Birthday

We should have celebrated this together today. Yet most of me is relieved that we didn’t- I didn’t have to think of a present for you, think about party options or worry about how you would behave at family celebrations today.

The pain I feel about how bad things were is still there. The pain I feel about losing you is still there.

The anger I feel towards you is still there. I did not deserve to be treated that way.

You did not deserve to be treated in such a way that put you in the care system either. And I’m angry that the system cannot give you what you need.

I don’t have the answers. Anniversary #1 without you. Happy 14th birthday.

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Mother’s Day

No, you were never my biological child, but I thought of you as mine. I loved you as if you were. My family loved you as if you were too.

Continually pushed away. Not allowed to call you daughter, or foster daughter. I never wanted to take the place of your real mum- I never could. When things got too big and overwhelming you ran away.

There’s a big, empty hole in my life, in my heart. I miss you.

Mother’s Day was never a big celebration for us, but I hoped in time that you would consider me as a mum-like figure in your life.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be everything you needed.

This mother’s heart is broken.

Gone

It’s a week now since we both made the decision to part ways. It’s like death- I haven’t seen her since school drop off Tuesday last week. All her possessions have been boxed up and dropped off so they can be taken to her new accommodation. All of a sudden she is gone.

And while I couldn’t continue to care for her, there’s still part of me that feels like I failed her.

Grieving from such close quarters is new to me. I’m learning.

Memories everywhere, both good and bad. I’m stuck between wanting to clean everything up and not being able to bring myself to do it. Lots to do yet no drive to do it. Maybe I’m just being lazy.

See I’d planned on forever- when 18 came she would not be pushed out the door but always welcome to stay as long as she wanted. I’d thought about putting money aside so she could buy a car. I’d thought about teaching her to drive and let her know that university could be an option if that was what she wanted. I hadn’t reckoned on things ending.

I move between relief, sadness, tiredness, anger and emptiness. She’s gone and I’m left behind.

Breaking heart

It’s hard not to take things personally- I have given all of me to love, support and provide her with a home. Yet, I am, and will never be enough. There is nothing I can do.

I’m ready to walk away. I didn’t want to be another person giving up on her, but it turns out I just don’t have the emotional energy to do it anymore. It hurts too much. I’m always waiting for the next crisis or incident. I speak calmly. I give her space to calm down. I give her space to tell her story. I put aside all that I need to be doing at that moment, give her all my attention, support her, love her…

One moment she can be yelling at me to go away, be rude or refuse to do what is asked if her. The next, she’s talking to me as if nothing has happened- that it’s ok to treat me horribly because I am just the carer.

I thought I could do this. Problem is- I don’t know what bit is trauma and what but is teenager.

I’m growing smaller. The pain is getting bigger. And she just walks away.

She doesn’t want me… no one does actually.

How?

How on earth can I explain to Miss 13 that swearing, calling people names and generally being rude and disrespectful is not, and continues to not be, helpful or useful in anyway? In fact, it continues to be a huge stumbling block in her life and it stops her from doing the things she really wants to do.

She doesn’t tell truth- well only that which makes her seem as not the one to blame.

Shame.

Breathing (well trying to)

Anxiety is pretty high at the moment. It hasn’t been the easiest Christmas/ New Year period. I feel like I’m on watch all the time- waiting for the next behaviour ‘explosion’.

Thankfully I have had some time and space just to be, and recuperate and rest. I find it really hard to turn off my brain. I even find myself thinking about my thinking; analysing in an attempt to find some reason and logic.

Everyone tells me I’m doing a good job. The hard work now will pay off in the end. I get that this is trauma and that her behaviour is the only way to let us know what’s going on. I don’t want someone to pat me on the back and say ‘well done’, because I’m not doing this for the accolades.

What I do need is someone or something to help me deal with the huge grief I feel; the anger when all I want is for this all to stop; the hopeless feeling that I can’t do this anymore. Stopping is not an option- neither is giving up. I’m committed for the long term.

I’ve been trying some mindfulness breathing exercises with mixed success- I do know that they are something that needs practice. 15 minutes ago I was in tears and the breathing did help me to calm down. It somehow just feels though that I’m just pushing it all back down and not dealing with it. The grief is still there, trying to push its way back up, needing acknowledgement and healing.