Tuesday 4 December 2012

Word of the week is Anxiety

Firstly, thank you to all of you who have sent me messages of support.  It means a lot.

The word of the week has been 'anxiety'.  I've woken up each morning in a state of anxiousness, with heart pounding.

Last Wednesday and Thursday were ok-ish, Missy's behaviour was relatively ok and by Friday morning I even felt like doing some Christmas shopping.  But Friday afternoon everything came crashing back down again.  Missy was in a right mood when I picked her up early from school and everyone queued to get into the school Christmas bazaar.  Whilst queuing, I saw really for the first time how emotionally immature she is compared to her class mates.

The bazaar was hideously busy and I just wanted to get in, look round, get out.  Missy had a tantrum in the hall and we left sharpish.  Her tantrum pretty much lasted til bedtime, by which time I'd had enough.  Daddy arrived home just in time to continue the bedtime routine whilst I cried in the bathroom.

Saturday morning started pretty much where we left on Friday...until 10am when my Mum arrived and right on queue Missy turned into the perfect child, right through til when my Mum left at 3pm and then, much like in Cinderella when the fairytale ends a midnight, Missy turned back into tantrum child.   Sunday was Daddy's day off and we decided to do one of favourite walks by the canal.  Unfortunately Missy didn't feel the same and was largely disruptive.  She loved the bacon sandwich we had at lunch, but stropped when Daddy picked up a chip that she decided she had wanted despite there being a plate full.  She loved running, feeding the ducks but for the most part was miserable.  I was too.  I didn't want to be there with her.  Neither did Daddy. It's the tiniest most random things that set her off.  Many of the times that she is frustrated/angry/upset, I can kinda see where it might come from. But other times the trigger is completely random, like me not cutting my slice of pineapple in half, or copying what she was drawing which she asked me to do but all of a sudden I can't, or when I said  the words Well Done, which apparently yesterday meant Bad.  In play, I can't keep up as she changes the rules all the time.  One thing she loves to do is play with my hair, which is apparently showing good bonding. However at the moment she'll spend ages trying to put my hair in a ponytail.  After twenty minutes yesterday she got so frustrated that she couldn't do it, she thumped me hard on my shoulders and it hurt.

Yesterday morning was World War III before school and my and Daddy's anxiety levels were sky high, both of us feeling quite upset.  We understand that Missy can't regulate her behaviour right now and she is not to blame as such, but we were feeling so fed up.

So last night the Social Workers came to see us.  They could see we are exhausted, very down and nearly at the end of our tether.  We talked for nearly two hours.  I can't even remember what we talked about really, I'm not sure I came away from the discussion with any practical tips with what to do, but they were reassuring and empathetic which I do value.

This morning we have a new child in the house.  We've had a child transplant over night.  Well, that what it seems like.  Missy's behaviour was very good and she even apologised for hitting me, completely off her own back, no prompting from Daddy.  I'm still feeling anxious though as I sit here and type.  I think we're still unsure of what we want to happen.  But what needs to happen needs to be the right thing for all three of us.

The right thing right now for me is a cup of hot chocolate.


  1. I'm sorry it's been so hard. I laughed at the behaviour change when your mum was around... boy-o is like that, perfect child when around anyone else!

    Hope you get some much needed help. Don't be afraid to ask.

  2. I was going to say the same thing as nh here. Katie had a friend over for tea on Monday evening after school and they were little angels. Best night after school we've had in ages! I tell you, that after school thing is hard hard hard hard and so draining! Katie and Missy are the same age so I see so many parallels in what you write. It doesn't help that you guys are still so early on in your placement. Missy is trying it all out on you now. She wants to check your boundaries. Katie does this to me constantly. She likes to push things to the ultimate limit just to check that I will actually go through with the punishment I have warned her about. As I said earlier, the honeymoon period is over and now you'll have a tough period where you need to dig deep and hang on in there. Every time Katie starts to behave like this we tighten all the boundaries. I think it helps them to feel safer. Bedtime is earlier to ensure she has enough sleep to cope with all her emotions. I honestly don't remember much about our first year and I'm so glad I wrote it all down. I was so highly strung and lost tons of weight (which is unusual for me). I could barely sit down and was jumping up to do things all the time. I couldn't relax. I was scared of getting it all wrong. I was scared of all sorts of things. I didn't always feel that Katie was mine. In fact I didn't really feel like I wasn't the babysitter anymore until about 6 months after she joined us. It takes time Sezz. Those early moments are the ones to hang onto in the midst of all this craziness. Missy is wanting to see if you'll send her away again. She doesn't understand "forever family" in the way we do. She only knows that she has had however many homes she's lived in. She knows that Mummies don't always look after their children. She knows she had to leave the FCs. It will take her a long time to accept that you mean forever. That's one of the really tough bits about adoption. Katie has said to me many times that she wants to live with Grandma (her FC). Less so these days but nowadays (since her Life Story Book) she talks about her "tummy mummy" and it is hard. Very hard some days to field those conversations and not feel pain inside. She doesn't really want to live with Grandma (well only if I can come too....and Daddy .....and the cats! in fact she said she wished she came out of my tummy the other day). This has been a long ramble but I'd be happy to chat with you if you ever need some support. Do you have an advocate from Adoption UK phoning you each week? xxx


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