The imagined life I had constructed for myself slipped away last week, again and was obscured by the dark fog of parenting a child with attachment difficulties. I am ridiculously attached to my imagined life and now I think it may be gone forever I am enveloped by what I can only describe as grief. I thought I had let go of my imagined life some time ago, clearly I had not and this grief comes around and around.
Therapeutic parenting is the only approach in town and it works. But after wave upon wave of attack my ability to therapeutically parent has been dealt a blow. Old-style parenting has made a reappearance. Its familiar embrace is comforting, its sales techniques attractive. But if something sounds and feels too good to be true it usually is: it promises high and delivers low.
My plan is somehow to pick myself up off the floor again, wipe my face with a flannel and get back on the road. This week I am going on another therapeutic parenting course. I need to be reminded of the message over and over and I need some distance and refreshment. I’m going back to the books too but it’s Dan Hughes, not Philippa Gregory on my bedside table.
Last week I tweeted,
‘Writing about the mini-grief that comes with realising you are going to have to therapeutically parent FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE’.
I’ve never had such a big response to a tweet. Whilst I don’t wish others to be in the same boat as me, it was comforting to know I’m not the only one grieving for a lost normality, career, stable family life, for dashed hopes and dreams. Someone kindly sent a link to an essay called Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley. It describes where I’m at (although I’ve relocated somewhere far less peaceful than Holland, perhaps you’re there too, maybe you’ve spotted me).
This grief will pass and the sun will come out. I will see once more that living differently to many others brings glorious surprises and opportunities too. I love my family and will be there for them, through thick and thin. Right now I have to accept that I am going to be a professional, therapeutic parent for a very long time.