Last week Big attempted to strangle me. Fortunately my husband was in and he was able to help me and together we managed to help her calm down. She is coming 6, but I was worried that I was not going to be able to prevent her from really hurting me.
This week I have mentioned this to two professionals. The psychologist suggested that it was a good thing as Big obviously trusts me enough to give me all her anger and for me to look after it for her. (This was during a session with Big.) The Post Adoption Support Worker who happened to phone to tell me that we would not be getting any funding for an OT assessment said, ‘Oh gosh, that sounds so hard for her.’
I do know that the focus has to be Big. That we need to support her in any way we can. That we need to show her that no matter what, she is safe here. But at no point was there advice as to how to manage if that situation arose again. No discussion about what to do to support Little during these events. Just a passing comment about how hard it is for her.
At the end of the conversation the PASW said ‘Is there anything else you need?’ and I thought, ‘Well you’ve just phoned to tell me we can’t have anything so no, not really.’ but there are many things that we need. That I would like to not have to ask for.
I would like you to phone to say that the department has access to a sensory room every Saturday and would we like to book a slot?
I would like you to phone and say that you have access to a hydrotherapy pool once a week, would we like to book a slot?
I would like you to phone to say that you are organising some horse riding sessions, would we be interested?
I would like you to phone to say that you are going to do some life story work with Little instead of continuing this assumption that she’s ‘fine’ and ‘resilient’ and doesn’t need support.
I would like you to say, we’ve just employed an OT to work in the region. Would we like an appointment?
I would like you to phone more than every couple of months. I would like you to phone in a morning because I don’t want to be discussing these things in front of Little.
I would like you to stop suggesting that I go back to work as a way to pay for a private OT.
I would like you to say that you’ve organised some Saturday morning sessions for children and parents in the region to get together.
I would like you to support me in meetings at school. I would like you to come armed with knowledge about why my children are going to need extra support.
And then there’s the big ones.
I would like you to listen to me when I’m telling you what it’s like for us sometimes. I don’t want you to compare us to other families (especially when you say that ‘these things can be hard for all children’). I want you to listen to what I’m saying.
And I would like you to know what I’m talking about. The things that I’m saying are not new. I would like to use the phrase ‘sensory seeking’ and there not be a silence on the phone. I would like to be able to talk about the impact of trauma and not be met with a blank face. I would like you to understand that we’re trying really hard to help the girls. That when I ever do reach out for help it’s because we need it, not just because I’m finding things ‘a little bit difficult.’
Sometimes it’s really hard here. And if we just felt a little bit supported, even just listened to, I’m sure it could feel a little bit easier. For all of us. For Big, for Little and for us as a family.
The best bits
The girls went on a bit of the mountain bike track this weekend. We’ve done a wee bit with them before but we did a longer bit and they did so well. They worked so hard to get up the hill and then whooped as they went down.
Little had ‘hangus’ for her snack at nursery last week. She had seconds but didn’t like the ‘nips’!