Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Mummy doubts

I'm not sure I can be a mummy anymore.
No, that's not true.
I'm not sure I can be Mini's mummy anymore.

I'm fed up of all the controlling behaviour. The tantrums when he doesn't get his own way. The tantrums when he does, but not quite exactly as he'd wanted. The tantrums and the shouting, and the screaming. And then more tantrums if you don't understand or mis-hear the screamed demands or refusals. And him screaming so much about something he wants, that he doesn't even hear you say yes, because he always believes we'll say no.
And I'm not just fed up, but worn down, crushed under heavy and loud shouts of defiance, fenced in by my own worries about saying or doing the wrong thing, and generally, well, generally feeling like a piece of shit, an annoying turd that Mini can't shake or wipe off his shoes, so he just grinds down and down as he walks on it, trying to rid himself of the vileness.

It feels like the last few months of improvement and positivity have gone down the drain over the space of a long weekend.

I'll explain a little - Mini has been ill. He seems to have had a typical virus, except with a temperature that hasn't gone away despite maximum dose of Calpol, along with a cough, and hayfever at times too. This morning, against his wishes, we took him to the doctors who discovered lots of pus-filled yucky bits at the back of his throat, declaring a throat infection - the cause of the temperature. And the typical viral rash, well, that's a bit worse than normal because it's actually viral eczema - something he's never had before, but thankfully nothing that can't be fixed with liberal applications of E45. The antibiotics will hopefully help the infection, if we can get it down him, which now he's getting bigger, is proving more of an issue.
Mini's cough has kept him up at night, we've had mostly unsettled evenings where he's been up and down all night long. However, despite all of this, and all of the obvious symptoms, Mini has refused to accept that he's ill. Don't get me wrong, he's complained of a few general problems - the cough, occasional tummy ache, occasional head ache, once - just once, he had a sore throat. But everything would come and go - appetite included.

On Friday we administered the Calpol regularly, and tried to gently nurse Mini during a quiet day at home. Saturday he seemed OK, so we had a quick trip into town, and then noticed 'the rash', so headed home to chill. On Sunday he seemed heaps better and requested a trip to the zoo; we all had a pleasant enough time and certainly enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. But we were careful, had several rest stops, and kept him close.
But Sunday afternoon and Monday have been awful. Mini is resolute - he is NOT ILL and JUST FINE. NOTHING HURTS, and the medicine TASTES DISGUSTING. He is absolutely NOT TAKING THAT STUFF.

This is another reason why I'm finding it hard to be Mini's mummy right now. I WANT to look after him, and care for him. I'm his mum, that's my job. I was reminded the other day that TLC can take many forms, but to be honest, Mini's having none of it. I'm being rejected at every turn. Everything I do is wrong, all the food I make is wrong, questioning how he's feeling is wrong, helping him is wrong, offering nice things to do is wrong.


Tonight has been horrific - like one of the old days.
I know he's ill. And I know this behaviour is mostly because he's feeling crap. And I should probably make allowances because he is ill (no matter what he says).
But I don't know what he's afraid of; why he can't just be ill. I don't know why he won't let us in, or let us care for him.
Tonight I wasn't even allowed to touch him, let alone hug him. He didn't want to hug me either, but then had a massive tantrum when Dollop tried to because...apparently he did want to after all, and wanted to do it before her.
I should have empathised and let him off the hug, I should have just offered a high-five instead - less threatening, less full-on, and more manageable. Should I have cried in front of him? I don't know...he needs to see me upset, but if me being upset make me seems weak and unable to care for him then perhaps he shouldn't see it? Will he feel ashamed for upsetting me?
This therapeutic stuff doesn't come that easily, and it's only on reflection where I see how I could have handled things differently.

Tomorrow, after some reflection with the NC, and some sleep, I will be Mini's mummy again, not only that but I'll want to be Mini's mummy. But right now...honestly, I'm struggling.


  1. hugs, it's really tough. I went through this when my little boy was in hospital. He totally rejected me, I couldn't go anywhere near him without him having a complete tantrum.

    The time they need you most is the time they push you away the most, it's really bloody hard to cope with and to undertsand. Hope you both feel a bit better tomorrow x

    1. Thanks Adoptive Mummy. It's bloody hard.

      We were at this place a little while ago and our therapist said it was actually a good thing - this emotional lockdown means we can only go up and our relationship can improve. I didn't expect the ride to be so up and down though x

  2. TLC does take many forms, your feeling his pain, your trying your best, your caring for him in any way he'll allow, that's TLC, its also excellent 'mommying' if you ask me! Hang in there, he won't always be poorly, but he will always need you, even if it doesn't feel like it right now xx

    1. Thanks hun. It doesn't feel like it at all. And in many ways, it doesn't feel like he's EVER needed me, how much pushing away do I have to put up with? It's been 5.5 years now...but today has been less crap, so I'm gonna work with that for now..... x

  3. I wish I could say nice words and give you fluffy rainbow thoughts that would make it seem better, but sometimes it's just. so. freakin'. hard. there are no words.

    And I know that when I'm in that space that you are right now, and I try to tell people it's hard and that I need help I get a lot of 'yeah, parenting is hard!' and 'but if anybody can do it you can!' and I want to kick them because they aren't really listening and they just don't get it.

    I want you to know that I get it...at least in my own adoption sucky moments/days I get it.

    I wish I could do something or say something that would actually help you, because you see, in being so honest and open about adoption being so hard, you've really just helped all of us out here in internet land in thinking 'oh thank goodness it's not just me!'. So thank you for your willingness to share your darkest days and the hard stuff about adoption and know that we are thinking about you and that we get it:)

    1. Yes! Lindsay you are SO right, I want to kick them too!

      I didn't write this post so people could attempt to make me feel better, or send sympathy (although I appreciate the support and encouragement). I wrote it to get it out of my system, for people to see what really goes on sometimes, and for people who really understand to say 'yes I get it, and yes, you're not alone'. I'm glad you get it, thank you xx

  4. I really feel for you in this situation. Can I just reassure you that these feelings that you're experiencing are not just because Mini is your adopted child. I have been going through an awful time with my daughter and I've also uttered these words regularly over the last few weeks. The meltdowns are just awful and it's very difficult to know how to cope whilst they're going on and what to do for the best. You are his mummy though and the best one he could ever have. Some children (especially ones who have obviously been through trauma) are very difficult to understand and all of those confused feelings and emotions that they don't know how to process, come out in anger and rejection. I get it from my daughter and she hasn't even been through any trauma! Is he having counselling of any sort? Sorry if I sound patronizing but sometimes it's too hard for us to deal with on our own. Hoping that today is a better day for both of you x x

  5. Thanks for your comment Suzanne, but actually I think my feelings *are* because Mini is adopted, which is quite a big, scary thing for me to admit.

    I don't doubt that birth parents have tough times too, after all, I'm a birth parent as well. And we doubt our abilities sometimes when our children present as difficult, aggressive etc. Maybe on dark days we might have fleeting 'I wish you hadn't been born' moments, or doubts that we can do this parenting thing. But you'd never wish your child away? You'd never want to give up your child would you? Seriously? I haven't had particularly bad times with my daughter yet, but I certainly can't ever imagine feeling that way about her...

    The sad thing about being an adoptive parent, is that I HAVE seriously considered giving Mini up. I HAVE considered breaking down and disrupting our family, I HAVE considered 'giving him back' to social services so they can find a better person/family to parent him. It's only the knowledge of the extra trauma and damage this would do to Mini that has stopped us taking these thoughts further. And it's only because of adoption, that I've felt like this.

    He's not having counselling, he's just 6, and not in anyway secure enough to start looking into himself and his feelings. But we are having family Theraplay, and it has been helping, but we've taken quite a few steps back over this weekend. xx

    1. Good I'm glad you're getting some help with him through Theraplay. I didn't mean to sound patronising or irritating, I just wanted you to know that you're not alone in those horrible thoughts which rack you with guilt. Of course my experience will never be the same as yours and therefore I will never truly understand.

    2. Not patronising or irritating at all Suzanne, you understand more than many of our nearest and dearest do. And I know you've not been having an easy ride with your daughter, so you 'get' the anger and frustration and the shittiness too.
      It's just that since adopting (and having someone close to us disrupting their placement), it's always been at the very deepest, darkest corner of my mind that there is a 'get out clause'. You don't have that as a birth parent and I think this post was me saying...OK I've considered it, and getting it out there, because not many people are prepared to say they've thought about it....

  6. the steps back are hard. really hard, aren't they. hoping the theory of steps back are never as many back as previously is true - and that the steps back are jot as for long. you are his rock even when he pushes you away. hope the antibiotics kick in very soon and the even keel feeling returns for you all very soon.

  7. Thank you for having the bravery to be so honest.

  8. I want to cry at your frustration and admire your honesty Vicki. I'm so sad at how worn down you are. I can imagine that being ill and needing people must be hell for someone with an attachment disorder and hell for those sharing the journey and all those feelings. You're not a bad person for feeling that way though. Feelings show us that something needs addressing. Maybe you need more help. Maybe you need more respite. Maybe you just needed to say what feels like the worst thing in the world. To put it out there. To let it rumble around before you repackage it. I hope Mini is better soon xxx