Monday, 2 April 2012

When You Hit Rock Bottom The Only Way Is Up

It' that time when the dog is barking for a walk, the two year old needs his nappy changing, the tea is cooking, you realise you've left a vital ingredient from your shopping list, you're all tired from a weekend away, the phone is ringing and right at that crucial moment when you can't take any more stress your attachment disordered child decides it's the appropriate time to make her demands known and if they are not met or the desired level of attention achieved within her specific timescale (NOW MOMMY) the two year old on his ride-on gets forcefully slammed into a wall and then trampled on. Now tell me to keep my emotions in check and not to yell, I'm sorry, I hate myself for it but it isn't going to happen and here I am a few hours later beating myself up for not behaving like a robot.

I have discovered that the perfect adoptive parent does not exist, I talk to other parents and they tell me not to worry they have all slipped up at some point, all yelled and shouted, nobody is perfect, even our PASW tells us this. Yet I consistently worry about slipping up, for not being consistent, for showing my emotions at an inappropriate time, for shouting or yelling. The infuriating thing is, I would probably say that nine times out of ten nowadays we do get it right, we do effectively manage the behaviours and yet instead of celebrating that achievement I worry and stress about the one time I get it wrong.  

I know how crucial to an attachment disordered child consistency is, safety, security, boundaries but juggling such intense need and regimentation along with regular family life is stressful to say the least and the more stressful it becomes the more chaotic life becomes, even remembering to make sure you have your keys when you go out can become one thought too many. It seems every little detail of life has to be micro-managed and the regular everyday details can all become white noise.

So here I am today feeling like I have hit rock bottom, I have snapped at my child who in return decided to rip the beautiful mural from her wall. The mural I cannot afford to replace. My stress levels after a weekend away, followed by a meltdown, followed by a day out with friends, followed by another meltdown is at such a peak I can barely speak coherently, I get my words muddled up, I forget keys, forget to lock doors, lose my husbands debit card in the street, the list is endless of how ditsy I have become. 

However when you are at rock bottom there is no other place to go but up. With some support from good friends and a good strategy shared with the husband eventually Girl is in bed and all is at peace for another day so hooray to us.

If I could offer any advice to other adopters it would be this; get support and friendship.  Make friends with other adopters, attend post adoption support group's, toddler groups, trip's out and parties, however you do it doesn't matter, just know that there are other people.

Decide a strategy and stick to it, if you lose control, take a step back to breathe, if possible swap roles for a while.

Don't lose hope.

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