Full Circles and Fear.



We had one of those meetings yesterday with our social worker which left us feeling hopeless again. Left us wondering what the hell is going on. Left us feeling like things have come full circle and we are now back at the beginning much like we were when we had our very first social worker for our assessment.
I get where our social worker comes from with a lot of what she says. I struggle wondering if she always gets where we are coming from though. It's easy for people to look at us and think living as a split family inside the family home is utterly stupid or our rules are too strict.

No one seems to sit there and think "Hang on. No one would choose to live like this. No family willingly has some of these really petty rules. How desperate do you have to feel? How much are they clearly hanging on and giving and trying everything they possibly can to make everyones life stable but not utterly miserable as well as helping with the issues in hand?"

Neither of us want to live the way we currently live. From the outside, our way of living looks harsh and counterproductive. But our situation is complex. I'm sick of family thinking they can stroll in and "have a word with A" as if their words have an impact.

They don't.

A may be young but he is not acting like your average 8 year old. He has learned behaviour from years of lashing out and my fear of dealing with his behaviour. I have been afraid of my own young child. Which sounds utterly ridiculous but I know there are parents out there who have told their children they can't have their tablet and they have been hit, bit, kicked in the stomach, screamed at with hate and profanities. Trashed rooms and even pulled knives out of the drawers. He wasn't 8 when this was happening he was even younger. I didn't know how to deal with it, no one helped me and all I did really was hug him more and give him what he wanted all the time because all anyone told me was "you just need to show him more love".

We have sat, quietly, in a calm and relaxed setting time and time again and tried discussing actions, consequences, thoughts and how the world is seen from his point view. Put strategies in place to not deal with the problem but maybe help how he feels only to be told later or even find out that it was a "lie", "trick" or just another way to "get what I want". Gentle and loving approaches that EVERYONE says to do because "he's just a child".

However "normal" tantrums are, not dealing with them isn't.

His way of thinking is wrong but I see in his world, from his mind, everything worked. He feels like he controls me, he changes his personality to suit different people or situations, he knows the right thing to say and he knows the wrong things to say.

It is complex and it is draining. I have been and continue to be in the darkest place I have been for over a year. I function and I parent, I carry on and still have good days but that doesn't stop the cloud from hanging over me, it doesn't stop the black dog ravaging me inside.

So, if from the outside you find my situation extreme, ridiculous, unfair. Walk in my shoes. Shut up and listen and you will learn about my life, about the effort I put in, the money I have spent and things I have sold to pay for private therapy that didn't work. About the abuse I received at the hands of not just a young child but my own son. How I regret every parenting choice I made with him because it all came off the back of fear.

Fear of his tantrums. Of his harm to me. Of his self-harm. Fear of being judged. Fear of him not loving me if I was too hard on him. I am sick of being ruled by fear, it has been my whole life.

I hope people will read this and see how much we try but also how much we hurt. I am exhausted by his behaviour but also from fighting professionals not just with A, but for my step children too. Exhausted from teachers, professionals and family not believing me. I should not have had to fight this hard.

We all have mental health. Even children. It should be prevention and not cure. The system fails families everyday and I am afraid they will fail us too.

And there it is again:

Fear.

1 comment:

Relentlesslypurple said...

Sending hugs Hannah! I hope this does open a few eyes. I know you are dealing with something far more complicated than just a child throwing tantrums and whilst people may not understand, you are doing all you can. I'm so sorry SS are failing you and not able to do more. As for family, unless they have or are going through something identical I hope they realise they need simply need to support you and your decisions instead of forcing their advice and opinions on you. I know it's hard for you but personally I think you are bloody amazing! You've kept it together and picked yourself up after each knock back and that says a lot. Ignore anyone who has anything but praise for you! 💜💜