Thursday 19 November 2015

Unresolved narrative

It's been a hard week for a load of different and mainly external reasons. Of course it goes without saying that I can't say what, when, who, how or why. Of course I can confirm that they're all related directly to the early lives my children and their route to my door. I'm not down or depressed. I just am.

I was speaking to a friend about something or other and he noted that some folks he knew struggled with what I wrote sometimes as there was, as he said it, 'an unresolved narrative'.

Well if it makes you feel any better so do I.

I write what happens, what I see and what I think. Of course I filter and edit it but it's an account of our lives from my perspective. Other perspectives are available of course but I feel that I'm fairly representative of a large number of parents who care for children who have experienced trauma, loss, separation and have travelled through the care system.

I write to make me feel better, to get the dirty water off my chest. I'd love to write about all the warm hugs and beautiful moments that blossom out of difficult experiences. Perhaps I do but in different less obvious ways, I think I find hope.

Today as Mrs C and I returned from our recent sessions with one of the massive's therapist I confessed that I didn't know how all of this is going to turn out for us as a family. Not the immediate but the long term. Not depressed just pragmatic, what does the future hold? I never thought that we'd retire to the seaside, see the grandkids once a week for a slice of Battenberg cake and a Wurthers Original, crikey no.  But I'm not sure how in the medium to long term some of my children's adult lives are going to play out. Our journey so far indicates that for some it will be ok but for some it's not so clear,  so our narrative is unresolved, but can anyone's be resolved?

This week my heart skipped as I walked through the shops, Lotty's 10 year old hand took hold of mine and we walked and talked. Her hand felt small but it was just so natural with an easy familiarity that was precious. Big deal, you say but I'm her dad and I'm the proudest dad in the world because she loves me. I also know that in 5 years this time holding hands will not happen.

Sometimes I hold onto that second in time when my hand is held because in that moment my narrative actually feels pretty much resolved.


  1. All our narratives are unresolved, none of us know. Was with someone this week whose now adult children have both had a turbulent time, as adolescents and now young adults, nothing to do with trauma and abuse. Then some children in care who I wonder how they survive at all, knowing their story, are massively resilient and not only survive but thrive. You just put in all you can as a parent and hope it is enough, even if there are blips on the way.

  2. I totally agree, I guess my lament is that I've been surprised at the peculiar outworking in adulthood of childhood experience that in someways was not apparent in childhood or adolescence.
    There are no guarantees for any of us in any way. Embrace the chaos.