The Future


Can I be honest, no really honest…do you mind? Here goes then, sometimes my life truly scares me. Not the living the moment bit, the here and now, although that can be quit intense at times. No, it’s the future, what will become of us all? That bit.

In the past couple of years thoughts of the future have become a grotesque and unstomachable monster that lies in wait beneath my bed. In the dead of night this monster plagues me, rolls me twitching and squirming in my sheets and leaves me feeling broken, sobbing and afraid.  I’ve said it before, I think, if not I’ve definitely thought it many times, I have become very disillusioned with parenting my adopted kids.

Mr H and I have reached the lowest of points this year, possibly when we were warming our backs with the Portuguese sunshine; there we were, on our knees, scrambling fervently in the dirt desperate to find the answers. The paradox of being on holiday in the most beautiful sunshine bathed surroundings, whilst suffering the greatest crisis of confidence in our ability to parent, has definitely created unique holiday memories,  it’s not one we’ll ever forget. The questions for which we require answers are many but just for starters, how to stop the spitting, biting, kicking, swearing, destructive and defiant  and increasingly challenging behaviour that has been sewn into the fabric of our family.

Yes we were told that it would be tough and at times heartbreaking, and yes we assured everyone that we could definitely do this but, seven years in I had foolishly hoped things would be getting easier, not harder. That’s not to say that it was ever easy, but the angry outburst of a three year old is much easier to contain and far less offensive and frightening than that of a ten year old. And fatigue has also set in, it’s exhausting managing the emotional stability of two children living with early life trauma and I had reached a place where I couldn’t find the energy to get up and do it all again.

In this tired and disheartened state of mind it is little wonder that the future has posed such a threat. How would it be possible to carry on doing this? How would we ever manage this behaviour as the boys grew? What was waiting around the corner, stealing, drugs, running away from home, all became very realistic fears for me.  I recently sported a painful and colourful bruise on my forearm; I had slipped awkwardly as I rushed to remove valuable possessions from the pathway of an aggressive boy with destruction in mind. I’ve also had to inform school when my son had marks on his face; my nails caught him as I tried to remove his glasses, before he damaged them or smashed them into his face whilst head butting the wall.  Post these events my mind swirls manically, like a tornado. Where is this going? What will happen next? Who will be hurt and how will we ever manage to repair such painful experiences?

So down on our knees no further lower to go, we have asked for help.  I’m not going to detail it all now but the help is coming in a number of guises. I think the most important aspect of the help is the help I’m getting for myself. Worries and anxieties about our lives and the future has drawn the heavy blanket of depression over me again and realistically I’ve been living under this blanket all of this year. I’ve started seeing a therapist and gradually the building blocks of my mental health are being restacked. I am learning to take better care of myself and to be kinder to myself, sounds simple but actually I’ve been pretty useless at self preservation recently.

With a little support in place, the dark cloud have started to part, I can now see what needs to be done. I now realise that I cannot foresee and predict the future, I can’t possibly know what will happen to us all. However, what I can do is help shape the future by what I do in the here and now, and ensuring my own well being will give me the strength to be there when my family needs me. I haven’t found the answer to all our difficult questions, but I feel assured that I will have the energy to keep looking and I have hope that our search will be fruitful.

So as chinks of light appear in our lives, the future is starting to look brighter and that monster beneath my bed is looking for a new home.

I’ve linked this post to #WASO


The Weekly Adoption Shout Out


  1. Sally October 26, 2013 / 6:09 pm

    Your future feels very familiar to me x

  2. Emma October 26, 2013 / 7:57 pm

    I am glad you are getting some support. Good luck with it all… xx

  3. Rose white October 26, 2013 / 9:29 pm

    I relate to your worries about the future for your children. My who son is 8, came home to us when he was three and is an angry boy. This manifests its self in hitting, mainly me but sometimes his dad and never anyone else. He also, kicks, throws things and break stuff. We have packed away everything that we dont want broken. We are making progress in helping him to deal with his anger in different ways and it is much better now although any change in routine results in him regressing. We have been in that place where you feel that you can’t get out of the situation or make it better. I speak to prep groups about our experience of adoption and have only recently started to share what goes on behind closed doors in our lives. I wanted to share that I worry that his anger will lead to him ending up in jail when he is older but my partner wasn’t keen! I guess to say it out loud makes the worry real. I think all we can do for our children is to try and give them the tools to make the right choices in the future and for our son to channel his determination in the right direction. Despite his anger and how it manifests itself, most of the time he is a charming, personable, lovely boy! I hope thing improve for you all. Like you, we need to remember to look after ourselves, both to have the strength to keep going and to keep things in perspective. Also, so that we can keep calm when dealing with the ‘kicking off’ and not make the situation worse!

  4. claire October 27, 2013 / 8:55 am

    This is such an emotional post, made me go all goose bumply. I’m sending you a virtual hug but really wish it was a ‘real’ one!
    I’m really pleased to hear your getting some support. Hang in there, you can do this! X

  5. Honeymummy October 27, 2013 / 4:17 pm

    Wow thank you for sharing this.
    I can relate to every word you have written but I have never been brave enough to openly share it.
    I am so glad you are getting the support that you deserve.

  6. Emma October 27, 2013 / 7:27 pm

    So proud of you lovely. You continue to be an inspiration and you know I’m here if you need absolutely anything. Much love and keep being a fabulous Mum x

  7. Lindsay October 27, 2013 / 9:58 pm

    I’ve it said this to someone else before too; don’t you wish we could all live in a little adoption village and always have others who get it near by? Not only would borrowing a cup of sugar mean cookies are baked, but it would also mean consistent and therapeutic chats with others who understand, know where and when to help and are always ready to listen. But, if we can’t have that, I sure am glad you and Vicki have created this space so we can do it virtually. Thank you for being so brutally honest, it’s hard to put yourself out there sometimes but it sure helps your readers to feel that they are not alone.
    And please come borrow a cup of sugar any time.

  8. Amanda Boorman October 27, 2013 / 10:36 pm

    Sarah I feel sad that you and many others of us have to feel this way whilst trying our best to parent children who are hurt. You have been such a great support to me over this year and also to Jazz who despite our struggles has grown up to be the finest friend to me. I feel that your openness and honesty which shines out of your work will provide the boys with what they need to heal slowly but surely, together and strong. Always here for you (apart from anything else because you always make me laugh amongst the dark shit and you have a fantastic eye for fashion!) xxx

  9. Mari October 28, 2013 / 9:32 am

    Goodness what a tough time you’ve been having. I am so glad to hear you have some solid support in place now and I really hope your boys calm down and start turning the corner you are so wanting to see them turn. Big hugs to you all

  10. Suddenly Mummy October 29, 2013 / 3:17 pm

    What resonates with me most here is the absolute exhaustion that creeps in when you’re dealing with the same thing, day in and day out with no hope in your mind that it is ever going to improve – it can take you to a very dark place where the hardness is all there is, and I’m relieved to hear that you have sought help and support for yourself personally as well as for your family. It takes staggering amounts of mental and physical stamina and if we don’t make the effort to take care of ourselves properly, all too soon we find that when we reach for our patience, empathy, calm voices or whatever, those things simply aren’t there, to our own and our children’s detriments. I hope that as things start to improve, the good times will seem more noticeable, and the hard times will seem more fleeting. x

  11. Angie K October 29, 2013 / 7:35 pm

    This made me all teary-eyed. I hope things get easier and I truly hope you find some support!

    Brought back memories of a foster brother I had years back. the foster mother we were living with thought that all kids needed was to be showered with love. We were “reborn” when we moved in with her, and our earlier trauma just disappeared. Or not.

    She adopted him. He had seen so much as a young child. Such abuse from his mom, who he had to testify against in court. When all the state support dried up once he was her son and not her foster, she couldn’t handle it. She packed up her house and abandoned him. She couldn’t see any way other than leave.

    I admire your strength. You don’t know what the future will bring but you do know that you are giving your son the unconditional love nobody else will. From a foster who was adopted at 14 and, yes, abandoned by the same woman (but not until 24) – that will mean more than you will ever know. Probably more than he will ever know too. Your love, even if it has to be tough love in the future, is something only you can give him.

    Be strong and take some mommy time-outs!

  12. older mum in a muddle October 30, 2013 / 5:23 pm

    I can’t begin to imagine the things you have gone through on this journey, all I can imagine is how tough its been for you. So glad to hear you are taking good care of yourself and being kind to you. Therapy can really help. X.

  13. Mrs Teepot November 6, 2013 / 2:09 pm

    I am so sorry that you are struggling but pleased you are getting help and hope that it makes things easier. Sending lots of love your way

  14. Suzanne November 10, 2013 / 6:19 pm

    My goodness Sarah, you are so brave. I’ve only just come across this post and Im so pleased you are getting some support, for yourself and in your parenting journey. 10 yrs of age is a very difficult age and we’ve experienced a lot of anger and aggressive behaviour here took for which too are getting help and support. I can’t imagine the complications involved when your child has experienced early life trauma. Try not to look too deeply into the future and enjoy the small moments – difficult to do, I know x

    • thepuffindiaries November 11, 2013 / 8:43 am

      Thank you Suzanne, you are always very supportive. xx

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