school

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Who is actually doing their job properly? Are you? I am!

Published February 5, 2019 by thefamilyof5

The last few weeks I have:

Sent various emails informing school of issues

Chased school for a response several times

Sent various emails informing the LEA of issues

Chased the LEA for a response several times

Sent various emails informing Post Adoption of issues

Chased Post adoption for a response several times

Sent various emails informing CAMHS of issues

Chased CAMHS for a response several times

Provided details of tuition that requires payment to LEA

Chased LEA for payment several times

Sent various emails about EHCP’s that are 2+years out of date

Chased LEA for a response several times

( Thank goodness for email I say! )

All whilst carrying out my every day job of being a mom to 3 special needs children which also involves me home educating 2 children because our LEA does not have any suitable provision. Micromanagement of the emotional wellbeing of all 3 traumatised children. Emotionally supporting 1 child because her current educational provision is not meeting her needs. Managing dentist appointments. Occupational therapy referrals. Podiatry referrals. Clubs. Home work projects (pah). A child stressing about work experience, tests and gcse’s. Sibling rivalry. Life story issues. Running a house and being a wife. There’s probably more but my brain is just too sleep deprived to remember them.

I am the only one here doing their job properly!

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What about us……

Published January 20, 2019 by thefamilyof5

So big girls struggling again, police, self harm, violence, chaos, dangerous behaviour, but I don’t want to talk about that. She’s moved on, she’s happy listening to the ‘Big top 40’ without a care in the world so long as we don’t make her think about what she did, she won’t.

Instead I want to talk about the rest of us. We’re shell shocked, drowning in the aftermath of her trauma. Baby girl and middle girl sobbed for over 4 hours whilst their sister created chaos and fear. Baby girl begged me through her tears to not let her hurt her mommy and daddy any more. Middle girl felt terrified with a police officer in our home, again, the place she is supposed to be able to feel safe. That’s not to mention the week long build up, we all knew it was coming. The air has been thick with tension, anticipation and fear for a while. Since she returned to school.

Afterwards, when the screaming has stopped, when there’s no hateful words left to say and the hitting and kicking has stopped, when big girl switches it off as quick as she switched it on. We’re left wading through the swamp of trauma. Our achey sleep deprived brains, bruised sore body’s trying to make sense of what the hell happened. Yet big girl has moved on, and with that she has an expectation for everything to be normal.

No one considers the immense amount of stress having secrets about ‘incase of fire’ keys sellotaped behind pictures has on baby girl and middle girls sense of feeling safe. How the knives being kept and hidden in a secret place that they must never tell big girl about, or the fact that everything is locked and alarmed. How mommy and daddy’s pockets now jingle with the sounds of the keys kept safe in there. These are not normal things for kids to have to deal with. It’s impossible for them to feel ‘normal’ when nothing around them feels normal.

And then there’s the huge white elephant in the room, the one we can’t talk about for fear of upsetting big girl, she doesn’t want to think about what she did never mind talk about it, but WE need to talk about it so that WE can heal and move forward.

Then everyone around us starts over compensating in an attempt to make big girl feel better, loved, and included, but without realising, they’re dismissing the trauma experience for the rest of us.

Big girls moved on, we held her, we carried her through it, we held on tight and didn’t let go and that took everything from us but it worked and now she’s happy as Larry eating cake and listening to her favorite ‘Big Top 40’ and that’s all that matters to her. The fact that she was almost arrested for assault, put herself in great danger, was close to being sectioned, now has a huge increase in anti psychotic meds or the fact that she’s had 2 emergency Camhs home visits, is lost on her. But not us.

It’s not over for the rest of us, we somehow have to find the strength to keep an air of normal, pretend that everything is ok, and try not to talk about that huge white elephant! Baby girl and middle girl are smiling at her, talking to her and including her despite the fact that they are emotionally exhausted, sleep deprived, and scared of her, because they know that’s what she needs. I’m so proud of them.

Social workers, police officers, CAMHS workers, out of hours crisis teams all have no idea the level of trauma we are ALL managing here. If they did, they’d be helping us ALL.

Big girls struggles

Published November 9, 2018 by thefamilyof5

Here’s big girl, in half term last week, playing with her baby doll, her favorite thing to do.

When she goes to school, even though it’s a special school, she feels a huge amount of pressure to ‘be’ her 14 chronological years.

Big girl is a 6-7yr old in a teenagers body, what you see is just a facade. People see a teenager and interact accordingly. The girls in her class assume she can handle their friendship woes and talks about their teenage worries, they even ask her for advice. The boys see a pretty girl and flirt, expect an appropriate reaction when they flirt with her despite her not really know what flirting is, or what it means. The teachers see an academically able, smiling teenager and wonder why she’s in their school so they load her up with expectation and responsibility.

She’s crumbling under the weight of other peoples expectations and pressure.

She so desperately wants to fit in, and her mimicking skills give her the drive to respond as expected. Thus creating the illusion, and with it comes increased expectation and pressure.

Life overwhelms big girl constantly. She is unable to manage her emotions. She doesn’t understand them. She can’t verbalise them. She can’t self regulate. She erupts. Violently.

In an ideal world she’d have stayed in primary school forever, I even remember expressing this view when the time came to move. Primary school age is where she has always been most comfortable and she has never progressed from this. Yet she is academically able.

She came home from school today a jibbering wreak of psychotic hyperness. Laughing manically, high pitched voice, strange gestures and mannerisms, not making any sense. It quickly moved to anger.

I don’t know how you help a child who can’t cope with the life society expects of her which then makes her expect it of herself?!

The numbers just don’t add up.

Chronologically 14

Academically 12

Emotionally 5

Socially 6

Where does someone with those numbers feel like they fit in?!

You and your walls!

Published November 1, 2018 by thefamilyof5

I have 3 children, not just 1.

I’m just reminding myself, but mostly others.  I’ve spent 8 years fighting for support for big girl, but there are 2 other equally special little girls that also need support, and a Mommy that isn’t preoccupied and exhausted with school appointments, support services, CAMHS, medication, trauma and violence.

Those people that make it so difficult for big girl to get the help she needs, also need to know that the walls they put in place effect all of my children, my entire family in fact.

Hope you guys sleep well at night.

#NAW2018 National Adoption Week Innit!

Published October 15, 2018 by thefamilyof5

So, apparently it’s national adoption week, it’s pending arrival passed me by. I’ve been preoccupied talking with emergency social workers, police men, mental health professionals and tending to my bruised body, broken heart and traumatised children.

So here we are, it’s that special week every year that organisations and champions really push adoption in what’s basically a recruitment drive. The stories of the children who ‘only need a loving home’ to grow up in, or the siblings that ‘want a new mommy and daddy’, or the child that ‘just needs to be loved’, you know how it goes. Tag lines, catchy phrases, heart wrenching photos of sad looking children that just want to be loved.

We have a loving home, plenty of love to share. Our 3 easy to place (apparently) children got their new mummy and daddy. Doesn’t stop the trauma. Doesn’t stop the violence. Doesn’t stop the heartache.

Well, I’m done with #NAW, I’m done with organisations painting pretty fairy tale pictures and avoiding the truth of the matter. Adoption is NOT for the feint of heart! Its nothing like parenting a birth child! Its a relentless battle for help that no one’s prepared to pay for! Its being blamed, judged and shunned! Its emotionally and physically exhausting! (I’m not even sure exhausting is a strong enough word?!).

I’m tired of fighting for my children, for the support they need and deserve and being passed from pillar to post, blamed or ignored.

Would I recommend adoption? No, never. I love my children with all my heart and I will never give up on them, but would I recommend it? No. Uh Uh, no way!

If all those organisations that use money and power to push this drive every year for new recruits, instead used that power and money to push for better support and understanding, maybe less adopters would feel so let down and misled, maybe more children would get the support and understanding they need and more people would be making informed choices to adopt.

*Sorry if this isn’t the fairy tale post you hoped for, it’s been a really rough few weeks (more like 8years!!) and my positivity appears to have gone missing (died a slow painful death!).

Attachment & School

Published September 9, 2018 by thefamilyof5

How does attachment ‘look’ in school.?

For big girl, it looks like she is very capable. She has a avoidant attachment style so will do everything she needs to do to avoid any kind of dependant relationship with a teacher/adult. She learnt in her past that adults can’t be trusted or relied upon, in fact sometimes, they can even be dangerous.

So in school she will appear capable and competent because any sign of weakness may cause her teacher to try and help her, and she can not possibly allow that to happen, ever. She will volunteer for things she feels the teacher might expect of her, she will choose to lead her group and even opt to be the spokes person for her team. All of these fill her with absolute fear and terror. None of that matters to her though, her only focus is to not need any kind of relationship with anyone if she is to survive.

She will do everything she can to hide any sign of weakness, she will mask her fears and anxieties and ‘cope’. It’s not a positive experience for her, she feels no sense of achievement and next time it happens it’s equally as terrifying. There are no benefits to her self esteem or mental health for her to be this way.

When she comes home, and she feels safe, she knows she’s understood and her fears and anxieties are finally allowed to be shown.

How does your child’s attachment ‘look’ in school?

Great article for teachers and school staff here, can you identify the students in your class here?

http://one-eighty.org.uk/attachment-in-schools/

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