Crap. Crap. Crappity-crap. Thoughts are pinging round my head that I want to write and ‘resilience’ keeps cropping up to capture them. Ggggrrrr. I’m not convinced by ‘resilience’ in this context. I want a different word, one that feels more comfortable. But what???
Anyway, parking that for a moment, I had two days off this week. What a pile o’ shite they’ve been in some ways. Terrible weather, the weekly community team meeting (CTM) at LB’s unit which is (inevitably) a real party stopper, a few failed tasks and overdue domestic stuff. The cockroach remains in the freezer, way too cold and miserable to schlep up to the post office – me/the weather that is, not roachy. LB refused my offer of various outings preferring to have a long bath instead. [And no, I didn’t play the McDonald’s card again, because it can’t become about burgers all the time].
After piecemeal chores, and heating up leftover curry for me and Rosie, I went back to bed with my book and ipad to power through some Candy Crush levels. And have a kip. That was cool. We got to visit LB early evening and, with some persistence, caught his attention in a scrap metal yard discussion. With him smiling, it was ok to leave. (And get caught in rush hour traffic on the ring road home. In the pissing rain).
Anyway, this is a long ramble really, about my thoughts yesterday evening. I got to thinking about the recent jaunt to Bristol with twitter buds Kate and Alexa, to visit a superb social enterprise set-up. This memory was one of those winding moments that can be unexpected. It’s a funny one really. I avoid LB’s bedroom and feel sad when the odd bit of his clothing comes through our (chaotic) washing process. But I can watch previously lost home movies with real enjoyment. Then I notice an old ‘Pupil of the Week’ page (yep, the dude racked up quite a few over the years) pinned to the fridge, or chat to someone in the street, and that punch in the stomach is back. Together with the old rock throat combo.
Ironically, 57 days on, we’re in another liminal space. Liminality was something Katherine RC and I wrote about a few years ago in relation to being (academic) mothers of disabled children, excluded from disability studies (for not being ‘disabled’). LB being contained is another version of this, in a different space. We have no idea what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen and what we should do to help/make things better for LB (and us). There are no guidelines, no advice, no rulebooks.
The CTM focus is on the here and now; LB’s everyday life in the unit. The broader questions can’t be answered. I was recently flagged up as a problem in a meeting I missed; described as unable to move beyond seeing LB as a child. While this has since been ironed out as misunderstanding/miscommunication, it contributes to the experience of liminality.
My reflections here are twofold; I’ve been struck by our
resilience adaptability? acceptance? ability to get on with stuff? as a family. We’re all mucking in and making do, getting through and looking out for LB. That’s fab. Seriously fab. I don’t know where these resources come from – if someone said 56 days ago, that LB would still be in the unit at this point, I think I’d have collapsed – but we’re muddling along.
My worry is that in the same way I’m only able, with hindsight, to view the course we took with LB as a pup, as unhelpful, we may similarly get blown off course here. We’re almost back in that ‘just diagnosed’ type space. Unable to make any sense of it and dependent on the views of health and social care professionals. We have no idea what ‘the course’ is, or should be, particularly now LB’s tipped into an unthinkable place. And perhaps they don’t either.
I also wonder if being ‘resilient’ may muddy things. We’re so busy muddling along, dealing with direct payment nonsense, negotiating visitations to LB on a daily basis, schmoozing, ranting, questioning, trying to get some sleep, and hold down jobs, we’re unable to see things clearly. We’re simply following a well trodden path which I suspect should be changed.
Reblogged this on flyingontherainbow and commented:
Great blog from my friend Sara. Response from me to come later.
You do a fantastic job of mothering and in this minefield you are doing a great job aswell, but you need to look after you and Rich emotionally aswell because this situation you are finding your family in is emotionally draining and exceptionally draining. If at anytime you feel you do not feel involved enough in the decision making for LB,or his best interests are not been met you could make him a ward of court. I hope it does not come to this because its another battle of time and energy most parents of young adults with learning disabilties don,t have much of. The Oxford Belfryis doing an offer for two, to try out thier spa and swimming pool maybe you and Rosie could have a sunday morning relaxing in the sauna or gym.(go on to q hotels for the offer) Failing that tell LB theirs a surveilance camera in the swimming pool and take him…..We know he loves a security camera amongst other things many an afternoon I had turn my maths lessonon its head and count security cameras, or speeding camera. As a after thought if a burger gets him out of the unit away from meds and interacting isn’t the lesser of two evil’s. We did a lot of great things and lots of inclusion but at eighteen we let go a bit and I have regrets about the system……once you let the apron string go you just rail roaded along.