As mentioned in a previous post (A birthday treasure hunt) my birthday is sandwiched in between Logan and Caitlin’s birthday. Last year was a “big” birthday for me, and I had been clinging on to that being a spectacular occassion where I could be selfish and let my hair down and just do “me” for a change.
I won’t hash out old information, but to summarise, 2016 was stressful. For the children, for me, for Bruce. There were some good points, but they were drowned amongst exhaustion, self harm, meltdowns, tantrums, professional services, judgement and other people’s misguided, but well meaning intentions.
This came to a head in the pre-Christmas birthday run, not just the three of us, but around 15 friends/family members – yes New Year vigour + Valentines Day has a lot to answer for. But none the less, it added further stress to an already stressful time for us. Which meant that as the bells rang to signal that I had not only become “old” but a milestone “old”, I was sat trying to mop up the blood off a self harming child and comfort them, whilst the other was in full swing meltdown destroying things and shouting.
“Happy Birthday Mumma” right?
I knew it was not personal, it was anxiety, and pressure and emotion being released, because emotional processing just isn’t a skill they have even begun to acquire – lets face it, those of us who haven’t been traumatised prior to gaining world understanding can struggle with this one.
So, what could I do differently this year. Well, even though it seems like my answer to everything – run away! Quite literally. If we go on holiday, there is no social pressure from anyone. The children understand that (to a degree – Logan has his need to please other people and show them he has a good life now, but if we don’t interact with others often, it’s fine). Staying in a hotel, having a focused set of flexible goals and some family time. No need to meet up with people, no requirements to hold it together. Just time and space and experience.
So whether crazy-mad, or not, we booked a weekend in Kent as a precursor to a few nights away at Disneyland Paris.