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Being a Single Parent

Sometimes it can be relentless. Parenting traumatised children is hard work and often unrewarding.

Have you ever felt that disconnect? As if you do not even like your child? As though you cannot connect to them?

Do you feel that you cannot continue? Or that you are isolated?

You are not alone! Compassion fatigue is the largest contributor to family breakdowns and also the reason for many more relationship bread downs when one partner chooses their children, then carries on alone.

Blog by Sarah Naish

After Peter left, I tried without success, to encourage him to see the children. I realised that I had been very used to doing nearly everything with the children, taking them all out with me and generally making sure that their needs were met. It was only after he was gone that I realised the extent to which this had happened.

Being a single parent had benefits as well as disadvantages. There was only one set of rules, and it was easier to keep track of who said what and when. I hardly had time to grieve the ending of my marriage, especially as I also now had to deal with the children’s loss and the practical side of getting divorced.

I did not see a particular increase in the children’s behaviour, apart from Katie whose anxiety was more pronounced. She needed lots of reassurance that Peter had not left because of her.

As peter and I had adopted the youngest three children, but not yet Rosie and Katie, I had to start the assessment process to adopting them all over again, but this times as a single adopter.

I encountered huge resistance to this and ended up writing my own matching report for the adoption panel to show the importance of the children’s relationships with each other, and blossoming attachment to me. I felt it would have been devastating to separate the children again.

At panel it was unanimously agreed that I would keep all five children and I moved swiftly to get the adoption order in the court. It was only once this was granted, when Rosie and Katie were 10 and 8 years respectively, that we all began to feel a bit more secure.

Extract taken: Therapeutic Parenting Essentials: Moving from Trauma to Trust

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