Sunday 22 March 2020


Last night Kate came to me as I sit and watched TV on my iPad. She sat down and stroked the puppy for a few moments and then said " If you could go back in time would you still of adopted all three of us?"

I tried not to gasp.

I tried not to let the tears start and say no I would not.

Instead I explained that I could not go back and change what had happened and so that was an impossible question for me to answer because I would loved her and would be sad if she was not in my life.

But if I was not here I would not of been hurt by my brothers.

Her life would be so different.

The weight of that statement takes my breath away as I type it. The guilt and shame that I so often feel for choosing to adopt again, for searching for a child who we could call ours when we already had two is something I will forever wonder about.  But those thoughts only happen in my head.

Instead, I talked with her for close to an hour about what had happened. About what I thought about our broken world and I how I felt about her brothers who had both been offered and accepted plea deals. About how Kevin might hurt other people about how what he had done to Randall was horrific.

I talked about how my eyes did not see what happened. About how professionals in our lives made so many mistakes. About how I did not know then what I know now and how much I wish that this was not the path that we were on.

I apologized for not keeping her safe. Again and again she was hurt and I did not know.

She told us but we did not listen. I believed my son and did not believe the small girl, who I had only just gotten to know. When she said she was lying and that she had made it up we moved on and I thought I was so careful. I trusted Kevin. I never should have trusted Kevin.

She was not lying, not at 6 and not at 12.

And today the weight of that conversation from last night is heavy. In the midst of all of this chaos in the world as COVID creates so many problems I have a child who wishes we were not her family because then her life would have been so much better.

That makes me sad for me and for her because most days I feel like the only thing keeping me here is her. The thought that leaving would mean that she was alone and that would not be something she would ever recover from.

Monday 16 March 2020

When the structure is crumbling...

So I went away last week, it was a much needed break from reality but it was far from easy to be away. While I was away Jack and Kate fought, again and again. I would deal with them both getting in touch with me and  ranting about what the other one was doing. My friends supported me though and it was so nice to hear that I was not crazy in being frustrated with Jack's behaviour.

Towards the end of my time away the COVID-19 crisis ramped up and I was eager to get home. I slipped in before anyone actually told me that I needed to self-isolate at home for 14 days but I am pretty much doing it anyway because I do not want to be the person who makes another human sick. I have a high risk partner, a high risk kid who is far away and all alone and I have my own long list of issues that make me a pretty high risk patient as well.

Today all of that feels overwhelming. The state of the world feels like more than I can manage.

I was already struggling in so many ways before this started and now my past trauma struggles and depression have ramped themselves into high gear as I try to navigate all of the many balls I have in the air on my own trapped in a house with  stressed Kate and a clueless Jack.

It's hard.

I really hated my life before and now I hate it even more. The one thing I look forward to all year ( going away with my friends) has now created a situation where my struggle around being isolated and trying to manage alone is forced to continue in the most extreme ways.

I wish there were some options for making things less hard and yet I know that is not going to happen. My trauma triggers aren't going to listen to the crisis that is occurring and stop happening. I am not going to all of a sudden  be able to be touched without being scared. My intense hyper-vigilance is not going to magically resolve itself because I am overwhelmed by the pandemic. The intense depression that today, is so overwhelming isn't magically going to remove itself. Jack isn't going to figure out how to support me as I struggle with just existing let alone when when I am triggered and scared.

I so long for this chapter of my life to be over.

Monday 2 March 2020

dread or something like it.

I am going away this week to gather with a group of women I have been getting together with every year since 2010. I woke up this morning with an intense sense of dread deep within my body because I am worried about what might happen with Randall while I am gone.

We managed his hearing last week and then found out that they found a semi-independent apartment for him that is over 80 minutes away from us. 80 minutes on a good day with no weather or traffic issues for a kid who is unstable and often suicidal. I am astonished at the lack of planning or listening on the part of the agency. They have known since October that this was going to happen and they now act like it is a surprise that they need to figure out housing for him. He moves there on Wednesday, the day before I leave and I day that is already full of appointments and so I can not even take him there and help him settle in.

It is so frustrating. How can one kid fall through so many cracks so many times.

It breaks my heart that he is so unstable and that no one can seem to get their crap together and provide him with the support that he desperately needs.

But I am still going away. I need this break. I need to see these women. I need to decompress from these last few months because they have been so very hard.

I look back at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 and I am surprised I am still here. I am surprised that I got through that and can tell the story because there were so many days when I thought was just not going to be the case.

A trip, another hearing, some papers for school, one step at a time and hopefully with time the dread will decrease and some version of normal will emerge.