Disclaimer: This is not a happy post. This is an honest post because I wanted to show how the constant pushing, emotional and physical abuse from a CHILD directed at the adopter can really push you over. Before you jump to (false) conclusions let me tell you the SWs know about these from us so you don’t need to play Concerned Citizen…
We have the children now for over a year and yes, it has been bloody hard work. About a month ago we thought we turned the corner, but then Life Story Book happened, we also got to the end of the school time so the familiar structure went out the window and these two together pushed all four of us into disaster mode.
My Twitter friends know we are having VERY rough time with the boys lately that involved running away, being abusive, defiant, aggressive, violent, destructive and probably I could come up with a few more negative adjectives, but I realise unless you lived it through yourself, these words will not convey the true misery we find ourselves in. When you get to the point of not caring about it anymore… now THAT’S a scary place to find yourself in! I know myself and believe me when I say, over the last year I found out a lot more about myself (and my husband). We are genuinely kind and understanding people, we both worked as volunteers in Africa for years and we both saw enough horror in our lives to develop a good sense of compassion and the ability to look beyond the surface and focus on the real issues deep below. We are very familiar with the boys’ very difficult start in life and how that impacts their very being; their everyday thinking, their motivations, their self image, their preconceived expectations, their improperly wired brain…etc all of it. But as my grandma used to say (not in English) ‘Even slow rivers can erode the bank eventually’!
The slow, but constant pushing and testing, name calling, back chatting and verbal abuse (‘shut up you stupid ****’) together with physical acts like purposefully breaking my flower pots or trashing the house, kicking the rubbish bin to tip over, breaking his bedroom door to prove a point (that 7 is not sleepy at 11 pm) and of course the CPV when all else fails. He is doing all these to gain attention; to release some tension in his body or just simply to let us know in the most unlovable way that he needs love.
Compassion fatigue is real!
We know they don’t do it TO us, they don’t consciously want to sabotage their own future happiness and generally they are not horrible little monsters by default. BUT! And here lies the key. Eventually everybody breaks! Some sooner, some later, but we all get to a point when you say: Enough is enough! The hardest thing I found in my life (and I have been through some pretty awful situations in several continents!) is not giving in! 7 and 8 are constantly testing our patience, our resilience, our willpower, our self control.
When he is attacking you it would be so easy to hit back.
When there is verbal abuse, it would be so easy to remind him of some nasty stuff to make him shut up.
When he shouts ‘he doesn’t love/want me’, it would be so easy to shout back ‘I don’t love/want you either’.
But instead you keep reassuring him you love him, he is safe, you don’t want him to go away, you will never send him away, you are not like Birth Mum. And out of nowhere the moment suddenly comes when you think ‘that’s it, I had enough! I can’t lie any more! I don’t have to be OK with being abused in my own house regardless of what’s causing it. It’s not OK to not feel safe in my own house!’
A few nights ago I was so broken by 8 pm that I got VERY close to do all the above. I was so livid I had to go to my bedroom or else the hurt animal attacks back! Hubby recognised my mood and the shift in my behaviour and that pushed him over the top, too. He was so cross for seeing his wife so torn and out of character that he picked 7 up, threw him in the car and took him straight to the police station. All the way 7 kept on screaming ‘I hate you, you are a f**** s**** b****, I hate this stupid house, I don’t want you to adopt me, call my SW right now to take me away’ and such. Hubby managed to keep his cool and told him ‘you can say all those to the nice police man inside and he will sort this out for you. Good bye.’
As you can imagine that got his attention. 7 immediately started crying saying ‘I want to go home now, I want mummy’ (a few minutes ago I wasn’t and would never be ‘mummy’, but would always remain a f**** s**** b***, but never mind) so hubby made one thing very clear: Talk is cheap! We are both fed up with them constantly changing their minds every five seconds (I hate you – I love you) so from now on they need to prove with actions if they want to stay with us. He said this to both boys the next morning.
I was still too angry and upset about the night before so I didn’t even want to see them in the morning. Before hubby took them to holiday club he told me to look in their bedrooms. Both tidied their respective bedrooms without a single word! I was so amazed! 8 especially, always puts up a big tantrum that usually lasts for hours and includes ‘too much, I will never finish, I don’t know where to start, not fair, I will not do it’. But not today. I even mentioned ‘now we have learnt one thing, you ARE able to decide what to do first and you DO have the will power to do the job properly, well done, son!’
Of course both boys apologise after each incident and of course they always promise it will never happen again. Last night 8 gave us both a gift. He hand painted some fridge magnets one for me, one for hubby (see picture above). When you see them you’d think ‘aaaaaaaaaw, how precious; how lovely; focus on these not on the bad moments; see, they love you’. All I can think now is ‘I am so effin’ tired of this emotional roller-coaster they drag me through several times every day. I will keep them and maybe in the future I will treasure these gifts, but for now I am so emotionally drained that I can’t even acknowledge them’. And it’s not good…