For Logan, things have been slightly more complicated, he was 6 by the time he came to live with us. By this time, he had been through so much with birth family, foster family, school and various professionals that he had learned that adults aren’t trustworthy. That’s how his brain has developed, these patterns are ingrained, it’s all he’s ever known and it’s all he knows to keep him safe.
For the longest time, there has been this rejection, flat out hatred at times, towards me. For Bruce, things have been slightly easier; Logan has an underlying need to please men and get a positive response from them. So, at the beginning of being placed with us, he targeted Bruce and got the reactions he needed meaning their relationship has been fairly positive. But because Bruce works midweek and was only, really, around at bed times then, it hasn’t formed into a proper secure attachment, so that can’t be transferred. And It means that Bruce hasn’t been there for the “no” conversations.
I think I have been the first woman to ever offer constant, and consistent, firm but fair boundaries. This has been a hard pill where someone is used to manipulating every situation (to his desire) is concerned. It’s like untangling a matted ball of twine where you accidentally end up with a big loop that in its own turn gets tangled as you are untangling the rest; you need the twine whole, you can’t just cut the knots out, you must unravel each one and tease it to the place it should lay. But, he is the one that needs to untangle it, and he needs to trust the guidance of adults to take him to this place of vulnerability – which is such a catch 22.
School made everything worse, things were far too complicated. His history with schooling (and him learning that school is a place where he can literally do what the hell he wants) added to the things quite major he was processing & the lack of sleep meant that the complications of separation, mixed with his confused rejection of us as parents and the pressures of the classroom was all too much to cope with. There was violence at home, trying to run away from school, meltdowns the works.
The move to home education helped, because I was in control of most of the variables he encountered. But really until we moved out of the stagnant dead water our old house had become, we couldn’t move forward. Moving into our new house, things started changing quickly. First it was just saying about how this felt like “our” home, and that in our old house Logan didn’t feel that it was his and Caitlin’s, like it was mine and Bruce’s and they just lived there.
But 8 weeks after having moved, and we’re having conversations about how he loves living in this family. How he feels like we aren’t the bad guys anymore, how in his head he can see that this is where he belongs, that he’s loved here and he’s safe. Which is amazing, I can’t even begin to say how big this is. His letting the barriers slip, the walls are crumbling, We have moments where we can actually see his vulnerability, albeit brief and fleeting. But they are there. They were not before.
Sometimes in life you must take risks. Even if the choice you make doesn’t work out for the best you have to try; if you are stuck in a rutt that isn’t improving, and there’s a risk you can take that could improve things, it’s better to try and fail, than to just stay stuck, treading water and not moving forward. For us, this time, it has paid off. It won’t always. But today, I am just thankful.