Everything Is Ok…..Right?

It’s been 4 and a half months. 19 weeks, 4 days and 13 hours to be precise 

Not that I’m counting, but you never forget the moment you pick your child up and bring her home forever! I can’t believe it really when I look back. I remember it as a fuzzy haze, although that may have been the summer heat! I can’t even begin to tell you what I expected of this journey, of myself, of my feelings, my expectations. I can’t begin because I honestly don’t know what they were and, even if I could remember, they probably wouldn’t be correct now anyway.

The easiest thing for me to work out recently though was what I expected of myself and what others now expect of our situation. The simplest way for me to explain what I mean is that I expect huge things from myself, I expect to be fully attentive all the time, this all singing all dancing parent who has to make absolutely sure I’m getting the attachment ‘stuff’ right all the time and making her happy all the time, 24 hours a day, 6 days a week (I work one of them and, at the moment, it’s a relief…..not from Pickle but from myself) I put so much pressure on myself to be like this that I’m finally becoming exhausted. I can’t relax. There’s always a problem to my solution, a ying to my yang but not in a good way, more like a conflict in what I do and what’s in my head the entire time, from the moment I’m awake to the moment I’m asleep I do not relax. My head whirring, questioning myself, questioning the situation, questioning Pickle’s behaviour, analysing, over analysing, analysing my behaviour, my responses, my feelings. If I do this will it result in that. If Pickle pushes me away does that mean the attachment is failing. Or does it mean, simply, that she’s fed up with me and wants time alone (fair enough) If she hits me and I tell her off and put her down on the floor is that wrecking any attachment we’ve made, will she ever trust me again, will she remember it “bodily” as a bad experience? Or will it enforce the good behaviour and boundries that children need? If she tips the cats water bowl over for the millionth time and I tell her off (for the millionth time) that’s good right? Because its consistent. Or will it damage her and make her feel bad about herself?

I wrap myself in knots on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. I know I need perspective. I am totally aware of my own anxieties and worries that, although normal for me, are not healthy, logical or true to the situations I find myself in. And all this, all these anxieties, worries and not being able to think straight is all from what we’ve learned along the way. But it’s getting me down now. I need to start thinking more logically.

But what I also struggle with is the expectation from people (friends and, even, family) of everything to be just fine now. And it can’t be. Not after this short time. I want it to be. I need it to be. But it’s me who’s not fine & that’s not taken in to account. I have friends who pick her up, carrying her off. I have friends who tell me “but all children are like that” in response to whatever I’m saying. It’s dismissive and it’s leading me to not want to tell them how it’s going and how I’m feeling. It makes me extra vigilant about where Pickle is when I’m with other people because I don’t want her picked up by anyone else for no reason other than for their own satisfaction. We’re supposed to be working hard at securing her attachment to us and us to her, how can that happen around other people if they refuse to encourage that attachment. I’m tempted to just don a smile and say “brilliant, everything is going really well”. And really, it is, it’s going well. It’s just hard when you’re this anxious all the time and worried about doing it right all the time.

How much pressure can I put on myself before things start to crumble?

Must remember to smile! 

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