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Tuesday, April 1

Back in the Land of the Living (Sort Of)

Finally I have made it back to my blog. We have had Easter school holidays here in cold 'ol Tassie and all three kids have been keeping me mega-busy and ensuring that I didn't have time, energy or motivation to drag myself to the computer. School resumed today and I have a bit more free time available, but only when Madame is asleep.

We had some pretty major stuff happen over Easter. On Friday last Alice and I saw an attachment therapist in Launceston. I have suspected for quite some time that Alice has some problems with her attachment to me. There have been some subtle (and some not-so-subtle) signs that all was not well. My mother's instinct was telling me that something was not right, but I had so many other people saying to me that I was imagining things - she was a prefetly happy and well-adjusted child. I heard on the grapevine that the adoption therapist was coming to town and decided to book in for appointment. To cut a very long story short, Alice has been diagnosed by this very experienced and reputable therapist as suffering from some 'significant' attachment issues. Although that wasn't great news, I felt so very relieved to know that I wasn't being crazy or hypersensitive, and that there was a reason behind some of her 'odd' behaviour. The therapist was magnificent, and spent almost two hours with us, observing Alice, performing some hands-on therapy and recommending a course of action. That course of action is a program called 'Taming the Tiger'. Basically it involves me holding or carrying Alice pretty much every waking hour. The aim is to take her back to being like a very small baby, and to 're-train' her brain in order to help her attach. I am currently on day four of this six-week program and must admit that I am finding it very hard work. It is not only physically tiring to carry around a nine kilogram baby for 5-6 hours a day, but emotionally draining as well. See, Alice doesn't like to be close to me - this is one of the 'hints' I had that suggested she had an attachment disorder. She expresses her dislike at being so close by hitting, punching, pinching and screaming. It is very hard not to feel sad and useless when she is raging against my affection. The attachment therapist assured me that this program works wonders for kids like Alice, and I fully intend to persist, but I just needed to have a bit of a vent about how bloody hard it is!! I have, however, seen some signs of improvement even in just the four days we have been doing the program, which gives me encouragement that it will really help Alice to heal. I will keep you updated when I have the chance (and don't have a small child velcroed to my chest...)

2 comments:

OziMum said...

Really? I marvel at how clever you are to pick that up?! And good for you, following your instincts and making an appt. Nothing ticks me off more, than people that bury their head in the sand and ignore the issue. (*famous last words... you might need to remind me of these words, later!*)

Just think of the workout you're getting lugging Alice around!!! It will work. I took Harry to a sleep Dr when he was 2. Best thing I ever did. It was really really hard, doing what he asked me to do - but it worked. Everyone is better off for it.

Glori said...

I'm so glad you listened to your gut aka instincts! They always know (when we let them tell us is another matter entirely).

LOL I had a similar reaction to ozimum - you are going to have had a fantastic upperbody workout by the end of your program!

I'm glad you are seeing signs to the work. I can imagine it being very hard, especially when emotions are involved.

Hang in there. Sending you much emotional & in-kind physical energy to you :)