I have no right to expect my boys to trust me, but I won’t stop trying to gain that trust.
It is funny really, but if I think hard enough about it. There has been so many times over the years where, although it would kill Beeswax to admit it, he has shown me that he loves me in his own weird way.
I read a quote recently that went something along the lines of – “Rejection is difficult to deal with, especially if you are singled out as the recipient of your child’s rage. But, there is every reason to hope that a strong attachment will happen. And you must remember, falling in love is a process, not an event. Tolerance usually precedes acceptance. One day you are ‘persona non grata’ and the object of your child’s rage and then you are mummy dearest”.
(I only wish I could remember where I read it or who wrote it so I could credit them for this)