DSC_0071Things are starting to blossom in our garden. Small shoots are transforming into pursed pods and then bursting into an array of soft pinks, luscious lilac and not to be forgotten blue.  It is a very favourite time of the year when the garden offers much promise of the future months ahead. There is hope all around.

Hope is something I increasingly hold in my heart today. The family seems to be moving in an increasingly positive direction and although it will in no way be plain sailing, I have hope.

When I surreptitiously watch my oldest boy Stig, I beam with pride at how he is blossoming into a fine young man. Like those garden buds, he’s found his moment and is making the most of a new found energy. He is taking school and home life very much in his stride; very few days bring a display of unregulated anger .

Like a watered shoot pushing through warm soil, little Tink forges forward with his opinions and thoughts. Yes he now, sometimes, has far too much to say on his preferences, but it is wonderful to see him exploring the ability to let us know how he feels.

For me a new horizon has appeared in my battle with depression. A specialist referral has brought a greater understanding of the illness I live with and improved care in how to deal with it. I am starting to have desires for life that have long been alien to me and like an opening flower; I strain my face towards the sun to increase my new lust for life.

For Mr H everyone’s improving wellbeing brings the same relief that warmer weather brings after a long cold winter. He can return more to his own thoughts and needs, and look forward to even brighter days ahead.

So not unlike our garden we are all doing blooming lovely today. DSC_0094 DSC_0111 DSC_0129


And as with many gardens and families, there are always areas which require some work. This once thriving vegetable patch will be my project in the garden when the time comes, and with my family ,well let’s wait and see what projects present themselves, there is always something around the corner.


I’ve linked this post to How Does Your Garden Grow. Click on the badge below to find out more…

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

The Nicest Thing he Ever Said.

love you


“I love you mum”

“I love you too”

“I love you mum”

“I love you too”

“I love you mum”

Ah that’s lovely, thank you”

Sometimes I like to mix it up a bit. The monotony of replying to that statement can get to you slightly, ok a lot. Actually it’s not a statement, it’s a question. It says,

“Hi I’m here, can you see me?”

Or it’s a need, a requirement,

“Please fill me up with assurance because all my positive self belief keeps draining away”

Sometimes I have to change the reply because I wouldn’t believe my own voice, dripping with tedium and through clenched teeth,


Sometimes I think,

“You know what? Right now I’m not sure how I feel, if I try and fake it, will you be able to tell? Will you notice that at this very moment I don’t actually want to answer? Will that then make you feel even worse about yourself? Will a smile and a hair ruffle suffice?

When he first said it, and the thousand times afterwards, I was really touched. Then it dawned on me, it wasn’t what he was saying to me, it was what he expected in reply that was important.  Giving to receive, is all part of his survival strategies.

It’s like that ever so considerate question I get EVERY morning,

“Did you sleep well mum?”

How sweet I thought at first. Then, how clever, he’s worked out that when I’m tired I’m not so lovely therapeutic mummy. Survival first.

Or the giant hug I receive on pick up from Cubs, school or sports club. I know what follows, a responsible adult tentatively asking “I’m so sorry but, can I have a word?” Soften her up before the deadly blow is delivered. Survival is always on his mind.

Some Saturdays ago, after a really successful family day, Stig and I lay chatting on his bottom bunk.  He loves this, sharing and snuggling at bedtime. We talked this, that and something else, to be honest I really don’t remember. I was feeling contented, he could have been talking me through the building of some major creation in Minecraft and I would have agreed in an accommodating manner and ooohhed and arrgghhed with delight, in all the right places. I’m good like that sometimes.

As we lay there he stopped talking, I noticed that, and then sighed deeply. The type of exhalation of air, deep from the belly, that indicates the height of relaxation. As he cosied his lithe body up against mine, he said without thinking.

“I rrrreeeaaalllyyy like you mummy”

I could feel the smile across his face in the words he spoke. He had delivered the words from his heart.

We hugged, long and hard and then said our goodnights.

Downstairs I sat on the sofa and cried.

“What’s wrong Mr H asked?”

“Stig has just said the nicest thing he’s ever said to me” I replied.



Things are slipping; I can feel the earth beneath my feet crumbling and as a vile taste of nausea has become lodged in the back of my throat, my balance is being rocked. A heady dizziness stifles my thoughts and I’m not entirely sure what to do or how to behave. I’ve lost my footing and my clouded judgement has left me wavering on the edge.  It has crept upon us again, this difficult patch, stealth like, different aspects of our life have been gently pushing us toward the edge of the slippery slope.

 As Mr H and I put more distance between our recent NHS sessions of CBT therapy, the void of no one to speak to, to guide us, has seen us tripping back into old habits. Try as we may, the weight of negativity is pushing down on those fledgling strategies that can manipulate our minds. I’d say we both needed more time, someone there made a big difference to us, but the NHS say we’ve had our lot. For now anyway.

The resentment is on both sides. I for his work, the ability to turn off and re-focus, even walk away to a business event, a night away in other people’s company. For him, his need for support in the work place and emotional arena is met with an unwavering priority for the children. The reality is a man down on his knees with the financial responsibility of this family and a mother unsure how much more she can take.  We need each other but constantly repel each other.

The children have reached new phases of difficulty, not separately but at the same time. Tink has finally decided that school is not for him and ramped up the challenging behaviour whilst there. Stig is moody and defiant again; a child who seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders but is unprepared/ able to share. Both are spoiling for a fight with everyone and anyone, making it hard for me to look people in the eye during the school run. Real or not I imagine parents staring and thinking/saying there’s the mother who can’t control, doesn’t discipline her unruly children, and worse.

I feel the need to remove myself from society and real life, as I immerse myself into the world where I know I’m understood, twitter friends, fellow adopters. It’s my own take on things, I know it’s not the reality, but my children’s trauma has created a trauma in me. Like them I have a skewed perception of reality and have created my own coping strategies. I’m removing the vulnerable factors in my life.

Sleep comes in short bursts which satisfies extreme fatigue, but what then follows is restless tossing and turning of a body tense to the core. Awake I’m going over and over the conversations, what I should have done what I shouldn’t have done, on a relentless loop. Eventually there is sobbing in the dark.  The tiredness obviously acts as a catalyst to the ill considered parenting approach and does not aid therapeutic mum.

But wait a moment, there is a light. As I teeter on that edge, strength at my core pulls me upright again. It’s unfortunately not endless yoga and palates creating this strength, but a chemical numbing of the depressive state. Breathless anxiety has been replaced by a desensitisation that only anti-depressants can deliver. Thank god. I can take a breath, think logically.

Logically, it’s only a couple of weeks ago when things were going well, we can reclaim that.

I feel the gently tap of friendship on my shoulder, the reminder that there are those who can help.

My mum, my shining beacon of none wavering, being there.

Friends that offer escape and kindness, not knowing the full extent of what goes on is often a bonus when escapism is needed.

Each other, we’ve come through rocky times before, we will move through this patch too.

The warm embraces that my children bring to me, arms stretched wide, they seek my love. For that I am eternally grateful and it still deepens my love for them, daily.

I know that we just have to get through this week. Mr H and I have allocated some time to regroup next week. He has to deliver this final event for some time and I just need to keep my head down on the front line of parenting. Survival is the game for now but not the long term plan. Tomorrow, next week things will improve again.

One Family up a Hill


One Family Up a Hill

There is a place we can go
When our feelings are low,
Where the wild winds blow,
The cobwebs of trauma away.
A place that Stig and daddy enjoy,
Cathartic for him and the boy,
A walking and talking foray.
Sometimes we too,
Mummy and Tink, accompany you,
And as a family we make the ascent.
To the top of a hill,
Where the view there will fill,
Your heart with the greatest content.
The grandest of landscapes,
Can be seen all around,
And the largest of worries are no longer found.
For the briefest of times
Anxiety declines
And bodies held together by pain,
Relax and revive,
We feel glad to be alive,
And together as a family up a hill.




If you recognise the places we visit please do not mention them in your comments, as we would like to keep our location private.

I’ve linked this post to #CountryKids
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A Year On

A Year OnTo reflect on the last year, with all its grit and grime, is an extremely hard ask for me. I’ve taken a look back at the blog, one year ago, and discovered it’s a year since my boiler broke and we endured three days without heat or hot water. A painful experience that I don’t really want to contemplate again and that’s just it, most of last year I don’t want to have to contemplate again. I honestly feel that 2013 was the hardest year I’ve lived in all my 41 years on this planet. I’ve never been overly superstitious but I am eternally grateful that I won’t live to endure another year with the number 13 in it. And yet, strangely, I personally, did achieve some amazing things in that year.

I ran the London Marathon and raised a large sum of money for the charity TACT.

I started The Weekly Adoption Shout Out with Vicki from The Boys Behaviour.

I started the website The Adoption Social with Vicki, providing support for adopters, adoptees and others working in or touched by adoption.

I produced a youth play for my local amateur dramatics group.

I became a trustee for The Open Nest Charity.

I made some incredible new friends from the land of Adoption and even got to meet some of them when The Adoption Social and The Open Nest exhibited at The Adoption UK Annual Conference.

Yet I measure my year by none of these achievements, I instead reflect on the emotional rollercoaster that the year was for my family. Allowing my mind to even wander near the edge of those deepest and darkest of downward facing times frightens me. My muscles tighten, my throat constricts, and a sickness is rising from within, from the depths of my core a wave of tears is swelling. So, now I’m taking a deep breath……….I’ve found composure and I have stepped away from the precipice. I’m going to stick with my resolution, to live in the here and now and allow only hope for the future.

What I can say, is that to have survived the year can only have made each of us stronger. We are now taking tiny steps towards firmer and more certain ground and I’m sure amongst these pastures of increasing confidence and blossoming optimism, our growth will become more evident. The children are already showing signs of progress, relinquishing 2013 seem to have made a huge difference for them.

Stig has been managing and regulating his anger in a far more positive way. A contentedness, which he lacked for much of that fated year, has returned and glows softly within him. He is growing up, and I think he is coming to terms with it. Maturity can be a difficult attribute to steer at first but he is taking control and beginning to benefit from, even enjoy, the fruits that it brings.

Tink remains a boy of two extremes. Beyond his cool, astute and steely stare is a soft and squidgy little bundle, which requires the tender nurturing of an infant. The softness at his centre is well protected and few are privileged enough to benefit from its tenderness. I however am being allowed increased access to his vulnerability, as he allows me to assist him, asks for my help and even voices his concerns and fears. As always it is all very much on his terms, or so he believes, I’ve also become increasingly clever at letting him think he’s in charge.

My relationship with Mr H has near enough weathered what has been some exceptionally treacherous storms. We cling to our life together by our fingernails alone, but sheer determination that we will not be beaten by a bad stretch, keeps us holding on. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I know we can get through, but damage has been done and healing may take time. We know however that it is worth the endeavour, as at our core the embers of the love we have for each other still radiate warmth.

For me the last year seemed an endless battle with my old adversary, depression. I struggle to recall any long periods when lightness was in my step and cheer was in my heart. I feel much of my time I was weighted by worries and anxieties for those around me and strained by the intensity of living with those filled with worries and anxieties. I have started taking steps to lift myself from beneath the heaviness and I am learning new ways of keeping my old friend at a distance.

So today I prefer to look at the year ahead and hold hope in my heart for the future. In this vein I will say that a year on we are now on an upper ward turn and I am optimistic we are leaving the darkness behind.