Sunday, 26 July 2015

Family Life with Secondary Trauma



Curled up on the sofa, watching telly whilst the rain continues to fall I thought I would catch up with my blogging. It's been far too long. I have missed sharing our days and touching base with other adopters. The reason I haven't blogged in a while is because I don't want to bore you with the same day to day routines, squabbles, hit and miss parenting techniques and tears (mostly mine).

Over the last few months our days have continued to be an emotional roller coaster. Life with the older two girls is filled with cheeky fun, they are growing in their confidence and have settled into their new school, made new friends and are happy to help (sometimes).  Our youngest daughter and I are still struggling to bond and it is leaving me feeling emotionally drained, I can tell it is impacting her too. Things were becoming more manageable however her behaviour over the last few weeks has changed, she has begun to try and control situations and people. If she is asked to carry out a simple task she will ignore you. She loves to wind up her sisters and this ends in tears - usually hers. These behaviours have meant that I have found it harder to be around her and stay regulated. Reflecting on what may have caused her behaviour to change, I believe it may be due to her preparing to go into reception. When I asked her how she feels about starting school, she replied that 'she feels shy.' Its understandable, it's a big step. However I am confident that she will be able to adapt and after a few days she will be a confident little madam who will thrive.

Recently the adoptive blogger 'The Boy's Behaviour' posted a link titled 'Secondary Trauma in adoptive parents.' By Amy Sugeno - Here is a link to the post if you wish to read it: Secondary Trauma. Having read the article I was blown away by how much of the piece I could relate to. It dawned on me that the level of anxiety and overwhelmed feelings that I am experiencing is due to secondary trauma. We receive regular support from our post adoption social worker and during our last session I have raised that I feel that in order to mend the relationship between myself and my youngest I need help with my emotions and feelings. Our social worker is currently completing an assessment of need form and will then apply to the adoption support fund and hopefully we can find a psychologist to work with us. If anyone has information on secondary trauma or has experienced it - please share your experiences and information with me, I would love to hear from you.

The summer holidays are going well so far. I was dreading them as the girls have eight weeks off school and that is a long time for any parent to fill. We have visited the park several times and have had a number of picnics. We even managed to have a fantastic family day out at Legoland. The kids were so excited to go and sitting on the pirate ship with my eldest daughter while we both giggled away was a precious memory I will treasure. I am trying to take the pressure off myself and take the morning easy whilst getting the four kids ready and then take a stroll out in the afternoon, meet up with friends and enjoy the company and sun (hopefully).

We have another couple of weeks of making the most of what the local area has to offer and then we are off on our holidays! Again, the thought of packing and taking four kids away fills me with anxiety, but I hope I can take it all in my stride and enjoy what's on offer.

Well, that's a round up of our news and brings you up to date. How are the holidays going for you? What fun and creative ideas have you planned for the long British summer days ahead.