30 Days Wild – Day 7

So… Ummmmmm…. Yeah….

Day 7. We enjoyed some time outdoors… We laughed and we tried to kill eachother…

We had a go at the Da Vinci bridge.

Turns out it’s quite difficult, especially with a child that is incapable of understanding instructions I mean quite literally can’t take them in), and one that is but has no strength… And with bent knobbly branches. But we tried. And got covered in dirt.

One to retry when Bruce is about… And with the wood I couldn’t get to in the cellar… Hehehe

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.

Christmas Day 2017

Christmas day this year was kept relatively small – it had to be, we were going away and had to fit everything in our boot.

It meant that we were literally left with stuff from Santa and our stockings. Everything else given before we came away was opened ahead of time. Anything else had to wait until we were back.

The plan: lock ourselves away in the lodge, interact with no one else. Take it easy.

It worked. Well, there was some mummy-ninja style morning action; the children are scared to get themselves out of bed for any needs to be met at night, or even in the morning. So after going to the loo, I played some sleigh bells on my phone by their door… it didn’t get them moving. So from the side, I managed to flick their door ajar, and run back to my bed and pretend to be asleep. That got their attention and they actually managed to brave investigating themselves. And discovering that “santa had been”.

Not knowing how Christmas day would go, I prepped all the food the night before. Everything then became a relaxed leisurely doddle.

We opened presents at our own pace. We ate and moved and dressed and crafted and played at our own pace. No pressure from the outside world. And soon enough it was bed time.

Bed time posed some problems, as having such a positive day left the children cotemplating. For Logan, all we could get out of him was that he missed our cat – that’s the only loss he’ll openly deal with – that was indisputably beyond his control. But according to his logic, everything bad that’s happened to him (aside from our kitty’s death) could be, or is, his fault. For Caitlin, it’s confusion or frustration over why we can’t be her birth parents, or why her birth parents couldn’t “sort themselves out” and be her parents – why did she have to change families? or why couldn’t he just have been our daughter from the start?

So we zipped off on the golf buggy, around the tournament field, through puddles, under stars. We filled our lungs with fresh country air and giggled and got wet. And then went home to bed. So far, it has been our best Christmas as a family.