Saturday, 4 August 2012

Isolation


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...

3 comments:

  1. I can really relate to this post. I have felt that we have lost contact with a number of friends over the years. Parenting our children is all consuming and some people just don't get it. People fall into the "they're just normal little boys" camp or afraid of being around extreme behaviour camp.I can honestly say that the first 4 years of the boys being with us I did very little other than parent and manage the home. So when in social situations I would have little else to talk about other than my children because I just never stopped thinking about them. Entering social situations with the children has been at times difficult and every eventuality has to be considered before hand so that you are fully prepared. Sometimes it's best to be at home, just the 4 of us, where everyone feels safe.

    Another astute post from you.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Adoptionbliss. I knew our support network would change (indeed I've blogged about that too), and it has in so many ways, but there are some people that I thought would be with us throughout. Some of course are still here and I am very grateful to them, but others have drifted away...

      I think along with all the problems we're having people are just getting bored with my conversations - like you I have little to talk about other than being a mum! I suppose for our friends without children that could be pretty uninteresting!

      I'm in a fairly reflective place at the moment, and I guess that with that comes some sadness...no regrets, just sadness that our life has changed so dramatically in ways I didn't really consider enough.

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  2. So much of that rings true I could have written it myself! Bonzo is great on days out - if just me & him, and fab if just me & him at home, but I spend my life avoiding situations, keeping life simple and alienating friends! Ah well, so far this holiday life has been quite good, so, will be keeping friends to a minimum for longer! (though we had a really successful playdate this morning - still recovering from the shock of it going so well!!!)

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