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please can someone help(68 Posts)
I'm so very depressed. I don't know how I'm going to face the day. I don't know how to pretend to enjoy dd's company for the day. I've already had to deal with behaviour and it's still dark outside, I've got a headache which is cracking my skull open, I wish someone would press rewind and go back to when there was no small person dependent on me. Every day is a chore. I'm crap at being a mother and don't enjoy it. I'm just no fun at all. I'm dreading our adoption order and celebration hearing because I don't have anything to celebrate. I just want to hide and hope that I wake up and none of this has happened. Someone suggested I should disrupt the placement because my depression will be unhealthy for my lo. But I've made a commitment to her... Surely it gets better?
Please please don't be harsh with me. It will finish me off and I'll crumble. Please has someone else been through this? I don't know how much longer I can take it. I'm so so lonely and sit in tears most evenings after she's gone to bed.
Dd is an older child and we are about 6 months into placement .. just her and me. Everything they told me to expect with an adopted child has been thrown at me (lying, control, tantrums, regression, smacking, criticising me, hating me, etc etc etc) but the funny thing is all the bloody useless social workers said that they never expected such challenging behaviour from her.
Please can someone tell me how I can start enjoy being a mum? Surely I shouldn't disrupt because of feeling like this? Surely it will go away? But what if it doesn't?
That poor little kid upstairs has been passed from pillar to post and she's ended up with a miserable mummy who can't even remember why she wanted to be a mummy.
I don't know what to do.
I'm so sorry you're going through this.
I'm not an adopter yet... I'm still in the approvals process so I can't give you any practical advice borne from my experience.
But I wanted to say you're NOT crap at being a mother. No one who has been through what you have been through and still be standing (literally, if not metaphorically!) can be a crap mother.
Sitting here quietly holding your hand until with advice comes along.
Have a hug krazykittee, you need it. Getting dd was a huge change in your life, and obviously in hers, and you shouldn't be too hard on yourself. What is your daily routine like? Do you get a break from each other? Is there anybody who can watch her so that you can have some time for yourself? It sounds as if you and dd are in urgent need of family therapy, can the sw arrange that?
Thank you both so much.
She's usually at school in the day but yesterday evening was awful and today the school is closed. I will go to my mum's house with her when I've stopped crying.
Yes we have been referred for counselling.
I'll try to do something fun together today. Maybe a painting or somesuch.
I just worry that every day I'm doing more harm than good.
Thank you though.
Maybe do something like baking cupcakes. She can mix ingredients, apply icing, decorate etc. It will be fun, and something relaxed that you can do together. Don't expect perfection. Mess is ok. Try to set up activities that have the minimum potential for conflict so that you can break your habitual pattern of communication. Go for a walk and see who can spot the most dogs, or whatever. Invite a friend round after school. Play a board game appropriate for her age and abilities. Try not to take her behaviour personally, I know that's very hard, but if you can stay calm and "above" it she will also calm down. She is testing you to see if you are going to disappear out of her life like other significant people have done.
Thank you lasting light. I will try. But I just want to crawl into a dark room and shut the door. I can't even find the enthusiasm to bake cakes and I love baking. I'll try not to be negative though. I'll make myself do it. And call in at the pharmacy for some super strength pain killers. Ha!
Ask her opinion about things - should we have sausages or meatballs for supper / do you think I should wear my blue or green blouse today / help me pick a gift for grandma. You are a family and she must learn to feel secure about that and that she also has some control within boundaries.
I also suffer from depression, I know that feeling of wanting to crawl into a dark room. Have you seen your gp for help? You're going to have to "fake it till you make it".
Where is your post placement support coming from? You sound so sad and alone dealing with a difficult situation but you shouldn't have to be. Did you adopt with a LA or VAA? Depending on where you live, there are some specialist support services available from experienced and understanding workers.
Oh you poor poor thing.
Our DS came to live with us 3 months ago and for the most part, I love it. But yesterday, he really, really pissed me off and I felt awful for telling my DH that (but DH was cool with it). He was so whiny and cried at everything (DS hadn't slept well) and I felt total indifference. I had a dreadful night sleep myself and am just sitting here wishing I had my old life back for a day or so.
My feelings today are nothing with what you are going through, though, AND I have a partner which makes things easier. I really salute you single adopters, I really do.
I can't remember where I read it, maybe Adoption UK magazine, but there is now quite a view that people can suffer post adoption depression - like PND. I wonder if you have that?
Can someone help out at the weekend so you can have some "me" time? Is it also worth booking in to see your GP? I ended up having some "back on track"
Counselling which was v quickly organised on NHS - 6 sessions for 30 mins about something I was going through and it really helped.
Take each day at a time, don't put in your adoption application.
Do you feel anything positive towards your DD - other than pity?
Gosh - I so feel for you. But remember new mothers also go through with it.
Lots of hugs xxx
I am so sorry your going through this.
Have you seen your gp? Does the social worker know you feel like this? make sure they know how bad you are feeling they might be able to get you some more support.
Keep posting you will get loads of support here.
Morning Crazee, I have been there, the 1st two month especially of DSs placement I was very depressed. Some days I just did not want to get out of bed, I couldn't even look DS in the eye. It was all very hard, and I felt like a really really bad mummy. I felt rejected, he was all over DH (a lot of you can probably remember my posts) I am a 'softie' and I wear my heart on my sleeve, as much as I tried and tried to not let any of it bother me, it was so obvious to everyone around, including DS that it all did.
Even now, some days I do count down the hours until bedtime. So I'd say I am very very far from being where I think I should be. I also notice that I can become very impatient with him at the littlest things sometimes, which again is not great at all. Like you it is just DS and I as DH is away in the forces, I do have family around me but I am not in a position to leave DS for long periods of time etc and if I do pop to the gym or something and he is with grandparents I often feel guilty.
I did go to my GP in the very early days (I also suffer with quite bad PMT so everything was unfortunately made a lot worse!) who gave me anti depressants, I however didn't take them, and plodded along taking each day as it came. I MADE myself start doing things I did before DS came, even just the gym, back into my healthier lifestlye. As silly as that sounds I let everything slip when he came, even washing my hair etc! As much as people say a bit of TLC helps, you never really think it - but I honestly found that it did.
Some of you may disagree with this but I put him into breakfast clubs, that extra hour makes me feel SO much more human and set up for the rest of the day - our relationship has continued to improve massively since then, and I would guess without a doubt it is because I am a happier person just having that little bit of extra time. Not only that when I return to work, he will be prepared for it. He loves the club.
Even looking at back at photo's of when I was most depressed, I think to myself, wow, I have really come along so far, I remember exactly how down I felt, to where I am now, which again is far far from perfect.
I would say the only real area I do need to improve on now is my inpatients towards him at times, as well as he is picking up on it and is starting to do those things more and more for a reaction. Shouting, being snappy has clearly not helped me at all so if anyone has any super recommendations for being more of a 'cool calm and collected mummy' then please fire away! I do always feel awfully guilty after I have snapped at him
I just wanted to post all of that Crazeekitty to say you are definitely not alone. Infact I always feel the same, like a rubbish mum (I still do, and compare myself constantly to previous FC who was AMAZING!) which does not help. But I am certain you are doing a great job, and I would definitely try to talk to others around you if you can, I am FOREVER speaking with all of my friends and family (probably driving them nuts by now) about EVERYTHING to do with DS. It does help though. As well I would speak with your SW, mine has been lovely, and has really appreciated and admired my honesty throughout the processes, yes she even supported me when I was in floods of tears at one point! As well as the doctors. Do not feel embarrassed, worried or ashamed for the way you are feeling at all (I also tell myself that), as it only adds to the depression.
Sorry if I have rambled on a bit here! I hope it all makes sense,
take care of yourself and speak soon x
Also, where you say "I just worry that every day I'm doing more harm than good", I often think/say this. Especially when I have raised my voice/got mad, or he has had a consequence for behavior. Sometimes it is literally over nothing at all, I worry he won't know whether he is coming or going with me! But having said that he has changed so much towards me, we now snuggle every night, he wants to even be in my bed now, always wanting to play - so I think to myself hopefully I am doing something right! He even paid no regards to DH when he last came home and sat and snuggled into me!
But I definitely need to remain more calm in situations. Count to 10 etc they say!?
I couldn't pull off becoming more patient by myself, I needed meds and therapy to treat my depression before that became better. And dd definitely picks up on my mood, if I'm not well she pushes my buttons relentlessly.
I'm sorry you are feeling like this and have no wise words, but didn't want to read and not reply.
Do you have to proceed with the adoption order now or could you delay until you get better support?
I am so sorry, and I feel very much for yo.
Pls remember that what you are feeling are very common and normal feelings that All mothers experience at some time or another, particularly when it is early in the morning and they have a cracking headache. At this stage, I wouldn't question your commitment to the adoption, because what you are feeling is part of motherhood. And then, around the corner, you will experience something lovely, but then around the next corner you might find yourself tearing your hair out. It's motherhood.
I suspect that what you're feeling is not normal motherhood feelings (sorry life I just don't agree - adopting an 8/9 year old if nothing like parenting an 8/9 year old in the first few years).
You may well have post adoption depression and I certainly think its worth talking to a sympathetic GP. You may be reacting perfectly normally to what is challenging behaviour from a child you aren't yet bonded to (I adopted a very cute 1 year old and it took me 6-9 months to really have bonded with him completely so I would imagine that it takes much longer with an older child.
If its possible I would delay finalising the adoption, not because I think you aren't doing a good job or because it won;t work in the end but because it should put the wind up your local authority to get some more help sorted out for you both.
Faking it until you make it is good advice but sometimes you need a bit more help to fake it well so shout loud and clear to your GP and SW and don;t stop until you get some.
I suspect some of the adopters who have adopted older children may well have some more specific advice. Chin up and muddle through today as best you can then get some support in place as soon as possible.
So much of your original post resonates with me. We also adopted an older child, although I do have my husband to share the load. As someone else said, single adopters get my unequivocal respect! You are awesome and amazing.
In the first few days we really floundered and found that a few things really helped. I am by no means an expert, but in case any of these help.....
I started to write a journal. At the end of the worst of days, I would just write down everything I was thinking and feeling, however unpalatable it might sound. I wrote things like "I don't even like him most of the time" in the early days. I feel dreadful saying it now, but at the time it helped so much to just offload. I read my entries back now and can see how much things have moved on. I looked at my boy eating his tea the other night and I got a bit tearful thinking how gorgeous he is, and how I actually almost loved him!!
I set out at the start with no expectations on how I would feel. I told myself it might takes years to really, really feel love for him. My mantra was "one day at a time". We felt like we staggered from breakfast to bedtime most days, collapsing in a heap once he went to bed and just sitting in stunned silence. I describe it like being in a washing machine, sometimes feels like we were drowning, sometimes there was a quiet period to get our breath back and most of the time, just on a disorientating spin cycle!!
I've used this forum for support and I have got it in spades! Sometimes the replies I had made me cry, sometimes they were the thing that kept me sane!! And the ones that made me cry, it was in a good way. Non adopters have been endlessly supportive on here, and adopters are so empathetic and really, truest understand what you are going through.
We found comfort in a schedule for the day ahead. On the days when I felt most down, we made lists of possible things to do. Even simple things like going for the same walk every day, rain or shine. Inventing activities like putting away washing, feeding the ducks, washing the car. Anything that occupied him and gave us a little break from, what at the time, was hard to deal with controlling behaviour. I think he found the routine reassuring and helped with the controlling behaviour.
Pintrest is great for ideas for kids activities too. For people who've never occupied a small child for longer than a few hours like me, I would recommend it.
And finally, please don't be hard on yourself. This is a mahoosive life change. Huge. My husband said to me when I was struggling one night, that I should think of the change like our lives and our sons life have all been thrown up in the air and we were all in free fall. We need time to find our place. And your daughter and you are still getting to know each other.
Hope that helps, a little rambly! Your post really touched me and wanted to show my support. Hang in there.
Hey crazeekitty - just wanted to say six months really is no time at all - although I know it feels like it. I remember talking to another adopter and we agreed it took the best part of a year after placement to begin to even feel like a Mum.
Can you get outside today weather allowing? Even if it's just to the park for a run around?
Please don't be hard on yourself - it's almost like we wait for so long for the thing we really want then it happens and it's bloody hard. And then we wonder why we ever wanted it in the first place.
All I can say is that's number of years down the line things feel totally different.
PS - just a thought but do you have links with any other adopters?
I can't thank you all enough. I've staggered through until lunchtime.
This isn't normal motherhood. Normal motherhood doesn't cause you to lose all hope in your life and think everyone would be better of without you.
I will reply more fully when I can think straight but just wanted to acknowledge the time everyone has taken for a stranger and to say I will follow your advice. Thank you
Normal motherhood IS exactly those things!
I have three children and have wished I hadn't had any at times as I have found it so hard. It is bloody hard looking after small children who are totally dependent on you and everything is down to you.
I love them more than anything but people are lying if they say they never have days when they wish they could run away, even for an hours peace only.
I have been where you are now - I totally get it.
When my son was placed I found it unbearable, didn't want to get out of bed, cried all the time, would have given anything to turn back time to before ds came and really resented both my son and all the people who said "you must be so happy" when actually I felt desperately unhappy.
The good news is it does and will get better. I found planning lots of low key activities helped, film afternoons, swimming, cooking, crafts etc helped as did trying to get out everyday if only to the local shop for milk. At one point I broke the day down into 15 minute sections and congratulated myself for surviving every 15 mins. I counted down the time until I could put the telly on and have a bit of respite from the similar challenging behaviour you are experiencing.
Can you call on anyone from your support network? Even if it is just a friend who can pop round for a cup of tea and play with your daughter for a few minutes. Other adult company helps.
Plan yourself some treats for after your daughter is in bed.
Make a pest of yourself with post adoption support - they don't want this placement to break down but you have to really demand help in my experience.
In terms if dealing with the challenging behaviour we have found very specific praise works much better than telling off or consequences. Try ignoring what you can and really praise the good or even just ok behaviour.
If you think you really are depressed please see your GP - they can help.
You go through a grieving process when you adopt - grieving for your old life and it is so hard but you will survive and it will improve.
Take care please pm me if you want.
Please do go and see your GP. I'm a single adopter and I've had depression and know how tough they both are, even tougher to have both together. Keep breaking the day down into small manageable chunks. Have you got other people you can spend time with so it's not so intense?
I agree with those who say consider delaying the adoption order until the LA get some support in place for you both.
Be kind to yourself x
This may have been, sorry I haven't read all the posts in detail
Post adoption depression is more common than people realise so I agree with posters urging you to see the GP
On an immediate and practical lesson, give yourself a break, you are only human and have had a massive life change
You could make a daily schedule in detail, play, cuddles, walk, bath, time for you- it may make life easier for both of you so you know what is going to happen next
Keep activities very simple and think younger than the childs actual age
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