Needing to get stuff out of my head again. Life has changed significantly- in a good way- but it is more complicated- also in a good way.
Anxiety has crept back in (when I wasn’t looking and busy doing life).
Parenting is hard- of course! Foster parenting is hard- another obvious statement. But even after 18 months it continues to surprise me how emotionally exhausted I get. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I chose to do this and I’m not prepared to give up.
I was chatting with my work manager end of term 4 and he was talking about the times when, as she was growing up, he didn’t like his daughter. He continued to say that regardless of not liking her, he still loved her. That statement has stuck in my head- maybe it was a God ordained moment- and I’ve started to live it.
At first it was easy to choose to love her- I had chosen to foster. We didn’t know each other- we needed to work on getting to know each other. I was an unknown figure in her life that she had to learn to trust. It was easy for me to give- my strongest love language is acts of service. Making sure she had food to eat, a bed to sleep in, got to school on time… easy to do.
Eighteen months down the track, the easy stuff still continues to be easy. The choosing to love her has become hard. I have had times recently when I didn’t want to have anything to do with her. I didn’t want her around, in my house, at my workplace. I didn’t want to have to remain calm while being- ignored, spoken to rudely, only treated nicely when she wanted something.
There are so many logical reasons for all of this.
- She’s fast becoming a teenager.
- We have only known each other for 18 months.
- I am the parent figure who gives boundaries and sometimes says no to what she wants.
- 18 months cannot undo a lifetime of trauma.
Logic explains, but it doesn’t heal when I am tired and hurting. So here I am again.