A Shift in Focus

It’s been a long time since I wrote for myself. Lately I’ve been writing all of these posts to my daughter, which she will likely never read, because I wanted to get out all of the thoughts in my head. The things I wanted to tell her but couldn’t necessarily do at this time. It’s also a way for me to process this new life – parenting a high needs child.

The past year and a half since I adopted A, has been insanely chaotic. The process of attaching to a child not born to you is not an easy one. We are, for the most part, very attached now. I have all of those feelings that a mother has for her child. I would do anything for my baby girl, born to me or not. But it wasn’t easy and there were times when we took a few steps backwards before moving ahead again. We are in a good place now. She has been behaviourally much better this year than during the end of last year. A bad reaction to medications made things really rough in October; she was psychotic and I was beyond burnt out. I was so happy when I found out it was caused by the medication, because I knew it would get better when she stopped taking it, and it did. She’s on better meds now, and since we finalized her adoption last month, she’s like a new kid. She’s feeling secure, calm, happy… all of the things a traumatized and brain damaged child needs to feel in order to be well attached and able to manage behaviours.

I am finally beginning to feel as if I’m getting a piece of myself back. My own self has been completely overshadowed by her needs. I had become angry and irritable all of the time and I had withdrawn from my family and friends. I think I was beginning to suffer from some secondary PTSD. But this last month or so I’ve started to see a glimmer of the old me coming back. I have been trying to reach out to friends more, to get out of the house on occasion (this is especially hard since I sold my car when I decided to work from home, so I wouldn’t have to manage the obscene payments) and to get back into some creative stuff like scrapbooking and painting.

The biggest new thing is that I finally got a date for gastric bypass surgery. This is a surgery I was supposed to have two years ago before I adopted A, but had to be delayed. My surgery is on March 1st, less than two weeks away, and I’ve been on a strict pre-surgery diet for the past 6 weeks. I’m glad that A is in a good place right now, because I don’t think I could have managed shifting focus to myself, a few months ago. I sort of wonder if I’m a little nuts to be doing this while I’m singlehandedly parenting a very high needs child, but I suppose I always have been one to leap into things head first, and work out the details later.