Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tired and emotional

... and not just because of the Pimms I've just been drinking.

Today's session was quite draining, not just because it was all day on a Saturday. I won't go into too many details, partly because the very first thing we had stressed to us was confidentiality, but also because, really, you may not want to hear it. The first part was on working with parents and the (huge variety of) social workers we will encounter. I kind of knew there were a lot of social workers out there, from my mother who used to teach children who'd been excluded from school, and who had a couple of children ask "so, who's your social worker?" - in their world, everyone has one...

We had a very interesting chat at lunchtime - the chief social worker (she's in charge in our district, I think) suggested we might like to go for respite and short term caring, rather than just respite, as we'd probably get more out of placements, and we wouldn't need to do more than respite initially. Respite fits in with full time work but if we were to have children full time, especially younger than secondary school age, at least one of us would need to work part time. I can't see myself asking for part time hours just now, but it's something I've been thinking about, and Mr Spouse I think would also be happy with working slightly less than full time, in whatever he ends up doing in the future (itself not entirely sure). But if we are approved for both we could change tracks without reapproval.

The afternoon was the harrowing part - about abuse and neglect - not just harrowing in itself but because I started remembering all about A, the boy who lived with me when I was living overseas (see here). I remember being asked at the time if I was angry with his father or with the boys who likely abused him- and that's definitely an issue that we would be asked to face with some fostered children. I'm not sure if I'm really not angry with them (well, it's hard to be angry with his father as he was pretty pathetic) or if I was just getting on with caring for him and avoiding the issue. Some of the things that were suggested to us as reactions to children's inappropriate behaviour made me think, OK, yes, I did handle that well. Others made me realise that (probably because I was, erm, completely untrained and unprepared) I could have done something differently.

I never really finished the story about A, but there have been a few new things since I last wrote about him. I kind of feel I've closed the book on him, though I'd be happy to hear from him now of course. He finished school and got a couple of IGCSEs (the i is for International not Internet!) with pretty poor grades, but when last heard of had a job - probably thanks to his reasonable English. His behaviour was still a bit erratic but perhaps not quite as poor as when I knew him, but he is now past his teenage years and I know even for young people who have awful behaviour becoming an adult can sort things out a bit. I am less worried he is actually going to die and I think he has a little HIV awareness - and if he had become infected when he was a child I think he'd be at least quite sick by now. I know this sounds very morbid but I've had to face this.

Gosh - I didn't mean to get into that - it must be the Pimms. I am going to go and see what's for dinner (I have a feeling the answer is, whatever I make... as Mr Spouse is watching very boring important football. Just to annoy him I think Beans will be on the menu).

Anyway, where would an infertility blog be without TMI, so I'll leave you with this. Don't wear white trousers before CD7. Especially if you are on a break and checked your Persona this morning and it said "go for it!".


Anonymous said...

I would be tired and emotional too after all that. Blimey, what a day, and what intense memories it brought up. Poor A. Poor you.

Hmmm. I too now want a Pimms (and I can't, in case the alcohol reacts with the antibiotics and makes me radioactive).

I gave up on white trousers altogether YEARS ago.

Country Chick said...

The course sounds extremely like the one we did as our initial introduction to adoption - we were a combined group of potential adopters and foster carers. It is exhausting - emotionally draining - I think anyone who doesn't feel like they have been run over by a bus is probably not taking it seriously enough.
Good luck - I haven't stopped by here for ages (sorry) and am so pleased you are progressing with this.