I don’t think ‘fault’ is the right word to use but I’m going to use it because that’s the word the senior social worker used this week.
During a phone call with my husband, she mentioned that I seemed to be being evasive about having a meeting. My husband explained that was because the last time we met, they had made it seem like the difficulties we are experiencing were my fault. She replied, ‘Well I won’t apologise for that. That is a professional judgement made by the PASW. She doesn’t love Big as much as Little and it’s her fault that Big feels the way she does.’
I’m sure that the way things are with Big is not helping. But to say that I am the fault of all the difficulties that she has seems unfair and upsetting. Loving a child who is unable to give anything back is hard. Being met with violence, being met with words that are mean and unkind, being met with no response to a cuddle or a touch is hard.
It does have a bearing on how I am with my children. I know that I am wary of Big. I know that there are days when I don’t give her as much as I should. But I try. For three and a half years, I’ve tried.
Fault is an interesting word. Is there fault with anyone in this situation? Is it Big’s fault that she has lost trust in her caregivers? That she is so worried that she will move again that closing down is the only way she can protect herself.
Is it the fault of her birth family? Should they have looked after her better? Should they have been better at putting aside their own needs to take care of her?
Is it my fault? Should I be doing more for her? Should I be meeting her needs better? Should I be able to move past the constant violence and rejection?
Clearly, Big is not at fault. She had no control of the things that were done to her.
Are her birth family at fault? Clearly they didn’t do the very things that parents are supposed to do, keep your children safe, clean, well fed, nurtured. They didn’t look after their children. Should more support have been offered to them to help them be able to do this?
Am I the ‘fault’ of all the difficulties we’re having? That is the decision that has been made. Is there truth in it? A bit. I have asked for help with this. I have asked to speak to somebody who knows about blocked care. I have asked if we could take part in some Theraplay. I have always been very honest with people about how things are, I have never tried to pretend that everything is okay. To have asked for help for three years and then to be told that this is all my fault and there is nothing they can do left me fairly broken.
No one is at ‘fault’ here. Everyone tried or is trying to do their best. Trying to do their best living with early life experiences or trying to do their best to show love, to be there, to start each day with a smile and a hug.
The best bits
Big did an AWESOME vault at gymnastics. She ran to the springboard, jumped and then jumped up with both feet on. She did good.
This morning, at an ‘o’ clock that is not really made for being awake, Little came through to us, got three satsumas out of the fruit bowl and peeled one for each of us. ‘Here’s some sunshine’, she said as she gave us them.