Oh the guilt. This emotion has become my main one since the girls arrived.
I feel guilty every time I get it wrong which seems to be oh so frequently. If I shout or get cross or need to leave the room, I feel guilty.
It seems that I feel guilty in my sleep because I wake up with a feeling in my tummy about the things I got wrong the day before.
I feel guilty that it seems to be going okay with one and not the other. (Don’t get me wrong, I know her time is coming, I can see her looking at me occasionally as if to say, ‘I’m not okay, you know’.)
I feel guilty that all my time seems to be taken up with one child and that the other gets the odd two minutes here and there.
I feel guilty because I’m not able to keep one child safe.
I feel guilty because no one else seems to have any trouble with her, so therefore it must be me and the way I’m doing things. (The rational part of me knows this isn’t true but the irrational (in charge) part keeps believing it.)
But I can’t carry on like this everyday. Somehow I’m going to have to find a way to give myself a break but how? At a recent meeting with us and SW, I was basically told the behaviours were my fault because I’m not bonding with her. So then I feel guilty even more.
In the same meeting, all the needs of the children that we had identified were quickly dismissed with a snide, “well I know plenty of children who do that but oh well, if YOU think it’s a concern’. Instead of recognising how well we’ve come to know the girls and to be frank, how hard we’re trying, it was left to me to feel that actually if I just ‘got on with it’ then we wouldn’t be having the problems that we are. And yet more guilt because maybe I am looking for things that aren’t there. (I’m not.)
Maybe the guilt is a good thing. Maybe that’s the thing that says I need to try harder everyday. But I don’t think it is. I think I try harder everyday because that’s just what we do. I think, (and this is just for me), that some of the guilt comes from knowing that our two were not given the best start to their adopted life for several reasons. Partly down to me and me getting it so wrong in the beginning but a huge part comes down to the fact that no one told these wee toots what was happening. They had no chance to get worried, nervous, excited, anything because the first they knew they were being adopted was when they were sat in a room with us, their FC and four social workers. You could argue that ‘they were so young at the time’ but that’s cobblers. A three year old deserves to have to chance to talk about something before it happens to them. And she was never given that chance.
So I carry round a lot of guilt that I didn’t say anything at the time. I didn’t say anything when we were given none of the girls likes/dislikes, routines, comforters. I didn’t say anything when their memory box things were given to us with no real explanations and their things were given to us in bin liners. I didn’t say anything. But I think the thing I really feel guilty about is that I still haven’t said anything. I still haven’t stood up for my wee girls and because I haven’t stood up for mine, I haven’t stopped the possibility of it happening to somebody else’s wee girls. (or boys)
So the time is coming when I’m going to have to put aside my nervousness, my ‘politeness’ and my shyness because my wee girls need to know, when they’re ready, that we are appalled at how they have been treated and that we stood up for them and will continue to do so. (Sorry if that last part reads like I should be painting my face blue and shouting, “FREEDOM!”!)
Whether this will get rid of the guilt, I don’t know. Probably not. I’ll just find something else to replace it with but I hope it will help. And I hope it might help some other wee toots that might go through the process and that they get to have a better start.