I’m no stranger to stress in fact it seems to have a special tracking device fixed to my back. Admittedly I put my hand up when stress offers are made because they are often disguised or I’m just too stressed to notice. The word ‘sucker’ is planted firmly on my head so hand me a fist full of straws and say pick one and yep, I’ll draw the short one.
This is no pity party, whiny time though. What’s happening is that I’m entering a moment by moment, mega stress zone, one that will last until 6pm Thursday. What happens after that I have no idea and so I’m not able to prepare myself, that stresses me. I’m my own control freak, a survival method, keep a step ahead and be prepared.
Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what ‘My Boy’ is doing (who is My Boy?), is he happy, is he safe, is he crying for me. I spend hours wishing I could turn back the clock, make different decisions, find magical answers and create positive outcomes that currently do not exist. Two conflicting sides of me, the one with common sense that states clearly there was nothing more I could do thanks to the lack of support from the powers that be. The other side wracked with guilt, grief and deep sadness at not holding ‘My Boy’ not being the Mumma who tucks him in at night and plants a magical kiss on the sleeping forehead which is only peaceful when in medicated slumber.
The path I’ve walked over the past two years has been deeply painful, agony like no other. Different to the pain experienced when I lost my own son in 2001. This pain is constant, there’s no learning to carry it better because the child is out there, with another, wondering where his Mumma is. How do I know? Because I’ve been told he curls up sadly for days on end after each visit, clinging to the last remnants of his contact even if that be a strip of wrapping paper. How heart breaking!
Action Man is his brother, Action Man escaped the utero damage caused by his young mother’s foolish use of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy, not totally unscathed though. Many times I sit holding his sobbing head as he yearns for the brother we raised for 6 years, as he begins to understand the path he was born on to and how he had to skip to another path when his own was blocked with hazard signs.
I thought when ‘My Boy’ moved that over time, I would heal and move on, after all I didn’t birth the child. I’ve tried, so help me I’ve tried. I’ve buried my head in busy, busy, busy but it doesn’t work that way. I’ve tossed and turned and tried to figure how to deal with this. The most difficult part is I have others to consider. I need to ensure that 8 other children and Bumpy Dad also have the life they deserve. The life they have a right to, I can’t just consider one and not the lot.
I often wish someone would step in and make it all better, fix it all so that we were all happy and whole. Life doesn’t end ‘happily ever after’ with these stories though, not unless a miracle were to occur.
Okay now I’m waffling! Thing is today I received a phone call, at this stage it’s important that you understand this.
We raised ‘My Boy’ for 6 years, fatal alcohol syndrome amidst several other complications but not total of one rather a foot in each camp. These prevented a full recognisable diagnosis, thus preventing therapeutic intervention and total confusion as each camp denied responsibility and hand balled his needs on to another. One was brave enough to firmly state his complications, causing devastating dysfunctional behaviours had him up as one of two children in the state at his level. Still no help, formal diagnosis or relief from medications of any kind. Eventually we were exhausted and incapable of surviving him, thanks to the backs turned our way. Eventually we said sad, heartbroken good byes and hoped that by letting him go we were doing the best thing for him. True love, to let what we love go in search of better. I hoped that if other’s lived with what we had then maybe finally people will take it seriously and not just assume it was our inabilities.
Now having missed his 7th and 8th birthday I can’t shake my love and attachment to him, such is his hold over me one would think it is I who carried him encased in my womb safely for 9 months until bringing him forth into this life. Not so, he was merely delivered to our door like many other foster children before him.
My phone rang today and I took the call from a placement officer, momentarily I grew excited that maybe just maybe they were going to grant me my wish to fill the emptiness in my heart and ask me to care for another baby (yes I know, you think I’m insane). Rather I was asked to be available for an important meeting regarding ‘My Boy’. (Obviously they don’t call him ‘My Boy’ that’s my special name for him). They insist Mr Bumpy is present and that the other children are not able to hear what is being said. They offered no other hint but it’s obvious it’s serious. Immediately my tension levels rose, BP no doubt doubled, stress is evident and systems feel like they are gonna blow. Every conceivable scenario has flown thru my mind, some devastating, some hopeful dreams of reunification but I know it’s not likely.
I deal with the politics and administration of the fostering side of our family. Mr Bumpy is at work and I work from home, I pass information to him via txt and emails but mostly I consider the issues and make executive decisions, have done for the past 14 years. Demanding that he be present at the meeting ads a somber weight to what the meaning possibly is.
I have 21 hours, now 20 hours, of agony ahead of me. 8 hours by which I won’t sleep, at least not deeply. 12 hours to form many scenarios of which not one will necessarily be correct. 12 hours to contemplate my reaction to each scenario and all possible outcomes and 10 hours to consider how I will continue with my evening of caring for 8 once the two social workers leave back to their ‘normal’ world. Being fair they are both awesome social workers but it won’t lessen the agony of what news they bring.
So there it is, Stress of the highest level. Involving a child, involving our life both past, present and future and totally controlling my life for the next 10 hours.
To tell someone you have something serious to tell them and then leave them hanging on to those words for what was 24 hours is….. well…. sucks!
Roll on Friday, the future becoming the past and wine-o-clock.