And the walls came tumbling down

Crash, bang, wallop. J is showing signs of distress.

“I don’t like this, mum”.

In the middle of the room we are creating a precarious pile of his worldly possessions. J is moving rapidly, wrenching posters down, yanking drawers from under his bed. He is grim. Dust swirls around us.

I turn my back and he hurls a half empty can of deodorant into the newly painted hall. I wince. Tomorrow I will make a start on decorating his room. J’s sense of security is built on order: knowing what he is going to eat for his next meal, knowing when things are going to happen, and knowing where he can find everything that is his. This is a young man whose early years were full of chaos, hunger, and fear.

This evening he is a small child again.

 

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I am linking this post up to the Adoption Social’s Weekly Adoption Shout Out #105.

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10 comments

  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    O I do hope the new room is a joy. Whenever I smell fresh paint I remember being a teenager. I painted my room turquoise. It’s an exciting and scary stage for James. What colour is his room becoming?

    1. It’s white! First stage in preparing the flat to sell in the Spring. J will be able to express himself in the new place. For now, he has had free rein on the wall outside his room which is a very juicy green.

  2. I could just imagine my oldest son in the same scenario reacting exactly the same. It’s all such a big change which I’m sure gives a sensory overload. Hope it all works out ok. Thanks for sharing on #WASO

    1. What was great though was that, when I asked him how it made him feel, he said ‘anxious’. He could never name his emotions in the early days – he could only ever say that he was ‘confused’ which I think was the only way he could describe his big jumble of emotions. And that just shows how far we’ve come, which is the theme of this week’s Adoption Shout Out. I got there in the end!!

  3. Ella and I are grown up now but one of legacies of our past is that we find there are still triggers in everyday life that start the old “fight or flight” mechanism pumping away.

    1. Yes, and I’m sure that’s what I’m seeing in J. Do you remember if you learned to identify what those triggers were yourselves or did you have help understanding them?

  4. Change is something many people find tough, especially those who have been fostered or adopted, . I hope he has adjusted to the new room!
    #singleparentlinky

    1. It’s a work in progress… Tonight he is on a sponsored overnight hike, and I’m on track to finish it by tomorrow. No choice about it… It has to be ready!

  5. that must be so hard. trying to get my kids’ rooms sorted is hard enough! good luck

    1. I’m not going to tell you how overdue his room was for redecorating. Too embarrassing! But thank you 🙂

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