Struggling at the moment

(148 Posts)
YouAreMyRain Sun 30-Jun-13 21:28:35

This will be long so I apologise. (I have name changed for this, if anyone recognises me, I would prefer not to be "outed" or linked to my usual nn.)

I have 2 Adopted DDs, they are half siblings. DD1 came home at 2.4 and DD1 came home 14 months later at 1.7

DD1 was placed 5yrs ago and is now 7yo. Her behaviour has always been challenging, she is very anxious and aggressive. Very insecure emotionally, very low self esteem.

I separated from my H 16 months ago, he was not coping well with fatherhood, his behaviours were abusive and SS were involved after one incident.

Since then I have been a single parent. A couple of months after STBXH moved out, I was suddenly hospitalised with a critical illness for 10 days. This separation was traumatic for DDs, esp DD1 who thought that I had died, despite being reassured to the contrary. STBXH refused to bring them to visit me in hospital, which didn't help.

Seven months ago DD1's behaviour escalated, I got her referred to CAMHS, before we were seen, it got to the point where I found her trying to jump out of an upstairs window to kill herself because she had people in her head telling her that she was stupid.

We got seen urgently and they are currently still involved. They decided that because her issues are connected to attachment and loss, that establishing a therapeutic relationship with her that then came to an end, would be upsetting and counter productive. So I have regular meetings with a CAMHS psychotherapist who has met her once, so that her issues can be worked with through her primary attachment with me.

The problem is that there seems very little improvement in her behaviour. She is very defiant, rude, violent, dishonest, angry etc. She still hates herself and wants to kill herself. She "knows" that I don't love her and she says that she wants to kill me, her sister etc

According to experts/professionals, I am doing everything right and handling her really well and they are very impressed with the therapeutic parenting that I am doing and how I am using "PACE" etc.

But it's so hard.

She is also soiling herself repeatedly, including at the dinner table.

Basically it feels like parenting her is a five person job but there is only me doing it. I just give and give and give and give and she constantly kicks me in the teeth. I don't blame her, I know she can't help it but I am exhausted with it all.

The status quo is shit and just maintaining that everyday is totally draining. I feel completely burnt out. Last night, for the first time, I felt like its all too much for me and that the placement may breakdown.

Post-adoption support have been useless. They offered me a handful of visits with a random SW. I asked for the SW who worked with us for 3yrs and who knows us inside out but that's not an option. I can't see how a strange SW visiting a few times will help at all, whenever I ring for advice they tell me to ask CAMHS what to do, CAMHS tell me to ask post adoption support.

I am currently pregnant with my new partner (we don't live together) after 12 yrs of infertility with my STBXH. I know that this has unsettled her but it feels like it is only going to get worse when the baby is born.

She say that she knows I will love the baby more than her and she wants to kill the baby etc, I don't react or take any of this at face value because I know that she is traumatised and hurting.

I don't want this placement to break down but I have nothing left to give sad

Rain you are a great mum. We are thinking of you.

Bananaketchup Wed 31-Jul-13 10:40:59

Rain I have nothing useful to add to others' posts, but am just thinking about you.

Rain any news? I am off on holiday but will be thinking of you.

bronya Thu 01-Aug-13 09:11:33

I would just like to offer a ray of hope here, that things may improve significantly once the new baby is born. In my extended family, there is a little girl who is very fragile emotionally. When her mum became pregnant with a new partner (dad left), she just lost it. Said she wanted to kill herself, really angry at mum one minute, trying to help every ten seconds the next, just confused, felt rejected and worried that mum would want the new baby over her, and that then she'd be all alone (dad refuses contact). They had 9 months of hell pretty much, with mum constantly reassuring her she loved her, that she would love her AND the baby etc etc. It became worse the closer to the birth things got, as the reality of it was imminent. There was violence towards mum and new partner, there was running away, there were tears, shouting, slamming of doors, horrendous behaviour at school, the works.

Baby came, and mum made sure her older DD wasn't left out, was included, that she did special things with her. She made her feel special, that only DD could help her (so getting her things, looking after Mum, allowing her to help with baby but never making her feel she needed to), how clever she was to get Mummy a nappy, how amazing she was and how she couldn't do it without her etc. It worked. DD LOVES her new sibling, and is so so proud that she could help Mummy so much. She is nice and secure again in her new role as responsible big sister, gets 1:1 time with Mummy (they do the food shop together, homework together, and have special time on a Saturday), and all is now as it was once. Worries do occasionally flare up, but Mum is able to show her DD that she hasn't forgotten her now, so she won't in the future, that she loves her etc.

YouAreMyRain Thu 01-Aug-13 13:25:15

Thanks Bronya (and everyone else, still on holiday, still on phone) that sounds positive.

PAS rang me yesterday,turns out they are expecting me to pay for the childminding respite! I said I couldn't afford it so SW is speaking to the manager.

Things have been (relatively) calm for the last day or so, thankfully. Home in a couple of days

Piffyonarock Sat 03-Aug-13 17:55:55

Just checking in Rain, hope your holiday has continued more calmly and that you're all home safe.

Lilka Sat 03-Aug-13 18:07:26

I hope things have remained calmer and you're home safe

Lilka Sat 03-Aug-13 18:08:05

as well!

magso Mon 05-Aug-13 12:27:28

Rain I do hope SS are being more supportive. You sound like you are doing everything in your power to support your girls.

My son (then 9 but with learning disability and ASD so emotionally much younger) behaviour deteriorated sharply after I unexpectedly disappeared off for a long stay to a distant hospital too. 4 years later I feel we are mostly back on track. It has been a slow process, and I asked for SS help due to my poor health affecting my ability to care for DS challenges and keep him safe - he was a runner. Of course there are still challenges and always will be, but things have settled and ds is less insecure.

Your DDs should be able to get support from the disabled children's team at SS as we did, although I don't know how they interact (ie buck pass) with the PAS team. I only have experience of support from the disabled children's team. You could ask for direct payments to pay for the child minding if it would suit you. Dps can be given out to pay for respite to disabled children so I don't see why not to your children. It would of course be better if they funded and took total responsibility for respite all themselves, but it is easier and much faster for them to give out DPs and leave you to sort it if you know a suitable childminder and could manage the quarterly paperwork. Be aware DPs are only about £12 an hour which translates to aprox £8-10 an hour after accounting, insurance and tax/NI etc and a specialist CM will likely cost more than that.
We got DPs quite quickly (about 3 months from asking) which I used for a specialist carer who already knew Ds. It took more than a year for the formal respite to get organised which we now get.

YouAreMyRain Wed 07-Aug-13 12:50:28

Things did calm down towards the end of the holiday, thankfully.

Got back to a letter from STBXHs solicitor stating that CAMHS are not helping DD1, they are helping me!??! I thought he understood the situation and the reasons for indirect support for her (attachment and loss) but he is desperate to force us out of the house so he can get some money and so is minimising DD1's issues.angry

Bananaketchup Wed 07-Aug-13 19:08:40

Bloody hell Rain I bet you are angry! Is there not a clue in the name of the child and adolescent mental health service as to what their purpose is? I'm glad your holiday got calmer, hope you are okay.

Lilka Wed 07-Aug-13 19:24:06

angry

What a complete tosser

Clearly he has no real understanding of your DD's needs whatsoever. Trying to force his daughters out of their own home?? Minimising everything only to help himself? For shame, it's disgusting behaviour

I'm glad things calmed down. Hope things remain calmer

Piffyonarock Fri 09-Aug-13 20:26:20

Dear oh dear, that is truly low. Hope you're all settled back at home now.

YouAreMyRain Sat 10-Aug-13 11:49:35

Camhs have said that she has attachment disorder. Is this an official diagnosis or do I need something more?
It's a psychologist who has said this.

I am having a child free weekend with dp, plenty of cups of tea while I put my feet up, blisssmile

Maryz Sat 10-Aug-13 15:19:08

No shit, Sherlok hmm

ffs, all (or pretty much all) adopted children have some degree of attachment-related issues. Don't let them get away with saying "she has attachment disorder" as though that is a complete and final explanation of everything. It may be a diagnosis, but it is essentially just words - what you need is a plan of action to deal with the results of her having attachment disorder, the "symptoms" if you like.

So the answer to that sentence is "ok, fine what are you going to do to help me help her. She may have attachment disorder, but the 'symptoms' that need treating are anger, violence, misery, whatever. What treatment is she going to get to address those"

If you see what I mean. You need a specific list of where her difficulties lie, and a plan to deal with them one by one in order to make all of your lives manageable.

Enjoy your weekend.

YouAreMyRain Sat 10-Aug-13 17:09:10

Tbf after I contacted SS EDT, Camhs have produced a proper report/plan and they are hopefully coordinating a CAF meeting soon, so things do seem to be happening.

I just wanted to know if this was an official diagnosis, that might help me claim carers allowance or an assumption.

Good to hear things are happening. Your ex is being terrible. Is he very jealous or is he struggling finanically.

magso Sun 11-Aug-13 09:41:26

It sounds like a diagnosis Rain.

YouAreMyRain Thu 05-Dec-13 22:40:17

UPDATE!

Just thought I would update you all on what has been happening as I am so grateful for all your support.

PAS finally got BAAF to do an assessment in September, BAAF came out, did an assessment and proposed to do some direct work with DD1 to prepare her for the new arrival.

Four days later I had an EMCS to deliver the baby at 30 weeks (pre-eclampsia) he is finally home after 46 days in the neonatal unit and a 5 day readmission to paediatric HDU and things have been OK so far.

DD1 is either ambivalent ("I'm glad we're not keeping that baby" etc after his readmission to HDU) or very OTT but hasn't directly tried to harm him although she has been really struggling emotionally.

With the support of BAAF, CAMHS are going to be doing some 1to1 psychotherapy with DD1 and BAAF are also training and supporting me in filial therapy for both DD.

It has been (and still is) a real struggle day to day but we are finally getting my DD some help and support.

And my baby arrived safely smile

Lilka Thu 05-Dec-13 22:54:14

So pleased to hear from you again

Congratulations on your little one !! grin

I'm sorry to hear baby has needed the HDU and hope he is doing well now

It's good to hear that your DD is going to be getting some psychotherapy and you are getting some extra help yourself. It's also good to hear that she hasn't tried to hurt him. I really hope the therapy is helpful for her

I think you are amazingly strong - you have so much to deal with all at once and you are hanging in there. Look after yourself

All the best to you x

KristinaM Fri 06-Dec-13 11:15:02

Congratulations!

And well done on getting somewhere with CAMHS. Remember to keep pushing for more help for her.

Are you taking up the option of childminding as a form of respite?

Are you and the baby's father still together? Either way, I hope he is pulling his weight.

YouAreMyRain Fri 06-Dec-13 11:39:27

I haven't sorted out any respite/childminder as PAS want me to pay for it and I can't afford it.

I am still with the baby's father, he is very supportive and lovely.

KristinaM Fri 06-Dec-13 14:29:31

You paying for a childminder isn't respite!!! They need to provide this with a proper foster carer! if your agency doesn't have anyone they can buy so many days per year from a specialist agency .25 days a year wouldn't be unreasonable .

Keeping your daughter in a residential placement would be more than £100k page ( and I am very out of date on rates )

Glad to hear it's working out with your new DP. Hope baby is doing well now

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