The kindness of strangers

Things are tough here. I’m finding it hard to keep everyone on an even keel, including myself. I’m finding it hard to keep everyone safe and I’m finding it hard to keep everything from escalating.

On days when I’m being kind to myself, I can say that I’m doing everything I need to do, that Big’s level of need is huge and we are doing everything we can as a family to support her.

But after two years, and there being no change, it feels like there must be something else we should be doing, there must be something that I’m missing that might help her, that it’s something I’m doing that is meaning that she’s not feeling any safer here.

I’m aware at the moment that we’re heading towards blocked care. After two years of being shown no love or kindness, I’m finding it really hard to maintain the hugs and the smiles and the cheer. Big will not engage in any kind of discussion about feelings, there feels to be no repair after an event and we feel to lurch into the next one without moving forward in even the tiniest way.

Since the girls came I have done every nursery drop off and pick up, I have been there every morning and every bedtime bar one. For two years I’ve said good morning and had nothing back. For two years I’ve picked her up from nursery and smiled at a girl who can’t even look at me. For two years I’ve hugged and kissed a girl who has stayed ramrod straight in my arms.

And I know that this is a huge part of how we are going to keep going. I have to accept that this is where we’re at. She cannot give me more. And I have to ¬†accept that that is the case. And mostly I do. But I don’t know what to do on the days that I don’t manage. We have no family here, my friends are all teachers and as the girls struggled to go to groups when they first came, I didn’t make any friends that way. Some days I feel so isolated, it’s overwhelming.

My husband is amazing, my mum and dad come up all the time and help loads when they are here, but in times of crisis, I realised that I’m really quite stuck.

The last few weeks have been really hard. On Monday I asked for help on Twitter and I was moved to tears by the amount of support I received. People who have never met me but could offer advice and support and make me smile again. And it is these ‘strangers’ that have got me through the last year (since I plucked up the courage to join), it is them I turn to when things are hard, them I share our tiny (but huge) bits of good news as I know that they appreciate just how huge they are and I honestly don’t know where our family would be without them.

So I want to say thank you. Thank you for the kindness of strangers, who are keeping our family going with their kind words and gestures. Thank you.

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8 thoughts on “The kindness of strangers

  1. What you are doing sounds incredibly difficult to me and I find it amazing that it has taken you 2 years to get to this point! Most people would have been feeling down about the lack of reciprocity ages ago.
    A big hug as usual. I really hope that something works to make you feel better and/or to improve things for Big xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you lovely for such heartfelt blog. You are doing so amazingly well to be so consistent, creative and loving. My smallest was like this, it was very hard, even when you are as accepting as you are, and particularly hard having to experience this under the gaze of the nursery-school community. I had days when I didn’t know how to hold back the tears when I picked him up from reception. We had a play therapist coming in every week for 24 weeks to do Theraplay with me and smallest, and this really helped move things along, although it did take a long time to make small steps, but in the end they were made. Having someone alongside me doing the Theraplay was important as it gave me back my confidence and showed smallest that it was OK to begin to connect to me. I could also see when our play therapist seemed at a loss as to what to do, and it helped that we could share this feeling and work out solutions together. The feeling that I was to blame dissolved and gave me strength. It’s not all plain sailing now, but much, much better with lots of smiles and eye contact. It makes me mad that something like this has not been offered to you both after all this time. We had this provided pre-ASF, so it should be available and the Theraplay Institute have trained in Scotland too. Much love (and a rant!) to all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

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