Tag Archive | self-awareness

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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Guilt free mummy time

*Stop the press*

I have managed to find myself in a position where I can write a complete post and upload it in time for this weeks’ #WASO link up – Okay maybe I should make a confession. The only reason I have a little time to myself is because I have had a toddler style tantrum over the fact the males in the hive seem to struggle lately with the basic concept of picking up after themselves, let alone helping out with minor household chores without spending double the length of time doing it because they are so busy attempting to annoy me so much that I take over the task myself (which I will admit is what usually happens in the end), however much to their dismay, their regular tactic backfired on them and mummy declared that she was going on strike and the 3 of them would have to fend for themselves.

Definitely not very therapeutic but miraculously the jobs were suddenly completed with little or no fuss and an hour later Bumble drew the shortest straw and carefully peeked around our bedroom door to waving the white flag.

I have been longing for just ‘5 minutes to myself’, so having a whole hour to myself was pure luxury (well it would if I hadn’t been so worked up about the males in the house).

The last few weeks in all honesty have been more than a little difficult and relationships with Waxy and school have been pushed to our absolute limit and Bumble and I are finding ourselves raising concerns and exploring painful questions about our family’s future if the current situation doesn’t change and support from Post Adoption and ASF is not forthcoming very soon, and as a result I have struggled to find opportunities to indulge in any form of self-care for myself and in the rare moments when I have found some space and time, something has managed to derail it.

Okay that is not entirely true. Last September as a birthday present, Bumble gave me a gift voucher for a whole day 1:1 photography lesson with a local photography studio in a picturesque National Trust village. Recently I have finally managed to make use of the voucher spent an entire day focusing on something that I enjoy and being able to switch off from being mum for a few hours safe in the knowledge that the boys were safe at school/forest school and Bumble has organised his work day around their timetable.

I had for the first time in I do not know how long, spent a complete day without any ties to ‘planet adoption’ and it felt wonderful. For one day I wasn’t someone’s mum or wife and the only person I needed to focus on was myself (oh and the wonderful lady who was providing my 1:1 lesson).

I surprised myself during the lesson by realising how much I already seemed to know about getting the best out of my DSLR camera and I lost count of how many times I sat listening to the tutor explain this, that and the other and my mind drifted off thinking about random photos I have taken with my camera over the time, while listening to a little voice in my head saying “oh so that is what happened, I didn’t even realise I could do that”.   Apparently each time I did this, the tiniest of a ‘shy’ smile kept catching the tutor’s eye.   At the time I passed it off as being amused at being “jammy so and so” and blindly blundering into lucky shots but in truth, the reason was so much deeper and more personal – I am not sure I can really explain it very well without coming across as wet or self-absorbed but I supposed after the rejection I experience day in and day out with my boys and the negativity that is projected at me from every direction over the years, my self-confidence and self-esteem has been all but destroyed and I now struggle to ‘sit with’ or believe positivity or praise that is directed my way (see I told you it would sound wet) but on the day for some reason my guard was down and my confidence was receiving a much needed boost (even if it was just for a few hours).

While the morning was focused on theory and a little bit of practical practise in the studio with my camera making exciting discoveries about the true extent of what it can really do and how some of the functions in it can do a WHOLE lot more than I could ever have dreamt it could.

buttonI don’t mind admitting I let out a little squealing of excitement to discover that a button which I had believe was only a zoom feature for viewing photos already taken, can in fact be used to take incredibly clever photos (I am still working on perfecting the skill of creating a decent photo using it for now).

The afternoon was spent strolling around the village and visiting the Abbey putting what I had learnt during the morning into practise and discovering that my amazing telephoto lens which only ever comes out when I am taking photos of the boys at the beach or when we are visiting the safari parks, can in fact produces absolutely stunning close up photos that even I would be mistaken for believing were taken with a macro lens.

blooming lovely

During the day I managed to get a few lucky shots, some that I didn’t quite achieve the composition that I had hoped for, and some…. Well let’s not talk about these ones and then we have the photographs that are still haunting me days after they were taken of a sweet elderly couple who I was mesmerised with as they walked through the cloisters together. I couldn’t help wondering about their story. Who were they? How had they met? How long had they been together? What had brought them to the abbey that day? – Okay I know I am a nosey devil but there was something about these two that was pulling at my heart strings and evoking bittersweet memories of my dear depart grandparents and the love and unconditional devotion they had for each other for nearly 60 years. In all fairness when they would come for a visit they did insist on taking an afternoon drive over to this village for a cream tea and a stroll around the abbey, so I supposed the place already holds special memories for me and the sight of this couple reignited them for me. (I really hope they won’t mind me including them in this post)

cloister

Listen to me jabbering on! What I have neglected to say is…… while the course was wonderful and I got so much out of it physically and emotionally. It wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t manage to take one single usable photograph because the biggest realisation of the day was not the fact that I can actually take some nice photographs.

LC

lc2

Residents of the village including the most adorable puppy

 

It was the realisation that all this time, the answer to my self-care prayers has been under my nose all the time.   I have something that I can and already do uses as an excuse if I need 5 minutes to myself.

I can lose myself in my photograph and refill my tank before it reaches empty. We live in a beautifully areas, adorned with rolling hills, woods, rivers and meadows so while If I am lucky my four-legged and 2 legged muses will oblige and not run for the hills at the sight of the camera (okay maybe not Buzzbee, he only needs to spot the camera in my hand and he is posing away), I still have plenty of opportunities to find an excuse to escape the trauma and destruction that often fills my days living on ‘planet adoption’, for a few short guilt free minutes or hours.

“Goodnight! Sleep tight”

For as long as I have known Buzz, he has always gone through a short period of time, each year, where has struggled to settle to bed at night. Bumble and I have always felt that this was linked to seasonal light changes – nights getting darker quicker.

In fact, although it took us a couple of years for the penny to drop, Buzzbee has ALWAYS struggled with the transition of light to dark. We have had many tricky car journeys where he has transformed from a calm and relaxed passenger into………. A helium filled Tasmanian Devil!

But I digress. Over the years we have tried everything we can think of to ‘reset’ Buzz’s bedtime habits and get him back into his bedtime routine. Usually we would be talking 3 or 4 weeks of exhausting and loooooong evenings sat at the top of the stairs, returning him to his room and trying to prevent the boys having the opportunity to communicate (I won’t even go into the lengths Waxy used to go to to ensure Buzz was high as a kite so that he didn’t have to get ready for bed).   Bumble and I found these ‘Phases’ stressful and they left us feeling confused and lost for ideas (traditional and unconventional).

While the Bumble and I often despaired about the longevity of Buzz’s seasonal bedtime Olympics, we clung to the knowledge that bedtime WILL return to normal eventually and we would be able to once again have ‘adult time’ evenings.

I suppose you could say, every year we experienced our own bedtime routine ‘groundhog day’.

Over the past 8 months everyday has been “groundhog day” with Buzz and his bedtime struggles. Currently Bumble and I count it as a ‘win’ at bedtime if we manage to settle Buzz to sleep by 10pm.

Buzz fights sleep and he will go to great lengths to drag us into a battle of wills, irrespective of the fact that he will openly tell us he is “knackered”. He was embarking on a path of self-destruction and always felt bad about himself the next morning, but appeared to not be able to help himself each night and the cycle of chaos would begin again.

In the past couple of months, we have found a couple of tricks that help him finally drop off, but they have only been successful if we have first endured his marathon sleep avoidance mania – Bumble and I were confused as to why he still needed to go completely ‘bonkers’ before he would allow us to ‘sausage roll’ (swaddle snuggly) him in his quilt and blanket and if necessary use deep pressure back rubbing until Buzz begins to gently ‘coo’, which is his cue that he has begun to self-sooth.

I don’t know why it had never dawned on us before, but being swaddled makes Buzz feel safe and secure.

So, why couldn’t he allow us to do this from the very beginning of his bedtime routine?

Buzz has always had a fascination for building dens or creating hideaways and occasionally went through spells of sleeping in his pop-up play tent or under a pretty fantastic, blanket construction. But each were always short-lived. However looking back over the last couple of years, the signs have been there all the time.dogbed

  • Buzz sleeps with hundreds of soft toys on his bed and my parents used to joke about the fact there were so many teddies that it was hard to imagine how Buzz could even manage to get into bed let alone sleep in it.
  • Buzz ALWAYS insists on his bed having at least 2 sides against a wall and ALWAYS he has to have his head facing the door.
  • Buzz ALWAYS went to sleep quicker in our bedroom – we have a 4 poster bed with drapes. Although there are other reasons too.

Finally:-

  • When we go camping and he has to sleep in a tent pod and when we sleep at my parent’s caravan, he falls asleep with very little fuss – both pretty compact and contained.

However, while staying at my parent’s house this Christmas, our suspicions were confirmed by Buzzbee while we all ate our Christmas lunch, but we didn’t fully understand the depth of his anxiety until an overnight stay in a premier lodge while visiting Bumble’s family – I could quite easily write an entire post just about this one night, and maybe I will later in the week.

The boys have slept at my parents on numerous occasions and while Buzz has been a little more challenging to settle and is quite vocal in his sleep, not to mention being unbelievably restless all night, he has eventually fallen asleep.

However, this year Buzz took the sleeping arrangements into his own hands and chose to create his own space in the bedroom with the help of the puppies’ playpen* and a large red blanket.bedtime1

* Before I go any further. I feel the need to let readers know that it was Buzzbee’s idea and choice to sleep surrounded by the puppy play pen, and he had full control over whether he stayed inside it or removed it. Our only rule was that he was not allowed to lock himself in the pen.

Settling any child on Christmas eve can be a challenge for any parent, let alone a parent who is trying to settle a child who is experiencing sleep difficulties.   With the support from my parents we kept to the boys’ routine and settled the boys into their beds, fully prepared for Buzzbee’s bedtime games, but after 30 minutes of listening out for sound or signs of movement. We cautiously popped our head around the bedroom door, expecting to hear a little voice excitedly begin chattering to us. Instead, all we could hear was gentle breathing and cooing. BUZZBEE WAS ASLEEP!!!!! And, not only did he fall asleep rapidly and without fussing, but he was sound asleep and relaxed – Buzzbee has always slept with his fists tightly clenched and tightly scrunched up in a ball. The young man snoozing in front of us, was snoozing peacefully with his whole body open wide (my dad joked that he looked like he was ready for a pinup photoshoot).

Buzzbee slept ALL night and there was not a peek from him, something we are not used too because he has always shouted and sworn loudly throughout the night for as long as I can remember, and as I said earlier, he is always thrashing around. In fact, we had 3 blissful, undisturbed night’s sleep

Okay, confession time! Buzzbee’s bed is in our bedroom at my parents and I am an incredibly light sleeper, but I have got used to his mumblings and my sleep being disrupted. So when I couldn’t hear him in the night, I jumped out of bed, panicking something was wrong and wanted to poke him to check he was still alive – My parents found this highly amusing.

Over Christmas lunch, one of my parents (can’t remember which) joked about Buzzbee’s sleeping arrangements and asked out of curiosity why he liked sleeping in the puppy pen.

“I feel safe when I am in it. Nothing and nobody can get at me, that’s why.”

He felt safe. How did I not think of it before?

Fast forward a couple of weeks and several attempts at different ideas for creating a ‘safe sleeping environment’, some of which were almost suitable and certainly helped reduce his bedtime anxiety. However, each of the ideas had one fault- they were not particularly transferable and really we needed something that would be safe and that we could take with us when visiting family or going on holiday.

After several hours of research and long discussions about what we felt we needed from a portable sleep tent, we discovered the ‘Privacy Pop’ which ticked every box not only for Bumble and I, but for Buzzbee too.

And, boy does he love it!popup

 

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

“All the king’s horses”

I think I need to apologise in advance before I continue writing this weeks’ #WASO post. There is a very strong chance that this post will not turn out quite as I want it to or how the words are playing out in my head, and will instead end up sounding self-indulgent and pitiful. Over the past few weeks, my energy and motivation to write has been severely lacking and my ability to complete the most basic tasks has been quite frankly, an uphill struggle.

humpty

For weeks, months (okay, probably a couple of years) I have been treading water and trying to fool myself that I am doing Ok and my frequent state of melancholy can be directly connected to the latest instalment of the boys’ chaos and mania, or due to feeling overwhelmed by my personal high expectations of myself as a mother, wife, daughter, friend… to put things more simply! Humpty Dumpty has slipped off her wall, but instead of admitting she could do with a supportive hand to get back up on her wall, she has repeatedly, time and time again tried to claw her way back up the wall on her own, because she has become too concerned about how ‘all the king’s horses and all the king’s men’ will judge her.

The problem is every time ‘Humpty’ has slipped back down and has not had the confidence to ask for help or confide in others, she has become frustrated with herself and the self-imposed isolation she has brought on herself.

Okay back to reality. There is part of me that is questioning whether the answer is to make an appointment with our GP and ask her to prescribe “happy pills”, but realistically this is not an option and I know she will be reluctant (as would I) to do this because of past history. In any case I am not sure (for me) that this would be the best way to deal with the effects of the secondary trauma.

No, the only answer I can see, is to once and for all get ALL my family the assessments help and support we all desperately need. And, to do this I am going to have to stand up and face it head on. I can no longer let the opinions of ‘Negative Nellies’ and ill-informed, narrow-minded individuals and professionals from the past, control our future.

So where do I start?

In the past I have unsuccessfully tried to explain/describe verbally what it is like to parent Waxy and Buzz on a day to day/hour to hour basis, and explain the impact that has on us all. It has always fallen on deaf ears or it has been met with criticism and a dismissive tone – “reading too much into it”, “all siblings do that”, “if you weren’t so stressed than the boys would be more settled” – You get the idea.

The only answer that made sense to me, was for me to put it in writing and hope that if professionals read it in black and white, they maybe will begin to listen and take the situation seriously, and the Adoption Support Fund application form is just the place to start.

A couple of weeks ago I commented on Twitter of my irritation that our Post Adoption Social Worker had sent us the ASF form and asked us to fill it in as best as possible, despite us believing she had started doing this herself weeks before.

Filling in the forms for the boys was painful. Seeing written down on paper the reality of what we are all living with every day, was breaking my heart, but by the time we had filled in as much as realistically possible and sent them back to our PASW, Bumble and I were feeling oddly empowered and both our heads have never been clearer on what we need for ourselves and from professionals, to give the boys the best chance for the future.

After a few more timely nudges, Matilda (new PASW) is finally jumping into action, and after a brief visit last week to obtain the boys’ view and being rewarded with a trauma bond floor show for her “efforts” from them both (quite unusual for them to do this in the presences of professionals), she has asked us to consider allowing a specialist centre to asses our family’s attachment need, but Bumble and I are going to have to think very hard about it before deciding whether we want to proceed with it – if we do proceed, it has been made clear, we will be expected to act on the specialist’s recommendations. Quite frankly, the thought of this scares me to death and not just because my trust in professionals was destroyed a long time ago.

Only time will tell if the help from all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, can prevent Humpty from ending up as scrambled egg.

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

Backseat reflections

This is not the #WASO post I intended to post this week but for the moment my original post needs to be put on hold but in doing so, it started me thinking about another topic which keeps rearing it’s head lately.

How many times have you set of on a journey or trip to the local supermarket, and found yourself drawn into a conversation you are unprepared for with one or more backseat passengers, AKA your children“.

If you are anything like me, sometimes you are able to successfully navigate the conversation while still maintaining control over your vehicle and your own emotions, but then there are times when you are completely caught off guard and struggle to find the words you are looking for.

Of course there are also the times when your child(ren) knock your socks off with a fleeting moment of self-awareness.

backseatRecently Buzzbee did exactly this on a car journey home after collecting him from Forest school.

Buzz: “Mummy, do you know. I think I might be quite funny”

Me: “I think you are. You make me laugh all the time”

Buzz: “I didn’t mean that kind of funny.   I know I am ‘funny’ and can make pretty girls laugh but I meant, I am weird” (this was one of those moments when I was glad that I was driving and he was sat in the backseat and couldn’t see my heart sinking and tears pricking my eyes)

Once I regained composure, I returned to the conversation.

Me: “I am curious. Why do you think you are weird”?

Buzz: “Don’t worry mummy I don’t think it is a bad thing. I know I am different to other children. I mean I sometimes think of things differently to other kids my age”

Me: “You are definitely one of a kind Buzz and life is never dull with you around but I am wondering what has made you suddenly think you are funny”

Part of me was a tiny bit afraid to hear his answer but ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’

Buzz: “Nothing really. It is just some of the other boys wanted to dig holes today, climb lots of trees and talk about WWE wrestlers, and they were happy with just doing this and I liked doing it with them but when we were digging I was imagining what amazing treasures I may find or wondering if I will find a prehistoric fossil in the mud. I love climbing trees but I wanted more – treehouses, forts, and ways to get things from the ground into the trees. Oh and when my friends are talking about wrestlers it is not enough. I want to be the wrestler and sometimes I get too rough”

Phew!!! The conversation continued and I would like to think I managed to respond and support him while he reflected on his day – at least I believe I had and by the time we arrived home he was happy to hop out of the car and go on with his afternoon as if we had never had the conversation.

Many years ago during our preparation course, the course leader attempted to prepare us for the unexpected backseat narrative/questioning and while at the time I didn’t see it was of huge importance and had ‘rose tinted’ glasses on about how we would have ‘cosy chats’ and positive ‘bonding times’ on our car journeys and that there would be nothing to it – I would be a ‘normal parent’ but there is nothing normal about some of the conversations I have had with each of my boys at several points over the years, but each and every one of these are important and offer an window into their internal world.

Project: The Little Volcano

As some of you will know a little while before the end of Term 2, Bumble and I made the difficult (but definitely the right) decision to remove Buzzbee from his primary school and begin home educating him.

When we deregistered Buzz, I believed I had a moderate understanding of where the gaps were in his learning ability and needs, and I’d like to think I still do.

At some point I will write a post focusing on what these needs are and how his early years experience and lack of understanding by school, has had a dramatic and profound effect on his ability to learn.

Having said this, I am not above taking any opportunity that I can, to use learning activities as ways of helping bridge the self-esteem and emotional gaps.

This week’s #WASO theme is ‘The work of my child/children’ and ties in very nicely with the end of the first part of Buzz’s latest topic – Ferocious Volcanoes and Dinosaurs.  With Buzzbee, I very quickly learnt that it was pointless me trying to get him to sit down to a desk with workbooks and follow the national curriculum guidelines – admittedly at first I was as stubborn as him and we endured several very stressful and unsuccessful mornings locked in a battle of wills.

Buzzbee prefers to be very hands on and visual – maths and science are by far his favourite subjects and his is relatively confident in his own skills in these 2 areas.  Currently his biggest barrier is his reading, which then impacts on everything else, but we have found ways around this.  Buzzbee’s handwriting is actually quite good and his ability to remember and translate factual information is far superior to mine (he is a little sponge), but he lacks the confidence to write his ideas down independently and he tells me what information he wants to add to his project, I write it down for him and then he will sit down and copy it out (although he will try his best to write as little as possible). For now this works for him and allows him to be in a position where he can succeed and feel good about his work.

little volcano

Where self-control for Buzzbee is difficult, at times he can demonstrate an incredible level of self-awareness and on several occasions while discussing/researching volcanoes, he has identified similarities between his reactive responses and the warning signs that a volcano is about to ‘blow’.  Cue mummy moving into reflective dialogue mode: “I’m wondering if there is anything that maybe the little volcano or others around him could do to help him calm down the hot bubbling lava before it starts exploding and spilling out over the sides and burning something or someone?”  Rather than using his usual distraction/shooting down techniques – an outpouring of ideas came flooding out from Buzzbee. Most were, understandably, unachievable, some were absolutely hysterical (put him in a Yoga position, open his mouth and pour in slush puppies until steam comes of his ear or he gets brain freeze), but then there were a couple of gems which, with support, he could use (jumping jacks or squeeze a teddy bear)  – he is a star, and I only wish he could believe that himself.

Buzzbee has several challenges to overcome when it comes to his learning, and there are days when I wonder if I am the right person to help him with this, or if we should have pushed harder while he was at school to get him the assessments he needs so we can understand whether his barriers are down to his anxiety and fear of failure or if (as I suspect) there are other contributing factors holding him back (be that sensory or cognitive), but for now Buzzbee and I will keep trying to do the best we can and we will wait to see what the future holds.

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

Barriers – breaking through the wall

At the beginning of the week, with this weeks’ #WASO theme in mind, I decided to ask the boys “what is the first thing you think about when I say the word ‘Barriers’”.

I had a pretty good idea how Buzz would respond but I am never quite sure what (if any) response I would get from Waxy, but to my amusement they both replied in unison “the safety gates that keeps Beedog from going upstairs or getting stuck in the cat flap, when chasing the cats”.  Very black and white and literal!

"I used to fit through this"

“I used to fit through this”

I asked Bumble the same question and his response was “there’s so many things?”

Like Bumble, I struggled with trying to pinpoint what ‘Barriers’ meant to me.  I could easily be very matter of fact and literal like the boys and suggest all the physical barriers that I have had to use over the years to keeps the household safe. Or, I could talk about the bureaucratic restrictions and barriers that we have encountered in our journey to adoption but in truth while I am sitting here trying to decide what to write and thinking about what the word ‘Barriers’ means to me, my thoughts are drawn to the emotional barriers that both Beeswax and myself have put up over the years. Ever since the first day I met Beeswax I have been fighting to penetrate his wall of self-protection with very little success. It is understandable that Beeswax doesn’t trust adults and I don’t blame him in a way, but knowing that my child will do anything to keep me at arm’s length hurts! I keep trying but over the time his need to protect himself from being hurt and let down by another mum resulted in my self-protection instincts kicking in to avoid experiencing yet more rejection.  I had begun to parent while in what Dan Hughes calls ‘blocked care’ and boy! did this cause problems for some time with professionals.

But to be fair, for several years before I even met Bumble I was already putting up barriers.

So what is my excuse? Is it the shame I feel, which is driven by my previous history of depression? Is it the product of my childhood experiences with medical professionals not believing a child and the awareness of what nearly happened as a result of this? Is it that anytime I get close to someone, like Beeswax, they leave me or hurt me? A long time ago I wrote the following extract in my diary and although at the time I was obviously quite self-aware about my default mode. It wasn’t until I was presented with the prospect of having to let people in that I realised how much I had come to rely on it.

Arriving at CAMHS after my sob fest, I thought I had managed to cover up my tear stained puffy eyes with makeup but Jemima had noticed and I was really hoping that she would not ask me about it, but she did and I was able to say it was a pressure release from a hard few days while regaining my composure.

WHY?????? Stupid Girl!

Once again as with any session or visit from SW’s, I kept up the wall without intending too.

I don’t know how or why I manage to do it because inside I am lost, exhausted, scared, primed to burst into tears, I am so anxious that I am making my hands sore, scratching them and it is getting harder to control my breathing. 

Earlier this week, while I was trying to work out how to help myself I wrote ‘that I am truly a Brickie’s granddaughter’ and it is true. I can build a strong wall and I thought I had built it on strong foundations but over the years that foundation has started to subside and cracks have appeared in my wall and no sooner do I repair one area, another appears and each time they are getting harder for me to plaster over on my own, but what would happen if I stopped repairing the cracks myself and let someone help me bring down the wall brick by brick.  Just thinking about it fills me with sheer dread, the prospect of seeing what is hidden behind that wall, what I have shut out of sight and mind (God, I am a control freak!).

 
Only a handful have ever truly penetrated that wall and really understood what drives me. Bumble and Jemima being 2 of them. My parents do not even know about my history of depression. I wouldn’t want them to either. They have enough to deal with and if they knew they would feel obligated to offer more support despite the distance they would have to travel. They say pride comes before a fall. Well, I wouldn’t say I was too proud to tell them, more that I want to protect them. Besides the majority of the time I can still function and maintain the illusion of my role as mother, wife, daughter, sister, and granddaughter.
The barriers that Beeswax and I put up to protect ourselves, are one of our greatest strengths and have seen us through some of our most difficult times, but they are also one of our biggest faults and we consciously or unconsciously isolate ourselves from those who are in the best position to support us.

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The Weekly Adoption Shout Out