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Giving Up - sympathy vs empathy

PART 1 - Sympathy


When will it end, this relentless abuse.

I’m tired, exhausted and done.

I feel like I’m crashing, no escape from the pain.

I fed up of being your Mum.


When you walk in the room, It fills me with dread.

My heckles rise on my back.

I cringe and retreat as you sit at my feet.

I still feel the sting of your slap.


The sound of your feet as you bound down the stairs.

The tone of your voice says it all.

You’re on the attack and I am your prey.

A quivering wreck of a fool.


She arrives at the house at a quarter to three.

To discuss your relentless behaviour.

Have I tried the approach she suggested last time.

With a smile like she’s done me a favour.


Out comes her list of my ‘vast’ training needs.

When was my first aid completed.

No I can’t have a break as I’ve used up my days.

Then she leaves and I sit here defeated.


I don’t recognise who I am anymore.

A shadow of the Mum I once knew.

The Mum who said she’d never give up.

But now I feel like I’m through.


I reach out to others to get some advice.

Someone to tell me I’m right.

To let you go to another home.

Where others can take on the fight.


You’ve done all you can at the end of the day.

Maybe it’s time he moved on.

It’s just not your fault that it’s ended this way.

If they tell you to keep him, they’re WRONG!


I pack your bags with tears in my eyes.

A fleeting moment of doubt.

Then I think of your face when you’re screaming at me.

And remember why I want you out.


For the first few days I sigh with relief.

Peace in my mind at last.

But soon I feel such an emptiness.

When will this guilt finally pass.


What have I done, I say to myself.

Perhaps there was some other way.

But it’s too late now, you’ve already moved on.

The pain in heart’s here to stay.


PART 2 - Empathy


When will it end, this relentless abuse.

I’m tired, exhausted and done.

I feel like I’m crashing, no escape from the pain.

I fed up of being your Mum.


When you walk in the room, It fills me with dread.

My heckles rise on my back.

I cringe and retreat as you sit at my feet.

I still feel the sting of your slap.


The sound of your feet as you bound down the stairs.

The tone of your voice says it all.

You’re on the attack and I am your prey.

A quivering wreck of a fool.


She arrives at the house at a quarter to three.

To discuss your relentless behaviour.

Have I tried the approach she suggested last time.

With a smile like she’s done me a favour.


Out comes her list of my ‘vast’ training needs.

When was my first aid completed.

No I can’t have a break as I’ve used up my days.

Then she leaves and I sit here defeated.


I don’t recognise who I am anymore.

A shadow of the Mum I once knew.

The Mum who said she’d never give up.

But now I feel like I’m through.


I reach out to others to get some advice.

Someone to tell me I’m right.

To let you go to another home.

Where others can take on the fight.


Others who’ve been there, are right by my side.

Allowing me to offload my burden.

Not jumping in with unwanted advice.

Acknowledging I feel uncertain.


Helping me see just where I’m at.

Drowning in compassion fatigue.

Empathy, nurture and a listening ear.

Identifying the break that I need.


Taking some time to look after me.

Having a few days away.

Or maybe an hour or two at the gym.

When he’s back at school for the day.


Slowly I realise I’m beginning to feel.

Much like the Mum that I am.

I can even stand to be alone in a room.

With my struggling hurt little man.


Eventually I see what’s happened to me.

My jug had all but run dry.

I’m sad that I felt all those terrible things.

I sit down and let myself cry.


Tears of relief that I kept you with me.

For I am all that you have.

It’s not your fault that you act this way.

You’re, traumatised, anxious and sad.


Recognising Compassion Fatigue and accessing support via Listening Circles can be the turning point in helping you to help your child remain within the family.

Children do not ‘just recover’ or magically access parents who have all the answers.

YOU are the parent they need and Therapeutic Parenting enables you to meet their unmet needs, recognise behaviour as a mode of communication, figure out what they’re communicating and respond to this using nurture, empathy, structure and boundaries.


We know it’s hard and it takes a long time but with the right support for you, children can often stay within families where ordinarily they may have not.


At the NATP, we don’t use the term ‘placement breakdown’ or disruption, we call it a Family Breakdown as that’s exactly what it is!


Sarah Dillon ©



NATP Ltd trading as

The National Association of Therapeutic Parents with company registration number 10705603.

01453 519000

 

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76-78 Parsonage Street,

Dursley, Gloucestershire,

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