“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
I'd be the first to admit I'm no philosopher but I'd like to point out two things Freddy. One you never had children* and two, you've never met my children.
It's all been rumbling round my head as my friend has just had two girls placed for adoption with him and his wife. Through texts and calls he's keeping me up to date with all the ups, downs and challenges and the challenges.
Hearing the struggles and incidents that they face is agonising, each day I see the pressure that they feel and anxiety that hovers around them. Admittedly the children are 'challenging' and everyone knew that before they came but still the gap between knowledge and experience seems so wide.
What they describe evokes a visceral reaction in me, those first faltering hours, days and weeks where I felt I was drowning back in '99. As per standard practice and advice our friends and family drew back and we were more isolated than we'd ever felt. Of course it was all ok in the end but touch and go. All I can say is with hindsight is that I'm sometimes glad Social Workers are hard to get hold of.
I text my friend and repeat what I'd said to him during their assessment, waiting and matching. We'd talked long and hard about what it was like, he saw me on some grim days and saw some of the aftermath of the stuff that washes round Coates Towers. But it was all theoretical, head knowledge and stories back then. Now it's all experience, very visceral and hard.
I tell my friend it takes time, hang in, build your new life. But they are starting from the bottom and that's a scary place. I'm sure it's going to be ok they'll find their feet build a new life together with their children. I want them to believe that it's all going to be ok.
It makes me think about how the good MrsC and I have changed since that summer 17 years ago. Perhaps Freddy was right after all.
*I checked on Google so it must be true