3.50 a.m. and my cortisol levels are urging my brain to buzz. Now I can imagine some of what our 8 year old, Bubble, feels everyday. Uncontrollable thoughts spinning into each other, bombarding her with dread, and the urge to fight or run.
At times, well, let’s be fair, most of the time, we have to be her regulators. We are doing our best. I think we’re doing a fantastic job actually. We are a great team. We’re making slow, if not steady, progress. We have good professional support. Ok, we had to fight for it, but we do have it at the moment: a skilled Social Worker, an understanding and responsive Senco at school, a miraculous therapist, and family and friends who, for the most part, ‘get it’, or acknowledge that they don’t. Those who really don’t want to get it have been left behind. Our social circles have decreased, but the quality of support and understanding hasn’t.
And then there is work.
Harassment. Intimidation. Bullying. Even an anonymous blog doesn’t feel a safe enough forum to detail the horrific management tactics I am currently enduring. I have union support. I have been advised to take out not one, but three separate grievances. Three! And I lie awake wondering where I am going to get the strength to endure; how I am going to ensure this stress does not impact on our children; how I am going to ensure my effectiveness as a Social Worker is not incapacitated; and how we are going to survive if one of my grievances fails and my manager’s insistence I work full time is upheld.
I know I have legal arguments on which I can draw. Google* is a wonderful thing. I know that procedures have been ignored. The experience of hardened trade unionists is also a wonderful thing. But the battle is huge. My reserves are depleted, and I don’t want to be running on anger for months. I am not going to back down this time. I have been here before and I have backed down. I didn’t have the emotional energy to fight. I don’t have it now actually. But this time I am fighting for my family. I am fighting to be able to drop the girls off at school, to pick them up afterwards, and to be there for them in the holidays. I am fighting to offer them the support, consistency, and regulation they need. I am not going to fail them. They have experienced enough of that in their short lives to devestating effect. So I make a promise to them, to my family, my partner: I will not fail you. This adoptive mother is ready for the fight, and I will win.
So, now, with echoes of the battle speeches of ‘Gladiator’** jiggling around my frontal lobes, I will attempt some slumber. Good night.
*Other search engines are available.
**Other motivational historical films with an American twist are available.