I went to the doctors this week. Things have not been good here for so long that I knew something was going to give.
My GP is brilliant. I hardly ever go but she remembers the name of my husband, she remembers the names of the girls, she remembers when things have happened. All this makes it much easier to talk to her.
After I’d finished, she said, ‘You need to be kind to yourself.’ She didn’t tell me I was exaggerating or that things will be alright or that ‘really, after 17 months, things should be better by now’, she made me think about me and actually it’s so hard to think about yourself in the midst of it. You become immune to so many things that when you do explain to someone who gets it, you suddenly realise that actually this is not how most people are going about their day to day lives.
Twice within the last month, the social work team have felt inclined to tell me that, ‘there’s a couple down the road that have adopted a sibling group and they’re doing fine.’ (This isn’t actually true, I know of the couple through friends and they’re not doing ‘fine’, they’re experiencing similar things to us but don’t feel like they can talk about it.)
Quite how the SW team think that telling me this is going to help, I don’t know, maybe they think it’s all me, maybe they think it’s time I pulled my socks up or maybe they don’t understand trauma and attachment at all, who knows.
Big is incredibly angry. She has every right to be angry. The thing I need to remember is that she is not angry at me, I am just the person there, ready to receive the anger. But I’m going to be receiving it for a long time and this will take resilience and patience and a whole heap of other things from me that I won’t be able to give if I don’t start taking better care.
Things came to a head on Wednesday when, after holding Big for an hour with Little lying on the floor saying, ‘But mummy, I’m crying too,’ Big got up, went to the table and waited for her lunch like nothing had happened. I just couldn’t keep the tears in. I just needed some acknowledgement of what we’d all been through but there was none. My brain understands why she can’t but my human mummy heart needed a bit of healing.
So I need to be kinder to myself. I need to acknowledge that things are not going to get better for a good while yet and I need to adjust things to accommodate this. I need to find some support for us as a family and when I get the chance to take some time, I need to take it.
The best bits
This week, Big told us that ‘you can’t love her, you can only love me’. A strange best bit but it is another sign of her slowly starting to tell us things and was such an insight into how she is feeling. (I ended up drawing a picture of a heart and dividing it up equally three ways to show how everyone gets the same, and it is something that we can refer back to.)
Little is still not sleeping, the advantage of taking the side of her cot off is that she just comes through to our room now. She came through one night this week and said (very loudly) ‘Mummy! Move up!’ and all 2 and a half feet of her proceeded to take up one half of the bed. Again, another strange one but at 2.30 in the morning my husband and I were able to laugh about it and it made me think, ‘we’re doing okay’.