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All posts for the month July, 2012

My Irrational Fear

Published July 31, 2012 by thefamilyof5

Phobia
A persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.

I have a phobia of injections. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember, and aside from a TB jab at school in my early teens I’ve managed to avoid them, until now it seems.

A teeny hole in my tooth developed some time ago, most rational people would go to the dentist, me however, all I thought was hole=injection, I’ll ignore it and it’ll go away. It didn’t. It got bigger. Much much bigger. In fact it got so big it spread to the tooth next to it and on sunday, the inevitable happened. Whilst tucking into a nice piece of fish, a large piece of tooth broke away.

I’ve been distraught ever since. A trip to the dentist, who was cold and uncaring, confirmed my worst fear, double extraction. Again, most rational people would be upset about the thought of an unsightly gap in their teeth, me however, I’m terrified of the injection and only the injection. In fact I welcome the extraction, its less teeth to need treatment in future!

I’ve been referred to the local hospital whom will apparently be able to remove the teeth under general anaesthetic (wonder if they’ll take them all, never have to go through this again would I). I’m praying, (literally, I haven’t since I was a child I’m ashamed to say, but right now I figure the only one that can help me out of this mess I’ve gotten myself in to is the big man upstairs) that either I wake up (impossible considering I’ve not slept) and find its all been a bad dream, or they welcome me with kind understanding arms at the hospital and offer me gas to sedate me and extract my 2 teeth without me knowingly having any injections.

I’ve endured the horrendous pain of an abscess under a wisdom tooth for weeks, rather than have a single injection, that’s not rational! If you have a phobia you’ll understand this.

If you worry before dental appointments and your dentist has to talk to you gently and tell you to close your eyes in order to inject, that’s a fear not a phobia.

I wish I didn’t have a phobia it impacts so much of my life. I’ve told my husband if ever I’m in hospital unconscious he’s to get all my inoculations and a huge blood test done while I’m out, sound hilarious but I’m serious, it may be the only way?!

I’ve tried bravery, I discovered, where needles are concerned, I’m not brave. At all.
I’ve tried hypnotherapy, I giggled my way through it only to be told I apparently have too active an imagination to be able to close it off and become hypnotised.
I’ve tried distraction techniques, trouble is just talking about the possibility of having an injection leaves me a jibbering wreck, how do you focus on anything but?!
I’ve tried suggesting some odd alternatives to medical professionals and received some very odd looks to go with them. I remember asking my doctor if they could just cut my skin and let me bleed into a jar rather than have a blood test with an injection. I don’t think she’d ever been asked that before judging her expression.

So please, if there are any medical geniuses out there that are verging on releasing an alternative to injections, I offer myself as a guinea pig, I kid you not, please step forward and save me.

Failing that, please pray that I get through this somehow, hopefully puncture free!

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The Mystery Twist Thing

Published July 31, 2012 by thefamilyof5

Middle girls Auditory processing issues used to be quite cute, now they can be quite frustrating.

As an example of the daily frustrating conversations we have with middle girl, I’ll tell you about this mornings chat. Whilst getting dressed this morning middle girl and I had this conversation.

Middle girl: Mom you know the twist thing, its broke in two
Me: What twist thing?
Middle girl: The twist thing, its broke in half
Me: What does it look like
Middle girl: A twist thing
Me: What do you do with it?
Middle girl: Watch it or look at it
Me: Where is it?
Middle girl: The playroom
Me: I don’t know what you mean, I’ll have a look when we go downstairs ok

Turns out the twist thing that had broken in two was a wood louse?!

Why I didn’t gather that from our chat I’ll never know :/

Writers Block!

Published July 30, 2012 by thefamilyof5

Please forgive me!
Its been almost 3 weeks since my last blog!

I haven’t forgot all of you, my loyal fans (*said with tongue firmly placed in cheek).
There has been a lot going on here lately, end of school, our holiday and then there’s the general adoption and non adoption family life stuff too.

So my head is currently a mess of words, thoughts and ponderings. I’ve been trying to un-scramble them, to get them in some kind of order for you to read, and make sense of. So far I’ve not managed it, obviously, other wise I’d be telling you all about it now wouldn’t I 😉

I have so much to tell you all, there’s the very interesting observations I made about all 3 girls whilst we were on holiday, there’s an update on the autism assessment that big girls having, there’s the joys that the school holidays bring us (seriously, so much easier in holidays) and there’s also a big old rant about middle girls sleeping, or not sleeping, still, there’s more for me to say on the big ‘D’ word and I have more to moan about on our local authorities lack of adoption support, Oh and finally I’ve broken my tooth (yesterday), it wouldn’t be half as much of a big deal if I didn’t have a major phobia of injections :/

So please don’t think I’ve given up blogging, I’m just, well, having a spot of writers block I guess!

Hello, please understand me……………..

Published July 11, 2012 by thefamilyof5

I’m planning on being a bit more proactive this year than I previously have. I’m putting together a booklet for each of the girls new teachers ready for September in the hope that they will be able to support and understand their needs.

I’ve printed off a copy of this ‘Understanding Why’ booklet produced by the National children’s Bureau and I’ve included a cover sheet to personalise it.

Big girls introduction goes something like this…………………..

Hello My name is XXXXX

My mummy has put together this little booklet to help you understand me.

In 2010 I came to live with my new mummy and daddy, I’m finding it quite hard to settle and trust my new mummy and daddy,  I am trying very hard and CAMHS are helping me with this. I’ve had a very difficult start in life and this has meant that I’ve developed a little differently to other children, I’m emotionally and socially very behind so I might need you to be extra considerate of this sometimes and not expect me to be the same as the other children my age.

Sometimes the adults in my early life did things to make me feel scared and frightened. I will always do my best to keep the adults around me happy by keeping them close, being extra helpful and chatting to them. This sometimes means I forget to just be a little girl and do little girl things so I might need you to help me do things children do, rather than things adults do. I sometimes forget the differences between adults and children and might try to get you to be my friend instead of my teacher, I’ll need you to make sure this doesn’t happen but please be careful not to reject me, I’ve suffered enough rejection my mummy says.

I find school very difficult, it is big and busy and noisy and I don’t always cope with this very well. Sometimes I feel scared and frightened but I don’t know how to tell you this so I need you to keep a close eye on my behaviour and my mood.

Classrooms can be quite scary for me. There are children all around and people walking around outside and up and down the corridors. Please help me by sitting me close to you and with my back to a wall and not a door, that way I don’t need to be worried about what’s going on behind me. My hearing is really good, I developed this early on as a way to keep myself safe, this means that I may become easily distracted by other noises inside and outside of the classroom, please don’t be annoyed with me, I’m just trying to keep myself safe.

I don’t have much confidence and my self-esteem is rock bottom my mummy says, so sometimes when you ask me to try to do something I’m so scared of getting it wrong and upsetting you that I choose not to even try. I will need you to gently encourage me, but please don’t try and force me as this will scare me.  I will always try to keep you happy as that’s when I will feel safest. So just because I say I understand what my homework is, it doesn’t mean I really do, I just don’t want to annoy you.

Sometimes when it looks like I’m having lots of fun and behaving ‘silly’, I’m actually very anxious and need your help to calm me down and reassure me that everything is ok. I will worry about topics, new tasks and tests. I will find it really hard to talk or read in front of the class so please don’t make me if I don’t want to. When I’ve learnt to trust you I might feel a bit braver and more willing to try.  I also might get worried if someone new comes into the classroom or even if I see a new face in the corridor, I might worry it’s a social worker coming to take me away. I might get worried about trips or new activities and will need you to explain to me exactly what is going to happen and what I will be doing and who will be keeping me safe, but if you can, please don’t tell me too early as I may worry about it at night when I’m trying to sleep. If I get really anxious, please let me know I can ring my mummy, sometimes just suggesting it is enough reassurance to let me know I’m safe and it’s all ok.

I find the playground very scary. I don’t really know how to make friends and I’m scared that if I try to be someone’s friend that they might not like me. There hasn’t been much in my life that I’ve been able to control so I prefer to do things  my way as that’s when I feel safest, the other children don’t always want to do things my way and I find this frustrating and sometimes get angry. I’m not very good at coping with or recognising my feelings and will need you to help me with this.

It would really help my mummy if you could tell her about any upsets, sulks or strops I have at school. I don’t like telling my mummy when I’ve had a bad day as I worry she might be disappointed with me. Mummy likes to help me when I’ve been finding things difficult by keeping me close and calm so I can feel safe again.

My mummy has put this book together to help you understand me, I hope you will read it. If you want to talk to my mummy about anything in this book or anything you see me doing or hear me saying, she will be happy to chat, she can talk about me for hours and she knows me better than anyone else.

My mummy has put a complete copy of this booklet in the back page for you to keep if you want to, but please give this book back to mummy so she can give it to my next teacher.

I hope we have a lovely time learning together.

I’ll try anything to help make my girls lives easier and school is one of the biggest things they struggle with.

Fingers crossed that this helps.

A Life Jacket Please…….

Published July 3, 2012 by thefamilyof5

This time of year is difficult for lots of children for many different reasons, the changes and lack of structure in school is just too much for some.

My girls all met their new teachers in preparation for September yesterday, and don’t I know about it. It started on the way home, fussing about insignificant things, stroppy behaviour, being spiteful, eating issues. I made sure we took the time to chat about their day and they said they were all happy with their new teachers, they liked their class mates, the classrooms were nice. There were no issues it seemed, but my gut told me something was going on and the 2hours it took them to settle off to sleep confirmed it.

It continued to be an unsettled night with thrashing about, coughing and general ‘awakeness’ around 1am, again at 4am, with a noisy trip to the bathroom that re-woke everyone and it just spiralled from there.
By morning I’d had enough, I took the decision to leave them resting (yeah right!) in bed rather than get them up for school.

It was a difficult morning, I was tired and irritated by their early morning antics. They were tired, grumpy and tetchy. Once we’d all had breakfast and calmed down we had a talk. I waffled on about good choices, they occasionally threw in the odd ‘pleasing’ comment. We chatted about how the changes of the previous day must have been difficult and how talking about feelings would have been a much better way to handle it. I asked middle girl why she’d felt the need to relentlessly disturb baby girl and prevent her going back to sleep from the small hours. ‘I don’t know’ was the reply and she probably doesn’t. I continued to waffle on in the hope some of it would sink in. I don’t know which one brought it up or how we got on to the topic but they started to talk about their past experiences and how some of those experiences had left them feeling scared and frightened. I told them that it made me feel very sad to know that they’d had to deal with such awful things and they must have been very frightened. I told them that in our family they’d never have to feel frightened or scared. They would always have food and warmth and a clean home. I told them that Mummy and Daddy would always be here to take care of them, love them, and keep them safe and how, if I could, I would take all those nasty memories away and make it all better for them. I told them that talking about things, in a magical kind of way, makes things better, so we always have time to talk about feelings, memories or worries. I told them that keeping worries inside creates a black heaviness around our hearts (I couldn’t think of another way to describe it) and eventually the dark mist inside us hides the smile in our hearts, and if our heart can’t smile, then neither can our faces.
I’m not a therapist, did I use the right words, did scare them and make it worse. I don’t know. I’m angry that I even had to have that conversation with them, they’re children, they should never have to feel scared and there should be a professional somewhere that’s telling them the right things.
I took them to school in time for lunch, came home and flaked, soaked in their trauma.

In my despair I called the placing authorities post adoption support team hoping they’d offer some support. They’re familiar with the issues we’ve been having over the last few months with the girls sleeping, or lack of. They’re aware that there are issues between the younger two that make their relationship difficult.
Through my tears I described to them the last 24hours. I explained (again) that its been an issue for the last 6months but yesterdays ‘change’ had just exasperated the situation. I told them we’ve tried everything to address their late night and early morning antics. We talked about the vicious cycle of tiredness feeding the trauma related behaviour and I told them how I’m at a loss as to what else we can try.
I’m not sure what I expected them to offer to be honest, but I know it wasn’t the email of parenting techniques they offered to send.

I’m tired, I’m tired of being tired, and I’m tired of my requests for help being met with nothing more than empathy. What will it take for someone to throw me a life jacket!

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