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Me, the boy, and The Monster

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"Me, the boy, and 'The Monster'" is a book about what it's like to parent a traumatised child. It's a raw, honest account, and it's borne out of my own experiences as an adoptive mum. Living with trauma is HARD. It's hard for the kids, and it's hard for the parents. I'd like to stand by your side, and tell you that you are not alone, that there are things that can help make things better.

In the book I'll explain some of the basics of your child's brain, how it's been physically shaped by trauma, and how it relates to your day to day experience of parenting them. I'll also explain what attachment *actually* is (clue: it is not what the social workers on my prep course told us it was), why it's important to you, and how to tell when someone is trying to fob you off with the old 'but they've obviously got attachment issues so that's just the way it is' thing.

I first used The Monster to help my daughter to und…

The Christmas Ratio

Over the Christmas holidays so far, I reckon our ‘nice bits’ to ‘hard bits’ ratio is probably about 70:30. Possibly slightly better, if you take in to account the fact that the hard bits are no where near as hard as they used to be. Last year’s Christmas ratio was about 20:80 at best I reckon, and looking back at the blog from this time last year it seems T was going through a bitey phase as well. The worst we’ve had this holiday is hitting, and even then I think it’s only been once or twice.

Gosh, it’s so weird writing that, when I think back to posts I’ve written in the past describing the CPV that was happening multiple times per DAY, for anything up to a couple of hours at a time.

Some of this change can probably be put down to the simple passing of time, but there are a few quite clear things I can pick out that we have done, or are doing differently.

1. Working on emotional regulation.

I’ve added a whole chapter on this in to my book (which - HURRAH! - actually now has a release…

Reflections on the year

I know it’s a bit early for the traditional ‘looking back over the year’ post, but I’m in a reflective sort of mood this evening, after randomly deciding to re-read this post which I wrote just after Christmas last year.

Something strange and unprecedented happened this week in our therapy session; the therapist asked us to consider whether we could stop sessions for the moment, because we seem to be - touch wood - doing alright. Unfortunately Tickle hasn’t managed therapy for some weeks now, and it seems that he really isn’t ready for it at the moment, but as his behaviour at home is more or less OK our therapist seems to think that we should just get on with life for a bit, and then maybe come back later when he’s ready. It’s a strange idea, having fought SO hard to get in to therapy, and particularly because we both know that without it our family would have broken apart in a rather spectacular fashion... could we let go of this security blanket?

And do you know, I think we probabl…

Adoption blog link up - December

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I don’t know where this year has gone, but December has really snuck up on me. It’s just as well that Husband bought the advent calendars (including this incredible pork scratching one for me, who is not allowed chocolate!) as it would not have occurred to me for another few months yet.

I’m really enjoying reading all the linked posts, and have discovered some great new blogs that I haven’t read before, so thanks everyone for posting!

To add your latest blog post to the link up, scroll down to the bottom of the list where it says ‘You are next... click here to enter’ and click on the blue text. Then add in the title of the post, and the URL you want to link to - simple! After you’ve done that CLICK HERE to tweet me and let me know there’s a new post to read :)


Birthdays

Tickle understands birthdays much more than he used to. We met him for the first time on my birthday; we’d brought cake, and we shared it, and he sang Happy Birthday to me. That’s what birthdays were: cake and singing. Tickle moved in with us about a week before his sixth birthday. I still remember we had to practically drag him in to the toy shop to choose a present, and he literally pointed at the thing right in front of him. (He wasn’t that interested in the presents on the day itself, but he did sing to his cake quite a lot.)

It’s my birthday tomorrow. Tickle is quite excited about that, because he knows there will be cake. I’m working early tomorrow, so as there won’t be time for presents in the morning we decided to do them this evening instead. Tickle was *extremely* excited about this, so much so that the excitement tipped right over in to getting really cross that he wasn’t allowed to open anything, and WHY NOT I GOT ANY PRESENTS??

He actually coped pretty well, sat on my lap…

Adoption blog link up - November

When I first started tentatively dipping my toe in to the online adoption community, reading other people’s blogs was a huge source of information, and gave me a real insight in to what life might be like. Please do have a read through the blogs linked here, and comment or tweet people to let them know you’ve read them - it can make a big difference to feel that you’re not just shouting in to a void!

To add your blog to the list, click on the blue text below that says ‘Click here to enter’, and then add the title and link to your blog post on the next screen. Or tweet it to me @mummywriter and I will add it for you :)

Once you’ve added your blog then CLICK HERE to tweet me and let me know!

Half Term

Half term has been generally quite good. Today specifically, not so much (wake up at 2.30am....) but in general, much better than the summer holidays.

We have been out together as a family. We have gone for long walks. Tickle has expressed sadness at the loss of our cat, and the loss of his scooter bell (level of sadness remarkably similar for both). The expressions of sadness have been appropriate and non-violent.

Tickle has been swimming every day. He’s been to Gran’s, and has had a day out with Grandad and Granny Sue. He’s drunk hot chocolate, made funny faces, shared his crisps with a little boy he didn’t know.

It’s been, dare I say it, almost... normal.

Blog Link Up - SEN special

This is a link up with a difference - although most of what I blog about here is adoption related, this time I’d like to invite SEN bloggers to link up with me. Both of my children (one adopted, one not) have Special Educational Needs and I’ve learned a huge amount from bloggers and tweeters who offer their insights and expertise online.

Please see below to add your blog, and CLICK HERE to tweet and let me know you’ve added it :)