Raw, unfiltered, unedited: Sleep deprivation and manipulation.

Another night of no sleep with a child refusing to, in order to manipulate and control. A fear response. They aren’t in control, they are not safe, an adult cannot provide safety.

So manipulate adults in to getting what you want (note, the want and not need there). What they need is sleep… not this strained and stressful rubbish night after night. What they need is a sense of security in the knowledge that it’s safe to hand over control to an adult, not maintaining control and manipulation. What they need is understanding, compassion and time.

How as a human being can you be expected to provide a constant source of nurture and attention, patience and tolerance, empathy and understanding when you are so utterly and completely burnt out?

I don’t know the answer, I search for it daily. I wish I knew it. I want to be that person. But I feel you have to almost be a robot to not get weighed down by the exhaustion of the lack of sleep. The mental exhaustion of having to untangle these levels of trauma daily. The physical exhaustion that comes from the mental exhaustion of the day. Then the exhaustion that comes from other people and lack of understanding or compassion (or even will to understand the situation, or accept your words at face value). You can’t provide that nurture as a robot though. So in short, you can’t provide it. So you are setup to fail surely?

There is a term “good enough parenting” the name of the person it belongs to escapes me, I’m tired and I have no energy to search… This is an “in the moment” post. Raw, unplanned and developing with my thoughts, but the name Winnicott comes to my mind. Effectively you don’t need to be perfect, you can be flawed, be human, and not provide more than they need. But I do question it in our example. I mean, I’m confident that you don’t have to be a perfect parent to be the best type of parent… But it appears that even if we are perfect 99% of the time, the level of trauma our child has experienced means they ignore (or can’t retain) what you HAVE done, just what you haven’t. And it gets stored up and we’re held to ransom over it.

Would have helped if we’d had early intervention with therapy. But the Adoption Support Fund application wasn’t forthcoming, or rather the application process was not only not forthcoming but convoluted and shrouded in politics that it took ages to get approval once we finally did get it underway. I can see how therapy may help. But, it’s quite late in the day to start. I for one need to go in fresh and motivated. I’m barely motivated to poop when I need to, cause “effort”, let alone attend 3-4 hour intensive and exhausting therapy sessions. But hey, that’s the state of Adoption & Mental Health Services these days right?

And self care could help with the motivation I’m told… Well, if so many professionals hadn’t messed up consequently leading my child to see, even though they can’t trust me wholly, I’m definitely the person that understands them the most, so keep them feeling the least vulnerable and the most safe. Perhaps I’d be in a position to separate and go fill my cup up. But, alas, here we are.

In the meantime I’m left like a tyre with a slow puncture, after almost 3 years of deflating I’m more flat than inflated. But I get a little bit of air added now and again, not enough to fill me back up, but enough to just keep rolling a little bit longer, sometimes depleting that top up and a little more before the next lot. Rolling onward, focussed on the destination and ignoring the miles still to go. (Cause I would just explode if I had to think about it).

Anyhow. This is how it is to think and feel when living these moments. My raw, uncut thoughts and feelings. In my exhaustion. Just here trying to provide a little insight (not complain) over what it means to parent a child of complex needs and such trauma.

Labels and things

So.

Caitlin was given a wheelchair just before Christmas, which was a massive relief because, frankly, I just can’t keep lugging her around in a toddler carrier – she’s not heavy as such, but she’s getting long and so it is very awkward. And, in all honesty, it’s kinda sad for her, she’s very independent and so being stuck to me is not the greatest feeling – at least in her chair she can have some independence.

But I was verbally attacked about it by several “people who care”. When I say “care” I obviously mean that they are nosey and like to have an opinion on things, or feel they have a right to express judgement because they are family members etc. As far as they see it, I am trying to get as many labels as I can associated to the children so that I can get money and have an “easy life”… not even joking, someone outrightly told me that I live a life of luxury because I travel a lot with the children. And that they felt “sorry for the kids” because I clearly just try to “label them up” with various conditions/disorders.

What’s the most crazy is, before motherhood, these people knew me as very anti-label. But I guess now that I am a mother they are viewing me more as this stereotype, stay at home, grab as much of the tax payer’s money as I can, sit around watching Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women. Now, if they said Shadow Hunters, Game of Thrones or something along the lines of The 100 or Elementary they may be closer to the truth but… I’m lucky if I even get the time for that in the evening!

Simple fact is that I get so little time to myself (the children need me to be there) that even when I went for a gastroposcy I went for throat spray instead of a sedative in order to get back to them as quickly as possible (and to be fully present mentally, instead of me needing supervision for the next 12 hours). And that’s after putting my health issues to one side for over a year as the children just weren’t in a position to be that separate from me for a while, and then having to wait a further year on a waiting list.

For now I guess all I can do is just get on with my life and do the best for my children whilst accepting that their judgement is based in ignorance. That they have been so blessed in life that they can’t see the bigger picture for what it is because it is so alien to them.

Can I not just divide myself into several persons?

NB, This was also written before my laptop broke so posting retrospectively

Breakthroughs, transitions, ups and downs… busy chaos. Pleasant and shifting. Time consuming and exhausting. But sometimes, glimmers of the things that could be closer to the “normal” we dream of, and hope for.

Our life goes like this at times, we just have no contact with the outside world as home life spirals into a chaos-at-home rather than a generally scheduled-up-so-extremely chaotic. In fact, I only wrote the words above before I had to stop. Apparently, caterpillar shaped balloons can produce more hyperactivity than Skittles (or Rowntrees Randoms – they are a good example actually, these two are not allowed those… ever again!!). Anyhow, it means they are currently running around my bedroom whacking each other with the balloons, ultimately leading to a trip up and fall… and a knee being rammed into the wood of my bed.

And… then I stopped again for a full 24 hours. We played several games with the balloons and laughed til we fell off the bed (not even exaggerating – me and both children, several times). Then suddenly we realised it was just before “home time” for Bruce, and I am not sure how it got started, but the kids love hiding from him just before he returns home… but there is a catch – the three of us must hide together and giggle whilst he is looking; in the last week alone we have hidden in the shed, on the high sleeper, under the piano and in my wardrobe.

We try to find our fun in the moments we have, and that is sometimes the reason for my absence here. Not just for all the madness and stress. But to actually take some time to enjoy the good. I get stuck trying to overcompensate for the negativity that can sometimes erupt here. But it is exhausting, especially when so much falls to one person. To me. I sometimes sit here wondering when/if it will be possible to split myself into different pieces, with each piece spawning into a full sized version of me, controlled by my mind (the place that will remain whole, and undivided); to divide and be able to conquer the sometimes overwhelmingly impossible task of parenting the trauma my children have endured. And then I remember, if I divide myself for the menial and troublesome, I also divide myself for the positive… and those moments I want for myself.

A quick update Jan 18

NB. This one was written but seemingly never posted…

It’s been a little while since I posted – major reasons for that:

  • Agency causing friction between us and the landlord, landlord turns up confrontational, tell children to go upstairs (to the safe comfort of their rooms) – too late, damage done, complete and outright refusal… and as such a consequential period of heightened anxiety – 1 child not sleeping, 1 child back on self harm watch.
  • Said agency causing more grief by sending gult trip ridden emails to try and prevent us going to the Property Ombudsman. Having to deal with/respond to that
  • Festivities added to child anxiety putting me behind on my degree – yes, that’s right… I am trying to do a languages degree, part time, whilst living as a full time carer-home educator-therapist-therapeutic parent person thingy majig. Why? Cause I thrive with pressure clearly… LOL
  • Appointments: Occupational Therapy, Physio, General Surgery, SEN team… it’s been rather complicated
  • House viewings, mortgage appointments, arranging to sell stuff… when I said I am determined to get out of the rental market I wasn’t kidding.
  • Home education… and all the challenges that presents
  • Family events – birthdays and even a Christening in the mix
  • A complete failure of a holiday (gave up and came home early)

Add to that getting the house back in order, getting over colds, actually working hard to eat properly (and waste less) and some kind of self care and you could potentially see I don’t have much time for sleep let alone much else right now.

But we have had some wonderful achievments in the last couple of weeks. Not least being a clear push forward on the academic front. Both children have seemingly, though anxious in other ways, they have started to understand that learning isn’t necessarily something to be feared, that it can actually aid in them answering their curiosity. And I signed them up for a curriculum website, where they get virtual prizes and printable certificates as they go along. They can use it on their Kindle Fire’s and so for them it’s like “yay we get time on our tablets” and for me it’s like “yay, they are actually engaging with stuff independently… mostly).

 

 

Happy Easter + quick message

Hi everyone,

I keep saying “I’ll be more regular…” “things are settling” etc. etc.

But the long and short of it is… since my last post I have been a woman on a mission with regards to a house purchase (and hopefully will have some news soon). And both my phone and laptop broke. AND after 2-2.5 years of fighting, shouting, begging, pleading, threatening, crying, emailing, calling etc. We not only got occupational therapy underway for Caitlin but also got funding approved for family therapy to begin. And just to add to the complications, over a year of being put on a waiting list to see a specialist, my health is now being investigated too.

It’s been a long road and a long fight, but it feels like, for the first time in a long time we are actually making serious strides forward (not just picking up the positives when they happen and making ourselves feel happy that they are happening) – actual genuine moves forward that will enable our future together as a family to be much better.

I still don’t have a fully “cooperative” laptop, but I am in a better position with technology than I have been for a little while (but obviously with trying to get a house purchase sorted, it’s not as simple as going out to get a new laptop).

Anyhow, today we have had some egg hunts, and chocolate and lots of fun and a few films… children more happy about the films than the chocolate to be honest because they get chocolate here and there. Films are irregular, and definitely not more than 1 in a day. But they are on edge lots has happened and actually, if a day (or weekend) chilling, colouring Easter pictures, watching films is what they need then so be it.

Happy Easter to one and all… I will update and follow and catch up as soon as I can x