Can’t find the remote…

I know, as humans, there are times when we find ourselves wondering what it’d be like if we had a magic remote that enabled us to pause, rewind or even fast forward life.

Tonight, I am finding myself more in need of this all powerful, all magical and all enticing mystical remote than ever.

Yesterday, selfish old me, went to a lecture 3 hours followed by a spot of lunch with one of my new course mates and then used the chance of being child-free to go “santa shopping”. Yep, the time I get without prying eyes is so scarce that October really is a great time to be planning forward (amongst other reasons). But in all I was out of the house perhaps 6 hours.

That 6 hours was enough to trigger all sorts of anxiety, abandonment and separation issues for my children. For my eldest that meant, complete and utter refusal to sleep… and of course, in a way that means everyone else has to be awake too. Fed up of trying to play it out with patience. Fed up of feeding into another anxiety behaviour (lying and avoidance – at all costs – of the truth). Fed up of working around the clock. Fed up of being ill, in pain and unrested. Fed up of being punished for anything I do. Fed up, exhausted, ill, in pain, irritable, losing tolerance. I decided I couldn’t do it anymore.

 

Last night I had less than an hour’s sleep before giving up at 3am and saying “fine, you want to be awake, we’ll be awake, but not to play. This is not play time. It’s craft time. You will silently do crafts and not wake anyone else up.”

Since getting actually sick (on top of my exhausted bodily problems, my intolerances and the problems with my gall bladder etc.) I have been struggling to get back on my feet. And every time I think I am getting somewhere, I get struck down again by another bug, by the bug’s second wind, by exhaustion over being ill. I dunno. Just anything. And this lack of sleep, the lack of energy to plan, buy, prep and eat foods that won’t make me more ill. All of it is adding a toll I can’t compensate for.

And this evening I find myself torn. I literally feel like I just need to check out of life. Like I just need everything to stop, like taking me and the kids away to a hotel, locking ourselves away for a week. Snacks, toys, activity books, drinks, bath sensory play stuff and the bare essentials besides that. And just stay in the room, ordering room service, having breakfast in the room. Occassionally popping out for air. But away from everyone. And away from all responsibility and just get better. Properly.

But I can’t just hit the pause on life. Cause they need therapy. I have appointments outstanding, various professionals chasing me for a sensory questionnaire, or an educational philosophy, or a behavioural and emotional update.

I am one fricking person. Just one. Dealing with 2 complex children, home educating, providing therapy and guidance where so many damn professional bodies shirk responsibility “oh no, ‘a’ is an adopted child, that’s not our responsibility”, “nope. It’s not in the adoption support plan, that you agreed to [before you ever met the children, based on a report that clearly doesn’t even represent these children cause no one ever took the necessary time to actually even try to understand them] so no we won’t provide that help”. Trying to keep a house clean 24/7 as anything looking messy makes Logan feel chaotic and act chaotic and emotional. Trying to stay on top of all admin, prepare for a run of birthdays and then obviously Christmas. And generally just live.

My body is broken. My mind is broken. I am broken. I am not useful whilst I am broken. And I don’t know how to fix myself without the money I don’t have, the support I don’t have or time I don’t have.

Where is the remote?

So, so incredibly sorry

So…. Many apologies must be given here…

I really did start out with the best of intentions. But then some major stuff went down (explained below) which ultimately meant I had to choose between the children and anything I was doing. Naturally, I chose the children.

Home Ed started out wobbly as expected, and slowly we found our feet. But our neighbours had other ideas. They had always been problematic, but before having children we could ignore them. Then slowly, but surely, they upped the ante. Chucking cigarette butts in our garden, over a 6 foot fence. Revving their engines as the children walked up the garden path. Saying intimidating and derogatory things about the kids whilst they were in the garden, which meant they could only ever play if I was out there, or if the neighbours weren’t home.

But then something happened (something went wrong with a delivery that I wasn’t home for). And instead of handling it by coming to talk to me about it, the neighbour came out of the house and started yelling at me in front of the kids. Knowing a person, who already makes my kids feel intimidated and uncomfortable, was there shouting at their mumma I knew I had to get out of the situation. So I just calmly responded “I wasn’t here” whilst walking away. She had her grown up daughter behind her, whose new-born was in her arms… she was shouting too, the baby was crying… because I walked away I have “a disgusting attitude” and I “don’t deserve to be a mother”.

This really messed the children up for weeks. We’d been fighting to let the children stay in the only home they had ever known stability in… but things were just escalating and escalating. Added to the fact that Bruce was now working an hour away from our house. And the added fact that these two were no longer being educated within school system, as well as needing easier access to groups and/or more outdoor space… it was decided that we should move.

So, I put my head down (had to, all of the kids anxiety traits were in full swing: tantrums, rejection, avoidance, aggression, manipulation and so, so much more). Found us a place to live, and tried to focus the children on our usual “Moving In Day” holiday (each year, to celebrate the week they moved in with us, we celebrate with a holiday in Cornwall – not specifically somewhere in particular, just a base to camp from/sleep in and explore as a family and get some real quality time). We found somewhere to move into that was available from when we were on holiday, so we could literally come home and move in. However, whilst away, the landlord’s circumstances were updated, and the house fell through. Although, we had already handed our notice in and had something like 27 days to get a new place to live, and get moved in.

But… lurking behind that was a wedding, our first big family foreign holiday. We had to move out and in and I had to have the kids to back to fully functioning form on our first major family holiday to be ok enough to perform as flower girl and page boy in a wedding, in Santorini, by mid-late July.

I did it… barely, I was still unpacking the house until 2 days before we had to leave for the airport. Then I had to pack. I then had a bit of a breakdown. I didn’t want to go. The idea of having to spend the whole day packing, getting ready to leave etc, and then having to drive 2 hours away. The idea of then having to all sleep in the same room and then spending the whole day travelling to our onward destination. The idea of facing busy airport (Logan had a meltdown in airport security when we visited friends in Rotterdam and Caitlin really struggles in busy places), confined to 4 seats at the back of a plane… it was all too much. I was a battered up old car, running on fumes about to take course on a heavy journey; it seemed impossible to imagine physically being able to get through it. So… I had a tantrum, the kind you see a two-year-old do “NO! GO AWAY! I DON’T LIKE YOU!” style, then pulled myself back together and refused to look at it as a big picture. It was a series of small pictures with an end goal. It’s the only thing I could do.

And I was right to do it, cause once I got there, it was fine. It was stressful getting there. It was exhausting. But I got there and that, just by itself, was amazing. But we had the best time – that’s for another blog post. And I unleashed a side of me that’s been buried and pushed away for so long. The fun, spontaneous, very quirky and happy side. And there is no way on this earth I am putting that back in its cage.

Anyhow, the point… because of all this going on I have ended up unintentionally pushing the blog out “for tomorrow” and tomorrow hasn’t come. And the longer I leave it, the harder it’ll be, because the bigger my failure to get back on it has become and the more disappointed I will be. So, tomorrow no longer, it is being done today. And I have every intention of getting updated with our various adventures over the last couple of months with reviews, places and retrospect-blog-journals over the course of the next two weeks to bring us up to the present day.

Sorry once again, for my inability to get on it. I am on it now…

Ariella x