I really wanted to write a positive piece this week. But I can’t. I can’t because I need to rant and rage and shout and scream.
Ten days ago I phoned our social worker in tears to say ‘help’. Our social worker is lovely and came round that afternoon. We told her what had been going on over the holidays and said that we were currently not managing to cope with the behaviours that Big was displaying and that we felt she needed much more help and support that she was getting.
Our social worker suggested a meeting later in the week with the girls’ social worker and her to discuss how to move things forward. Great we thought. But we’re still waiting. Because I’ve learnt during this process that not all social workers are created equal.
The girls’ social worker has not been in touch for five months. ( I know I could phone her but I’ve stopped trying and just relay everything through our social worker.) As we’re still technically foster carers, everything still goes through her. We’ve had been taken off hospital waiting lists, nearly missed cut of points and had appointments sent through with two days notice because they don’t forward things on.
She does not seem to understand that trauma does not just disappear the second they walk through the adoptive family’s door. She has many helpful phrases such as, ‘Oh it’ll just take time’ and “Oh my boys were like that’ and ‘You need to stop thinking of things like a nursery teacher’. (Part of me agrees with this as unfortunately my brief time as a nursery teacher means I’m now acutely aware of developmental stages and I do find myself thinking ‘She should be able to do this…’ but a part of me also thinks that whatever it is I’m pointing out, I’m pointing them out for Big’s best interests to try to get her the help she needs.)
So, ten days later we’re still waiting. (To even hear from her, never mind anything else.) I’ll try the GP I thought. But the GP has to see her interactions with me and Little before he can refer her anywhere or suggest anything. As she will be impeccably behaved during this session, I’m not sure this will help.
So what help do we need and where do we get it. Big needs help. She has so much anger inside her and she is not able to deal with this. We are not able to deal with this. We need help. As much as, over my years as a primary school teacher, I have developed my ability to be a mother, counsellor, OT, SALT and occasional teacher, depending on what the children in my class have needed at the time, I am currently so far out of my depth that the land isn’t even a dot, it’s disappeared altogether. And I’m struggling.
We are not living in a happy house but to the outside world we are. To the outside world we’re doing a fantastic job and that we just need to ‘keep going’. And that just makes it all the more hard. Part of me really wants people to say, ‘gosh, you look to be having a difficult time, what can we do?’ But they don’t. They see the Big that she presents to the world and wonder why on earth I’m struggling with such a lovely wee girl. It becomes hard to ask for help when no one thinks you need it.
I just asked my husband to read this and asked him how I should end this piece. He suggested ‘SOS’ and a ‘:-)’ to ‘keep it light’. Unfortunately I’m not really in the mood for ‘keeping it light’…but I might send out that SOS.