We have recently had some involvement with CAMHS which has (unlike our previous encounter) been quite positive. We’ve talked through what’s working, what’s not, how we can try to shift things that seem a bit stuck. The psychologist has been quite upfront in his appraisal of us: he was concerned maybe I was not affectionate and loving enough, or the differences in my partner and my own parenting style were incompatible and causing conflict. He was happy to report he was assured this was not the case and, while we were different, this was within the ‘normal’ range of difference!
He had written a statement for our son’s EHCP and went through it with me at our last session. We discussed what we felt were the key points school needed to consider in supporting my boy. I then caught sight of the last paragraph, which read something like “X and X are extremely attuned and supportive parents who have devoted much time and effort in finding the best way to support X”, and went on to detail how well I’d engaged with the service etc, etc. I was immediately overcome with frustration and….well, rage. It’s not the first time it’s been documented what ‘such great parents’ we are – and we may now even have more of those than statements of how inadequate we are or have been.
I held it together to the end of the session, then left and wept. I couldn’t process the mix of anger, incompetence, powerlessness. My little family has been through so much and nearly lost so much. I am starting to look back in wonder that we survived it at all. It’s been too much. And now things are better, getting better month on month really. And this adjustment feels almost as difficult in a different way. How do we live and rebuild our lives as a semi functional family? When do I take a break from spending every waking moment looking for ways to support my son? Then dealing with the long painful process trying to obtain it? When do I dare to accept that what we’re doing is enough?
We’ve survived but we’re bruised and fractured. And so, so tired of fighting that the phrase that ultimately breaks me is what ‘such great parents’ we are. Maybe time for some therapy for me.