I’ve got abandonment issues you know.
Even my mum needs to be told this, so I shout it at her so she hears me.
It’s two weeks to end of school and then everyone will leave. All the teachers will leave. My safe person has already left me. It doesn’t matter that people tell me she’s gone to hospital for an operation. She’s left me. I don’t believe them that she’ll be back. Loads of other people have said things to me and left me anyway. My mum calls it “endings” sometimes. Why can’t I remember that people do come back? It’s all going to be so different. I’m really worried about being alone and I won’t know my teachers and I can’t manage Year 8. I don’t want to look like a baby but I feel like a baby and I need my mum and she’s not there at school because it not cool to do that. I fuss a lot when I feel like this and so my friends walk off and then I’m alone again.
It’s so very tiring living this way. Wondering who will be there are the beginning and end and middle of the days.
So on Monday morning when I wake up tired and grumpy and say I don’t want to go to school my mum hugs me and says
ok baby. Don’t go.
I look at her a bit funny because she doesn’t usually say that.
We crawl into her bed and she puts her arm round me. I think I go back to sleep.
My arm is numb but I daren’t move it. I’ve got loads to do today yet here I am laid in bed with baby attached to me like a limpit. She’s boiling, but if I move she moves with me. She needs to “feel” attached. Even in her sleep she knows if we move and will follow us or wake up.
It’s 8:55 am on a Monday morning and the abandonment issue is well and truly in force.
In that split second this morning I made a decision – I really did not want tired girl. Tired girl means she’s feels unsafe anyway because she never got much sleep when she was little. Tired girl thinks she’s back there and has to work much harder then she already does to make sure we know she’s there. Then she’s even more tired. Most of all, Tired girl has the most enormously loud cry. We’ll, it’s a wailing actually but still incredibly loud and you really really cannot ignore it.
I don’t want her to wake up. She’s so much better when she’s not tired (aren’t we all!) and she can deal with things better when she’s not tired (so can I). So she’s laid asleep beside me (the dog at the other side). Ideally I’d like to rearrange the pillows so I can be comfortable. I’d also liked to have had chance to get a cuppa but I didn’t. So I stay here, drafting this on my phone, being uncomfortable, so that she sleeps.
Then eventually, hopefully, we will be able to get up and cope with the adandonment that the day throws at us. The other stuff I was going to do probably won’t get done. It wouldn’t have got done if there’s been an almighty kick off which took up some time and left me feeling drained for rest of day either!
All the transition / keep in mind tools are already in use again. She has a photo discreetly tucked in her bag. She wears my perfume and sometimes I put a plait in her hair or a pony tail and tell her that she’s got a little bit of me with her all the time in her hair and she can feel it. She’s got extra money for toast at break time to help her regulate. She takes pack-up so she doesn’t have to wait for the food at lunchtime and can get straight into a calming sensory soothing strategically made lunchbox that is also filled with love and kisses and crunch and sucky things.
She will meet me again at the end of the day (and oh boy I will have to remember to do the big hugs and full on attention).
Then we’ll start all over again.
The good news is that we don’t have to do this all the time. After 8 years, we don’t always need to ” do the perfume and stuff” (as she calls it). Now we just do it when things go wobbly until the wobbles stop for a bit.