Saturday, 25 August 2018

Befuddled by friendships

Today I feel resentful and overwhelmed!

Overwhelmed by trauma and resentful of its continuing impact on our lives.

My 20 year old can only manage one friendship at a time, these are all with slightly older men who financially and emotionally exploit him. It costs him money, tobacco, cannabis and all of his time to keep these friendships that he views as important to him. They overtake his life and follow a pattern that he's unable to see being played out. He gets up in the morning and rushes out and only returns to his supported living late at night. Showering, eating and household tasks are forgotten as he's so desperate to see them.

The last friendship is just ending as they all do, in trauma being replayed and me picking up the pieces.

After being ignored I'm again expected to be the main entertainment til he drops me again for the next friend. I'm expected to drop everything to meet his every need and stop him becoming bored. The emotional and verbal abuse if I don't (when I don't) is unbearable and triggering.

I can't wait to get back to school (work)!!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Befuddled by Mothers Day

I don't really like Mothers Day!

I understand why.

I get that

He can't manage it
That it reminds him of his birth mum
That after 13 years he still doesn't see me as his mum unless its to his benefit
That he can't trust me still as his world in those first 5 years was scary and unsafe
That he will feel badly of himself tomorrow
That if he does acknowledge it the reason will be he needs something from me. I am still only here to meet his needs, no other reason

But it still hurts

I am not her, I have consistently put his needs before mine for the last 13 years
I have not neglected and abused him
I accept who he is and why he is like he is

I am still here and always will be

Meanwhile our family struggles on while she will no doubt have happy family pics on social media of her new family ~ I'm glad he's finally blocked her so he doesn't have to see them.

Motherhood has not turned out as I expected or hoped

Monday, 13 November 2017

Contact - A guest post

I've blogged before about our unwanted contact from birth family and it was well received, I suppose it's most adoptive families worse nightmare and can be scary at times. It's important though to recognise that not all contact is unwanted or negative and I've been lucky enough to be given permission to share this anonymous blog. I really wish them well. 

By an anonymous adopter

I need to get this out of my system, but I am doing it anonymously, as there are so many risks involved with sharing this, but so much information that may help others in the community.

We have been a family brought together by adoption for over 10 years. There are a few of us in the family, however, it always struck me that given we read our children’s CPRs and all the other information we receive, if we are lucky enough to receive it all, there are extended family who naturally become our family.

My children’s siblings are always a part of my life, they are family too.
Over the weekend we were lucky enough, after three years of trying, to meet the now adult siblings of our children. A surprise message out of the blue 3 years ago instigated this meeting. It has taken us all this length of time to be able to feel able to do it. Our children were not involved. You may think that cruel, but right now they are not read for it, and they may never be.
We met in a train station coffee shop – we felt that it needed to be somewhere that we could all feel as comfortable as possible in – as we all knew that the anxiety for us all would be immense.
I hugged sister – I was not sure how it would go, but she hugged me back. I got emotional but kept it together.

We bought coffees and we began to chat. There were no awkward moments…. It flowed.

Our first lesson: We knew all about them…. They knew nothing about us – NOTHING. They lived for the first few years not knowing what had happened to their siblings. No one had told them they had been placed for adoption. Youngest was removed from a holiday he was on – and that was the last she saw of him.

Our second lesson: Appreciation that they had been adopted. Despite the first few years of their not knowing, they have learnt enough about our children to know that they have been well looked after, and cared for, attempting to repair the damage that they have all experienced. They acknowledged that the trauma will have been more intense for our children as they had differing placements and the worst experience of our care system you can imagine.

Our third lesson: If only we knew then what we knew now… Yes, contact is a scary thing…. And it would have needed careful planning, facilitating and reviewing… but had I known that these siblings sat not knowing, not knowing where they were, who they were with, were we monsters, were we cruel, did we love them – that could have been easily remedied.

Their first lesson: Their siblings have been loved and cared for… to see the relief on their faces was worth every single minute of over ten years.

Their second lesson: Their siblings have very similar issues with attachment, trust, anger to them.

Their third lesson: Never assume adoption is always a bad thing. Family and friends had been rather critical of adoption….. as you would expect, and that was the siblings impression as a result. They see the difference it has made.

I did cry… I felt so patronising and insulting to these two brave souls in front of me, who had been through just as much in their childhood as my children – and I was the one crying. To be told that they are grateful that their siblings have such fantastic parents blew me away. I sniffed, sister held my hand, and I gave myself a good talking to – this was not about me.

We spent three hours together, and we have so much in common. We will meet them again, and that was a mutual decision by us all. We feel they are more a part of our family now than ever.
Their decision to share what their message will be when they do all eventually meet was upsetting, and I leave you with some of it:
“If you are expecting to meet our parents and for them to be the parents you hope for, then don’t – you will be very very disappointed.”

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Befuddled for 13 years

13 years ago today as I walked up a foster carers path I could already hear my new son shouting 'new mummy here' and as the door opened he landed in my arms.

I've always been really positive about adoption as it gave that little boy the mummy he so desperately wanted and needed and gave me the chance to be a mummy.

Little did I know then how the next 13 years would pan out. It was never easy but the last 2 years have been harder than I ever could have imagined. This is because of a mixture of childhood trauma, a lack of post adoption support and little or no understanding from professionals of the impact of trauma and adverse life experiences on children and adults.

Yet again we've had another appointment where I've ended up in tears at the lack of support and understanding as ' hes making choices' or ' hes an adult and has capacity' which I can clearly see isn't the full picture of what's going on with my son.

That little boy is now 19 and although his early life experiences make it difficult to support him at times I hope he knows that I will always be here in his corner and i will never give up on him. That's what I texted him this morning.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Befuddled by the benefits trap!

Oh my word! The boy wonder has a part time job! Amazing! He found it himself! He's earning! He's managing to hold it down! I'm proud of him!


He has little concept of the aggro its caused me as his financial appointee!

He claims Employment and support allowance, he's been deemed not fit for full time work (do you know how hard it is to be assessed like that?), but of course he has to be awkward!!!!!!

So he's allowed to work up to 16 hours per week, not 16 hours per week, up to 16 hours per week. Believe it or not as a quite intelligent person I thought 'up to' would have meant he could do 16 hours but no! He can do 15 hours and 55 minutes at the most. Bloody great!

So now I'm stuck as I have to persuade him to only work up to, not 16 hours and trust him to tell me the truth when he's being decidedly iffy as he wants to earn as much as he can without thought or care that its me in bother if he doesn't. I also have to get him to fill in the PW1 (permitted work 1) form so I've asked his social worker to pick up the crap to hopefully ensure its not something else I can be blamed for as it sounds distinctly dodgy to me without details of his employment to go by.

So he's 19 and a half I'm still here being mum unless I get locked up for fraud. Although huge thanks to the advisor whose helped me sort it all out so I won't. I fell lucky getting an adoptive parent in similar circumstances when I rang panicking , I do love our supportive community.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

19 years old! Are we getting there?

I suddenly realised last night while enjoying the company (and a nice tea) of @meandminimees that I haven't written anything for a while. That isn't because life has been great I think it's more because life is the same old, same old and quite challenging at times even though Boy Wonder is now 19 (do i need to change the name of my blog I wonder?)

The much of a muchness is he's back in another educational project as he still wants a job with little understanding of the requirements of that so needs work based skills to be learnt to enable him to hold find and hold down even a very part time job.

His relationship with me can still be very challenging and his friendships are still very exploitatitive and one sided.

But then yesterday at yoga I bumped into a social worker I haven't seen for 2 years who knows us well and I focused on telling her the positives as she reminded me he is now an adult and so living away from home isn't now unusual and I should  not feel guilty that he is!

So here are the positives for a change

His social worker has realised that I know what I am on about and has backed off to remain working behind the scenes and leave the support staff who know him well to support day to day with me.

We still go for breakfast once a week and spend other time together now with no aggression or threats of violence (this is huge!)

He is still (sporadically) attending some sort of activities to maintain some structure to his life and I keep hoping this will improve.

I have worked out when to step in and equally when to step back for my own sanity and the continuation of our positive relationship.

So not much happening but loads happening at the same time to give me hope that out lives are settling and most importantly I AM STILL MUM !!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Testing boundaries and planning to contain

Teenage years are a funny time. In theory they're a time where teenagers are learning the skills that will take them through to adulthood so they are naturally becoming more independant and moving away from reliance on parents and family. This is great if they a) haven't suffered trauma and the resulting damage to their neural pathways and b) can learn from their mistakes. Herein lies the problem with boy wonder and his peers with similar backgrounds.

At the time when most teens are moving away from their families and are becoming more influenced by their peers I've found that teens who've suffered trauma need more support, structure and boundaries that they don't necesarily want. They know it all, they think they can have it all and think their parents are out to ruin their lives.

So we get the staying out past curfew, fudging where they are and disappearing acts with the added melt downs and abuse when they finally reappear.

What helped here was clear plans that he knew in advance and as reminded of before he went out.  He had a time to be in that was the same every night with no variation. If he wasn't in and hadn't made contact to say he would be late he was aware he would be reported missing to the police as a vulnerable person. This was explained as me being his mum who loved him and who had responsibility for him. I'd tell the police who he was with and they would take it from there. Tough shit if they knocked his friends up or annoyed them - they soon started to make sure he arrived home on time.

Hint - the police have also been great here at kicking ass with the social workers when needed 😉

There was no discussion on it and I was clear and have had to follow through twice.

I'm not saying it would work for everyone but it certainly did here. Now he's in supported living and over 18 it's still the same procedure as he's a vulnerable adult and so they have a risk assessment. Unfortunately they've had to use it more than I ever did because now he's over 18 and allegedly an adult he thinks he can do what he wants.

Herein lies the second issue. As an alledged adult he can to an extent do what he wants but social care have a duty of care too. And as soon as they realise that he still needs structure and boundaries I'm sure me and them will sing from the same hymn sheet. Wish me luck?