Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Crashing back down to earth...

How quickly things can change...

Buoyed by a fabulous weekend with family and Froggy birthdays, I was unprepared when Monday morning reared up and smacked me in the face.

It's attitude central at Casa del Nat, with Tiger leading by disgusting example.

By the time I dropped her off after another shitty morning today I was in floods of tears and had to stop until I could get my eyes to stop leaking and I could see to drive home.  

We USED to have days like these.

Since we settled in to Wine Country, and got over the first few crazy weeks, I have not seen a performance like this.

The full force of her rudeness and attitude was there, along with an even more stubborn than usual refusal to do basic things like "Puuuuuut yoooooouuurrr cloooooothes ooooooonnnnnnnnn!!!" (Yes, I did sound like that by the end... interspersed with sobs).


Monday I rang the medical clinic and got myself fast tracked for a referral appointment with a doc so I can get Tiger to a child psycologist. We need an expert, because I can only do so much. 

The busy weekend had flared up her anxiety, and along with that comes the overwhelming floods of feelings about things she can't control - like her bastard father who disappeared four years ago.

I cop it.

I cop the nastiness, the name calling, the days and days of pure misery that only she can create.

I am better at understanding the whys. I can see the reasons so clearly.

I can't fix things, even though I desperately want to. This is something I can't do.

I can manage the outward behaviour but I can't heal the inside.

Tomorrow we are going to be referred to someone who can. I am not leaving until we do.

In the meantime we have to get some order back before she gets completely off the rails.

This morning she tried it on with "You love Frog more than me, my life is so terrible, you treat me like shit, it's not fair".

I could argue back but she will just call me a liar. Been there, done that.

Instead I went home and decided to deliver a quiet little reality check.

In order to keep a teensy bit of sanity during some of our toughest times, I abolished chores. The battle ground was too bloody to continue. No matter what I tried, she dug her heels in further, and when life was going to hell in a handbasket there was no way I was going to continue that fight.

So when she screamed at me today about how hard her life is, and how much I expect from her, I figured it was about time the chores were reinstated.

On her arrival home this afternoon I had four freshly printed pages stuck to the cupboard doors where she puts her school bag away. A morning and afternoon routine, one for her, and one for Frog. Both including two small chores to be completed every day.

She seemed enthusiastic and immediately took her afternoon tea and went off to do her homework. The chores were completed with a smile.

She needed that strict, uncompromising routine back, to help her head straighten out. 

The real test will be tomorrow morning, and the morning after that, and the one after that. And every day when I'm tired and I want to take the easy way out. Or when Frog doesn't want to brush her teeth or pick up her shoes, just like all three year olds do, and I'm fast losing patience and running out of time.

But I have to do it for Tiger. If this is what it takes to help her feel safe, secure, grounded, to stop her world shifting under her feet, I will do it. I will heal the outside, and together we will heal her heart.

Tomorrow is a new day.

UPDATE: The routines gave Tiger something to focus on so her mind could quietly get back to normal and her behaviour settled almost immediately. 

On Wednesday we got our referral, and Tiger has been triaged into the waiting list for a top psychiatrist from the Adelaide Women's and Children's, who visits up here regularly. 

 All your comments make my heart feel full and happy, you are a very special extended family and I want to squish hug all of you xx


  1. I know what you are going through. We deal with this daily from my kids for similar reasons (bastard father). You are doing an amazing job though! Hang in there xx

    1. In his attempts to hurt me my girl ends up hurt :( at least we can find someone to help her heal. We are hanging in there! Thanks lovely xxx

  2. You go, girl. Hang in there. Big hugs all round :)

  3. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses to you. Tiger is lucky to have such a strong and supportive mother.

    1. Fairy wishes were needed :) We are on the road to a better future for my fragile girl xx

  4. You are doing an amazing job in a really tough situation. Hang in there, get the help you need, but in the meantime, just know you are doing the best you can - which is more than a lot of people can say xx

  5. I don't know you but I found you over at IBOT.

    You sound like an amazing Mum! Many would have just let it all go, but it sounds like you came home and took steps to change things. Good on you!

    1. Welcome! And thankyou for your lovely words of encouragement xx

  6. Routine helps me so much to keep my head working. *hug*

    1. Sometimes it's the simple things that are needed most, thanks xx

  7. You are such an incredible mum. The fact that you are making changes to help the entire family, but also are strong enough to ask for help is so amazing.
    I'm really encouraged by this. It's easy to forget hat sometimes a strict routine is exactly what kids need to function best. Thanks. Xxx

    1. Oh Jess, thank you xx It has taken a while to be able to ask for help, but I can feel in my heart that I am not enough sometimes, so to give her the best life possible I need to call in the experts for a bit. xx


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