Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Death by Attachment...

Today marked the Sprog's first day in his posh private school.

Sprog was very excited about today - but also obviously anxious, the usual pre-school sleepless night, for both him and me, followed by an early rise - when I got up he had already arranged his school uniform on his bed and was planning his breakfast. He wasn't sure if he would need his PE kit  - so he decided to take everything and bring home what wasn't needed. As TJ was off school today I was able to run him to his new school and will pick him up later - He can start taking the mini bus tomorrow, hopefully, he will then know some of the other children on it and they'll have a great trip into school.

TJ was also anxious. This time about being by himself. And he took it out on me!

We had a lovely morning playing games, making a cake and then we decided to take the dog for a walk and TJ took his bicycle. The bike is admittedly too small for him, but he won't let us change it - he refuses to ride anything bigger just yet - which turned out to be a blessing for me.

He was cycling away and the dog was wheezing beside me - I'm sure she is asthmatic and she has just celebrated her 9th birthday.

Suddenly I had to stop - as my youngest child pedalled full throttle directly at me and tried to run me over. He pulled away at the last minute, laughing maniacally. Then he turned round and did it again, this time running right into my right ankle - which hurt... a lot!

Think of Chuckie, the evil monster doll from the 80's movie Child's Play and you have the right picture. He saw that I was hurt and then ... tried to do it again. This time I grabbed the bike. "What are you doing?" I yelled. "I want to kill you!" came the reply.

I was stunned.

If you have ever seen the TV show Family Guy - I now knew exactly how the mother, Lois, must feel everytime her 'baby boy' Stewie tries to kill her (although admittedly its a lot funnier on tv - in a cartoon!)

Stewie obviously has attachment issues - as indeed does TJ. Attachment Theory is based on the idea that most mammals - like dogs - get attached to their parent or owner - they know where they are, they feel safe when they are around, they respond to boundaries and grow in a nurturing environment. This is also true of children - but especially for those who have had traumatic early starts and haven't been able to attach - firstly to their mother and then to the serious of foster carers and eventually the adoptive parents. There is a lot of talk in adoption about attachment and, I have to admit, I dismiss quite a bit of it as it can make sweeping generalisations....

But there is an obsession with death that is tied into attachment and boy does TJ have it - with TJ it focuses on super heroes and killing bad people - usually as gruesomely as possible - but that's understandable and come from a lack of self esteem and feeling powerless - as a super hero TJ can control his environment and stop all the bad things from happening to him. However, sometimes TJ aims his obsession at me - always at me. He wants me to die - he tells me daily and then tells me what items of mine he will have once I am dead. This is not said in a malicious way - just matter of fact.

But today was the first day he actually tried to kill me.

Despite the pain in my leg, I didn't get cross - I didn't shout - I think I was too stunned. I just said, "What would you do if I was dead?" "I'd be happy." he replied as he cycled off.

Now again I can think of a couple of reasons why this would be - the analysts would probably say that he is afraid to love us - so rather than risk loving us he wants to see push me away by telling me horrible things and as he gets closer to loving both Papa and I so he has to find more and more nasty ways to push us away.

The other part of me thinks he genuinely hates me - at least for today - because I have done the one thing that no-one, not his birth family, not social services, no-one has ever done... I have separated him from his brother and that terrifies him. He and the Sprog have been through everything together - Sprog parented him when his birth parents were unable, or incapable, The Sprog held his hand (metaphorically), as they went from foster carer to foster carer and was with him throughout his adoption journey to us.

Hopefully separate schools will hopefully help them grow as individuals and, although TJ will hate me for a while it should prove beneficial in the long run. I think the Sprog is grateful for the break - to have the resonsibilibty of looking after TJ removed from him.

So when we got home I asked him how he was going to cope if I was dead - I kept it practical, "Who will cook your food?" "I'll eat crisps," came the reply. "Who'll wash your clothes and clean up?" "I'll learn," he said.

I could see this was going nowhere so I decided I would simply no longer do anything for him.

"Can I have a drink?" he asked a little later.

"Get it yourself," I said.

"But I can't reach the cups."

"Not my problem - you don't need me remember?"

He thought about it then went and got his school water bottle and filled it from the sink.

Then he wanted lunch. But after having no joy from me he eventually took an apple from the fruit bowl.

Finally, he said, "Can we play a game now?"

"Why should I play with you?" I asked, "You don't like me - you wanted to kill me, remember?"

"Not really," he said softly. "I wouldn't do it really."

"OK, then" I said, "You say sorry and I'll make you a sandwich and we can play a game."

He looked at me and softly apologised before climbing into my lap and crying.

Since then we have had a lovely day - but I'm putting the kitchen knives way out of his reach!!!!!!!!!

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