We had another tough day: the crying, the tantrums, the meltdowns, the defiance, the anger, the fighting, the ressentiment, the hitting and the rejection. I feel under attack in my own home.

I cannot remember when I was happy last, or when I felt a sense of accomplishment in my life. Inside I’m raging, wish I could scream it all out. But I can’t, so instead I feel the urge to run away and to put a distance between myself and all this ugliness.

My husband Diego and I have lost our complicity, we are playing for two different teams. We hardly talk to each other, we argue most of the times we are together, and we struggle to find some common ground on our parenting styles.

My son Ben seems to be playing a “hit and run” race: I cannot even think of how many times in a day I have to deal with him hitting our foster girl or his classmates at preschool. He apologises, and a couple of minutes later, we are back to square one.

And our foster girl Holly is testing my patience by constantly pushing me away. It hurts and angers me when the little person I’m looking after just decides that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. “No, I want Diego” is her favourite answer, and that if she answers to me at all. Most of the times she ignores me completely, making me feel invisible.

It only took one month of permanency to break my soul, to lose myself, and feel hopeless. I don’t recognise myself anymore, as much as I don’t recognise my family. We are all at loss, different beyond recognition, and unable to find the way back home.

I wish I was a better person, I really do. I feel angry and annoyed with the whole world. I feel is not really worth fighting to get through this period anymore. I feel I hit rock bottom, and there is not much left to be saved.

I’ve been put to the test and failed miserably. We all failed. Me, my husband and my son. We let the black cloud take over our home and our family. We don’t get along anymore, we don’t respect each other any longer, we don’t listen to one another, and we just look forward to bedtime to shut off and stop hurting.

Is this what trauma does to people? It takes over, changes you, and makes you a worse version of yourself?

As I’m writing this, I realise I’m not ready to give into it yet. I won’t let the trauma win. Not yet, not while I still have some fight in me. I’m not sure how we will come out of this situation, and how different we all will be at the end of it.

When we decided to become a foster family we knew about the challenges that awaited us, but this mere rational knowledge could not prepare us for the actual experience of it all. The challenge still scares me, but in spite of that, I’m not ready to lose my myself, and my family, or let trauma have this win.

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