We started our new private DDP therapy recently after wasting almost 2 years with CAMHS and getting no where.
We’ve had a few group sessions with all of us and some sessions with just me and the girls over the summer. From September the girls have been having individual fortnightly appointments with me and the therapist and I’ve also been having a fortnightly appointment just for me, so I’m currently attending 4 appointments over a 2 week rolling timetable, I”d be lying if I said it wasn’t sometimes emotionally exhausting.
Its very early days and the girls have understandably found it uncomfortable at times but the mood has been lightened with some small Theraplay activities such as rubbing hand cream on each others hands, drawing pictures and playing games, with the therapist very much involved in all of the activities rather than sitting back and talking about them as if they weren’t there, like CAMHS used to, she engages with them and will hopefully earn their trust over time. This will be the first hurdle before any real ‘therapy’ can take place.
Trust was something that she and I talked about this week in my 1:1 session with her. I’ve always been very clear about how difficult the girls find it to trust people, even me, or so I thought. But this week she’s shown me, that actually they do trust me, very much in fact, and its because of this trust that they are able to manage the things that they do. For example, when we go on holiday we tell them at the last minute and they cope, they don’t fall apart and get in a tizz, yet if they were told about a school trip on the day of the trip, they’d panic and become frightened because they don’t have that trust in their teachers to keep them safe and will have needed to know in advance every minute detail of the trip so they can determine themselves, whether or not they will be safe. Another example, There is a huge box in our hallway, its a delivery of Christmas presents that I’ve ordered for the them but I just haven’t got round to opening the box yet ( I know whats inside, 3 boxes of roller skates), Its been there all week, its in the way. They asked me what it was on the day it arrived and I replied with ‘a delivery, I don’t know I haven’t opened it yet’ and they were satisfied with that answer, trusted that I was telling them all that they needed to know and that It wasn’t something they needed to concern themselves with. They have just walked round it ever since (I really do need to unpack it). If a huge box was delivered to school and left in the corridor for a week obstructing their path just like the one in our hallway, they’d mither over what it contained, why it was there, why it hadn’t been opened, they’d even be cross that it was in their way and whilst they might not nag their teachers to death for the answers to these questions, they would come home and tell me EVERY day that the box is still there, that no one has opened it, that they’re wondering what is inside it, it would worry them. I know this because they have often come home and mithered about things that have appeared or changed in school.
This realisation of their trust in me, feels really good. It means that all these years of being predictable was worth while, all these years of making sure I arrived at school in plenty of time, was worth while, all these years of reassuring the girls that I’d always be there mommy, was worth while, it means I’ve been getting it right!
Whilst they trust that I will make the right choices for them to be safe, this safety net only seems to apply to me, they do not trust the rest of the world to be a safe place. So at home in their little bubble, or when they’re out with me, is when they feel safest. Helping them to feel safe in the world without me by their side is next.
As a family we experience lots of different things together, new places, new foods, new people. So we will continue to fill up their lives with these new experiences, within the safety of our family, and over time they will see that the world can be a safe place and hopefully feel more confident about experiencing new things without me by their sides in the future, for now though, I’ll be there to hold their hands until they’re ready to let go.