boy tug of war 120451468

Foster Carers' TSD Standards covered:

Author Details


Name: Sally Donovan, Adoptive Parent and Author

This time last year our family came shockingly close to a breakdown.  Jamie, our adopted son was lurching at the cliff-edge of adolescence, he was finding school very difficult and then an adoptive family close to us broke down and their children, both known well to him, went back into care.  His thinking seemed to be that if it could happen to them, then it could happen to him too and he would take control and make it happen.

All of this gathered into a storm of immense proportions.  He raged, he swore, he fought, he refused to eat, to wash, to go to bed.  ‘I want to kill myself’ he would screech.  This went on for weeks and weeks.

Despite having been coached in therapeutic parenting and, we felt, not doing a bad job at it, my husband Rob and I spiralled down into helplessness, despair, exhaustion, fear and sometimes raw anger. The prospect of having our family fall apart was extremely painful.  With the start of the school summer holidays came a calming of the behaviours.  Rob and I were left mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.  We were like fuzzy, barely recognisable versions of ourselves, disconnected from the world, like disaster victims.  I have never felt so low in my life.

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