For some reason for the past few days, the childhood rhyme – “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” has been stuck in my head.
Why I can’t say for sure but obviously my subconscious is trying to tell me something.
No maybe that is a lie! Currently I seem to be surrounded with both ‘sticks and stones’ and most definitely a lot of ‘words’ that were meant to harm me/Bumble/Buzz and at times Waxy (although in in truth most of the caustic labelling and verbal aggression has been coming our way from him rather than towards him).
Anyway I digress. We are one week into school Easter holidays and if I sat here has started spouting off about how wonderful the week has been and what ‘angelic little angels’ both boys had been all week, I would have to change my name to Pinocchio and watch as my wooden nose grew at a rapid rate. Ok to be fair to both boys, during their 3 days of holiday club, they coped really well and I was proud of them because this was a new holiday club and neither had ever been to it before. For Buzzbee it was definitely a big step forward for him. Not only was it his first time attending anything like this, but his anxiety levels currently are at an all-time high, especially around social situations with peers and strange adults, meant that he preferred to shy away from anything that was going to push him outside his comfort zone or challenge his negative view of himself (he believes he is a horrible boy who cannot control himself and ends up hurting people). It was a big step forward for Waxy too, although he doesn’t see it the same way as we do – he did great because he managed to for short periods of time to resist the urge to micro manage every movement or action of his little brother – I say ‘short periods’ maybe ‘nanoseconds’ would be a better description but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. They have lived with us for nearly 5 years now and still, given half a chance, he will try to ‘parent’ his little brother within an inch of his life.
Ok so the truth is, this week the boys have been more than a challenge and therapeutic mummy has left the building on more occasions than I wish to have happened and has been replaced with punitive, stressed out, shouty mummy – when they have both started their ‘pack’ behaviour (gang up on mummy) or possibly worse still their ‘tag-teaming’, I have found myself on several occasions being triggered by their distress (I say distress because I know that once they realised they were under my skin, they no longer felt like the adult was in control and so spiralled further out of control). I am not pleased with myself for allowing them to take me down (on one occasion quite literally) but, as so many people keep telling me lately, we have had so much going on lately it is no wonder our emotional reserves are not where we would like them to be, and as I can’t turn back the clock and redo this week (although if David Tenant aka Dr Who would like to take me for a ride in his little blue box, I wouldn’t say NO). I can forgive myself and move forward in the hope that the second week will be so much calmer and that there will be less ‘sticks and stones’ and more ‘hot chocolate and marshmallows’.
I think I am going to give ‘Half-term’ a new name in the Hive. I am going to call it “How? When? What? Why? Week”! Ok I know it is the Easter Holidays but these 4 little words are overtaking my days at the moment and I am as guilty as both boys for using it.
“How many times do I need to repeat myself before you do as I ask”?
“When will you two stop fighting and just get along”?
“What have I told you about teasing the dog”?
“Why did you tell your brother, you hate him and don’t want him around anymore? When we both know he is the most important person to you”!
“How come he can say ‘sorry’ to you and you accept it but I simply say ‘sorry, NOW CAN I GO BACK ON THE COMPUTER?’ and you are still cross with me”?
“When are you going to get us our snack”?
“What is in it for me if I tidy my bedroom and put my clothes away”?
“Why can’t we play on the computer at 8am in the morning”?
Ok these are some of the more tense comments (there are lots of lovely therapeutic ones too) but you can get a picture of my days at the moment.
I am always being told off by Bumble or Buzzbee’s previous therapist, Jemima for being too hard on myself and using ‘I should have been able to…’ to further beat myself up. However last night I got myself into an emotional pickle and couldn’t get “How? What? When? Why?” out of my head. So, I found myself writing the following at 2am in the morning simply so I could settle down for the night!
How can you anyone be expected to heal from scars you cannot see if they still feel they are being blamed for it happening? When will they understand there is no magic wand to fix what happened? Why won’t they accept that you are doing the best you can and slowly you are getting there?
How can you begin to learn to trust again when so much damage has been caused and you are afraid of what would happen if any more pebbles were thrown into the pond? Why is this so difficult for you to understand?
Why does everyone feel the need to jump to conclusions about someone’s abilities as a mum anytime they have a ‘wobbly’ day? When will they stop blaming your past history of depression for the reason that you are feeling teary today? (It has been a stressful, emotional filled day THAT IS ALL!) How can we help them accept that some days we have the right to feel upset? It doesn’t mean we are about to fall apart again! What would you do in our shoes?
What makes people think that because your child did not come from your womb, they have the right to criticise or interfere with your parenting? How dare they? Why do I let other people’s opinions get to me? When they have walked a month in my shoes, then they can come to me and say they have the right to judge!
When will I stop trying to be Supermum and let people support me? How can I expect people to understand where I am coming from, when I still don’t feel safe enough to be open with them?
Why do people refuse to look beyond my boy’s behaviour? When will they start seeing the amazing boys I see? How can I help this happen? What will it take?
When will school understand, I am not the enemy? How can I make them see all we want is to work as a team? Why do they refuse to take on board our advice but then accept wholeheartedly EXACTLY the same advice from professionals?
When will I stop feeling that I have to justify my every decision to people?
Why do I keep smiling while my heart is breaking?
What can I do to make people understand? I am the boys’s mother and no matter what they throw at me, I will never give up on them. I LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY!
How do I keep going?
This list I think would have gone on forever if I hadn’t finally fallen back to sleep. Sometimes I really do wind myself up by worrying about things I have absolute no control over?
Time to treat myself kindly and eat mountains of chocolate Easter Eggs, I think!
We are the proud parents of, amongst others, Jig, who has a handsome collection of diagnoses (ADHD, AD, FASD) which probably mean nothing and a generous smattering of fairy dust which probably counts for everything. School was a huge challenge and so we decided, probably rashly, to move to the country and home educate him. No medication, no 'support', chickens, space, a farm on the doorstep and a beach nearby. What could possibly go wrong?