We knew in our adoption journey we would face attachment issues. Yet here I am frustrated and angry and worn out, despite all my preparation. Really, when dealing with attachment issues (much like everything else in the parenting world) you can train and prepare all you want, but nothing will help you get ready to face the ins and outs of it on a daily basis.
We are seeing attachment issues in our oldest, S and our middle C. I have to say that even though they are sisters, their attachment issues are so very different. With C we are reinforcing that this is her forever home and she cannot live with whoever she meets and enjoys hanging out with. That seems much easier to me. Sure there are other things, but that is the big one.
With S is where things get super challenging for me. I completely (logically) understand that these negative behaviors we are seeing are attachment behaviors, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Let me be clear for all the well-meaning people out there, I do not want advice (unless you have specifically dealt with attachment behaviors). This is not normal pre-teen emotional behavior, this is not adjustment, this is attachment and the difference is HUGE!!!!! S does so well with Joel, she is respectful (for the most part), listens, and in general acts like her happy little self. With me however, she is a different kid. She is disrespectful, short, and down right mean. She gets super angry every time I speak with Joel and she is not there. She constantly says she is “Telling Dad” on me (which makes me laugh inside). She is just displaying very obvious behavior that she wants nothing to do with me, but then cries when I attempt to leave the playroom at the therapy office. It is so confusing and frustrating. We thought maybe some fun time would be good for S and I so we tried that tonight and it was an EPIC fail.
It is so frustrating to try and give S special alone time, when we don’t have time to do that with all 3 kids and yet she is behaving like a crazy child! The other two get less time with both parents as a result and that is not fair to them. And when I am with the other two I actually feel like a good mom, not this horrible evil mom I feel like when I am with S.
We just aren’t really sure what more to do. We present a united front yet S says that one day Dad will take her side over mine. We explained that we don’t want to have any sides in our house and we want everyone to be on the same side. We self clear limits about behavior and respect of everyone in the house.
Today I am just tired of being treated like poop on the bottom of a shoe by someone I am just trying to love. That is the reality of adoption sometimes. It’s not pretty, it would not go nicely on a finalization card, but it is the truth. It won’t always be like that, but today it is.