Showing posts with the label Young Carers

An amazing thing

An amazing thing just happened. 
Tickle and Fairy have had a nice afternoon playing together (mostly - only one incidence of hitting..!) and then she decided to read him a story before bedtime. 
Next thing I know she runs out of his room crying; it turns out she had asked to borrow one of his books and he'd not only said no, but pretty much shouted it in her face, repeatedly. Bit of a blow when she's been sharing her toys and playing with him all afternoon, poor thing.
I go in to talk to Tickle, who is pretty agitated, saying "My house, my room, my books, I said no!" over and over. He's obviously not ready to share anything, and I tell him that's ok. 
I also tell him that Fairy is upset, not really because of the sharing, but because of the way he refused, shouted at her etc. We have to go over it quite a lot, with various examples of times when Fairy has shared her toys and how it made Tickle feel, times when someone had shouted and how it made Tickle feel, etc …

Blending families: Fairy's story

Fairy was only five or six when we started the adoption process. We did what we could to prepare her, as you do, and being the beautiful, empathetic child that she is, she really got it. She instinctively understood about her future brother being worried, about having to teach him that we are kind, that we would look after him. That it would take a while for him to settle in. Throughout the process, both Husband and I, and various Social Workers periodically used to ask her if she had any questions, but she only ever had the one:
"How long will it take for us to get to know each other?"
She knew it was a question that couldn't be answered, obviously, but regardless, that was the thing she most wanted to know, and she held it clutched to her chest like a talisman. 
Fast-forward nearly four years, and she and I were chatting about this in the car, part way through our half term break. To me it feels like something has slightly shifted this week, like she is starting to find h…

Fairy's morning

Here is a post I wrote this morning, but couldn't upload because the internet was down:

It gets worse before it gets better. I know this. But the worse is happening right now, and the better is only a hope for the future.

I want to make a better log of what is happening, and what I’m doing, so I can try to work out what works and what doesn’t. If any of my adoptive, therapeutic friends would like to make any suggestions then I would be delighted to hear them.

This morning Tickle was worried about school, as usual. It doesn’t help that his teacher left with one days notice, and they don’t seem to be actually doing any of the things we discussed that might help him cope a bit better.

At breakfast he was banging the table, and saying he wanted to hurt the cats. Each time I asked him to come in to the sitting room with me, to have a sit in the comfy chair and calm down. The first time I said I had to keep Etta safe, as he’s not allowed to hurt her; he has to come and sit with me unti…

Happy Mother's Day

Picture the scene. It's Mother's Day. I'm reading a book in bed, Husband is about to get Tickle dressed to take the kids out swimming, and just pops in to the loo. Fairy comes out of her bedroom, and starts to walk downstairs to get herself some breakfast. I hear a shout.

"Tickle! Stop it! Daaad!!"

I jump out of bed. Tickle has tried to push Fairy down the stairs, and is now thumping her on the head. I grab him, and take him upstairs to my room. I know I ought to stay with him, he's obviously in a bad place and needs me to stay close and regulate him.

But Fairy is crying on the stairs.

She has done nothing to deserve this. She was just walking down the stairs.

I go to her, sit on the stairs with her, put my arms round her and kiss her head.

Tickle appears at the top of the stairs. He's holding the bottle of water that was next to my bed, and before I can do anything he has launched it at Fairy's head.

A few days ago, I didn't have a plastic bottle…

The Power of a Label

I was chatting to Fairy's headteacher the other day, updating her on all the various agencies and their progress, and remarked that (hopefully) it will be a little less complex once we have adopted Tickle - as at least then we are not constrained by Social Services and can make more decisions for ourselves. I said we could probably even set up a Team Around the Family (you may remember we have been refused this a couple of times, for different reasons), half expecting her to say we wouldn't need it once the adoption had gone through.

"Absolutely." She said. "We definitely need one. Fairy is a Young Carer!"

It struck me in that moment that Fairy's status has changed. She is no longer just a sibling who is struggling to cope, she is a Young Carer, with capital letters and everything.

Labels are not always good things, but sometimes they are just what you need to get people to take you seriously.

Thank you - a post about support networks

Just read this blog from the fantastic Al Coates, on trauma. It resonated with me so much; the way that your feet are suddenly swept out from under you, your brain clouds over with fog so thick you can almost chew it, and you stumble through the days barely even remembering how to lift up your arm to scratch your nose.

This was where we found ourselves at the start of October; suddenly but predictably, shocking and unsurprising all at once. We'd been expecting it, but you're never prepared.

The bit of Al's post that warmed my heart was where he talks about the support he has from friends, family, and professionals. We also had arms waiting to catch us, and it was beautiful. People cooked for us for weeks, came to visit and took us out for lunch, sent biscuits and chocolate in the post, messages of support and virtual hugs. Even people I don't see that often had kept themselves updated with the blog, so that when I did bump in to them and they said "How are you? I&…