I’m aware that recently we’ve had to isolate ourselves to a degree, except I wouldn’t have called it isolation. I call it protection, self-preservation, repair, damage limitation and parenting a traumatised and anxious child.
We’ve spent a good six months, perhaps even a little bit more by ourselves more or less. We’ve seen the NC’s parents a fair bit – they live nearby and probably have the strongest relationship with Mini and Dollop (other than us). And we’ve seen some of the NC’s sister (who I talked a little bit about in this post) and her new baby. But Mini has had little interaction with our other friends and family because he’s been unable to cope with it, and we’ve been unable to cope with him on the odd occasion when he has seen them.
This time we’ve spent protecting, repairing, and being sensitive to Mini’s anxieties is by no means over. And I fear that much of our life will be spent protecting him from situations that make him scared, anxious and worried.
But to be honest, it’s been pretty easy to avoid these situations because we never had a heaving social diary. We have a small group of friends and family, who, for the post part, we’ve been in touch with at least by phone/email/Facebook fairly regularly.
But we are finding now that the few invites we did get, are dwindling down to nothing. Lives change, people move on, time disappears, friendships evolve I guess, but I’m wondering if we’ve made that process happen faster than it would have naturally by subjecting our friends to the very thing we’re trying to protect Mini from – rejection.
I can see that friends and family might have been hurt by us doing this; they might have felt we were pulling away from them. Or they might not have understood why we’ve had to pull back. I’ve explained some of why we’ve done this here, but in simple terms we think that one of Mini’s big issues is about abandonment and rejection. He worries that when we visit someone, it is to leave him there. And he worries that when visitors come here, they’ll take him away when they leave.
I can also see that if people have only limited understanding of our problems then they might feel they can’t see us. Perhaps they don’t know what to say, or how to be with us. Maybe they’ve been offended by something written on The Boy’s Behaviour even. Or maybe my honesty scares them? I write the blog as a record for me and my family but I also use it to explain things that I have trouble saying in real life, perhaps those I’m trying to talk to don’t even read the blog so truly don’t ‘get it’.
I don’t regret the way we’ve chosen to be over the last little while. We know – whatever others think – that it was and is right for us, and most importantly Mini. But I do worry that we might have ‘made our bed’ so to speak, and we might have to lie in it for a very long time. Because although removing Mini from those situations was and remains right for him, removing us from our friends is making life very lonely and tough. My Twitter friends are a great support (you all know who you are) but there’s nothing like a good gossip with a real person, and right now the NC and I could both do with that…and to be truthful, we miss our friends and their families...